The King of Podcasts: Little-Known Facts About Joe Rogan’s Life

Joe Rogan has found success as a TV host, actor, and comedian, but nothing has compared to the fame he gained through his incredibly successful podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. His platform is one of the biggest in the world, and he speaks to all different types of people with different life experiences and opinions: celebrities, scientists, CEOs, politicians, athletes, psychologists, and pretty much anyone who is willing to have a conversation with him. With so many different perspectives comes unpopular opinions (which seem to be unacceptable in 2020).

Joe Rogan taking a selfie / Joe Rogan and his dog
Source: Instagram

If you listen to his podcast, you learn so much about so many things. Why? Because Joe Rogan is really good at his job! The thing is, though, there isn’t much we know about his personal life. Sure, you probably know he hosted Fear Factor and does jiu-jitsu, but there is so much more to this open-minded podcast king. But, with such immense popularity, Joe just can’t get away from the internet trolls. (We’ll get into all the backlash he received after signing the infamous deal with Spotify).

Here is the truth about the one and only Joe Rogan.

A Family Man

In the early days of Joe’s comedy career, he would frequently joke about how marriage is a trap that “stupid men” fall into. Ironically, in 2009, Joe tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Jessica Ditzel. The couple had their first daughter in 2008 and welcomed their second daughter in 2010.

Jessica Ditzel and Kayia Rose recently / Jessica Ditzel holding Kayia Rose as a baby / Kayia with Joe and Jessica’s two daughters
Source: Instagram

Jessica already had a daughter named Kayja Rose from a previous relationship with singer Keven A “Dino” Conner. So, in addition to his two bundles of joy, Joe adopted Kayja after the wedding. The podcast host doesn’t mention her much because he wants to protect her privacy, but she doesn’t mind the spotlight. Kayja Rose is an aspiring singer, so it looks like she’s following in her late father’s footsteps.

His Onnit Stake

When it comes to the biggest workout freaks in podcasting, Joe Rogan is pretty high on that list. Despite being 52 years old, Joe exercises more than most active 20-year-olds. As a fitness lover, Joe invested in the supplement and fitness equipment company Onnit. He featured a lot of videos for the brand and is good friends with the company founder Aubrey Graham.

Joe Rogan next to a monkey shaped kettlebell
Source: Pinterest

After his three-hour gym routine, he enjoys a nice glass of whiskey and a fat bowl. If you can keep up with his cardio, weightlifting, yoga, MMA training, and primarily Ketogenic diet, there is no harm in rewarding yourself with a drink and a smoke session. (Just don’t expect Elon Musk to join you).

The Carlos Mencia Incident

Ever since the late 80s, Joe has been passionately pursuing a career in stand-up comedy, which became a catalyst for his success and popularity. As you could tell from his determination and self-motivation, Joe values hard work. He also expects to see other people work out instead of taking the easy route.

Joe Rogan calling out Carlos Mencia on stage
Source: YouTube

With that said, Joe absolutely hates when people steal other people’s material. He even had an episode with Carlos Mencia, the legendary “joke thief.” In the middle of one of Carlos’ sets, Joe ran onto the stage and called him out in front of the entire audience. But the stunt got him into some hot water with Gersh Agency, who at the time was representing both comedians.

No Political Alignment

It’s no secret that America has been split up by politics in recent years. There was a time where people kept who they voted for private and moved on with their lives. These days, everyone feels the need to share their political opinion with the world and shun everyone who doesn’t agree with them. That’s why, to many people, Joe Rogan is like a breath of fresh air.

Joe Rogan sitting behind his podcast desk
Source: YouTube

The host had so many guests appear on his podcast, and some of them are very political. Joe loves to hear all different kinds of perspectives and tries to be fair, respects different ideas, and, most importantly, has real conversations. Btw, he considers himself a libertarian.

He Has an Autoimmune Disorder

It’s not noticeable when you look at him, but Joe Rogan has been experiencing Vilitgo for several years. Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition that causes patches of the skin to lose their pigment. Usually, the patches of skin that are affected are white with sharp margins. Joe explained that he has it on his hands and feet.

