Lex Fridman Podcast - #127 - Joe Rogan: Conversations, Ideas, Love, Freedom & The Joe Rogan Experience

The following is a conversation with Joe Rogan

that we recorded after my recent appearance

on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

Joe has been a inspiration to me

and I thank to millions of people

for just being somebody who puts love out there in the world

and being genuinely curious about wild ideas

from chimps and psychedelics to quantum mechanics

and artificial intelligence.

Like many of you, I’ve been a fan of his podcast

for over a decade and now, somehow, miraculously,

am humbled to be able to call him a friend.

If you enjoy this thing, subscribe on YouTube,

review it with five stars on Apple Podcast,

follow on Spotify, support on Patreon,

or connect with me on Twitter at Lex Friedman.

Today’s sponsors are Neuro, Eight Sleep, Dollar Shave Club,

and Olive Garden, home of the Unlimited Breadsticks

and Brian Redband’s favorite restaurant.

Check out the first three of the sponsors

in the description to get a discount

and to support this podcast.

I usually do full ad reads here and never ads in the middle

but this time, I’ll just go straight to the conversation

with a bit of guitar first.

[“The Unlimited Breadsticks and Dollar Shave Club”]

Do you ponder your mortality?

Are you afraid of death?

I do think about it sometimes.

I mean, it does pop into my head sometimes,

just the fact that, I mean, I’m 53,

so if everything goes great, I have less than 50 years left.

If everything goes great, like no car accidents,

no injuries.

But it could happen today.

This could be your last day.

Could be.

That’s kind of a stoic thing to meditate on death.

There’s a bunch of philosophers,

Ernest Becker and Sheldon Solomon,

they believe that death is at the core of everything.

Wrote this book, Warm at the Core.

So does that come into play in the way you see the world?

I think having a sense of urgency is very beneficial

and understanding that your time is limited

can aid you greatly.

I think knowing that this is a temporary time,

that we have finite lifespans,

I think there’s great power in that

because it motivates you, it gets you going.

I think being an immortal, living forever

would be one of the most depressing things,

particularly if everybody else was dying around you.

And I think one of the things that makes life

so interesting and fascinating is that it doesn’t last.

You know, that you really get a brief amount of time here

and really by the time you’re just starting

to kind of figure yourself out, who you are

and how not to screw things up so bad,

like, time’s up.

The ride’s over.

What about from your, like,

from your daughter’s perspective?

Do you think about the world we’re in now

and what kind of world you’re gonna leave them?

I do.

And do you worry about it?

I do, yeah, I do.

I do when I see these protests and riots and chaos

and so much, so much anger in the world today.

And then particularly today,

I think because of the pandemic

and the fact that so many folks are out of work

and through no fault of their own

and can’t make ends meet

and these people feel so helpless and angry,

it’s a particularly divisive time.

It’s a particularly turmoil filled time.

And it just doesn’t seem like the world of a year ago even.

It feels very chaotic and dangerous.

And it’s a small thing,

like in terms of the possibilities of things

that could happen to the world,

like a pandemic like the one we’ve experienced,

it really just doubles the amount of deaths

on a bad flu year.

So it’s relatively speaking is a small thing

in comparison to super volcano eruptions,

asteroid impact, a real horrific pandemic

or one that really wipes out millions

and millions of people.

It’s stunning how fragile civility is.

It’s stunning how fragile our society really is

that something like this can come along,

some unprecedented thing,

unprecedented thing can come along

and all of a sudden everybody’s out of work for six months

and then everybody’s at each other’s throats.

And then politically everyone’s at each other’s throats.

And then with the advent of social media

and the images that you can see with the videos

of police abuse and just racial tensions

are at an all time high to a point where like,

if you asked me just five or six years ago,

like have racial problems in this country

largely been alleviated,

I’d probably say, yeah,

it’s way better than it’s ever been before.

But now you could argue that it’s not.

Now you could argue it’s no, it’s way worse

in just a small amount of time.

It’s way worse than it’s ever been during my lifetime

while I’m aware of it.

Obviously when I was a young boy in the 60s,

they were still going through the civil rights movement,

but now it just seems very fever pitched.

And I think a lot of that is because of the pandemic

and is because of all the heightened just tension.

What I liken it to is road rage.

Cause you know, people have road rage,

not just because they’re in the car

and no one can get to them,

but also because you’re at a heightened state

because you’re driving fast

and you know you’re driving fast.

You know, you have to make split second movements.

And so anybody doing something, you’re like,

what the people go crazy

because they’re already at an eight

because they’re in the car and they’re moving very quickly.

That’s what it feels like with today with the pandemic

feels like everybody is already at an eight.

So anything that comes along,

it’s like light it all on fire, you know, burn it down.

Like that’s part of what I think is part of the reason

for a lot of the looting and the riots and all the chaos.

It’s not just the people that are at work,

but it’s also that everyone feels so tense already

and everyone feels so helpless.

And it’s like, you know, doing something like that

makes people, it just, it gives people

a whole new motivation for chaos,

a whole new motivation for doing destructive things

that I’ve never experienced in my life.

And your better days when you see a positive future,

what do you think is the way out of this chaos of 2020?

Like if you visualize a 2025,

that’s a better world than today.

What is that?

How do we get there and what does that look like?

It’s a good question.

I can honestly say I don’t know.

And I wouldn’t have said I don’t know a year ago.

A year ago, I would have said, we’re gonna be okay.

As much as people hate Trump, the economy is doing great.

I think we’re gonna be fine.

That’s not how I feel today.

Today, I don’t think there’s a clear solution politically

because I think if Trump wins,

people are gonna be furious.

And I think if Biden wins, people are gonna be furious.

Particularly like if things get more woke,

if people continue to enforce this force compliance

and make people behave a certain way and act a certain way,

which seems to be a part of what this whole woke thing is.

The most disturbing for me is that I see what’s going on.

I see there’s a lot of losers that have hopped on this

and they shove it in people’s faces

and it doesn’t have to make sense.

Like there was a Black Lives Matter protest

that stopped this woman at a restaurant.

They were surrounding her outside a restaurant.

They were forcing her to raise her fist in compliance.

This is a woman who’s marched for Black Lives multiple times,

Black Lives Matter multiple times.

And the people all around her doing this were all white.

It’s all weird.

My friend, Coach T, he’s a wrestling coach,

is also on a podcast, my friend, Brian Moses.

His take on it is that black, and he’s a black guy.

He says, Black Lives Matter is a white cult.

And I’m like, when you see that picture,

it’s hard to argue that he’s got a point.

I mean, it’s clearly not all about that,

but there’s a lot of people that have jumped on board

that are very much like cult members.

Because the thing about Black Lives Matter or any movement

is you can’t control who joins.

There’s no entrance examination.

