I’m a funeral director. When I’m making print materials or DVD’s for funerals, I hate using cliché phrases like “In Memory” or “We Remember”. If at all possible, I want things to be titled “A Life Well Lived”.
When I think of that phrase alone, away from the context of a loss, I cannot think of a life more well lived than Joe Rogan’s.
The 53 year old comedian from Newark, New Jersey has steadily built an impressive career. A lot of us were first introduced to Rogan on the NBC television sitcom ‘NewsRadio’ appearing alongside David Spade and the late great Phil Hartman. Then America started seeing Rogan doing post fight interviews for UFC.
Next we’d welcome him into our homes as the host of a television show called ‘Fear Factor’, where contestants were pushed to the limits in often terrifying or disgusting competitions. It was Rogan’s next project that would prove to be more successful than anything he’d done previously.
In 2009, he and fellow comic Brian Redban started a podcast. Back then, podcasts were a new concept. Some thought podcasts were a passing fad that would fizzle out. Fast forward to 2021, there are now 850,000 active podcasts worldwide and over 30 million episodes... and none have been as successful as The Joe Rogan Experience.
In the 11 years that his podcast has existed, he’s interviewed experts from every field of expertise imaginable. If Rogan has a question or wants to learn more about a particular subject (e.g. chemtrails), he’ll bring the top minds on that particular subject onto his show to ‘dumb down’ explanations so that his listeners better understand them.
He successfully got Elon Musk stoned during an episode.
Rogan has hosted thinkers from all over the political spectrum as well as Presidential hopefuls. For the longest time he was able to get by in a manner to where his biggest fans could not tell you what his political beliefs were. Many were surprised when Rogan revealed that he was a supporter of Bernie Sanders in 2020.
But don’t let that fool you... Rogan is not a leftist, not a socialist and doesn’t worship at the alter of wokeness. More than anything, Rogan is a curious man who has used his platform to make himself and millions of his listeners more informed. And his unwillingness to bend the knee to the identity politics circus that is consuming the left coupled with having Alex Jones on his show has made him a target.
The Joe Rogan Experience is the only place where something like this could occur.
He has the respect of the world’s best comedians and the world’s best fighters, all of whom come in every shade of black, brown, tan and white. When he performs at The Comedy Store in L.A., he does so for free out of his love for the landmark and his love of the craft. When your favorite comedian is killing it on stage there, he/she is talking into a mic that is hooked up to a sound system purchased and installed by Rogan.
When Spotify signed Rogan to a $100 million deal that brought his podcast exclusively to their app, many employees started voicing concerns (i.e. complaining like entitled, closeminded millennials and zoomers). Some threatened to quit while others demanded to have moderating powers over his show so they could silence anything they deemed to be thought crimes by Rogan.
Unsurprisingly, nobody quit and nobody received moderating powers over the show.
You see, Rogan is too powerful for the woke mob. Not because he’s protected by the mythical white privilege leftists are always preaching about... but because scores of people like you and me listen to him regardless of what the woke mobs tell us.
It is because Rogan speaks his mind, is unafraid of being "controversial" and doesn't shy away from speaking with people that the Left deems "unacceptable" that his audience embraces him as the genuine article. It is because his audience embraces Rogan as the genuine article, that many don't hold endorsing Bernie Sanders against him - since his audience knows he's, more or less, embracing the message from the candidate and not the Marxist ideology of Sanders' most devoted followers.
Consequently, through thick and thin, Rogan's audience has remained insanely loyal and made The Joe Rogan Experience the top ranked podcast in the world for the past several years. As a result of that success, Rogan, much like Dave Portnoy of Barstool fame, has been insulated from the woke mobs that have tried to come and bring him down.
Rogan should be held up as the model for how other content creators should operate - build your audience by being undaunted by what other think you should say, be genuine, embrace your fans and don't cower in the face of resistance. What many public figures don't appreciate is that when they stand up for themselves, they're also standing up for all of the people that support them. I think fans recognize this dynamic, whether consciously or subconsciously, and reward those who stand as a bulwark against those who seek to silence everyone.
Joe Rogan gets this and has been rewarded fabulously for his efforts. I hope more follow him down this path.