THE MOST INFLUENTIAL STAND-UP ON OUR CULTURE – JOE ROGAN / PART TWO
The follow up to the stack I did a week or so ago… Before I got Covid.
I got sick with Covid from having too much fun at the Netflix is a Joke festival. I was down for a short spell. In the spirit of this column on Joe, I will say I immediately took Ivermectin. Yes, I did, and unlike all the Joe mem’s and talking -points-fed harassment, I truly took horse-paste. I happen to have three Shetland ponies in the yard that are leftover from my act when I had tried props for a spell. (Another story) Anyway, I stole their horse paste, emptied the tube in one slurp, and now I’m fine. So piss off.
I’m kidding. Obviously. I did take Invermetin though. Right away. And it worked along with a few other things, but, back to Joe… and the influence of Stand-up.
Rogan, first off I have to say is the most influential comedian in terms of shaping the tone, style, and scope of the state of Stand-up since Johnny Carson in the eighties was almost forty years ago. His hand-picked star-making distribution of time slots on his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience is as loaded with career-defining explosive power as Carson’s Tonight Show ever was, if not more. Where a great one or two shots on ‘Johnny’ could land you your own situation comedy, or huge nightclub contracts, a breakout run with Joe Rogan can give birth and boost today to your own podcast and a giant starter kit audience that a smart, edgy comic can turn into their own seven-figure podcast to host and grow, but also to build or boost a touring audience around the world.
Case in point; Tom Segura. Bert Kreisher. Tony Hinchliffe. Tim Dillon, Duncan Trussle, Joey Diaz, and Ari Shaffir.
A big difference between Carson and Rogan is he likes his best friends to succeed.
He doesn’t see the Joey Bishops, Dick Cavett’s, and the Joan Rivers of his life as his competitors. It’s obvious he sees the success around him as an ever-expanding ocean and acts like these and Whitney Cummings and Bill Burr as making waves he can surf, or, Eleanor Kagen, Mark Normand, or Shane Gillis coming on strong as friendly fish to swim and play with.
In fact he seems to enjoy the acts that are almost shaped in his image. Off-shoots of his curious, cranky, rambling, rambunctious, rule-breaking style.
His sense of humor is too accepting to be idealogical. In fact true political idealogues aren’t funny these days. They’re too sure they’re right about everything. What they think is humor is a lecture. It may have always been that way. It may have been one of the reasons Mort Sahl was always a tad boring. He was always too sure about every point he was trying to make with his jokes. Rogan isn’t trying to convince anyone with his comedy, or with his choice of guests. He’s trying to entertain. To be entertaining. He’s trying to satiate his curiosity.
That’s why he has on both Bernie Sanders and Alex Jones.
The biggest effect I will say though is helping free up comics to say what they want and have some fun saying it. Making people laugh at the tough spots that the media light can’t seem to get to is a big deal and has become a tool that the comics I respect are using more and more. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, why take the trouble and the attendant bullshit that comes with ‘mansplaining’ if you’re explaining to a room full of men.
The biggest thing this culture needs to remember is the ability to listen to the other side’s story. Really listen. Dig through it the gnarl and the grrrr, and hear what they’re saying. Rogan, Tim Dillon, Shane Gillis, Donelle Rawlings, Joey Diaz, Chris D’elia, Brian Callen, Earthquake, Ari Shaffir, Tom Segura, Andrew Schultz, Eleanor Kagan, Taylor Tomlinson, Whitney Cummings, Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Gervais, and Chappelle, to name a small group of many, are pushing the boundaries in a time when the powers that be don’t want them pushed.
A lot of that you need to tip the hat to Joe Rogan for.