Joe Rogan is not who you think he is. The stand-up comic, UFC commentator and former host of Fear Factor could likely kick your ass and steal your girlfriend, but there's plenty more than meets the eye when it comes to the most quick-witted, straight-talking and insightful comedian on the circuit.
Joe's new comedy album is called Talking Monkeys In Space, a CD/DVD release in which he voraciously dissects religious dogma, kicks well-researched and hilarious wisdom on everything from human evolution to psychedelics and brings a no-bullshit flavor brand that takes no prisoners and forces viewers to examine our own sacred cows, simply by outlining how indefensibly stupid most of them are.
We caught up with Joe earlier this week to discuss porn, psychedelics, female comedians and the culture of fear in America, among other hot-button issues. If you're looking for a run of the mill product plug Q&A, you've come to the wrong place.
CraveOnline: It's been a while since you taped the Ohio show that would become Talking Monkeys In Space. How strongly do you relate to the material now?
Joe Rogan: Well, you know, material is always evolving. So whenever you put it out it always feels like 'ah man, I could've done more there, added a new tagline there…' It's just the nature of the beast. So many times I've done a CD and then the week after I record it I've got this new tagline that's killer. And it makes the whole bit better. It happens all the time. But that's just the process of comedy.
A friend of mine told me to look at comedy albums as capturing a moment. Instead of trying to make the perfect comedy CD or DVD or whatever, you're capturing a moment in the process.
CraveOnline: The legends don't seem to be defined by their comedy albums so much as supplemented by them. Agonizing over that particular moment in time would drive you crazy, I'm sure.
Joe Rogan: Yeah, but it's also that you have to have something good out there first. So that way even if you're not as happy with a new bit or album or whatever, as long as you've got something that you're proud of first. For the longest time I didn't have anything that I really liked, that I put out. Especially when I was doing too many things at the same time. I was doing Fear Factor, I was doing UFC and The Man Show, and I was trying to do comedy at the same time. I really just wasn't dedicating enough time to it. I didn't have enough time to dedicate to it, so I didn't like my stuff as much. I didn't like my performances as much. But now I've got much more time and I'm much happier with my stuff.
CraveOnline: You seem much happier overall these days.
Joe Rogan: Well doing Fear Factor was great financially, but my God it was so fucking gross and boring. There was so many times I was dong it where I was like 'Really? What the fuck am I doing? This is so dumb.' But it just kept going for like six years, just kept rolling on and on and on. And there's no way you can say no to the money. It's just way too much money. So at a certain point in time you pay mental mortgage on it.
CraveOnline: You said something in a recent interview I couldn't get out of my head: "If you look at all people in life, there’s a big difference between people who’ve experienced altered states of consciousness and people who haven’t." – I think that's a very important idea. Do you think it's related to establishing a more honest and analytical mind?
Joe Rogan: I think it's related. I think you can be analytical and have an objective sense of reality without it, but it's much more difficult. I don't necessarily think it's absolutely imperative that somebody have a psychedelic experience, but I do think that if you do have a psychedelic experience and you're an intelligent, objective, analytical sort of person, you're gonna have to throw the whole model of the world that you've created away. Everything that you've neatly tucked into a category, all the things in life that you've just kind of taken for granted – those will all be thrown into jeopardy. Now it's chaos. Now it's 'What the fuck is this?!' Now you realize that life itself is psychedelic. The whole experience. We're just used to it.
CraveOnline: Undoubtedly, that just raised an eyebrow for every reader who's never experienced psychedelics and think it's all hippie nonsense.
Joe Rogan: The whole notion of the fact that we're on a planet – it never comes up in life that we're in space. It never comes up that the most insane thing you could possibly comprehend – literally infinity – above your head. It's not like there's a wall, and behind that wall is infinity. No, fuckin' infinity is right there. And there's nothing stopping us from getting hit in the head with fuckin meteors or asteroids or getting nuked out of existence by a gigantic fuckin' supernova… All that shit can happen. It's all right there. And that in itself is psychedelic. What we do in life, the nonsense, all the weird aspects of our culture, everybody freaking out about Tiger Woods and this fucking health care thing and all this nonsense – we're all just flooding ourselves with distractions because we don't want to look at how fucking crazy this existence is. The planet's spinning a thousand miles an hour around this gigantic nuclear explosion while these people roll these machines with rubber tires over this hard surface that we've laid down over the planet so that we can easily move ourselves back and forth.
CraveOnline: That need for distraction is an important thing to keep in mind when you look at what the popular news programs and tv shows are these days. Sensationalism and tabloid reality is all the rage, and the culture of fear is digging in like a tick.
Joe Rogan: That's not the reality TV, that team shit. That's Fox News shit. It's not reality, it's tribal stuff, like we're on the Republican team, and they're on the Democrat team, that's also more distractions.
CraveOnline: Speaking of, I just saw a news piece about a "new civil war" brewing. The Christian Right, Tea Baggers, cultivating this baseless outrage, this retard-celebration need to "retake America."
Joe Rogan: It really is like a Cohen Bros. movie. If you look at Sarah Palin, her press conferences and her rallies, she's right out of one of their flicks. She introduced John McCain the other day and it's just so crazy. You hear her talk, and she's saying nonsense. And they're cheering for this nonsense. It's so shocking and frightening. And every time she'll say something about Democrats everyone will boo like they're fucking 12. Like, you guys get to vote – this is incredible.
We have the Large Hadron Collider and nuclear weapons, the internet, and we have retards that get to choose our leader. Everybody says the media perpetuates these things – I've heard that about television shows, 'the media's programming America'… they're programmed too! That's what people don't understand. The people who are putting together CSI: Las Vegas or Fear Factor or any big distraction, the people putting those things together are just as much a victim of it. Those people watch those goddamn shows, those people are a part of it, they're doing exactly the same as everybody else.
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