For those of you who don’t know Joe Rogan is a comedian who is also a commentator for the UFC and is well known by the public for being the host of Fear Factor.
Great show. Fun times for all. Many of you may also know, especially if you hang around Mark because he can’t shut his mouth about things he’s into, Joe Rogan does a podcast that is great. The Joe Rogan Experience. So what can we learn from this meat-brained misogynist? A lot actually, but I’m going to highlight 3 things that are relevant to anybody. Even you.
Before you say “TLDR, I like Mark’s short (aka lazy) posts better”, scroll down to the bottom and look at the last picture. If anything else on the internet is more interesting by all means navigate away. Yeah, didn’t think so. Not much can beat hunting bears with bows.
Last week, Mark and I, along with a few friends (it’s true we have friends and it’s also true, we go on man-dates) went to see Joe Rogan perform at the JFL Comedy Festival in Toronto. He was unbelievably funny. I’ve seen Louis C.K. in the same venue and Joe Rogan came pretty close to topping Louis. That’s how funny he was. Sure, the two have very different styles with their comedy. They’re very different people.
But great comedians have a way of connecting with people in a very real way. They take one look at society. Pick out any number of flaws or weird observations. And then tell you these observations (most of which you’re already aware of), in a way that makes you laugh hysterically or remark on how it’s “so true, so true”. The art of comedy is really a complex and super difficult thing to master. It takes comedians many years to perfect their art (or so my friend Justin tells me). Which is why so many of them hate Dane Cook. That asshole.
But I admire comedians. Even Dane Cook. I really do. And being an avid listener on Joe Rogan’s Podcast, I admire Joe Rogan (or Jogan as those close to him know him as) especially for his 3 qualities that I’m about to share with you. So enough with the man crushing, let’s get on with it. What qualities make Joe Rogan a great comedian and an all around pretty good human being? What can you learn from this seemingly meat headed ignoramus?
1. He is open minded.
Joe Rogan is extremely open minded. He’s a pretty smart dude, but it’s not the number of facts he knows off the top of his head (and he knows quite a few), it’s how he talks to people smarter than him. He brings out their ideas and questions them, because he’s truly interested. He certainly still voices his own opinion, but he’s willing to listen and make himself understand where the other person is coming from. It’s how he views the world and those around him in an open minded way. On a lot of his podcasts, it seems like he brings in guests that are leagues above his own intelligence. I hate treating intelligence like there’s a scale to it, but let’s face it, there is. And Hodor is at the top.
Joe Rogan chats with a borderline anarchist (fun fact: if you type “anarchism” in google it shows “anarchism in Canada” as a suggestion), a futurist and other smart people who aren’t philosophers. He will question these people and argue with them in a pretty stubborn, hard-headed way sometimes. But when he sees it, he recognizes a good, logical, fact-based argument and he will concede.
2. He embraces his inner ape.
If you don’t believe in evolution, that’s cool. Religion isn’t on this blog menu. What I mean by embracing his inner ape, other than his logo, is that he acknowledges his innermost natural instincts and desires and takes those things into consideration in his day-to-day life.
As a UFC commentator Joe Rogan treats mixed martial arts like a science, breaking down technique, fighting styles and strategies. He also delights in the primal nature of the sport. Two guys locked in a cage with only their bare hands. Pretty barbaric, but there’s an exciting thrill to it that many of us try to ignore and gloss over. We’d like to think society is more civilized and that violence and sex aren’t on our minds all the time. By doing so, we ignore natural instincts, or worse, suppress them. Joe Rogan chooses instead to embrace these things, but that doesn’t revert him into an animal. He acknowledges that these desires exist and he talks about them. Instead of shoving them to the back of his mind in a place society deems appropriate for taboo subjects, he thinks about them and shines a light on them. Progress people. Progress.
3. He is curious and wants to learn.
So often, when Joe Rogan is listening to an expert on his podcast, he’ll respond by saying “fascinating”. And he really is fascinated. He’s a genuinely curious person, on all fronts. He’s curious about knowledge in the world, curious about what people do and how people think. My first point on how open minded he is was more on how he treats the world and the people around him. What I’m saying now is more about how Joe Rogan lives his life internally. He nurtures his curiosity when it can be so easy to settle back into ignorance and live a life of contented bliss.
It takes a conscious effort to be curious and it takes constant work and practice. Joe Rogan is pretty good at it. At the age of 47, after speaking to a badass about bow-hunting, Joe went and took up the hobby himself. I’d say he’s more a lifelong learner than anyone going back to school in their forties.
So there you have it. 3 qualities I admire in Joe Rogan and will aspire to develop in myself. I encourage you to do the same.
I also encourage you to check out his podcast, and if you’re not a fan of mixed martial arts and want to avoid the long ones on that subject, I’ve hidden a bunch of good ones in this article as hyperlinks. Most of them are under my first point. If you don’t know how to use the internet, just let us know on the No Shortcuts facebook page and we’ll post some. If you can’t even get there, you are truly lost.