So you don’t go, okay, how do you feel about this?

What’s your perceptions on that?

Like the man who shot the Trump supporter in Portland,

that guy who murdered the Trump supporter

then the cops shot him.

That guy was walking around with his hand on his gun

looking for Trump supporters.

Just want, I mean, he’s a known violent guy

who was walking around looking for Trump supporters,

found one and shot one.

That has nothing to do with Black Lives Matter.

He’s a white guy, he shot another white guy.

It’s just madness.

And that kind of madness is,

it’s disturbing to see it ramp up so quickly.

I mean, there’s been riots in Portland every night.

Oh, excuse me, demonstrations for 101 days now.

101 days in a row of them lighting things on fire,

breaking into federal buildings.

It’s like, whoever saw that coming?

Nobody saw that coming.

So I don’t know what the solution is

and I don’t know what it looks like in five years.

But 2025, to answer your question,

like it could be anything.

I mean, we could be looking at Mad Max.

We could be looking at the apocalypse.

We could also be looking at an invasion from another country.

We could be looking at a war, like a real hot war.

To put a little bit of responsibility on you,

like for me, I’ve listened to you

since the Red Band, Olive Garden days,

that’s the very beginning.

And there was something in the way you communicated

about the world, maybe there was others,

but you’re the one I was aware of,

is you’re open minded and like loving towards the world,

especially as the podcast developed.

Like you just demonstrated and lived

this kind of just kindness,

or maybe even like lack of jealousy

in your own little profession of comedy.

It was clear that you didn’t succumb

to the weaker aspects of human nature

and thereby inspire like people like me,

who I was naturally, probably especially in like the 20s,

early 20s, kind of jealous on the success of others.

And you’re really the primary person that taught me

to truly celebrate the success of others.

And so by way of question, you kind of have a role in this

of making a better 2025.

You have such a big megaphone.

Is there something you think you can do on this podcast

with the words, the way you talk,

the things you discuss that could create a better 2025?

I think if anything, I could help in leading by example,

but that’s only gonna help the people that are listening.

I don’t know what else I can do

in terms of like make the world a better place,

other than express my hopes and wishes for that

and just try to be as nice as I can to people

as often as I can.

But I also think that I’ve fallen into this weird category,

particularly with the Spotify deal,

where I’m one of them now.

I’m not a regular person anymore.

Now I’m like some famous rich guy.

So you go from being a regular person

to a famous rich guy that’s out of touch.

And that’s a real issue whenever you’re talking

about the economy, about just real life problems.

It’s interesting.

It kind of hurts my heart to hear people say

about Elon Musk, he’s just a billionaire.

It’s an interesting statement.

But I think if you just continue being you

and he continue being him,

I think people are just voicing their worry

that you become some rich guy.

I don’t even know if they’re doing that.

I think they’re just finding,

the way he describes it, an attack vector.

Yeah, and I think he’s right.

I think they can dismiss you by just saying,

oh, you’re just a that.

You’re easily definable.

Right, but there’s truth to that.

If you’re not careful, you can become out of touch.

But that’s an interesting thing.

Why haven’t you become out of touch?

As a human off the podcast, you don’t act like a,

like you talk to somebody like me.

You don’t talk like a famous person

or you don’t act rich, like you’re better than others.

There’s a certain, listen, I’ve talked to quite a few,

you have too, but I’ve talked to a special kind of group

of people that are like Nobel Prize winners, let’s say.

They sometimes have an air to them that’s of arrogance.

And you don’t, what’s that about?

Well, you gotta know what that is, right?

Like that air of arrogance comes from

drinking your own Koolaid.

You start believing that somehow or another,

just because you’re getting praise from all these people,

that you really are something different.

Usually it exemplifies, there’s something there

where there’s a lack of struggle.

And I think a struggle is

probably one of the most important balancing tools

that a person can have.

And for me, I struggle mentally and I struggle physically.

I struggle mentally in that, like we were talking about

on the podcast we did previously,

you and I on my podcast said, I’m not a fan of my work.

I’m not a fan of what I do.

I’m my harshest critic.

So anytime anybody says something bad about me,

I’m like, listen, I said way worse about myself.

I don’t like anything I do.

I’m ruthlessly introspective.

And I will continue to be that way.

Cause that’s the only way you could be good as a comedian.

There’s no other way.

You can’t just think you’re awesome and just go out there.

You have to be like picking apart everything you do.

But there’s a balance to that too,

cause you have to have enough confidence

to go out there and perform.

You can’t think, oh my God, I suck.

I know what I’m doing, but I know what I’m doing

because I put in all that work.

And one of the reasons why I put in all that work

is I don’t like the end result most of the time.

So I need to work at it all the time.

And then there’s physical struggle,

which I think balances everything out.

Without physical struggle, I always make the analogy

that the body is in a lot of ways like a battery,

where if you have extra charge,

it’s like it leaks out of the top

and it becomes unmanageable and messy.

And that’s how my psyche is.

If I have too much energy,

if I’m not exerting myself in a violent way,

like an explosive way, like wearing myself out,

I just don’t like the way the world is.

I don’t like the way I interface with the world.

I’m too tense.

I’m too quick to be upset about things.

But when I work out hard

and I put in a brutal training session, everything’s fine.

Well, the first time I talked to you, Jerry, you were doing

Sober October.

And there’s something in your eyes,

like I think you’ve talked about

that you exercise the demons out essentially.

So you exercise to get whatever the parts of you

that you don’t like out.

There’s a darkness in you there,

like the competitiveness and the focus of that person.

That was a scary time in a lot of ways,

that Sober October thing.

Because my friends, we were all talking shit, right?

Because we’re competing against each other

in these fitness challenges.

And you had one point,

like you got a certain amount of points

for each minute that you went at 80% of your max heart rate.

And one day I got 1100 points.

So I did seven hours on an elliptical machine

watching the bathhouse scene from John Wick

where he murders all those people in the bathhouse.

I watched it probably 50 times in a row.

I went crazy.

I went crazy, but I went crazy in a weird way

where it brought me back to my fighting days.

It was like the same, that person came out again.

It was like, well, I didn’t even know he was in there.

It’s like they’re like an assassin, like a killer.

Like I felt like a different person.

Is it echoes of like what Mike Tyson talked about essentially?

Like the…

Maybe, but no orgasm in the oceans.

All the crazy shit that he was saying.

Is there a violent person in there?

Oh yeah.

Yeah, there’s a lot of violence in me for sure.

I don’t know if it’s genetic or learned

or it’s because during my formative years

from the time I was 15 till I was 22, all I did was fight.

That was all I did.

All I did was train and compete.

That’s all I did.

That was my whole life.

Is it connected to…

So your mom and dad broke up early on.

Is it connected to the dad at all?

I’m sure it’s connected to him also because he was violent

and it made me feel very scared to be around him.