Joe Rogan on the red carpet in 2013
Photo by Greg Allen / Shutterstock

Joe was doing a carnivore diet experiment and shared his journey on Instagram. After a month, he admitted, “I also have an autoimmune disorder, it’s called vitiligo, and my vitiligo improved, I had a bunch of white spots fill in,” he wrote in the caption. “Lots of aches and pains went away, and I have improvements in my vitiligo. I’m impressed.”

A Three-Time Black Belt

Rogan’s interest in jiu-jitsu sparked after watching Royce Gracie fight at UFC 2: No Way Out in 1994. In 1996, he started training under Carlson Gracie (Royce Gracie’s cousin.) Joe later explained that he absolutely loves Brazilian jiu-jitsu because you could train at 100 percent without hurting your training partner. (As a white belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I can attest; it’s super addictive).

Joe Rogan, Russell Peters, and Jean Jacques Machado together wearing their Gi’s
Source: Instagram

Joe has been involved in martial arts for almost his entire life. He was a brown belt for eight years and ultimately earned his blackbelt under the legendary Jean Jacques Machado. He also received a black belt in a different style of jiu-jitsu: Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet Style. Plus, he has a black belt in Taekwondo, but who’s counting?

He Questions Everything

Joe isn’t the most religious person, and he isn’t shy about talking about it either. He openly discusses the worst aspects of religion and how he believes it affects society in a negative way. However, Rogan was raised Catholic and even attended a Catholic school in first grade. He has since stayed away from organized religions and identifies as agnostic.

Joe Rogan interviewing someone on his YouTube channel
Source: YouTube

Joe questions everything. That’s probably why he speaks to all types of people and looks at things from so many different perspectives. Most of the world recognizes him as the host of Fear Factor, but he actually had his own show called Joe Rogan Questions Everything, where he would search for the truth behind official stories.

The Sensory Deprivation Tank

As we already know, Joe Rogan is really into health and fitness. He is always looking for new innovative ways to improve his physical health, but some of these methods may seem bizarre to some people. Rogan is really interested in sensory deprivation, for one, and using an isolation tank. An isolation tank (or sensory deprivation tank) is a pitch-black, light-proof, soundproof environment that is heated at the same temperature as the skin.

A sensory deprivation tank filled with water with a small blue light on
Source: Pinterest

He has been really open about his personal experiences with meditation in isolation and discussed how tanks helped him mentally and physically: it helped him discover the nature of his consciousness as well as improve his performance in all his physical activities.

News Radio

In the mid to late 90s, Joe Rogan starred on NewsRadio. The NBC show was about the lives of the employees working at the New York City AM news radio station. It featured an ensemble cast, including Dave Foley, Andy Dick, Stephen Root, Vicki Lewis, Maura Tierney, Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, Khandi Alexander, and of course, Joe Rogan.

Joe Rogan standing in front of radio equipment on the show NewsRadio
Source: / Copyright: NBC

Lauren Graham was brought onto the show for a four-episode stint. In a season four episode commentary track, Maura Tierney revealed that they hired Graham as an explanation for Khandi Alexander’s departure. When Dave Foley appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, he said the reason Alexander left was that she wasn’t given enough lines.

He Tried To Convince Phil Hartman To Leave His Wife

Back in the 90s, Rogan was good friends with actor Phil Hartman. Reportedly, Joe tried to convince Phil to leave his wife, Brynn, on multiple occasions. As a result of domestic issues and drug problems, Brynn eventually murdered Hartman with a .38 revolver while he was sleeping.

Phil Hartman posing with Bryn 1997
Photo by Bei / Shutterstock

“It was awful. Everything about it was awful. I mean, the fact that hid kids were in the house. It was awful. [Brynn Hartman] killed him and then killed herself. It was awful. It was like something you never thought would happen to someone you know… especially not two people, you know. I knew both of them. It opened up my eyes to the real dangers of bad relationships,” Joe tearfully revealed on his podcast.

