Joe Rogan is a comedian, podcaster and UFC interviewer and color commentator. His podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most famous Podcasts in the world today, drawing in tens of thousands of listeners on a daily basis. Rogan has also worked in cinema, as an actor and TV show host in Fear Factor.
Rogan has not had the most stable of childhoods. His early life is one marred by domestic violence, abuse and toxic masculinity. He grew up in a household where physical abuse was the norm, and a large part of that was his father. Let’s take a deeper look into his life with his dad, and the relationship they share.
Who is Joe Rogan’s Dad, Joseph Rogan?
Joe Rogan was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1967. His Father, Joseph Rogan is a former New Jersey Police officer. Joseph was italian, but grew up in the States after his father moved to the US in the 1940’s.
What was Joe’s relationship with his father?
According to Joe, he doesn't have too many memories of his father. His parents divorced when he was 5, and he never spoke to his father after that. According to him, the few memories he does have of his father are full of violence and abuse.
On his podcast, he had said
“My mom and my step-dad are actually very happy, and they’ve been happy since I was seven years old. It’s really weird. All my damage sh*t came from my real father, before I was seven. My real father was crazy, he was like a psychotic person. He beat the f*ck out of my mother, he beat the f*ck out of my cousin. He picked my cousin up by his hair, dude.”
Joe had seen his father beat a lot of people up. However, according to him, he had never actually hit Joe himself. According to him,
“All I remember of my dad are these brief, violent flashes of domestic violence ... But I don't want to complain about my childhood. Nothing bad ever really happened to me ... I don't hate the guy."
Joe’s father was also an advocate of toxic masculinity. He believed that boys shouldn't cry, and had once told Joe that as long as he didn’t cry he was free to do as he pleased. In Joe’s words,
“My father wanted me to be like him. One time I had a fight with my cousin, because I liked King Kong and he liked Godzilla. … My dad pulled me aside, pulled me in a room, shut the door. I’ll never forget this because I was five years old. There’s very few things that I remember about him but this is one of them. … And he goes, ‘What happened?’ And you could not lie to him, there’s no lie. … ‘You didn’t cry did you?’ ‘No I didn’t cry.’ ‘Don’t ever cry.’ Then he patted me on the head and walked out of the room. I was punching everybody after that. I got the greenlight to punch kids as long as I didn’t cry.”
Joe had also seen his father get into bar brawls and fights with customers in a bar he owned. “I’d watch him beat guys up at this bar. He owned a bar and I was five and I got to hang out at the bar. I was five. When I was five I’d sit there and put money in the jukebox, and every now and then I’d sit there and watch him beat the f*ck out of someone.”
While Joe doesn’t remember his father enough to have any sort of relationship with him, he does maintain that he does not agree with any of the views his old man had. A large part of that was because of his step-father, the man his mother married after her divorce to Joseph.
Read here: Everything you need to know about Joe Rogan's wife
When did Joe Rogan's dad and mom get a divorce?
In 1972, when Rogan was 5 years old, the domestic violence got too much for his mother to bear. This led to his mother filing for divorce, and subsequently moving to San Francisco, California, where they lived till he was 11. It was here that she met and married his stepfather.
Who is Joe Rogan’s stepdad?
After moving to San Francisco, Joe’s mother married. He studied Computer science before doing a degree in architecture. When talking about him on his podcast, Joe said
“My step-dad’s a hippie. My step-dad was a computer programmer, and he was an architect. He went to school for architecture after he stopped doing computer programming. … All of a sudden I’m living with this hippie guy in San Francisco with a bunch of gay people … and it’s all like peace and love, it’s the ‘70s man.”
He was the complete opposite of Joseph, and that caused Rogan to have a huge change in mindset. “The worst thing you can do to boys is to encourage them to try and hit things. … I was like four and [my dad] was teaching me how to f*ck people up, it’s crazy.” He also said, “I was pretty humbled and really shy, and really nervous. .. And all of a sudden I’m out here going what the f*ck is life.”
According to him, that change in mindset humbled him, and played a huge part in the man he is today. It got him into drawing and eventually into comedy, paving the way for the podcaster he is today.