But I also think it’s connected in who he was as a human

is transferred into my DNA.

I think there’s a certain amount of…

I mean, to be prejudiced against myself,

I look like a violent person.

If I didn’t know me, even the way I’m built,

not even just the working out part,

just the size of my hands

and there’s the width of my shoulders.

There’s most likely a lot of violence in my history,

in my past, in my ancestry.

And I think we minimize that with people.

So much of your behavior, when I see my daughter,

I have one daughter that’s obsessive

in terms of she wants to get really good at things

and she’ll practice things all day long.

And it’s 100% my personality.

She’s me in female form.

But without the anger as much and without the fear,

she has loving household and everything like that.

But she has this intense obsession with doing things

and doing things really well and getting better.

What’s the point?

We have to tell her, stop doing hand springs in the house.

Stop, stop, come on, just sit down, have dinner.

Like one more, one more.

Like she’s just like, she’s psycho.

And I think there’s a lot of behavior and personality

and a lot of these things are passed down through genetics.

We don’t really know, right?

We don’t know how much of who you are genetically

is learned behavior, nature or nurture.

We don’t know if it’s learned behavior

or whether or not it’s something

that’s intrinsically a part of you

because of who your parents were.

I think there’s certainly some genetic violence in me.

There’s certainly.

And then you channeled it.

So you figured out it’s basically your life

is a productive exploration of how to channel that.

Yes, how to figure out how to get that monkey to sit down

and calm down.

There’s another person in there.

Like there’s a calm, rational, kind, friendly person

who just wants to laugh and have fun.

And then there’s that dude who comes out

when I did Sober October.

That guy’s scary.

I don’t like that guy.

That guy just wants to get up in the morning and go.

It’s like, I mean, when I was competing, it was necessary.

But it makes me remember.

I didn’t really remember what I used to be like until that.

It’s like when I’m working out seven hours a day

and just so obsessed.

And all I was thinking about was winning.

That’s all I was thinking about.

Like if they were working out five hours a day,

I wanted them to know that I was gonna work out

an extra three hours and I was gonna get up early

and I was gonna text them all.

Hey, pussies, I’m up already.

Take pictures, send selfies.

I was like, you’re gonna die.

I kept telling them, you’re all gonna die.

You try to keep up with me, you’re gonna die.

You weren’t fully joking.

No, I wasn’t joking at all.

That’s what was fucked up about it.

This is the scary thing when I interacted with Goggins

and what I saw in you during that time is like,

this guy, like, this is why I’ve been avoiding

David Ganga’s recently.

Is like, cause he wants to meet,

he wants to talk on this podcast,

but he also wants to run an ultra marathon with me.

And I felt like this is a person,

if I spend any time in this realm,

if I spend any time with a Joe Rogan of that sober October,

like, I might have to die to get out.

Like, there’s this kind of…

Yeah, there’s a competitive aspect that’s super unhealthy.

I mean, you saw the video that we watched earlier today

of Goggins draining his knee.

That would stop me from running ever again

because I would think in my head, okay,

I’m gonna ruin my cartilage.

I’m gonna need a knee replacement.

I would start thinking, I would go down that line,

but he is perpetually in this push it mindset,

what he calls the dog in him.

That dog is in him all day long and he feeds that dog.

And that’s who he is.

That’s one of the reasons why he’s so inspirational

and he’s fuel for millions and millions of people.

I mean, he really is.

He motivates people in a way that is so powerful,

but it can be very destructive.

I know now, especially after the sober October thing,

that that thing’s still in me.

I didn’t know,

so I really haven’t done anything physically competitive,

except one time I was supposed to fight Wesley Snipes.

It came out then too.

That came out too.

That got creepy too, but luckily that never happened.

But that was many months of training,

like training twice a day, every day,

kickboxing in the morning, jiu jitsu at night.

I was just going and going and going and going.

And I was just thinking just all day long.

But it fucks with all the other aspects of your life.

It fucks with your friendships.

It fucks with my comedy.

It fucks with everything.

Because that mindset is not a mindset of an artist.

It’s a mindset of a conqueror.

The conqueror. Yeah.


That’s why it’s so interesting to see Mike Tyson

make the switch.

It’s clear that whatever that is, however that fight goes,

there’s a switch.

He stepped into a different dimension.

Roy Jones Jr. is coming on my podcast soon.

And Roy’s going to be on before the fight.

I’m so curious to see how it goes down,

but genuinely concerned.

Because Mike Tyson is a heavyweight.

And Roy Jones at his best was 168 pounds.

And that’s a lot.

I don’t know if Roy has that room in his house, mental house,

of where Mike Tyson goes.

I don’t know.

I don’t know if he has that room.

Mike doesn’t have a room.

He’s got an empire in there.

He opens up the door.

There’s a whole empire in his head.

And he’s in that firmly.

When he got out of the weed and started training again,

you could see it in him.

And by the way, physically, in person, he looks spectacular.

He looks like a fucking Adonis.

I mean, he looks ready to go.

It’s crazy.

Yeah, I watch his videos of him.

What about you?

Have you ever considered competing in jiu jitsu?

No, for that very reason.

I don’t want to get obsessed.

That’s my number one concern.

I had to quit video games when we were playing video games

in the studio.

I had to quit because I was playing five hours a day,

like out of nowhere.

All of a sudden, I was playing five hours a day.

I was coming home late for dinner.

I was ending podcasts early and jumping on the video games

and playing.

I get obsessed with things.

And I have to recognize what that is

and these competitive things, like competitive, especially

like really exciting competitive things like video games.

They’re very dangerous for me.

The ultimate competitive video game is like jiu jitsu.

And if I was young, I most certainly would have done it.

If I didn’t have a very clear career path,

it was something that I enjoyed.

My concern would be that I would become a professional jiu jitsu

fighter when I was young.

And then I would not have the energy

to do stand up and do all the other things

that I wound up doing as a career.

When I was 21, I quit my job teaching.

I was teaching at Boston University.

I was teaching Taekwondo there.

And I knew, and I also had my own school in Revere.

I knew I couldn’t do it right.

And also be doing stand up comedy.

I knew I couldn’t do both of those things.

There was no way.

You have to be cognizant of that obsessive force

within you to make sure.

Yes, I’d have to know how to manage my mental illness.

That’s a very particular mental illness.

And I think that mental illness, again,

my formative years from 15 until I was 21ish, 22,

those years were spent constantly

obsessed with martial arts.

That was my whole day.

I mean, I trained almost every day.

The only time I would not train is if I was either injured

or if I was exhausted, if I needed a day off.

But I was obsessed.

And so that part of my personality

that I haven’t nurtured is always

going to be there under the surface.

And when it gets reignited by something, it’s very weird.

It’s a weird feeling.

