October 5, 2013 12:19 pm

If You Think You Know Joe Rogan, You’re In For A Surprise This Sunday

Photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson interviewing Joe Rogan taken by Jamie Vernon © 2013

Neil deGrasse Tyson interviewing Joe Rogan. Photo Credit: Jamie Vernon © 2013

I think the last time I noticed Joe Rogan was the last time I watched News Radio, way back in the 20th Century. He played Joe, the conspiracy theory-spouting electrician and handyman. He was hilarious, which isn’t always the case when a stand-up comedian does TV. I vaguely remember his Joe-Jitsu bit, which was his own combination of different martial arts that he tried to teach Andy Dick and Jon Lovitz, with the expected less-than-stellar results. I never watched Fear Factor, and I’m not an UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fan, so Joe dropped off my own personal radar.

When Neil deGrasse Tyson went on The Joe Rogan Experience a while back, we let everybody know via our social media so they could tune in. Some people were surprised, and let us know in their comments.

After Neil and Joe finished Joe’s podcast, they sat down and Neil pulled out his portable microphone, and Neil interviewed Joe. That interview will be podcast this Sunday night.

Obviously, you will all form your own opinions about Joe, as well you should. But Neil says something at the end of the interview that I think is important for you to hear now, in case you didn’t plan on listening to the show because of what you think of Joe, especially if that opinion was formed without listening to him.

Neil says, “I love deep thinkers of any stripe, and here’s a guy who shatters anybody’s stereotype of who should be an expert at what… Joe Rogan is okay in my book… We’re both a big fan of just getting people to think for themselves. That’s something that not enough people do, even educated people, people who like to think they’re the source of opinion…”

For my own part, not only did I enjoy the episode, but also two segments stand out particularly in my memory. The first was when Joe discussed reality TV and human psychology. In discussing how strange is it that a lens can turn Kim Kardashian into a star, Joe brought in human evolution, primal human needs, biochemistry, genetic reward systems and DNA. His premise is that reality TV has co-opted and learned to apply the social and psychological triggers that helped primitive man survive. If you’re as surprised and perturbed by the popularity of reality TV as I am, you may find yourself agreeing with Joe on this one, as I did.

The other segment comes when Neil and Joe discuss the physics of wrestling and mixed martial arts. We all know that Neil wrestled back in the day, but I didn’t know that Joe Rogan not only wrestled when he was younger, but that he’s a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu, and was a Tae Kwon Do champion. The two talk about how science is a game changer in all sports, and science literacy can give an athlete an edge. They also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of “The Greatest” and “Iron Mike” in an attempt to answer the oft-asked question, “Who would win a fight, Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, if they could have fought each other in their primes?”

The Joe Rogan Experience will be on our website and on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher this Sunday night at 7:00pm ET.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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