by Noor Al-Sibai – firstname.lastname@example.org – Staff writer
Comedian Joe Rogan wants you to know he is more than just the guy from Fear Factor.
Known for his six-season stint hosting Fear Factor and his role as color commentator on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Wired, the 45-year-old Los Angeles, Calif., resident said he does not have a favorite part of his resume.
“I love my stand-up, but I love my podcast, and I love commentating for the UFC, too,” Rogan said.
“I’m not really embarrassed of any of my work, because it’s a natural progression,” Rogan said. “I’m sure you could find any of my old stand-up and it’d be horrendous.”
Rogan said, for him, stand-up comedy as a career is about improving and finding new material.
“It all sucks in the beginning,” Rogan said. “It would be so boring if someone started out really good. There wouldn’t be any progression.”
Rogan cited comedy heavyweights Richard Pryor, Bill Hicks and George Carlin as his inspirations.
One of his strangest experiences in stand-up was working with a dying Richard Pryor at the Comedy Store in L.A., Rogan said.
Although comedians normally introduce the acts that go on after them at the venue, Rogan followed up Pryor’s routines for five weeks without introduction.
“He had to be carried on and off-stage,” Rogan said. “He was a shell of himself at that point. It was a really horrible deterioration.”
Rogan called his experience with Pryor, who died in 2005, “surreal and bizarre” because Pryor’s “Live On The Sunset Strip” was his first exposure to stand-up comedy.
“It was really full-circle to work with someone who’s such an important figure at the end of their life,” Rogan said.
Other than his stand-up, Rogan said his podcast is his favorite current project.
“I love that the folks at home get to be right there,” Rogan said. “No producers, no censors. They get to be right there in the conversation.”
Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, has featured tattoo artist to the stars Kat Von D, rapper Rick Ross, electronic music artist DEADMAU5 and comedian Jim Gaffigan, among others.
Rogan and his guests on the show discuss topics varying from recreational psychedelic use to parenting skills.
“I’ve gotten emails from fans telling me that my show saved their lives,” Rogan said. “We’re 100 percent honest, and I think people respect that.”
Rogan said his commitment to fans of his show is a huge responsibility and an inspiration.
“It’s so intimate,” Rogan said. “You’re literally in their (the listeners) heads.”
“We all share a very generous ethic,” Rogan said of himself and his guests. “It’s not just growth for the listeners; it’s growth for us.”
Rogan, who said the impact of his show is an aspiration to higher levels, also said that he does not like to label himself as New Age-y.
“We all feel the need to categorize other people,” Rogan said. “We all want to stereotype, but I think that’s limiting.”
Asheville will get an in-person experience with Rogan next weekend, as he brings his stand-up routine to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $40.75 and can be purchased from ticketmaster.com.