Joseph James Rogan started as a stand-up comedian and really entered the public consciousness as a tough-talking radio host on NewsRadio. At the turn of the century, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and mixed martial arts (MMA) in general started gaining prominence. While taking his tough-talking interview persona into the toughest locker rooms in professional sports, he was also challenging regular people and celebrities to a series of challenges in NBC’s Fear Factor.
Now Rogan is the host of the most interesting podcast on the air entering 2020. Check out these 20 episodes to see what all the hype is about.
20. Kelly Brogan
Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a holistic women’s health psychiatrist and New York Times best-selling author. She gets deep into psych meds, birth control, and the effects of all these pills and medications people pop without thinking just because they’re prescribed. It’s a (hopefully) sobering look at the impact chemicals have on our bodies.
19. Alex Jones
Episodes #911, #1255
Alex Jones is a polarizing figure across the internet and media. That’s because he loves throwing out conspiracy theories, mastered fake news, and being banned from just about every major social network and platform on the internet. But Alex Jones keeps on keeping on, coming back to talk about these bans a few years later.
18. Gary Taubes
Episode #904, #1267
Gary Taubes is another polarizing personality because of his anti-sugar stance. He has a whole new way of looking at health and diet, so Joe gave him a platform. There’s a lot of great information, but the next round, Joe introduced Sephan Guyenet, who brought a very interesting debate on the cause of obesity.
17. Sam Harris
Episode #543, #804, #1107, #1241
Sam Harris is always an interesting guest on JRE. He’s a neuroscientist with a deep interest in our digital landscape. Social media, mind-reading tech, and all sorts of ethical questions surrounding media, marketing, law, and privacy come up in these conversations. They’re a great primer to prepare for the next digital revolution.
16. Anthony Bourdain
The late-great Anthony Bourdain joined Rogan and Brian Redban for a fantastic early episode back in 2015. Bourdain will always be beloved, long after his suicide in the summer of 2018. Fans are still shocked that someone we all know and loved could be so unhappy.
Check out how The Arizona Republic became ground zero for the battle of media unions.
15. Jay Leno
Jay Leno has done it all in his career – he’s been a respected comedian, host of the Tonight Show, entrepreneur, and car enthusiast with an enviable collection. He has a lot of wisdom to spread from his storied career, even if this isn’t as intimate a setting as My Next Guest Needs No Introduction…
14. Georges St-Pierre
MMA Show #28
Rogan typically keeps his MMA podcasts labelled separately. This isn’t because his core listeners aren’t interested in MMA, nor because the conversation is too niche. These athletes have great perspectives. He’s just competing with professional wrestling and sports podcasts with the MMA show versus his regular show. Check out this GSP interview for proof.
13. Paul Stamets
Mushroom expert Paul Stamets is always a fungi to see talk. He’s a medical researcher that’s at the forefront of mushroom’s effects on our health. This is valuable information to have since most people I know have at least tried magic mushrooms once in their lives. And I still love mushrooms on my pizza too.
12. Matthew Walker
Matthew Walker is a sleep expert and neuroscientist who has some great insights into the value sleep provides to our body. In doing so, he got men to do what Ariana Huffington and Oprah have been teaching women to do for a generation – get more sleep. This episode will live online for a long time, thanks to its thought-provoking discussions.
11. Bernie Sanders
You know exactly what Bernie Sanders did on Joe Rogan’s podcast. He was Bernie Sanders about every topic Rogan threw. It’s interesting to see an old man in a collared shirt approach the press with more ferocity than some of the athletes at his MMA events. If a young man ran around yelling like Bernie, he may not have lived to be an old man. And he has a ton of other stories to tell you about how the government is keeping you from getting older.
Did you know most military families living on base want to move off base because of housing scandals?
10. Bill Burr
Episodes #967, #1219 #1348
Bill Burr is a legendary Boston stand up with some of the best comedy specials on Netflix. His episodes are always a complete delights, as these two comedians were basically born to be on stage together. If Joe Rogan were a little smaller and more likely to get his ass kicked by a high school kid, he’d be Bill Burr.
9. Jordan Peterson & Bret Weinstein
A tenured psychology professor and biology professor walk into a room. Joe Rogan puts mics on them, and they discuss all the dirty details of campus rape, Nazis on school campuses, admissions scandals, and everything else you always wanted to hear your teachers talking about.
8. Lance Armstrong
Love him or hate him, Lance Armstrong is a 7-time winner of the Tour de France and a cycling legend. It was all taken away in the blink of an eye when failing mandated drug tests. The usage of steroids, blood transfusions, and other crazy medical procedures on today’s professional athletes is insane. And this episode is an important one to watch.
7. Dr. Rhonda Patrick
Episodes #459, #502, #568, #672, #773, #901, #1054
Dr. Rhonda Patrick is a regular guest of Rogan’s, and she is not only a Ph.D, but also very into alternative healing. Obviously he continues having her on because she has something interesting to say, because otherwise she’s just a filler for the big guests. Listen/watch and decide for yourself.
6. David Goggins
Episodes #80, #1080 and #1212
David Goggins is a former Navy SEAL and ultra-endurance athlete. He’s about the most motivational person you can possibly have going on for an hour. And it never feels like he’s selling you something corny like Logic or one of those motivational speakers. Goggins digs into real life experiences shaping himself from a normal man to the peak conditioning of the human body and soul.
5. Duncan Trussell
Episodes #666, #828, #1137, #1075, #1051, #764, etc.
Duncan Trussell is always a fan favorite. This comedian is on a higher level of thinking and really gets the burner community’s attention. Every conversation between Rogan and Trussell is thought-provoking and deep. He’s into every way of thinking, from new age to scientific, to religious. This is the type of all-around person we should all aspire to be. Rogan’s ok too.
4. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson is a polarizing athlete. After a meteoric rise to the top of professional boxing in its heyday, Tyson was quickly embroiled in controversy. If you’ve not seen documentaries or read anything on him, check them out. Mike Tyson is a fascinating figure who became a fighter to fight bullies and is now essentially bullied as an adult still. It’s no wonder he’s unpredictable.
3. Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Episodes #919, #310, #1347
Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is a regular on JRE, and you can bet each episode is worth it. There’s a reason Tyson is so beloved by both the scientific and mainstream community. In a world where reality TV, YouTube, and media/marketing lines making it impossible to tell the truth from fiction anymore, This Tyson is our new Mr. Wizard. His image is sure to age better than Bill Nye.
2. Elon Musk
Rogan really stepped up his buzz-building in 2019, and it showed when Elon Musk stepped up to the table. He smoked some weed, drank some whiskey, and became an internet meme in the process.
1. Brian Redban
Episodes #1…#624, #1059, #1113, #1238…
Brian Redban started the JRE with Rogan and, although he split off to build his own career profile, he’s still a regular guest and part of his cast. Like Howard Stern had Robin, Rogan has Redban, and these episodes are the core of the true Joe Rogan Experience as it grows.