The Joe Rogan Experience

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The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience logo.jpg
Hosted byJoe Rogan
  • Audio
  • video
Length1–5+ hours[1]
ProductionJoe Rogan (occasional)
Brian Redban (2009–2013)
Jamie Vernon (2013–present)
Video format
Audio formatMP3
No. of episodes1,631 (as of April 10, 2021)
Original releaseDecember 24, 2009 (December 24, 2009) – present

The Joe Rogan Experience is a Spotify-exclusive audio and video podcast hosted by American comedian and television host Joe Rogan. It was originally launched on December 24, 2009, by Rogan and comedian Brian Redban, who is also a producer and co-host. Jamie Vernon took over Brian Redban's role as the co-host and producer in 2013. By 2015, it was one of the world's most popular podcasts, regularly receiving millions of views per episode,[2] also including a wide array of guests. Since December 1, 2020, all episodes have been exclusively licensed to Spotify.[3]


Origins and launch[edit]

The podcast originally began in early 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.[4][5] 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.[4] Redban accepted and relocated to California in the process, following Rogan with a camera and "recording everything".[4] After several years, Redban noticed that fans were demanding an increasing amount of 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.[6] 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 from the green room at Rogan's various comedy gigs.[5][6] Redban had no prior experience with audio engineering, so he taught himself how to operate the mixing board and microphone setups through his subsequent podcasts.[6]

Ari Shaffir was the podcast's first guest

After some time on, Rogan suggested the idea of hosting a live video stream with Redban from his home and interacting with fans in a chatroom and on Twitter, with the audio portion released as a downloadable podcast.[5][6][7] 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.[7] The first episode aired live on December 24, 2009,[8] which initially took the form of a weekly broadcast on Ustream,[9] with the pair "sitting in front of laptops bullshitting".[10] Much of the episode was dead air with the hosts figuring out the equipment.[11] The first episodes of the show featured an animated snowflake effect that was reintroduced on episode No. 674 in 2015 and episode No. 1,000 in 2017.[12][13] The show developed with Rogan having friends as guests and having lengthy conversations with them regarding various subjects; comedian Ari Shaffir was the first guest, who appeared on episode No. 3 on January 6, 2010.[7][14]

Rogan recalled that maintaining a consistent schedule early on was important in jumpstarting the podcast's growth, and it soon grew to two episodes a week.[7] 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.[15][16] 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.[17] 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.[10] 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.[18]

YouTube era[edit]

In January 2013, video episodes of the podcast started to be uploaded onto YouTube under the account PowerfulJRE and episodes were regularly achieving viewership in the hundred-thousands to millions.[19] 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.[20] Vernon soon took over full time and Redban subsequently appeared on the podcast as a guest.[12][21][22]

Originally, the podcast was recorded at Rogan's home in California.[8] From November 24, 2011, some episodes were recorded at the Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California, also known as the Deathsquad Studios.[23] Since November 27, 2012, the majority of episodes have been recorded in a private studio that Rogan acquired in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles.[24] The 1,000th episode aired on August 18, 2017, and featured comedians Joey Diaz and Tom Segura as guests.[13]

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.[25]

Spotify era[edit]

On May 19, 2020, Rogan announced that from September 2020, The Joe Rogan Experience would be available on Spotify in an exclusive licensing deal worth an estimated $100 million.[26] Under the terms of the agreement, full episodes will continue to be uploaded to YouTube until December 2020, when the podcast becomes exclusive to Spotify. The shorter clips of highlights from the podcast will continue to be uploaded to YouTube after the transition. Rogan ensured that the podcast will remain the same format, with Spotify not having any creative control. On the day following Rogan's announcement, Spotify shares increased by seven percent.[27] The move to Spotify coincided with Rogan's relocation from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas, and the debut of a new studio there.[28] The first new episode released on Spotify was no. 1,530 with comedian Duncan Trussell, which lasted for over five hours.[29] On September 8, 2020, Rogan debuted his new studio on episode no. 1,533 with guest Adam Curry.[30]

