Joe Rogan has risen to become the leading face within the podcasting world. Originating as a stand-up comedian and UFC commentator, he ventured into the world of podcasting in 2009 when the first episode of The Joe Rogan Experience was recorded. Since then, he has welcomed a vast array of guests, sharing stories from every imaginable perspective of life. From leading politicians such as Bernie Sanders, A-list actors such as Robert Downey Jr and business magnates including Elon Musk, there really is something for everyone when browsing through his hundreds of multi-hour episodes. The mixed variety of guests combined with his early start to the podcasting game and his consistent uploading since has seen him attract a large group of listeners and subscribers. As of this article being published, the show currently has 1,643 episodes.
Joe Rogan’s ascension to podcast and entertainment stardom is no surprise. The conversations he records exhibit an enticing blend of comedy, wit and intellect. He isn’t afraid of tackling deep and controversial topics and voicing his opinions on them, neither does he hesitate to have casual chats about your average-Joe things in life. He keeps it lighthearted and convivial while also exhibiting great intelligence and insight into the topics being discussed. When you listen to him you will be surprised at the general knowledge he possesses which he has gathered from the hundreds of people that have appeared on his show across countless areas of interest.
In 2020, Joe Rogan signed a hundred-million dollar deal with Spotify to ensure that the streaming platform is the sole distributor of the podcast’s audio and video recordings. While short highlights of his episodes can still be found on YouTube, the entire show is now exclusive to Spotify. Rogan still remains in full control of the creative side of his show, and has stated that he is not an employee of the company. The partnership is a major step in Spotify’s process of making their platform the foremost service for podcasts as well, and the Joe Rogan Experience has already topped the charts as the show with the most listeners.
Whether you put on a podcast while shopping for groceries or when killing time on the train, here are six episodes within different categories that are worth checking out.
1. Business and Economics – Boyan Slat, #1402
Boyan Slat is a Dutch entrepreneur and CEO who founded The Ocean Cleanup as a student at the Delft University of Technology. He was 25 years old when he went on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2019 and talks about his goals for an ocean without plastic pollution. His non-profit organisation develops a technology that collects garbage from oceans and rivers, and their target is to have a plastic free-ocean by the middle of the century. Slat tells us about the excitement of fulfilling a dream and serving a purpose to the world at such a young age, as well as the immense amount of hard work that is required to be a successful entrepreneur. In fact, when asked about his free time, he responded that he hasn’t had as much as a single free day in the past year. This episode is an inspiring one about a regular university student with a passion for the ocean and a vision of how to make a difference.
2. Adventure – Ash Dykes, #1410
Ash Dykes, a Welsh extreme athlete, describes his ambitious record-breaking year-long trek through China along the 6,000 km long Yangtze River. He takes us through the whole process of such a trip, from the tireless planning phase to the daring execution. Dykes also sheds light on his two other record-breaking adventures in Mongolia and Madagascar, and some of the anecdotes he brings up include being stalked by wolves over a period of several months, having to carry a live chicken in his backpack to the top of the highest Madagascan mountain as part of a tradition, and experiencing the dreaded feeling of dehydration in the middle of Gobi Desert. This episode will make you realise the very essence of “the-journey-is-better-than-the-destination” phrase. It’s an inspiring and adrenaline-filled story about immersing yourself into the elements, and if you enjoy listening to stories about adventure and travel, this one checks all the boxes.
3. Health and Lifestyle – Dr Rhonda Patrick, #1474
One of the more underrated guests that Joe Rogan has had is Dr Rhonda Patrick, a nutritional health expert who has been on the show on a number of different occasions. In this episode, they dissect the functions of the immune system, the link between Coronavirus and vitamin deficiencies, and exercise. She recites an extensive list of informative statistics as she expertly answers Joe’s questions about different aspects of healthy living. How does good nutrition help to avoid and combat the Coronavirus? This is just one of the many questions that Dr Patrick is able to explore. Although a very technical and information-heavy episode, I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about certain health related issues and the studies that have been conducted on them.
4. History – Graham Hancock, #1284
This episode will open up new perspectives towards your views on human history. Journalist and historian Graham Hancock shares his fascinating theories on ancient human civilisations where he challenges traditional academic views on how ancient societies developed, functioned and ultimately fell. He introduces us to the speculation of there being lost civilisations in the Sahara Desert and the Amazon, which also happen to be two of the least archeologically excavated places on Earth. For example, he presents evidence of how man-made structures are starting to appear as the rainforests in the Amazon Basin are being deforested. While some of the other theories he puts forward may seem absurd, it still makes for an interesting segment. It is definitely one of those episodes that will fire up your curiosity about big existential questions.
5. Entertainment – David Blaine, #1527
It’s the man that has held his breath underwater for 17 minutes, caught a bullet fired from a rifle in his mouth, and been encased in ice for over 60 hours. Yes, you read that right. And while he may be a professional illusionist, those stunts were completely real. In fact, he has performed an array of other dangerous feats throughout his career. This is what the conversation revolves around when David Blaine appears as a guest on the show. He talks us through his background in magic tricks and how he ended up eventually performing ambitious endurance stunts. With a passionate and down-to-earth attitude, Blaine demonstrates his kid-like fascination with the physical and mental limits of the human body.
6. Science – Neil deGrasse Tyson, #919 / #1159 / #1357
He’s arguably the most famous science-personality in the world. Neil deGrasse Tyson has been on the show on three different occasions and each time he brings new exciting topics to the table. Him and Joe dive into everything from the mysteries of the universe, the workings of planet Earth to the incredible historical significance of astronomy. He even takes time to discuss the various scientific inaccuracies in blockbuster films which makes for very entertainment segments. For example, did you know that the producers of Titanic (1997) got the CGI night sky historically wrong, and ended up consulting with Tyson in order to create an accurate one for the film as it would have appeared on that very night in history? This is just one of the many interesting talking points from these three episodes. What also makes Neil deGrasse Tyson such an intriguing intellectual is that he is able to break down immensely complex topics into bitesize versions for us “normal” people to get a better grasp on. Even though he may not fully answer our many burning questions about space, science and human history, he still leaves us satisfied with the theories he is able to provide.
Expect to see a lot more from Joe Rogan in the years to come.