“Fear Factor was always just a gig. I remember agreeing to do it in the first place, I was like 'What the f*** is this?' It was one of those things that I never thought was going to go anywhere and just be this weird show that was on for a few episodes then got yanked. I was more willing to do it because it was so crazy. The idea that we were going to set dogs on people and put them in a pit and cover them with rats was so strange. I never thought that it would last as long as it did.” Joe Rogan
American host, actor and comedian Joe Rogan had already established himself in the world of martial arts as a four-time Tae Kwon Do state champion before pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. First trying his hand at stand-up comedy, from which he gained a degree of prominence, the handsome, dark-haired performer found success as the office handyman on the popular sitcom “NewsRadio” (1995-1999). He attained a bigger victory as the host of the reality-TV show “Fear Factor” (2001-2006) and was nominated for a Teen Choice for Choice TV Reality/Variety Host in 2003. Rogan also hosted Comedy Central's “The Man Show” (2003-2004) and is a commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He continues to perform his comedy act in and outside the country.
In addition to martial arts, Rogan is a practitioner of Yoga.
Tae Kwon Do
Childhood and Family:
Joe Rogan was born on August 11, 1967, in Bridgewater, New Jersey. He grew up in Revere, Massachusetts, and began practicing martial arts when he was 13 years old. He has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and trains with Eddie Bravo. Joe is related to Gerard and Mikey Way of My Chemical Romance, an east coast based rock band.
Joe has been widely reported to be the half-brother of comedian Bryan Callen. He disclosed in a radio interview that he refers to Callen as his “brother from another mother.”
Joe Rogan became interested in martial arts at the age of 13, especially Tae Kwon Do, which he credits for his discipline and focus. Within two years of practicing, the Massachusetts-raised, future performer received a black belt and quickly became the Massachusetts Full Contact Tae Kwon Do champion four consecutive times. At age 19, he was crowned with the U.S. Open Tae Kwon Do Championship title and, as the lightweight champ, continued to defeat both the middle and heavy weight title holders to pick up the Grand Championship.
With a degree of fame under his belt, Rogan started to branch out. Following a suggestion from a friend, he first performed his “act” at a club and was surprised with the response of the audience. Since then, he has performed stand-up locally as well as across the country. He also has been invited to perform on various TV shows such as “Standup Spotlight” and “Caroline Comedy Hour.”
Rogan's growing comic reputation caught the attention of casting directors who soon gave him his first regular gig on a series. In the short-lived Fox sitcom “Hardball,” which ran for seven episodes in 1994, he was cast as an inept, highly-paid, young baseball player named Frank Valente. His big breakthrough arrived the following year when he landed the role of Joe Garrelli on the NBC hit sitcom “NewsRadio.” Starring opposite Dave Foley, Stephen Root, Andy Dick and Maura Tiern, Rogan played the role from 1995 to 1999, when the show was canceled. In the meantime, he also starred as Bruce Testones in the made-for-TV film “Bruce Testones, Fashion Photographer” (1997), directed by Russell Bates. 1997 also saw Rogan start his career as post-fight interviewer with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at UFC 12. Later, in 2002, he moved on as a color commentator.
In 2000, Rogan found himself hosting NBC's comedy show “Late Friday,” but it was not until June 2001 that he was launched to stardom as the host of the popular reality-TV/game-show “Fear Factor” (also NBC). He remained with the series until September 12, 2006.
“The best thing about ‘Fear Factor’ is that the contestants have no idea if their fear - be it snakes, heights or whatever - will come in to play until the moment they have to perform the stunt. In addition, they have no idea what the stunt is, so there’s no way to prepare for it.” Joe Rogan
In 2003, Rogan and comic Doug Stanhope began hosting “The Man Show” on Comedy Central. After the change, ratings dropped abruptly and the show ended production following the 2003 season.
In 2006, Rogan was spotted touring with Charlie Murphy and John Heffron in “Maxim and Bud Light's Real Men of Comedy” tour, and joined English comedian Dave Bishop in 2007 for performances in the U.K. and Ireland. 2007 also saw Rogan make his feature acting debut in the action film “Venus & Vegas,” directed by Demian Lichtenstein and written by Eddie Guerra. The film also features Eddie Kaye Thomas, Donald Faison, Eddie Guerra, Jaime Pressly, Abraham Benrubi and Molly Sims. On March 27, 2007, Rogan was featured in “Tom Green Live!”
“The comics I hate are thieves. Nothing' more disgusting than a guy who steals another person's ideas and tries to claim them as his own. Stand-up comedy is supposed to be 'Here's the world through my eyes.' It's supposed to be your observations, your thoughts and views on life. When you snatch little pieces of other people's lives and try to palm them off as your own, that's more disgusting than anything. Robin Williams is a huge thief. Denis Leary is a huge thief. His whole stand-up career is based on Bill Hicks, a brilliant guy who died years ago.” Joe Rogan
Rogan, who has released three comedy recordings: “Live from the Belly of the Beast” (DVD), “I'm Gonna Be Dead Someday” and “Shiny Happy Jihad” (both CD), is recognized for impeaching other comedians of plagiarism. He has frequently accused Dane Cook for stealing his jokes and comedian Louis C.K as well. During a talk with Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada on the “Opie and Anthony Show,” he strongly wanted to find the answer why certain words are censored while replicated material is allowed.
More recently, on February 2007, Rogan argued on-stage with Carlos Mencia by stating that Mencia has stolen other comedian's work. After the incident, which was filmed as part of Rogan's Internet reality show, “JoeShow,” Comedy Central canceled Rogan's shows.
Currently, Rogan is banned from the Comedy Store for breaking the club's request that he not make his Internet reality show there. In addition, he stated that his agent and publicity firm (who also represents Mencia) forced him to apologize to Mencia and, if he declined the request, he would be released. At the end, Rogan chose to leave his agency rather than apologize. On Carlos Mencia, he said, “He's what you would call a 'serial plagiarist.’ His entire act is (plagiarized). He wants to think he's a great comic and when someone says, 'No, you're a parrot, you just repeat things that other people say, he says, 'No, I don't.' Then you see clip after clip and he's even stealing from Bill Cosby from, like, 1986. He thinks nobody will remember.”