How did Joe Rogan become famous: A look into his rise to popularity

Joe Rogan [Image courtesy: @joerogan on Instagram, @Netflix is a Joke on YouTube, Getty]
Joe Rogan [Image courtesy: @joerogan on Instagram, @Netflix is a Joke on YouTube, Getty]

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan made it to TIME's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2022. Apart from being one of the highest paid podcasters in history, Rogan has, with time, gained enough popularity to influence mass decisions like vaccination.

Let's take a look at how the podcaster, UFC commentator, and stand-up comic became the household name that he is today.

Rogan had his tryst with martial arts at the age of 14 when he joined karate classes to gain self-confidence. He later switched to taekwondo and reportedly went on to win the US Open Championship lightweight taekwondo tournament.

However, Joe Rogan decided against a career in martial arts, fearing a perpetual head injury after he started getting headaches early on. A dropout from the University of Boston, Rogan tried stand-up comedy for the first time on August 27, 1988, at a comedy club in Boston.

Watch Rogan's stand-up below:


He became well known for his 'blue comedy,' which earned him a contract on MTV's Half-Hour Comedy Hour. Rogan also played Joe Garelli on the NBC sitcom NewsRadio from 1992 to 1999, which made him a popular face on television.

Joe Rogan made his first UFC appearance as a backstage reporter in 1997 but left after a short stint only to rejoin when Dana White took over the promotion. He went on to grace the UFC commentary booth thereafter, his iconic expressions becoming a mainstay of historical moments.

The UFC color commentator also hosted NBC's Fear Factor from 2001-2006, which essentially made him a household name. His podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, started in 2009 and regularly tops the Spotify worldwide charts today.

Joe Rogan wants Francis Ngannou to fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Ciryl Gane

Former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou recently cut ties with the promotion after a lengthy contract dispute and vacated the title. Light heavyweight legend Jon Jones is now scheduled to fight Ciryl Gane for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 285 in March.

Ngannou, meanwhile, is plotting a boxing super fight against WBC Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury, which was one of the main reasons for his UFC exit. However, Joe Rogan wants 'The Predator' to return to the UFC after his boxing fight. The 55-year-old recently said on the JRE podcast:

"The perfect world is, [Ngannou] goes over, has some big money, heavyweight boxing fight, Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane have a fight, Jon wins, Ciryl wins, whoever wins is the UFC champ, and then Francis comes back. He can totally come back – Francis if you’re listening, sir, please don’t sign an exclusive contract."

Catch the full episode below:

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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