Joe Rogan is a widely known TV star, having worked as a martial arts commentator, comedian, actor, and also hosting his own podcast.
Joe Rogan attended the University of Massachusetts, though he didn’t complete his studies. The star dropped out of college and pursued other career paths, including driving jobs and teaching martial arts, before finding comedy.
Find out more below about Joe Rogan.
Early Life & Education
Joe Rogan spoke more about his childhood in an interview with Rolling Stone. He was born in New Jersey in 1967, and while his father held a steady job as a police officer, his mother led a more unconventional lifestyle.
His parents divorced when he was five, and two years later, he began living with his mother and her new husband in San Francisco. He claims to have first tried marijuana with his stepfather aged just eight.
After the move, he no longer had contact with his father. “Never heard from him again,” Rogan says.
His childhood was certainly not without its challenges, but he remains positive. “I don’t want to complain about my childhood. Nothing bad ever happened to me. It was just confusing, you know?”
He later relocated again, this time to Massachusetts, where the family would settle. This is also the state where he attended college, though he didn’t see the value of this and later dropped out.
After college, he worked in Boston in a number of roles, including delivering newspapers and chauffeuring a private investigator.
Rogan’s introduction to martial arts came at the age of 14 when he began practicing karate. He quickly showed promise at the discipline, achieving a black belt within two years and winning competitions at both a state and national level.
However, his martial arts career came to a halt when, aged 21, he began developing headaches. Concerned about potential damage to his health, he gave up karate.
After a stint as a martial arts teacher, he began pursuing a comedy career. His rising status as a comedian got him noticed by Dana White, president of the UFC.
White offered him a commentary role, which he accepted in exchange for free tickets to fights. “When you watch him call a fight, you know he knows what he’s talking about, loves what he’s talking about,” White says about Rogan.
After dropping out of college and with no clear career path ahead of him, Rogan decided to try stand up comedy. He was encouraged by friends to get up on stage and quickly found that he enjoyed it.
He performed small gigs before moving to Los Angeles in 1994 in an effort to pursue a more substantial comedy career. The following year, he bagged a part in the TV sitcom ‘NewsRadio’, which aired until 1999.
Rogan then went on to host the challenge show ‘Fear Factor’, where teams of contestants would compete to win $50,000. The challenges were often stomach-turning and therefore controversial.
The show became a hit, much to the surprise of Rogan. “I always thought it was going to be canceled,” he says, “I was like, ‘This is so stupid’…The reason I got the gig was because I made fun of it.”
Over the course of his career, he has released six comedy specials. Two of these, ‘Joe Rogan: Strange Times’ and ‘Joe Rogan: Triggered’, have been added to Netflix’s catalog.
In 2009, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, a podcast, was launched. In the shows, Rogan addresses issues including sports, health, and culture alongside his guest commenters.
Rogan’s website describes the podcast as “A long form conversation with guests.”
Spotify claims the show is “one of the most popular podcasts in the world,” and in early 2020, signed a new deal with Rogan to host his show. The show’s visual footage is broadcast on Rogan’s YouTube channel, which has over nine million subscribers.