And it can get reignited with a video game.

It can get reignited with anything.

That obsessive whatever it is, that competitive demon.

Yeah, the way you talk about guitar,

I know you would fall in love with playing guitar.

But I think you’re very wise to not touch that thing.

That’s why I won’t golf.

I have friends who want to golf.

I’m like, mm mm, I don’t fucking want that thing.

So a lot of people ask me like,

what’s Joe Rogan’s jiu jitsu game like?

Like assuming that I somehow spend hours

rolling with you before and after a track.

I mean, what’s a good, you should at some point

show a technique or something.

That’d be fun.

Sure, I mean, I’ve got this technique online.

Oh, I saw you doing, I think, head and arm something online.

Yeah, I did.

I fucked my neck up doing head and arm chokes.

I did them so much that I,

because you use your neck so much with head and arm chokes,

I developed like a real kink in my neck.

And it turned out I had a bulging disc.

And, you know.

So you do it on that, just one side?

Well, it was, no, I could do it on the left side,

but I definitely am better on the right side.

The right side was my best side.

So if you were to compete, let’s say,

like what’s your A game?

Where would you go from standing up?

How would you go to submission?

Would you pull guard, would you take down?

How would you pass guard?

I don’t have good takedowns.

I was not a good wrestler.

So I would most likely either pull guard

or I would pull half guard.

Do you have a good guard?


Are you comfortable being on your butt, on your back?

Yes, I’m very flexible.

So I have a good, my rubber guard is pretty good.

You go to rubber guard.

Yeah, I have good arm bars and good triangles off my back.

But I also have a very good half guard,

but my top game is my best.

I have a very strong top game.

Do you have a half guard?

Do you have a preference of like what kind of guard

and how to pass that guard?

And like, yeah, like, is there a specific game plan?

Like, do you?

Double underhooks from half guard is the game plan for me.

If I can get double underhooks from half guard,

I could sweep a lot of people.

Underhooks of what?

Sorry, the arms or the legs?

So half guard, lockdown, right?

Half guard, go into lockdown, double underhooks.

Got it.

Suck the body, suck the body.

Just pressure.

And yeah, massive pressure.

And then inch my way into a position we call the dog fight

and inch my way to a position

where I could get the person on their back.

Yeah, that’s what,

cause you did show me,

I still disagree with you about the tie thing.

The tie.

That you can choke somebody with it.

Oh, tie is wrong.

So wrong, so wrong.

Well, it’s not wrong with you.

With you, it’s wrong.

Cause you know.

No, I think there’s a system.

I have this thing, Madonna hair,

we’re gonna figure it out.


But the.

There’s Velcro on the back.

No, but see, that’s, you’re just not the.

You’re cheating.

You’re not, you’re the exact, that’s cheating.

Yeah, you did, I did feel when you showed me,

I think you showed me the rubber guard

cause it’s still a guard.

That’s a little bit foreign to me.

I just felt that you can immediately feel,

not with the rubber guard,

but the way you move your body is,

you’re like a Shanji type of guy

who knows how to control another human being.

So like some people are a little bit more,

I would say agile and technical,

like playful and kind of.


Loose and they work on transition, transition, transition.

You’re a control guy.

Like you know how to control position

and advanced position.

Donna hair is the same way.

He’s all about control.

My game is smush.

That’s my game.

Smush you, grab a hold of you.

Once I have you, why would I let you go?

That’s my thought is like, why would I let you go?

I just wanna incrementally move to a better position

until I can strangle you.

But I’m much more into strangling people

than anything else.

Yeah, which is a great MMA approach for jiu jitsu.

Well, too many people don’t tap when you get their arms.

And I’m not opposed to arm bars.

I love arm bars, but everybody goes to sleep.

And quit from pressure too.

I mean, quit mentally.

There’s nothing like that.

You can’t breathe.

If you’ve got a guy who’s like a really good top game guy

and he mounts you, and I’m a big fan of mounting

with my legs crossed, like a guard, like a top guard.

And so I can squeeze with both legs, smush.

And I’m just looking for people to make mistakes

and slowly incrementally bettering my position

until I can get something locked up.

I love jiu jitsu though, man.

I just wish it didn’t injure you.

Jiu jitsu is like, if your joints were more durable,

they could figure out a way to make joints more durable.

God, I could do jiu jitsu forever.

So much fun.

I actually, I talked to this roboticist, Russ Tedrick.

He builds, he’s one of the world class people

that builds humanoid robots.

You were interested in Boston Dynamics.

He’s one of the key people in that kind of robotics.

So I asked him the stupidest question of like,

how far are we from having a robot be a UFC champion?

And yeah, it’s actually a really, really tough problem.

It’s the same thing that makes somebody

like Danielle Comey on the wrestling side special,

because you have to understand the movement

of the human body in ways that’s so difficult to teach.

It’s so subtle.

The timing, the pressure points, the leverage,

all those kinds of things.

That’s just for the clinch situation.

And then the movement for the striking is very difficult.

As long as you’re not allowed as a robot

to use your natural abilities of having a lot more power.

Right, a lot more power and more durable.


The human body, like especially meniscus.

Like you see the heel hook game,

like everybody’s involved in leg locks and heel hooks.

Like all those guys wind up with torched knees.

Everyone’s got torched knees.

Everyone’s knees are torn apart.

And you don’t grow new meniscus.

You know, that’s like one of those joints where,

man, when it goes, those guys are 28 years old,

they’ve blown out knees.

Let me ask the ridiculous question.

What do you think, we’re talking about cops,

what do you think is the best martial arts self defense?

For sure, jiu jitsu.

Yeah, for sure.


I think grappling, I should say.

Judo as well, especially in a cold climate,

if you get someone who’s got like a heavy winter jacket on,

my God, like judo’s an incredible martial art.

Plus concrete.

That’s the worst place to be,

with a heavy winter jacket with a judo specialist

and you’re standing up with them, oh my God.

But I think grappling,

because in most self defense situations,

it usually winds up with grappling.

You’re definitely better off, though,

knowing some striking,

because there’s nothing more terrifying

than when you go to take someone down,

they actually have takedown skills, but they can fight.

And so they have takedown defense

and they know how to fight,

and then you don’t know how to stand up.

Like the worst thing in the world

is seeing someone like reaching

who doesn’t know how to do striking and someone cracks you.

What about all that Krav Maga talk,

which is like, you know, the whole line of argument

that says that jiu jitsu and wrestling

and all of these sports, they fundamentally take you away

from the nature of violence.

So they’re just teaching you how to play

versus the reality of violence

that is involved in like a self defense situation

that is a totally different set of skills would be needed.

In general, the people that say that jiu jitsu

or other martial arts, it’s more of a sport

and they don’t really understand violence.

In general, the people that say that suck.

