“The best thing about this show,” says Joe Rogan, host of NBC’s reality television series “Fear Factor,” “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.”
Television viewers mostly know Rogan from his starring role as of Joe Garelli, the resident electrician at WNYX radio, on the comedy series “NewsRadio” (1995-99), as well as his brief appearance on the series “Hardball.”
Rogan’s television appearances for standup include “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” “MTV’s Half-Hour Comedy Hour,” and “Comedy from the Danger Zone,” just to name a few. Rogan recorded some of his standup comedy performances on his debut comedy album, “I’m Gonna Be Dead Someday,” for Warner Bros. Records.
Performing standup comedy in clubs across the United States has helped Rogan appreciate the steady work schedule of a television series that tapes in one city. “Standup comedy is the best job in the world,” he says. “I can speak my mind, let off steam and get paid for it, but working on a series allows me a different kind of creativity, and it’s a chance to work with a very talented group of people.”
Rogan’s boyhood idol, Richard Pryor, continues to be an inspiration to the young actor/comedian in both his professional and his personal life. “Pryor was the first really honest comedian,” he says. “My act could be classified as ‘unedited,’ but I try to keep my audience in mind while focusing on the truth. I never want to compromise my act just to get a laugh.”
Rogan was born in Newark, New Jersey, raised in Boston, and now lives in Los Angeles.
In his spare time, Rogan enjoys playing pool and honing his standup act at various comedy clubs. In addition, he is an avid martial-arts enthusiast and holds a second-degree black belt in tae kwon do. He was a four-time Massachusetts state champion, and was U.S. Open Lightweight Champion and Grand Champion in all weight classes in 1987. Says Rogan: “The martial arts really kept me in focus as an adolescent because of the long training hours.”
Rogan’s birthday is August 11.