So you train all day, and you listen to “The Joe Rogan Experience” all night all day, but you get on social media and see your art major friends screaming for Joe Rogan’s head on a pike.
Why? Just because they don’t agree with everything, he says?
Spotify employees are trying to take control of editing his podcast, and Twitter followers are canceling him for “transphobic” jokes he told about current Republican candidate Caitlyn Jenner, who, ironically, has recently taken heat for her own transphobic opinions on the campaign trail.
There is a very complex issue with society on both sides of the political compass, and there are many “Bros” who would quote him on every word like he is the messiah for meatheads who don’t like to read. As a comedian myself, I appreciate the work of the “Podfather,” and his work significantly influences me. But, let’s not forget, he’s still just a comedian.
Joe Rogan is a martial artist and sports commentator from Boston, Massachusetts, who got his start in the entertainment biz on the local standup circuit. He started training in the art of Tae Kwon Do at a young age and began performing comedy after experiencing head trauma from fighting. Through his passion for fighting, he started commentating for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).
His podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, started as a passion project he used to sit down and talk to his friends. But, later on, many young adults like me began tuning in, and it felt like we were in the same room listening to the conversations. Sometimes they were deep, or sometimes they were silly, but eventually, it would become responsible for the massive mainstream explosion podcasting has become today.
Now there is a podcast for everything. And why wouldn’t there be? Anyone can do a podcast, and they are thriving. Whatever idea you have, there is already a podcast about it. It’s the start-up of art platforms, and it will continue to grow. Many comedians use podcasting to promote their stand-up shows and vice versa. You have Joey Diaz, Chris Distefano, Theo Von, and many more who use that platform to gain an audience.
But, the more famous you get, the more surveillance there is on you. And as much as I agree that everyone should try to be the best versions of themselves possible, the social media court of public opinion often runs a bit overboard regulating it.
The internet generation is now censoring comedy after years of censoring by the “Hey, that’s blasphemous!” generation, and comedians and podcasters alike are stuck talking about current events during their local coffee shop performances. It’s so bad now audiences can’t tell whether you are telling jokes or just performing slam poetry.
I hate calling it “The Cancel Culture” because we all do it to one another. It’s a form of tribalism that divides families and friendships. When everyone can read everything you write, it’s really easy to get deep into arguments and be nasty about your opinions.
A toxic environment for comedians across the countries is developing, causing a few to lose their spots in live shows and other opportunities for “inappropriate” jokes. I know a comedian that attempted to get Daniel Tosh canceled for a joke he said and then ended up being canceled himself for inappropriate behavior.
I believe that certain jokes can be distasteful, but some jokes can be well thought out and push boundaries. And guess what? That’s what comedy is all about people!!!
There is a point where we need to separate the artist from the person, and sometimes we all need just to enjoy the art itself. People still go to church after sexual misconduct allegations against pastors, and many others still listen to songs by R. Kelly.
There is a controversial aspect about Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is everyone’s “favorite” topic: politics—ranging from politicians such as Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders to Dan Crenshaw and “Proud Boys” founder Gavin McInnes, a comedian himself.
During these times, it feels like walking on eggshells just writing about this because our society has difficulties with tribalism. There is tribalism in politics, sports, and even music, and I believe the psychological aspects causing this goes back to the dawn of time.
It is an instinct for us to find our group and stay with them to feel like we belong somewhere. In the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie talks about how everyone does what they do to feel important, and it does feel good to belong in a group with common-minded people. Unfortunately, not many people get out of their comfort zone in conversations with someone who doesn’t think the same as them, not without an argument anyway.
I do understand the concern over people taking Joe Rogan way too seriously. He claimed on an episode of his podcast, “I am a moron, and I am not a medical professional.” before he talked about his opinion about COVID-19 and the vaccine. The “Bro” culture can ruin everything. But does that mean it’s not ok to think for yourself?
Life is trial and error, and learning from our mistakes, so listening to both sides of every story before concluding should be encouraged. Beyond the topics of ox meat and DMT, there are many valuable lessons from guests who are doctors and scientists and great insights from comical guests such as Duncan Trussell and Bill Burr. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously here, folks. It’s OK just to sit back and enjoy the simplicity of a conversation between two minds that don’t always agree. Guess what? You might even learn something.
Gian Carlo is a 10th Planet Blue Belt and a comedian from Puerto Rico. He currently resides in Albuquerque where he trains under “Nasty” Nate Harris, and hosts 2 podcasts (Unemployed Commentators & The Shoot)