Anybody who thinks like, someone’s like,

you know, hey man, I’ll just bite you.

I’m like, are you gonna bite me?


Do you think I’m gonna bite you too?

What do you think of that?

What if I punch you in your fucking face?

You think you’re still gonna bite me

when you can’t even see?

When you barely even know you’re alive

and I choke you unconscious?

If someone’s really good at jiu jitsu,

good luck stabbing them with your keys.

You know, you don’t have a chance.

You don’t have a chance.

If someone’s much better than you

and they trip you and get you on your back

and then they fucking elbow you in your face

and then get a head and arm choke on you,

all that crap, my gosh, it’s out the window, son.

You’re way better off learning what works on trained killers.

Like this whole idea that you’re gonna poke someone

in the eye and then you’re gonna kick them in the nuts.

Like you’re going through these drills

that yeah, it’s good to know what to do

if you run into someone who doesn’t know how to fight.

It’s way better to know what to do

to someone who knows how to fight.

That’s the best thing.

Learn how to fight against people who know how to fight.

Like all that practice self defense

and they go, it’s gonna come at you with a knife.

You’re gonna grab the wrist and do that.

Like it’s good to know self defense,

but it’s much more important

to understand martial arts comprehensively.

When you understand martial arts comprehensively,

like there’s no, I shouldn’t say there’s no Krav Maga guys,

but it would be shocking if a Krav Maga guy

and a mixed martial arts guy had a fight

and the mixed martial arts guy

who’s a trained killer all around didn’t fuck that guy up.

That’s what I would expect would happen.

I would not think that some guy

who has a little bit of this and a little bit of that

and prepares for the streets is gonna be able

to handle a person who trains with killers

on a day to day basis,

who rolls with jujitsu black belts,

who trains with Muay Thai champions.

Like the best martial arts are the martial arts

that work on martial artists,

not the martial arts that work on untrained people.

What about, we’re in Texas now.

What about guns?

Well, that’s the best martial art.

No, but would you, like in this crazy time,

should people carry guns?

It’s not a bad idea to have a gun

because if you need a gun, you have a gun.

And if you don’t need a gun,

if you’re a person with self control,

you’re not gonna use it.

You’re not gonna just randomly use it,

but you have something to protect you.

This is the whole idea of the Second Amendment.

The whole idea of the Second Amendment

gets distorted by mass shootings

or by terrible people who murder people

and do terrible things.

But all those things are real,

but they don’t take away from the fundamental efficacy

of having a firearm and defending your family

or defending your life.

And there are real live situations

where people have had firearms

and it’s protected them or their loved ones

or they’ve stopped shooters.

There’s many of these stories,

but people don’t like those stories

because then it tends to lead to this gun culture argument,

this pro gun culture argument

that people find very uncomfortable.

Human beings are messy

and we’re messy in so many different ways, right?

We’re messy emotionally, we’re messy physically,

but we’re also messy in what’s good or bad.

We want things to be binary.

We want things to be right or wrong, one or zero.

And they’re not, but there is crime in the world.

There is violence in the world

and you’re better off knowing how to fight

and you’re better off knowing how to defend yourself

and you’re better off having a gun.

And I generally think that guns,

I do like the idea that guns,

the Second Amendment helps protect the First Amendment.

There’s a kind of sense that puts me at ease

knowing that so many people in this country have guns

that, I mean, Alex Jones,

I just listened to one episode of Infowars

for the first time.

Boy, he reminds me like when I drank some tequila,

I felt like I’m going to some dark places today.

That’s how I feel like listening to him.

But he talks about like that he worries about martial law.

So basically government overreach by,

which happened throughout history.

Like there’s something to worry about there,

but it puts me at ease knowing

that so much of the population has guns

that people, government would think twice

before instituting martial law on cities.

But I actually was asking almost like

on the individual level,

I maybe shouldn’t say this, but I don’t yet own a gun.

And I felt that if I carry a gun

statistically just for me as a human,

knowing my psychology,

I feel like I’m more likely to die.

Like I feel like I would put myself in situations

that I shouldn’t.

Like the way I will see the world will change

because my natural feeling is like when somebody,

when I was in Philly and I knew late at night,

if West Philly, when some guy looks at you

and you can immediately calculate

that this is a dangerous human being,

it starts with a monkey look at first.

Like I’m a bigger monkey than you.

And that’s where I found like, for example,

I’ll do the beta thing of just looking down

and turning away and just getting out of trouble

like very politely.

And basically that kind of approach,

because if you have,

in terms of getting out of serious violent situations,

like serious something where you could die

versus if I had a gun, I feel like I would want to be,

that there would be that cowboy monkey thing

where I would want to put myself in situations

where I’m a little bit of a savior, even of myself

and almost create danger, which can no longer,

like the escalation of which I can no longer control.

Well, you’re talking about taking a gun somewhere

versus having a gun in your home.

Yes, yes, I mean carry on me.

That’s a different situation

and much harder to get a warrant or a license for that.

Control, concealed carry licenses,

especially in Massachusetts, they don’t come easy.

Well message, yeah, that’s a whole nother thing.


You’re saying gun in the home.

Yeah, gun in the home, having a gun,

knowing how to use a gun.

Like I know how to use a gun.

I’ve trained many hours,

learning how to shoot a gun at tactical places.

There’s a bunch of videos of me doing it on Instagram.

I practice and I think it’s good to understand

how to be accurate.

So I’ve been a fan of your podcast for a long time.

You don’t often talk about it

because you’re always kind of looking forward,

but if you look at the old studio that you just left,

is there some epic memories that stand out to you

that like you almost look back,

I can’t believe this happened?

Oh yeah, almost too many of them to count.

Is there something that pops into mind now?

All of them, Elon Musk blowing that flamethrower

in the middle of the hallway, I got a video of that.

Have you seen the video of it?

Yeah, I think you posted it on Instagram.

I think I did too.

Yeah, he’s a mad man.

Having Bernie Sanders in there,

just all the fun fight companions we did

and all the crazy podcasts with Joey Diaz

and Duncan Trussell and there were so many.

There were so many moments.

Podcasts, this is a weird art form

and it almost sounds silly,

but it almost seems like something that chose me

rather than I chose it.

I think of that all the time in some strange way.

It’s like I’m showing up as like an antenna

and I just plug in and twist on

and then I take in the thing and I put it together

and I’m like a passenger of this weird ride.

Yeah, you’ve talked about this before.

I really like this idea

that human beings are just carriers of these ideas.

Ideas are the ones who are breeding.

So in a sense like the idea found you as a useful brain

to use to spread itself through the podcasting medium.


Because when I think about your podcast,

I think about Joey Diaz.

I think about all those comedians you’ve had.

I mean, I think you’ve had Joey on,

I mean, maybe close to 50 times, some crazy number.

