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Thursday, May 06, 2021
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Comedy is life

From Fear Factor to UFC, Joe Rogan has made a name for himself in the entertainment industry. This Saturday, Rogan returns to his roots with the premiere of his standup special, Joe Rogan: Talking Monkeys In Space on Comedy Central.
For Rogan, being a standup comedian is more than just another job. To him, comedy is life.
"Even though [the UFC's] a really cool job, I mean, I'm just a fan of the mixed martial arts. I could easily just remain a fan and not do it for a living. Whereas standup comedy, I feel like if I lost that … I would lose my voice," Rogan said.
In his eyes, comedy is so much more than just telling jokes. There's a deeper meaning behind the show that few people are aware of or can even grasp without experiencing it for themselves.
"Part of … standup comedy is your own personal quest to figure things out – to answer your own questions and sort of present these questions and these answers to the audience," Rogan said.
Though Rogan has finally found his niche within the world, it was not an easy road. Had only a few things gone differently, Rogan may have never graced the comedic scene with his presence.
"When I was 21 years old, I was thinking about doing standup comedy and at the time, what I was doing was competing in martial arts tournaments," Rogan said. "I used to get headaches after a long night of training … I would be laying in my bed and my head would hurt and I was like, ‘What the f*** am I doing? I'm hurting my brain here. I'm damaging my brain for a sport that pays no money.' It was very scary."
Thankfully for Rogan, he had his friends to guide him along his path. Without them, there's no telling where Rogan may have ended up.
"My friend Ed and my friend Steve, who I owe a huge debt of gratitude to, to this day … They talked me into going to an open mic night … So then I sat down and I wrote some stuff out. I thought about it for about five or six months and then I finally did it," Rogan said.
Despite finally taking the plunge, it was anything but smooth sailing from there on out.
"In the beginning I was terrible, absolutely terrible. Everybody is … You know when you're 21 you don't have any children, you don't have any expenses other than food and rent … That's the time to take a crazy chance and that's what I did. It took a long time. It took many, many years to put together some semblance of an act … It was pretty fascinating and it's been a fascinating ride," Rogan said.
Despite the large role comedy plays in Rogan's life, he can hardly consider many things a joke. One such issue is the recent occurrence of the Winter Olympics.
"In order to compete at the highest level, it has to be your entire life," Rogan said. "If people are paying to see it, the athletes should be compensated. [The Olympics are] this gross scam that everybody has got set up under the guise of nationalism and pride and all this jazz and that these people get to pump their hard work out and then other people get to profit from it in the tune of billions and billions of dollars."
This isn't the only thing that gets Rogan wound up, though. Issues dealing with illegal narcotics are a very big deal for him.
"I'm a strong advocate for legalization of anything that doesn't hurt other people. I think we live in a really f***ed up society where people can tell you what you can and can't do to your own body," Rogan said.
To Rogan, the idea of a drug such as marijuana being illegal is ridiculous. Even more so, it's a heinous crime.
"It's very difficult to take our government and authorities seriously when we have such horrible injustices in place, like people being locked in cages for a giant chunk of their life because they possessed a plant that makes you silly … By locking people in jail for marijuana, you are committing a crime against nature and against humanity," Rogan said.
Joe Rogan is a man who is more than just a comedian or a TV show host. He is someone who isn't afraid to speak out against injustices and think for himself.
Tune into his special this Saturday on Comedy Central to see Rogan present his questions – and his own answers – to you in his unique comedic way.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


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