The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience is a free audio and video podcast hosted by American comedian, actor, sports commentator, martial artist, and television host Joe Rogan. It was launched on December 24, 2009, by Rogan and comedian Brian Redban, who also produced and co-hosted. By 2015, it was one of the world's most popular podcasts, regularly receiving millions of views per episode, and includes a wide array of guests.
|Hosted by||Joe Rogan|
|Production||Joe Rogan (occasional)|
Brian Redban (2009–2013)
Jamie Vernon (2013–present)
|Video format||YouTube, Vimeo|
|No. of episodes||Over 1,520 (as of August 5, 2020)|
|Original release||December 24, 2009– present|
The podcast originates to around 2003 when Rogan hired Brian Redban, a self-taught video editor and an employee at a Gateway 2000 computer store in Ohio, to work for him full time to film, produce, and edit videos for his website. Rogan had noticed video work that Redban did for comedian Doug Stanhope and invited him to film him and his group on stand-up comedy tours. Redban accepted and relocated to California in the process, following Rogan with a camera and "recording everything". After several years, Redban noticed that fans were demanding more content from Rogan and for it to be delivered faster. This prompted the two to seek new ways of quickening what was a lengthy editing process to make their website and content more interactive. Coupled with his interest in popular live video streaming services of the time, Redban wanted "to do the same thing I was filming, but live", and set up live streams on Justin.tv from the green room at Rogan's comedy gigs. Redban had no prior experience with audio engineering, so he taught himself how to operate the mixing board and microphone setups.
After some time on Justin.tv, Rogan suggested the idea of hosting a live video stream with Redban from his home and interact with fans in a chatroom and on Twitter, with the audio portion released as a downloadable podcast. Rogan was influenced by the open discussion style from appearing on Opie and Anthony and the live Ustream show that co-host Anthony Cumia did from his basement studio, Live from the Compound. The first episode aired live on December 24, 2009, which initially took the form of a weekly broadcast on Ustream, with the pair "sitting in front of laptops bullshitting". Much of the episode was dead air with the hosts figuring out the equipment. Early episodes featured an animated snowflake effect that was reintroduced on episode No. 674 in 2015 and episode No. 1,000 in 2017. The show developed with Rogan having friends as guests and having lengthy conversations; comedian Ari Shaffir was the first guest, who appeared on episode No. 3 on January 6, 2010.
Rogan recalled that maintaining a consistent schedule early on was important in the podcast's growth, and it soon grew to two episodes a week. In May 2010, the podcast acquired its first sponsor in a partnership with the sex-toy production company Fleshlight. The company withdrew in mid-2012, when it claimed it had saturated its market. By August 2010, the podcast was formally named The Joe Rogan Experience, in an homage to The Jimi Hendrix Experience and aired live several times a week. In May 2011, Rogan secured a deal with SiriusXM, a subscription-based satellite radio service, to have the podcast air on its uncensored talk channel The Virus. That year, Rogan said that the podcast was helping his stand-up comedy as he would take ideas that arose during conversations and develop them into routines.
In January 2013, video episodes of the podcast started to be uploaded onto YouTube under the account PowerfulJRE and episodes were surpassing almost two million views. Later in 2013, Redban started to reduce his time as the podcast's sole producer as Rogan had increased the number of podcasts each week, "and it got to the point where [Rogan] wanted to keep on going, six, seven hours" which became too much for him to handle alone. As a result, Jamie Vernon was hired as a second producer, initially to fill in as Redban's assistant, leaving Redban to produce roughly half of subsequent episodes. Vernon soon took over full time and Redban subsequently appeared on the podcast as a guest.
Originally, the podcast was recorded at Rogan's home in California. From November 24, 2011, some episodes were recorded at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California, also known as the Deathsquad Studios. Since November 27, 2012, the majority of episodes have been recorded in a private studio that Rogan acquired in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles. The 1,000th episode aired on August 18, 2017, and featured comedians Joey Diaz and Tom Segura as guests.
In April 2020, Rogan began having guests take an antibody test for Coronavirus disease 2019 before recording the podcast during the COVID-19 pandemic, although these tests are presently not FDA approved. Rogan uses a personalized, on-demand service that offers each test for $299.
On May 19, 2020, Rogan announced that from September 2020, The Joe Rogan Experience will be exclusive to Spotify, including the video version in a reported $100-million deal. Under the terms of the agreement, the video podcast will continue to be posted to YouTube until December 2020, when it moves exclusively to Spotify. Video clips of the podcast will continue to be available on YouTube after the transition, however. Following the announcement, Spotify shares increased 7% by May 20.