Is there, I mean, he is over the top offensive,

just that’s who he is to the core.

Is there some sense where you wondered like

whether it’s right to have the Spotify episode number one

with Duncan Dressel for five hours?

No, I wanted to do it that way.

That’s why we wore NASA suits and we got high as fuck.

It’s like, that’s the whole idea behind it.

I mean, can you introspect that a little bit?

Like, can you think, like, what is that?

Cause that’s rare.

It’s such a rare thing to do because you’re not supposed

to talk to Duncan Dressel with a huge platform

that you have five hours.

Why not?

Because Donald Trump apparently watches your podcast.

So just the idea that there’s these,

I mean, that’s what I think about,

these CEOs write to me that they listen to the podcast

that I do and I have somebody like a David Fravor

and I was nervous about it.

I was nervous to have a conversation.

For me, David Fravor is a Duncan Dressel, which is like.

Just because of his experiences with UFOs.

Yeah, even just the way he sees the world

because he is open.

I don’t know if he’s always like this,

but he opened himself to the possibility

of unconventional ideas.

Most people in the scientific community kind of say,

well, I don’t really want to believe anything

that doesn’t have a lot of hard evidence.

And so that was to me like a step.

And as the thing somehow becomes more popular,

there becomes this fear of like,

well, should I talk to this person or not?

And I mean, you’re an inspiration in saying like,

do whatever the hell you want.

You have to.

First of all, I have what you call fuck you money.

And if you have fuck you money, you don’t say fuck you.

What’s the point of having the fuck you money?

You’re wasting it.

Like you’re wasting the position.

Like someone said to me like,

why do you like sports cars so much?

Like how many cars do you have, a bunch of cars?

Because if I was a kid and I said,

hey, if I was that crazy rich famous guy,

like I don’t want to have a bunch of cool fucking cars.

Like, so I would do that.

Like, cause not everybody gets to do that.

Like if you’re the person that gets to do that,

you’re kind of supposed to do it.

Like that’s if you want to,

if that really does speak to you.

And, you know, I’ve talked to you about this before,

muscle cars, specifically ones from the 1960s

and the early seventies.

They speak to me in some weird way, man.

I could just stare at them.

Like I have a 65 Corvette.

I walk around it sometimes at night when no one’s around.

I just stare at it.

What’s your favorite muscle car?

Like what’s your most bad ass late sixties,

the perfect car?

Probably that car.

Probably that 65 Corvette.

Yeah, I walk around it when no one’s around.

I think I’ve driven the 69 Corvette.

Is there a particular year that just?

65 is a generation two.

69 is generation three.

69 is like the, it’s even more curvy.

They’re both awesome, just awesome in different ways.

But I just love muscle cars for whatever reason.

But the point is like, I like what I like.

And if I can do what I want to do,

I should do what I want to do.

And it’s not hurting anybody.

And the thing is like, I would do the Duncan podcast

if no one was listening, right?

If we were just starting to do a podcast together

and no one cared and it got like 2000 views,

which we did for years.

I would do it with Duncan and we would get high

and we’d talk crazy shit about aliens and spaceships

and maybe dude, maybe ideas are living life forms

and they’re inside your head.

And that’s how things get made.


I’ve just kind of morphed me and him together in that

because the life form idea, life form idea is mine

that I’ve really, I really think about a lot.

I think about on a technical side, by the way.

When I heard you say that, cause I’ve been thinking,

I was like, whoa, that’s interesting.

It might be, they might be alive

because they, I don’t know what the fuck they are,

but when someone has an idea for, you know,

whatever an invention, a toaster,

and then they think about this,

all it need is like these heating elements and a spring

and then it pops on the stunts, have a timer.

And then they build this thing.

Now all of a sudden it’s alive.

It’s like you manifested it in a physical form.

Toaster is not the best example, but a car, an airplane,

you’re thinking about a thing,

like an idea comes into your head and you can say,

oh, well, it’s just creativity.

It’s a part of being a person.

That’s how we invented tools

and how, you know, we became better hunters.

All those things are true.

I’m not saying that there’s some magic to what I’m saying,

but there’s also a possibility

that we’re simplifying something

by saying that it’s just creativity,

that it’s just a natural human inclination to invent things.

But why?

Is it possible that ideas like creativity,

like we are the only animal other than,

there’s a few species that create things

like bees make beehives and, but it’s very,

they’re very uniform, you know, some animals use tools,

you know, like, you know,

champs will use like sticks to get termites

and things like that.

But there’s something about what we do

that’s, it makes you wonder.

Cause we look at the, just look at this room that we’re in,

look at all these electronics,

look at all this crazy shit that human beings have invented

and then built upon others inventions

and proved and innovated.

These all came out of ideas.

Like the idea, it germinates in someone’s head,

it bounces around, they write it down,

they share it with others,

the other people who have similar ideas

or ideas that are complimentary, they work together

and they change the world.

And the new thing in that is the idea is not the people.

It’s like, we think we found the ideas,

but it’s more like the ideas found us.

Find you, yeah.

They’re literally in the air.

They come to you.

I always felt like that with bits.

Like when I come up with a bit,

that’s why I’m always telling people

about the Steven Pressfield book, The War of Art,

because he talks about respecting the muse

and the idea that your ideas come when you sit down

and you do the work or you sit down like a professional

and you talk to the muse,

like come tell me what to do.

Like if the muse was a real thing,

as if the muse is like some mystical creature

that comes and delivers you ideas.

Even if that’s not real, that’s how it works.

It does work like that.

If you do treat it like it’s a muse

and you treat it with the respect

and you treat it like a professional,

the ideas do come to you.

I never thought about what he’s doing

is just sitting there waiting for the idea

that’s trying to breed to find him.


That’s a trippy thing.

If you show up. That’s trippy.

If you show up and put in the time

and focus your energy on that,

the ideas, they will arrive, they will arrive.

And that’s the same with writing comedy.

Like there’s been many, many times

where I’ll come home from the comedy store

and I just sit down and I start writing

and I just, I got nothing, there’s nothing there.

I’m just writing, it’s all bullshit.

Nothing’s good, it’s just like, hmm.

And then all of a sudden, bam, there’s the idea.

And then all of a sudden I can’t stop.

And then, you know, it was a couple hours later

and I’m like, whoa.

And then the next night I’m on stage

and I’m like, how about that?

Boom, it gets this big laugh.

I’m like, holy shit.

And I know that came out of the discipline

to sit down and call the muse.

I mean, the cool thing is the ideas have found you

to like, oh, I’m gonna use this dude.

Like he seems to have a podcast that’s popular.

I’m gonna breed inside his brain and spread it to others.

It’s the same as.

Or an inventor, you know, I’m gonna use this guy

who’s like desperately seeking some sort of a product

to bring to market.

