From a troubled childhood to being the host of one of the most controversial shows of all time to standing with Kevin Hart and Jerry Seinfeld as one of the wealthiest stand-up comics in the business, Joe Rogan has been a fantastic success story.
Rogan struggled for six years as a small stand-up comedian before landing his first TV roll on the Fox TV show Hardball, which he remembers as being one of the weirdest jobs of his life. The show was a failure, but it did lead him to get cast in NewsRadio, where he befriended Phil Hartman, whose death deeply traumatized him. He left the series and wanted to try something new, which he got in spades!
Joe Rogan’s early career included ‘Fear Factor’ and UFC
Rogan initially trained to be a mixed martial artist before becoming a comedian and has always been interested in the sport. He worked as a backstage interviewer for the UFC briefly in 1997 before befriending Dana White in 2002 and becoming a color commentator.
From 2001-2006, Rogan also hosted Fear Factor, which significantly increased his exposure. The controversial TV show and his controversial comedy were a match made in heaven, and each made the other more prominent than they would have been apart.
Humor, however, was Rogan’s first love, and you never forget your first love.
Joe Rogan’s intro to comedy
From 2005-2009, Rogan concentrated on doing stand-up spots and comedy specials. During this time, he also started something else he grew to love feuding with people publicly.
In 2005, after making a joke about actor Wesley Snipes in his stand up routine, Snipe challenged Rogan to a boxing match. Rogan trained for five months for the match only to have Snipes call it off.
Not long after that, Rogan accused Carlos Mencia of stealing jokes from several comedians, including him. Rogan had claimed this for years but started making it public and working it into his comedy routine.
The accusation led to Rogan’s banning from the Comedy Store, but it just increased his notoriety as a controversial wild-card comedian.
Joe Rogan is an acclaimed podcast host
Between continuing to do comedy specials, feud with fellow comedians like Dane Cook, and act in movies like Zookeeper and Here Comes the Boom.
Rogan started what may be the most defining acts of his life when he began his 2009 podcast. Initially, on his YouTube channel, Rogan quickly became known for having on whoever he thought was interesting from right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos to ex-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to talk show host Alex Jones.
He soon got a reputation for being unafraid to ask hard questions and discuss controversial topics. By 2015, The Joe Rogan Experience had been downloaded 11 million times and was always in the top 100 on iTunes; then real money entered Rogan’s life.
Spotify announced in May that they had signed an exclusive deal to broadcast Rogan’s show. Although Spotify did not comment on how much the deal was worth, a source leaked to The Wall Street Journal that it was upwards of 100 million dollars.
If true, this would make it the largest agreement in podcast history. After the deal was announced, Spotify’s stock jumped by 11%.
How much is Joe Rogan worth?
While it’s impossible to say precisely how much he’s worth, he did sign a reported $100 million deal with Spotify and makes 30 million dollars a year from his podcast. Conservatively Rogan is worth about $100 million, although it could be much more.
Along with his podcasting, he continues to do color commentary on UFC fights, his latest comedy special Strange Times is on Netflix, and he has a deal with EA Sports to use his voice in UFC video games.
That adds up to a lot of money for a man who is not nearly through with his career.
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