He Starred On Hardball

If you haven’t heard of the TV show Hardball, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. It aired in the mid-90s but clearly wasn’t a big hit. Joe joined the world of sitcoms with Hardball. However, the show didn’t have more than two months of air time. It was based around a fictional baseball team, and Joe Rogan played Frank Valente.

Joe Rogan as Frank Valente surrounded by the other actors in Hardball
Source: IMDb

He took on the role of an egotistical baseball player marshaling a team of oddballs. Joe later admitted that the show could have been done much better. But it was all part of the journey on his way to becoming the King of Podcasts.

MMA Personality of the Year

Joe Rogan plays a huge role in the UFC’s public image. He is a fan favorite and the day he retires from the sport, audiences will be begging him to return, considering that the podcast host is so beloved and admired in the MMA community. So much so that he won the MMA personality of the year six times!

Joe Rogan interviewing two fighters in the ring
Source: YouTube

Joe is also a Jersey kid. He comes from Newark, New Jersey. During one of his podcasts, Joe mentioned how in 1940, his grandfather moved the family there. His father, Joseph, worked as a Newark Police Officer. However, their father-son relationship had its ups and downs… well, mostly downs.

Daddy Issues

In 2016, Joe told Rolling Stone Magazine that when he was just five years old, his parents got divorced. One of the reasons he got so involved in martial arts was because he used it as a coping mechanism. Luckily, Joe didn’t need to grow up with a supportive dad to be successful.

Joe Rogan doing his podcast in front of an American flag
Source: YouTube

Joe admitted on multiple occasions that he didn’t have the greatest relationship with his dad. He called his old man some really harsh words and even said that his father taught him how to fight the other kids when he was in elementary school. He said he didn’t like his stepfather, either, but blamed that on being a “dumb kid.” He hasn’t seen his biological father in years.

He Almost Fought Wesley Snipes

This is a cool yet disappointing fact about Joe Rogan. During the time Wesley Snipes was dealing with some tax issues, he came up with a clever idea: fighting with Joe Rogan to make some easy money. Joe trained for months leading up to the match, but unfortunately, it fell through at some point (apparently, due to Snipes’ ongoing issues with the IRS).

Joe Rogan on the red carpet in 2004 / Wesley Snipes on the red carpet in 2004
Photo by Picture Perfect, Shutterstock / Sara Jaye, Shutterstock

It ended up being a good thing that the fight with Snipes didn’t happen because not only is Joe a two time Black Belt in jiu-jitsu, but he has a black belt in the Korean martial art of Taekwondo…and he’s a national champion. When he was 19, he won the US Open Championship taekwondo tournament as a lightweight. Plus, for four consecutive years, he was a Massachusetts full-contact state champion. He was even a Taekwondo instructor for a while.

The Comedy Store

After landing his big break with Hardball, Rogan started performing at The Comedy Store, a popular and influential comedy club owned by Mitzy Shore. Reportedly, the podcast host worked there for free for 13 years performing stand-up routines. After mocking Carlos Mencia on stage, not knowing he was in the audience, the two got in a heated argument and Joe ended up getting banned from the venue.

Joe Rogan performing on stage at the Comedy Store

Apparently, Rogan referred to Mencia as Carlos “Menstealia.” Rogan admitted, “Carlos was apparently in the room when I said this, and the perfect combination of ego and timing made him decide that this was the night to put his foot down. As I got off stage and headed toward the back room, he grabbed the mic away from Kirk and said I was too much of a p**** to say that s*** to his face.”

More Hosting Gigs

Do you remember Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla sleazing around Spike TV on The Man Show, talking about alcohol, women, sports, and a wide range of other masculine topics? Well, for those who do remember, you may have forgotten that Joe had a stint on the sideshow, along with comedian Doug Stanhope.

Joe Rogan on The Man Show
Source: Amazon

Here’s a fun little twist. Ashton Kutcher is also a martial arts enthusiast and worked as a producer on Game Show In My Head. The short-lived show’s original pilot starred Chris Kattan, but it was later reshot with a new host: Joe Rogan. In the show, contestants had to perform a series of hilarious and embarrassing tasks in front of strangers.

