'Fear Factor' host Joe Rogan will be the first to admit that he only does television for the money.
His true love is stand-up comedy. Prior to “Fear Factor,” which is in its fourth season on NBC, Rogan charmed viewers with his role on the hit comedy series “NewsRadio,” as Joe Garelli, the resident electrician at WNYX Radio. This season Rogan will be working double duty as he takes on hosting duties of the “The Man Show” on Comedy Central.
“The best thing about ‘Fear Factor,’ says Rogan, “is that the contestants have no idea if their fear – be it snakes, heights or whatever – will come in to play until the moment they have to perform the stunt. In addition, they have no idea what the stunt is, so there’s no way to prepare for it. Everyone is on even ground.”
Reality television was never in Joe’s original career plan, nor was television or comedy of any kind. So how did this accidental performer wind up with a role on a successful sitcom, a groundbreaking debut comedy album on Warner Bros. Records titled “I’m Gonna Be Dead Someday,” and hosting “Fear Factor” and “The Man Show”? The answer is simple: Tae Kwan Do.
Joe began practicing martial arts at the age of 13. Within two years, the Boston native earned a black belt and soon became the Massachusetts full contact Tae Kwon Do champion four consecutive years. By the age of 19, Rogan won the US Open Tae Kwon Do Championship, and in true Joe Rogan fashion, the lightweight champion went on to beat both the middle and heavyweight title-holders to obtain the Grand Championship. Joe credits Tae Kwon Do for his discipline and focus, two characteristics which have enabled him to accomplish many things.
It was not only Joe’s performance and abilities on the mat that wowed his buddies; it was his humor.
Joe thought that they only laughed at his humor and constantly badgered him to perform stand-up because they were his friends. Joe failed to truly believe his material could reach a broader audience. Luckily, Joe’s friends persuaded him into trying out his “act”- such as it was- during an open mic night in a local club. Just as his friends suspected, the audience was as smitten with Joe as he was with stand-up, and he knew it was meant to be.
In addition to “Fear Factor” and “The Man Show,” Joe continues to provide color commentary for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He resides in Los Angeles and performs stand-up locally as well as across the country.
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