Joe Rogan on the Freedom of Stand-Up and Why He'd Choose Comedy Over Pretty Much Everything Else

You've probably seen or heard Joe Rogan before, whether you intended to or not.

He's a pretty busy guy, considering that he does the color commentary for the major UFC events, has his own successful interview-based podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, and shows up on a wide variety of television programs. Oh, and he's also "that guy from Fear Factor."

But you might not have realized that he's also an accomplished stand-up comedian who sells out shows across the country and has his own hour-long special on Comedy Central.

See also: Ralphie May on Filthy Comedy and What He Learned From Sam Kinison

"I love doing stand-up. It gives you so much freedom," Rogan says. "Everything else I've done has a million other people telling you what to do. With stand-up, no one is telling you what to do. There's no direction given, you just go up there and whack it out. It's as pure of a representation of your thoughts as you can do and still have people enjoy it."

That said, Rogan realizes that his stand-up might not be for everyone. The New Jersey native wants the audience to have a good time, but he's not about to change his possibly offensive ways to appease everyone.

"If you're easily offended, stay home or do something else," Rogan says. "I try to show people the world through my eyes as much as I can, while still making it funny so people will enjoy it. My favorite thing about comedy is that people enjoy it. If people didn't enjoy it, doing comedy would suck."

Since being talked into doing stand-up by a friend he met while doing martial arts over two decades ago, Rogan has learned a lot about putting an enjoyable show together. One of his main realizations was that the responsibility for the crowd's enjoyment falls squarely on him.

"It's all about packaging together something that people can enjoy, because there's nowhere else that people can get your specific type of comedy," Rogan says. "If you're a fan of Aerosmith, you can only get Aerosmith through Aerosmith. If you don't have Joe Perry on guitar and Steven Tyler singing, it's not Aerosmith. Comedy is the same way. People can only get your comedy from you, and it's a big responsibility that you provide it for them, but it's a responsibility that I enjoy."

With everything else going on in Rogan's professional life, some might think that comedy would get left in the background. For Rogan, that's not the case, as it's no coincidence that his show at Celebrity Theatre on Friday, December 12, falls the night before Arizona's first UFC event.

"It's not that hard to balance it all. It's just about doing different things on different days," Rogan says. "I enjoy every one of them in a different way, but I think if I could only do one for a living, I would do comedy. Everything else, I could still do for free. I could still be a UFC fan. I could still do a podcast. With comedy, if people aren't enjoying it, then it would really suck."

Overall, Rogan realizes that his life and career isn't like most people's, but he wouldn't want it any other way.

"My life has probably been a whole series of 'holy shit' moments. I don't know how I got so lucky," Rogan says. "I love going new places and meeting new people. Everyone has a different way of seeing things, and everyone comes from different walks of life. Meeting people with all of these different views really gives you a richer view of life."

Joe Rogan is performing at the Celebrity Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, December 12. Tickets are $35. More information is available on the event's page.

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