Random Facts

In October 2019, on the Joe Rogan Experience, Joe revealed a secret he had just discovered. He found out that he was related to Gerard Way, the lead vocalist of My Chemical Romance. It turns out that they’re second cousins! Joe said they never met, but still, how random.

Joe Rogan hosting his podcast
Source: YouTube

In 1997, Joe started with the UFC as a backstage and post-fight interviewer. What you may not know is that Joe initially turned down the position of the commentator, stating that he “just wanted to go to the fights and drink.”

Possible Mary Jane Dependency

Joe Rogan is open about pretty much everything, and his opinion on marijuana is no exception. Since the early 2000s, Joe has spoken about his love for cannabis and discussed his feelings on its legalization in multiple interviews. And if you watch his podcasts, the subject comes up quite frequently.

Joe Rogan standing in front of a brick wall
Source: Pinterest

On the Joe Rogan Experience, he expressed his opinion against some of the negative stereotypes attached to marijuana. With the exception of his annual “Sober October,” Rogan loves to indulge in Mary Jane. He even smokes a nice doobie before heading to the gym. He claims he may be dependent on the substance, but it’s all-natural, after all.

“Eat What You Kill”

Similarly to his cannabis advocacy, Joe is keen on the manly sport of hunting. Unlike other gun enthusiasts, Joe seems to have an open-minded and sober view on hunting. He got into a discussion about it with Russel Brand on his podcast. Hunting is truly something he is passionate about.

Joe Rogan and Russel Brand on his podcast
Source: YouTube

Rogan is also proud of his role in the “Eat What You Kill” movement. This means he hunts, butchers, and cooks his own food. Many people of his stature would steer clear of anything controversial, especially killing animals for food. But Rogan takes pride in it and doesn’t try to hide it.

And Some More Drugs

It’s very obvious that Joe Rogan loves Mary Jane. What many people don’t know is his attraction to psychedelic drugs and the experiences they bring. On the Joe Rogan Experience, he often discusses his opinions on psychedelic experiences and advocates the use of mind-altering substances like LSD and DMT. Rogan was also featured in The Spirit Molecule, a documentary where he spoke about his DMT experience.

Joe Rogan standing in front of a table with beakers and the periodic table of elements behind him on the wall
Source: YouTube

Many people who are heavily involved in fitness lean towards less natural supplements to help “maximize their gains,” so to speak. Joe Rogan is no exception. After some fans were worried about how his abdominal muscles look, he revealed in a Rolling Stone interview that he does take testosterone as well as HGH.

Fear Factor

Known for his role on News Radio and a commentator for UFC, Joe Rogan was hired to host Fear Factor back in 2001. Joe said he took the role as the host because of how ridiculous the show sounded: “Immediately it was a hit. I was like, this is so stupid. And the reason why I got the gig was that I made fun of it.”

Joe Rogan in front of the Fear Factor logo
Source: Twitter

He went on to explain, “I was like, this is the most insane idea for a television show I’ve ever heard, this is gonna be canceled immediately, and I’m gonna have all this material about remember when I used to host Fear Factor? Meanwhile, a hundred and sixty f***ing episodes later…”

The Fear Factor Fight

Fear Factor contestants typically have to confront extreme heights, deep water, gross foods, swarming insects, and anything of that nature. They don’t usually confront Joe Rogan himself. But that wasn’t the case for one particular contestant. When a girl contestant pushed one of the guy contestants, Rogan told her off: “What are you doing? You can’t assault people. What he did is called strategy, you can’t run up to him and hit him.”

Joe Rogan getting into it with a shirtless contestant
Source: YouTube

The woman’s husband wasn’t happy and approached the host. The overly confident guy probably didn’t know Rogan was a trained fighter. When the husband got into his face and started screaming at him, Rogan gabbed him in a clinch. Don’t mess with Joe!

The End of Fear Factor

Even though the fight was exciting for viewers, it wasn’t Joe’s most outrageous moment on Fear Factor. Rogan revealed the one challenge that was so disgusting was ultimately the reason the show got canceled. It was called Donkey Juice. On his podcast, Joe said it involved “A jug of [semen]. Donkey [semen].”