After the podcast became available on Spotify on September 1, people reported on social media that episodes with more controversial or far-right guests, including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, and Chris D'Elia, among others, were missing. Episodes featuring comedian and activist Tommy Chong, comedian Joey Diaz, and Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of Jordan Peterson, were also unavailable.[29] VICE later reported that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended having episode no. 1,509 on the platform, which had Rogan and author and journalist Abigail Shrier discuss topics that some deemed transphobic, causing some Spotify employees to voice their concerns to management. A Spotify spokesperson said the episode was within its content guidelines.[31] Rogan later clarified that the company had said nothing to him about plans to censor or editorialize the podcast, as some employees had suggested. He also pointed to the abundance of song lyrics hosted on Spotify that some would consider offensive.[32]

In October 2020, the production of new episodes was put on hold for a week after Vernon tested positive for COVID-19. Rogan and the rest of the staff tested negative and resumed once they got the all-clear from a doctor.[33]

In episode 1554, Kanye West clarified his reasons for running for president of the United States in 2020 and how it began in 2015.[34] West was one of Rogan's most anticipated guests after the idea of Kanye coming on the podcast first surfaced in late 2018[35] and a premature confirmation by West in early 2019,[36] ultimately taking close to a year before Kanye finally appeared on the show.

Notable guests[edit]

Actors, directors and TV hosts[edit]


Authors and journalists[edit]

Business people[edit]

Comedians and magicians[edit]



Political figures[edit]

Video game designers[edit]

Other guests[edit]

In July 2012, for episode #241, Rogan featured James "Bobo" Fay from Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot.[37] In 2019, Rogan featured ufologist and filmmaker Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell and, Bob Lazar.[38] Lazar's episode inspired the Facebook event and internet meme known as "Storm Area 51". He also featured Navy pilot and commander David Fravor who witnessed the USS Nimitz UFO incident.[39] In January of 2021, for episode #1597, Rogan featured the world's most famous 'alien abductee', Travis Walton.[40]


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.[41] By October 2015, it had grown to acquire 16 million downloads a month.[2][42][43] In April 2019, Rogan said that the podcast had 190 million downloads each month.[44]

An annual Joe Rogan-inspired "Sober October" tradition started in 2017[45] has influenced some listeners to curb their addictions by partaking in the challenge.[46]

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.[11][47] The podcast helped Andrew Yang's campaign for the 2020 U.S. presidential election gain momentum following his appearance in February 2019.[48][49] Research has credited Yang's appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, in particular Yang's discussions with Rogan about the Universal Basic Income (UBI), as having had a considerable impact on the prominence of UBI in public debates, with a potential impact on the COVID-19 relief bills (which included one-time universal basic income payments).[50]

On June 20, 2019, former Area 51 fuel propelling scientist 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.[51]

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.[52]

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."[53]

On September 8, 2020, President Donald Trump tweeted a clip from Rogan's interview with Mike Tyson, in which the boxer says hurting people can be "orgasmic". Later in the day, the president tweeted a clip in which Rogan jokes, "Biden, to me, is like having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods. It is not going to work out. It's not gonna make it."[54] On September 13, UFC fighter Tim Kennedy tweeted that, in Rogan's podcast with him two days earlier, the host had "offered to moderate a debate between [Biden] and [Trump] ... It would be four hours with no live audience. Just the two candidates, cameras, and their vision of how to move this country forward. Who wants this?" The next day, President Trump tweeted in reply, "I do!"[55] This prompted Sunny Hostin of The View to denounce Rogan as "misogynistic, racist [and] homophobic" for allegedly having made insensitive comments at select times during his history as a podcast host.[56][a]


The podcast has been described as "an important node of the intellectual dark web",[11] 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".[58]

In August 2010, nine months after its launch, The Joe Rogan Experience entered the list of Top 100 podcasts on iTunes.[17] In February 2014, the podcast won a Stitcher Award for Best Overall Show of 2013.[59] In 2017 and 2018, the podcast was Apple's second-most-downloaded podcast.[11] In January 2019, the podcast won Best Comedy Podcast at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards.[60]



  1. ^ Also in the podcast with Tim Kennedy, Rogan discussed a premise from his Netflix comedy special Triggered in which he jokes that the women of Keeping Up with the Kardashians had influenced Caitlyn Jenner to become a woman, specifically saying, "Maybe if you live with crazy bitches long enough they fuckin' turn you into one." On TMZ Live on September 16, Jenner labelled Rogan a "homophobic, transphobic ass", and said, "It's not a joke. It's very serious stuff."[57]


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External links[edit]