The beauty of the information age is that it has allowed the proliferation of viewpoints and ideas from non-mainstream and unconventional sources. As the corporate-owned mainstream media gets less and less popular, particularly among Gen Y, podcasts have been increasingly popular, with the most listened ones becoming cult figures in their own right.
One of the most popular podcasts around today is the Joe Rogan Experience, henceforth known as JRE. Hosted by standup comedian / MMA commentator Joe Rogan, JRE began as just Joe and his standup comedian buddies (with the occasional MMA fighter) sitting around and shooting the shit. Copious amounts of the sweet herb (of which Rogan is an outspoken proponent of) is usually ingested by Joe prior to the podcast. Each podcast typically runs from 2.5 to 3 hours long.
As the podcast got more and more popular though, he started to bring in more high profile guests, who may come to the show, and the podcast gradually took on a more serious tone, depending on the guest of course. As it stands today some podcasts are entirely informative and thought provoking, with Joe going deep into various current topics, bordering on the philosophical. Of course, his old stand up friends are on the show frequently as well, and those episodes are simply put, just a hoot to listen to.
The great thing about the podcast is Joe himself; he is obviously of an independent mindset, not beholden to mainstream corporate interests, and unafraid to court controversy. Make no mistake however, Rogan is no ‘shock jock’; this podcast is clearly something Joe enjoys doing (it is one of the most prolific podcasts around with over 700 episodes to date), and he enters each podcast with a ‘learners’ mindset, always looking to see how he can expand on his knowledge and worldview from what each guest has to offer. It is this intellectual curiosity that makes the podcast such an enjoyment for me.
Here are some of my favorite episodes:
JRE #424 Brody Stevens
Joe riffing with (or rather riffing on) fellow comedian Brody Stevens is hilarious, particularly toward the latter half, centered around how gay Brody is (10% or 83%?) as well as his bi-curious experiences with transvestites in Thailand. Simply hilarious.
JRE #717 Steve-O
When people hear the name Steve-O, no doubt the mental image is that of an ignorant fool, too stupid to realize the danger he is putting himself through. That could not be further from the truth, as this extremely funny yet deeply insightful episode gives us a look at his unique thought processes, background, and life story that has made Steve-O the entertainer he is today. Make no mistake though, he’s totally crazy, but he is also highly self-aware.
JRE #670 Michael A Wood Jr
A socio-political episode. His guest is a retired Baltimore police officer who went into the force after the Marines. He offers an honest, no-holds barred insight into the inner workings of the police, touching on sensitive topics such as police brutality and institutional racism. A nuanced, thoughtful episode.
JRE #668 Jon Ronson
Best known for his book The Men Who Stare At Goats, which was also adapted into a film, author Jon Ronson shares hilarious and entertaining stories of his adventures with Infowars’ Alex Jones, including their infiltration of the infamous Bohemian Grove, as well as being followed by henchmen from the Bilderberg group. Highly entertaining.
JRE #666 Duncan Trussell
Any episode with Duncan devolves (or rather evolves) into discussions of altered states of consciousness and the use of psychedelics and isolation tanks. Good for the more open-minded listeners. Fans of Duncan can also check out his own podcast the Duncan Trussell Family Hour.
JRE #682 Mark & Chris Bell
For all who are a fan of powerlifting, strength training, and the use of steroids. Chris Bell was the director for the documentary film Bigger, Faster, Stronger, which was an island of objectivity in a sea of misinformation when it was released. He is on the podcast to promote his upcoming film Prescription Thugs, on the ills of prescription drugs, and details his and his family’s personal struggle with prescription drugs. Touching, informative, and undoubtedly funny at times.
JRE #583 Bill Burr
Another one of my favorite comics in the scene right now, it is obvious that Bill Burr and Joe Rogan have similar viewpoints in many cases, with Bill Burr’s angry ranting persona complementing Joe’s more laid back style. Bill has been on the JRE a number of times, and I recommend listening to all of them.
Those are just a few of my favorite JRE episodes that spring to mind as I write this post, I admittedly have only started listening to JRE as of a few months ago, so I have a lot of catching up to do.
If you guys have any favorite JRE episodes that you would like to share, comment below!