A woman looking sick while another woman comforts her after drinking something on Fear Factor
Source: IMDb

“They played horseshoes, but they could never win. Even if you made a ringer, you’d have to drink one ounce. But if you f***ed, up, you had to drink 10, 11, 12 ounces. These were jugs, jugs of [semen],” Joe recalled. “So hard to imagine that was a real show,” he added. “Well, this was the one that killed it. That episode killed it.”

All the Controversy

Joe Rogan is reportedly the highest-paid podcast host on the planet. He speaks to all different types of people with a wide range of opinions. I personally love to hear all different perspectives, but with millions of listeners, misinformation could easily be spread. Rogan was forced to apologize for what he said regarding the West Coast fires.

Joe Rogan interviewing a man in his new studio
Source: YouTube

“I need to make an apology and retraction,” he said on an Instagram video. “I said something on the podcast with Douglas Murray about people getting arrested for lighting fires, and I got duped. It’s wrong. There was one guy who got arrested for lighting fires somewhere else and someone sent me something about people getting arrested for lighting fires in Portland. I said it without looking into it. It was very irresponsible.”

Free Speech?

Unfortunately, we don’t live in a very forgiving world. Many people hate Rogan’s “freethinking” ideology and hate that he gives a platform to all different types of people and ideas. With growing regulations concerning “free” speech, Rogan got immediate backlash when it was announced that his podcast would be available on Spotify.

Joe Rogan standing in his old studio
Source: Instagram

After signing a reported $100 million deal with Spotify, the music streaming company’s employees raised concerns. Among other claims, they weren’t pleased with his interview with Abigail Shrier, the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters. Apparently, one employee stated, “Many LGBTQAI+/ally Spotifiers feel unwelcome and alienated because of leadership’s response in JRE conversations. What is your message to those employees?”

Oh, Cancel Culture

I do understand these concerns. However, I think it’s important to see different sides of issues, which is why Joe Rogan is so successful. Many hosts would be terrified to speak about controversial topics with the fear of being “canceled.” I know this is an unpopular opinion but, if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it.

Joe Rogan and Gavin McInnes behind interviewed on his podcast
Source: YouTube

I also personally don’t think Joe Rogan is transphobic by any means. Unlike any other media outlet, he speaks to everyone, including controversial figures like Gavin McInnes, Chuck Johnson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones. His interview with Jones was removed from Spotify due to “hate content.” But the company decided against removing the interview with Abigail Shrier.

Spotify’s Decision

After numerous discussions regarding Rogan’s content, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said: In the case of Joe Rogan, a total of 10 meetings have been held with various groups and individuals to hear their respective concerns. He added, “and some of them want Rogan removed because of things he said in the past.”

Joe Rogan doing his podcast
Source: YouTube

“Others have concerns specifically over a recent episode,” Ek explained. “And Joe Rogan and the episode in question have been reviewed extensively. The fact that we aren’t changing our position doesn’t mean we aren’t listening. It just means we made a different judgment call.”

Joe’s Response

Joe Rogan addressed the controversy on his podcast. Comedian Tim Dillon asked him if the rumors of a conflict between Spotify and its employees were “complete fodder.” Rogan admitted, “They have literally said nothing to me about it,” and went on to defend the episode featuring Shrier.

Joe Rogan and Abigail Shrier on his podcast
Source: YouTube

“Now, is there someone at Spotify that’s complaining about the Abigail Shrier episode? I’m sure. Is it a transphobic episode? It’s not. They’re wrong. It’s nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that human beings are actually malleable. We all know that. That’s why cults exist.” I can’t argue with that.

He’s Not Transphobic

Joe went on to say, “There’s a thought process now, that if you’re talking at all about trans people, you have to be 100 percent supportive. You can never question whether or not children should be allowed to transition… all this is madness.” He is right.

Joe Rogan with his dog
Source: Instagram

“I don’t know what the actual conversation has been from Spotify talking to these employees. But if these employees are listening, I would tell you, emphatically, I am not in any way anti-trans… I am 100 percent for people being able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t harm other people.”