I have been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) for at least seven years now (if not that long, its been a long time). It was the second podcast I started listening to, and one of the reasons I fell in love with the medium. It is unlike any podcast I’ve heard, and I think that contributes to the success of it.
Before I started listening to the JRE, I only knew Joe from Fear Factor and of course News Radio, a very underrated show in my opinion. I did not know of his time as a standup or MMA announcer. However, you quickly realize those are his two passions, and that is kind of an underlying theme of the podcast: Do what you love.
Joe continuously states he doesn’t worry about being on a network, making money on the podcast, or what people are saying, he just wants to have good conversations with his guests. All these things contribute to his success though. He does all his ads up front, before the show starts, so when he is having a great conversation with a guest he doesn’t have to stop them to do a Legal Zoom read, and kill the flow.
He also isn’t beholden to advertisers, and all reads are done by Joe, in his voice. He swears, mentions when the copy doesn’t make sense, and lets you know what he thinks of the product. Its refreshing, and that’s because it’s real, not some put on BS.
The show has evolved quite a bit since it started. In its inception it was Joe and his Producer, Brian Redban discussing current events, what was big on the internet, or anything they wanted to. Guests were included every now and then, mostly other comedians Joe knew. However, they contributed perfectly and brought a new perspective to the topics discussed.
Now the show is wide-open in regards to guests and topics discussed. Current and former MMA fighters, comedians, actors, TV hosts, political commentators, hunters, life coaches, Historians, authors, and the list goes on and on. Joe even does “Fight Companions,” where he and friends (usually Eddie Bravo, Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen) watch a UFC event Joe isn’t working and do their own commentary.
I will admit the show is not for everyone. A few people I recommended it to did not like the long-form conversations. I will admit 3+ hours of a podcast can be a bit much, and I do listen to them in a few sittings. However, I see the long, open format as a positive.
He gets athletes to discuss politics and society, authors to discuss hunting and comedy, and so on. I would say the only downside to the long format is I have to be picky about which episodes I have time for. Other than that it is a great listen. I will advise that you need a very open sense of humor, as Joe is a comedian, so not much is off limits. There is also a fair amount of swearing, so definitely don’t listen to in the car with kids!