Some guy who wants to invent things,

is thinking about inventing things all the time.

These ideas, they weasel their way into your head.

And it seems to me also that the frequency

that your mind operates under has to be correct.

Because one of the things about creativity seems to be

if you think about yourself a lot,

if you’re really into yourself or your image

or you’re selfish, those ideas are not,

they don’t find you.

Yeah, it’s funny.

It stifles the creative.

Yeah, it stifles the opportunity

that the idea has to find you.

Yes, which is one of the reasons why joke thieves,

people that steal jokes are terrible writers.

There’s never like really good writers

who are also joke thieves.

It’s just joke thieves.

And then, you know, when they have to write on their own,

if they get exposed, they become terrible comedians.

They’re a shadow of what they were

when they were stealing other people’s ideas.

Because the thing that would make you steal

a person’s idea is that ego part,

the like the wanting to claim it for yourself,

the wanting to be the man or the woman.

You know, I wanna be the person who gets out there

and says it and everybody’s gonna love me for it.

Like you can’t think like that and be creative.

It requires a humility and it requires a detachment

from self in order to create.

Like when I’m writing, I’m blank.

I’m like, I’m just staring.

I’m like, I’m just the part of my mind

that’s active is not like me.

It’s like this weird core function part

where I’m not aware of my personality.

I’m not aware of any of that.

I’m just trying to put it together

in a way that I know works.

It’s just being there, being present.

Pressfield is just, I’m a big believer just sitting there

and staring at a blank page, putting in the time.

Yeah, and sometimes it’s not that way.

Sometimes it’s an inspiration.

Like sometimes I’ll be sitting there at dinner

and I’ll be like, I got an idea.

And my wife’s really cool about that.

I’m like, I have an idea and I blah, blah, blah.

I have to just run out of the room real quick

and I write it down on my phone and then I can come back.

Because those are like little gifts

that you get sometimes from the universe out of nowhere.

And some people rely only on those gifts, you know?

And I’ve talked to comics about it.

They’re like, oh, I can’t come up with my best ideas

when I don’t write.

And I’m like, no, I do too.

I come up with great ideas when I don’t write,

but I also write.

Like you can do both of those things.

They’re not mutually exclusive.

You mentioned fuck you money.

I feel like I have fuck you money now.

A year ago I was at zero, I have fuck you money now

because probably my standard is my,

I don’t need much in this world.

But because also, probably because of you,

but it’s 300 to 400,000 people.

This isn’t every episode I do.

And that is weird.

It’s definitely.

That’s a successful television show on cable.

Yeah, it’s crazy.

It’s all you.

Yeah, it’s hilarious.

That’s amazing.

But at this point, that also resulted in

a few money in a sense that I don’t,

I don’t need anything else in this world.

But so by way of asking, I’ve looked up,

you’ve inspired me for a long time.

Do you have advice?

You’ve done this on the podcast side of life.

Do you have advice for somebody like,

for me and somebody like me going on this journey?

Eric Weinstein is going on this journey.

Is there advice, both small and big,

that you have for somebody like me?

The advice is to keep doing what feels right to you

and do what you’re doing.

Obviously, it’s resonating with people

if you’re getting that big of an audience.

And I’ve listened to your podcast.

You’re very good at it.

So just keep doing it the way you’re doing it.

Don’t let anybody else get involved.

What about, you’ve connected,

I think you met Jamie at the Comedy Store.

I met him at the Ice House.

At the Ice House?

Ice House.

Well, I think I met him at the Comedy Store,

but then we talked at the Ice House.

I mean, what?

You’d have to ask him.

Yeah, did you think deeply about,

because you basically have nobody on your team.

And so it almost feels like a marriage.

Were you selective about somebody

to bring into your little circle?

Well, Jamie’s exceptional.

He is.

He’s a special.

I mean, he might’ve grown.

I don’t remember how he was in the early days.

Maybe you could say, but he’s grown.

He’s definitely better at it,

but right away, he’s exceptional.

He’s got very little ego.


He’s not a guy who needs a lot of attention.

He’s not a guy who overestimates anything.

Like in terms of like a negative or positive,

like his interpretation of whether it’s good things

that happen to the show or bad things that happen to the show,

he just takes it all like flat.

He’s chill.

He’s just cool as fuck.

And he’s so smart.

And he’s so good as an audio engineer

and as a podcast producer, he’s the best.

But he’s basically one of the only people

on this whole team.

So how do you find, I mean,

when you let people in,

I mean, I’m sure other people wanted to get involved.

Like, why don’t you have a cohost that could,

you basically kind of, well.

Well, here’s the problem with the cohost.

Like when you and I are talking,

when we’re talking, I’m tuned in to you

and I’m waiting to hear what you’re saying

and I’m listening and I’m interpreting it.

And then I’m calculating whether or not

I have anything to say, whether to let you keep talking,

whether I maybe have a question that lets you expand further

or whether I have a disagreement

or like there’s a dance that’s going on.

Now, when there’s another person there chiming in too,

it fucks the dance up.

It’s like dancing.

Like if you’re doing a dance with someone,

like if you’re slow dancing with someone

and then a third person’s there

stepping on everybody’s feet.

Sometimes it’s fun.

Sometimes having a third person is fun.

Comedy podcasts, sometimes it’s fun.

Fight companions, yeah, debate structures.

But even then it gets difficult

because people talk over each other.

And also I find that without headphones,

it’s way easier to talk over each other.

You make mistakes.

You don’t hear it the same way.

When you have headphones, I hear what you hear.

It’s all one sound and the audience hears exactly,

or rather I hear exactly what the audience hears.

Whether it’s over here, my voice is louder than yours

because you’re over there.

And if I don’t have headphones on, it doesn’t,

it’s not all together.

On that point, one of the interesting things about your show

is you don’t almost never have done,

and you just generally don’t do remote,

sorry, not remote calls,

but you don’t go to another person’s location.

We have only done a few, a small handful.

And just like with Sapolsky, he should do this.

But I actually, we went back and forth on email.

I told him he needs to get his ass back in this studio.

He’s working on a book.

I was a fan of his a long time ago

because I became obsessed with toxoplasmosis.

And I’ve reached out to him a long time ago

before he was willing to do it.

But then I caught him in downtown LA.

He was there for something else.

And I just greedily snatched up an hour of his time.

Well, he doesn’t get, I think, some of those folks

don’t get how much magic can happen in this podcast studio.

Like bigger than anything they’ve ever done

in terms of their work.

I’m not talking about reach,

but in terms of the discovery of new ideas,

there’s something magical about conversation.

Like somebody as brilliant as him,

if he gives himself over to the conversation

for multiple hours at a time,

that’s another place where you’ve been an inspiration.

Where I’m getting more and more confidence

of telling people, like in Elon Musk,

that a lot of CEOs are like,

well, he has 30 minutes on his schedule.

