Gut-Punch Lines

Breaking type: The dumb one from NewsRadio puts on a pretty smart act this week at the Tempe Improv Comedy Theater.

Joe Rogan, who as a standup comedian works more or less the same hours that strippers do, is not a 9-to-5 kind of guy. He is, however, an 18-to-34. That's the demographic group from which Rogan, a NewsRadio veteran and the host of NBC's Fear Factor, draws most of his television audience (a fact that by advertisers is just fine). It's also the age group best suited to his uncensored, explicit standup act, which Rogan brings to the Valley this week. Anyone much younger would be confused; anyone much older, appalled and embarrassed.

Rogan makes no apologies for his act, his foul words or his apparent insensitivity -- to women, to gay men, to bad actors, to prepubescent Olympic athletes.

"There's nothing more stifling than not being able to talk about a topic," he says. "It's just wrong to not be able to say what's on your mind."


Joe Rogan

Tempe Improv Comedy Theater, 930 East University (at Cornerstone Mall)

Scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 23; 8 and 10 p.m. Friday, August 24, and Saturday, August 25; and 8 p.m. Sunday, August 26. Tickets are $17 on Thursday and Sunday, $22 on Friday and Saturday. For details call 480-921-9877.

He doesn't need to apologize. For all of its obscenity, Rogan's act is, well, really funny. It's also on target.

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"I'm gonna be dead someday, so I'm not wasting any time trying to make people comfortable with the truth," Rogan likes to say. (I'm Gonna Be Dead Someday is the title of his recent CD, which includes a musical track, "Voodoo Punnany.")

Rogan, who does wickedly accurate imitations of American womanhood, dismisses allegations that he's sexist or homophobic.

"You can't have blind allegiance to your gender, or any group, really," he says. "The way I see it, there are three types of people in this world -- morons, assholes and people you can hang out with."

If you can hang with that, you can hang with his show. -- Elan Head

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