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In 2019, Rogan hosted podcasts with three 2020 Democratic presidential candidates: Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Bernie Sanders. At least three other candidates asked to appear but were not accepted. Other notable political figures and journalists have appeared on the show, such as Edward Snowden, Dan Crenshaw, Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, Matt Taibbi, Dr. Cornel West, Malcolm Gladwell, Cenk Uygur, Gary Johnson, Ana Kasparian, Lawrence Lessig, Milo Yiannopoulos, Steven Crowder, Roseanne Barr, Larry Sharpe, Alex Jones, Molly Crabapple, Bari Weiss, Abby Martin and Jesse Ventura.
Rogan frequently has comedians on the show in connection with his stand-up career, such as Joey Diaz, Tom Segura, Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Theo Von, Duncan Trussell, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Whitney Cummings, Tom Papa, Bryan Callen, Bert Kreischer, Penn Jillette, Andrew Dice Clay, Hannibal Burress, Jeff Ross, Iliza Shlesinger, Ron White and Ari Shaffir. Drawing on his history in the television industry, Rogan has interviewed fellow NewsRadio stars Andy Dick and Dave Foley and other actors, directors and media personalities such as Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Anthony Bourdain, Kevin Smith, Leah Remini, Guy Ritchie, Edward Norton, Mel Gibson, Macaulay Culkin, Dan Aykroyd and Russell Brand and musicians such as Wiz Khalifa, Reggie Watts, Everlast, Rob Zombie, James Hetfield, B-Real, Henry Rollins, Steven Tyler, Joshua Homme and Ted Nugent.
In connection with Rogan's role commentating for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), many fighters and mixed martial arts-related guests have appeared, such as boxer Mike Tyson, UFC president Dana White, and comedian/fighters Eddie Bravo and Brendan Schaub. He has had other athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Diamond Dallas Page, Jake Roberts and Danica Patrick as well.
A number of scientists have been featured as well, including Andrew Huberman, Bob Lazar, Richard Dawkins, Michael Osterholm, Sean Carroll, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Shermer, Brian Cox, Lawrence Krauss, Roger Penrose, Matthew Walker, Robert Schoch, Paul Stamets, Nick Bostrom, Adam Frank, Dennis McKenna, Steven Pinker, Sam Harris, Jordan Peterson and Elon Musk.
There are at least three types of episodes, as labeled on Youtube. These are the "main" general category (of which there are over 1500 episodes), "MMA show", and the "Fight companion" episodes, which are streamed live.
In January 2015, the podcast was listened to by more than 11 million people. By October 2015, it had grown to acquire 16 million downloads a month. By April 2019, the podcast had 190 million downloads a month.
Elon Musk's appearance on episode No. 1,169 on September 6, 2018, saw Musk smoke cannabis, which attracted worldwide press attention and was followed by a 9% fall in Tesla stock. The podcast helped Andrew Yang's campaign for the 2020 U.S. presidential election gain momentum following his appearance in February 2019. On June 20, 2019, Area 51 conspiracy theorist Bob Lazar made an appearance on the show where Rogan frequently discusses the possibility of aliens and extraterrestrial life. This episode was cited as the inspiration for the planned Facebook event and Internet meme known as "Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us", created one week later.
A study conducted by Coleman Insights in 2019 with 1,000 monthly podcast listeners aged 18 to 64 revealed that The Joe Rogan Experience ranked the highest in the "unaided awareness" category, double that of any other podcast.
According to The New York Times, Rogan and The Joe Rogan Experience became an "unlikely political influencer" in the 2020 presidential election after presidential candidates Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard both saw measurable surges in popularity and fundraising after making guest appearances on the program in 2019, and in 2020, when presidential candidate Bernie Sanders saw a surge of press coverage in national news and global media outlets as a result of his campaign using a clip from The Joe Rogan Experience showing Rogan speaking favorably about the candidate and saying on air, "I think I'll probably vote for Bernie."
The podcast has been described as "an important node of the intellectual dark web", and has featured a diverse ideological mixture of political guests including Democratic presidential candidates and conservative figures. In a more critical article for National Review, writer Theodore Kupfer wrote that the podcast, hosted by "a weed-smoking DMT-obsessive whose most cherished political cause is the quest to end male circumcision", has become "one of the last bastions for civil discussion in contemporary America".
In August 2010, nine months after its launch, the Joe Rogan Experience entered the list of Top 100 podcasts on iTunes. The podcast was voted Best Comedy Podcast of 2012 by users of iTunes. In February 2014, the podcast won a Stitcher Award for Best Overall Show of 2013. In 2017 and 2018, the podcast was Apple's second most downloaded podcast. In January 2019, the podcast won Best Comedy Podcast at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.
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