I’m like, no, three hours.

And then they’re like, so some say no,

and then they come back.

There’s people that started coming back to like,

okay, we’re starting to get it.

They start to get it.

And you’re a rare beacon of hope in that sense

that there’s some value in long form.

They think that nobody wants to listen

for more than 30 minutes.

They think like, I have nothing to say.

But the reality is if you just give yourself over

to like the three hours, just let it go,

three hours, four hours, whatever it is,

there’s so much to discover

about what you didn’t even know you think.


Yeah, you have to be confident that you could do it.

And in the beginning, I just did it

because that’s what I wanted to do.

And no one was listening.

So I’ve always been a curious person.

So I’ve always been interested in listening

to how people think about things

and talking to people about their mindset

and just expanding on my own ideas, just talking shit.

And so we would have these podcasts

and they would go on forever.

And my friend Ari, I never let this die down.

Never let him forget this.

He was always like, you have to edit your podcast.

I’m telling you right now, you’re fucking up.

I go, why?

He’s like, because people are not gonna listen to it.

I go, they don’t have to.


I go, you listen to part of it.

He goes, just do it.

Just, I’m telling you, trust me,

cut it down to like 45 minutes.

That’s all you need.

And I’m like, no, no, I don’t think you’re right.

I go, I like listening to long form things.

No one has that kind of time.

I go, okay, I’m just gonna keep doing it this way, so.

And it sticks to your gut.

No, he doesn’t.

His are like two and a half hours long now.

That’s great.

You won, but you wouldn’t like say,

I mentioned to you this before, and this is gonna happen.

It’s actually made a lot of progress towards it.

I’m gonna talk to Putin,

but you wouldn’t travel to Putin if you wanted to talk to you.

Putin is a dangerous character.

He’s not.

Have you ever seen the thing with Jerry Kraft

where they stole his Super Bowl ring?


I think that was a little bit of misunderstanding.

Oh, really?

I think it’s a little bit.

He just decided he’s gonna steal that Super Bowl ring.

Kind of.

I think it was a…

Kind of.

Can I see your ring?

He shows him his ring and then he puts it on

and says, I can murder somebody with this ring.

So he…

And then he walks off with it.

It’s possible he did it as a,

he’s a big believer in displays of power.


So like, it’s possible he did that,

but I think he sees himself as like a tool

with which to demonstrate that Russia still belongs

on the stage of the big players.

And so he, a lot of actions are selected through that lens.

But in terms of a human being,

outside of any of the evils that he may or may not have done,

he is a really thoughtful, intelligent, fun human being.

Like the wit and the depth from the JRE perspective

is really interesting.

I’m like his manager now, selling the, he’s a judo guy.

Trying to get Trump, he’s really good at judo.

I have seen him practice judo.

He’s a legit black belt.

And not only that, he loves it, not just skill wise,

but to talk about it, to reason about it,

to think about it, to MMA as well.

So, you know, it’d be a good conversation,

but you wouldn’t travel to him.

Well, that’s, hold to your principle.

So that’s the core of the advice.

Just hold to whatever.

I would rather, here’s the thing.

There’s not a person that I have to have on the show.


And I’m happy to talk to anybody.

I’m just as happy to talk to you as I am to talk to Trump,

as I am to, probably more happy to talk to you,

as I am to talk to Mike Tyson, as I am to talk to Joey Diaz.

I like talking to people.

I enjoy doing podcasts.

I enjoy talking to a variety of people

and I schedule them based on, I want to like,

I try not to get too many right wing people in a row

or too many progressive people in a row.

I don’t want to get repetitive.

I try not to get too many fighters in a row.

I try to balance it out.

Not too many comedians.

Comedians are the one group where I can have three,

four in a row, five in a row.

Cause that’s my tribe.

You know, those are my people.

It’s easy.

We can talk about anything.

It’s a weird dance.

You know, the conversations that you’re doing on a podcast

are, they’re a strange dance.

And you want to, you know,

you want to not step on your own feet

and you want to make sure that you do it in a way,

do the podcast in a way that’s entertaining for people.

And it’s conversations are learning how to talk to people.

It’s a weird skill.

It’s a weird skill that took a long time

for me to get good at.

And I didn’t know it was a skill until I started doing it.

And then I just thought you were just talking.

Like, I know how to talk.

We’ll just talk to people.

And then along the way I realized like, oh,

and then when you talk to people that are bad at it,

you realize that it’s a skill.

Like particularly one of the things about my people,

about comedians is a lot of them tend to want to talk,

but don’t want to listen.


So they’re waiting for you to stop talking so they can talk,

but they’re not necessarily thinking

about what you’re saying, you know?

And they’re just waiting for their opportunity

or they talk over you or they,

and I try real hard not to do that and sometimes I fail,

but when I’m at my best, I’m dancing.

Yeah, ultimately the skill conversation

is just really listening, like really,

and listening and thinking.

Listening and thinking and being genuinely curious

and really having a take on what they’re saying

and maybe a followup question or maybe,

it’s gotta be real, it’s gotta be authentic.

And when it is authentic and it’s real,

it resonates with people.

Like they’re listening and they go,

oh, like I’m locked in with the way you’re thinking.

Like you two guys are in a conversation and I’m locked in.

When she talks and you listen, I’m listening too.

When he says something to her

or when she says something to him,

like there’s a thing that happens during conversations

where you’re there, like you’re listening to,

and it’s with me, when I listen to a good podcast,

I feel like I’m in the room.

I feel like I’m in the room and I’m like the friend

that got to sit down and listen.

Like, oh, yeah, that’s a great conversation.

I love conversations.

So I love listening to them

and I love putting them together.

And the fact that this podcast has gotten so fucking big,

it’s stunning to me, it blows me away.

I never anticipated it.

Never thought for a second that that stupid thing

that I used to do in my couch, in my office

was the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life by far.

Like people used to make fun of it.

Like there’s a comedy store documentary that’s coming out

and one of the parts of the documentary is my friend,

Tom Segura, when he first started doing my podcast,

he would be leaving and he would talk to Redband.

He’s like, what the fuck is he doing?

Like, why is he doing this?

Like who’s listening?

He’s like, oh, some people like it.

And he’s like, fucking nonsense, waste of time.

And like in the documentary, it shows like 2000 views,

like one of the early Ustream episodes.

It’s hilarious.

And they don’t just like it,

really they form a friendship with you.

It’s like, even me when people come up to me,

like the love in their eyes is kind of beautiful.

It’s weird, right?

Yeah, it’s like.

You’re a part of their life.

Yeah, and I don’t know, it’s also heartbreaking

because you realize you’ll never really get to know them

back like, because they clearly are friends with you.

Yes, yeah.

And it’s sad to see a person who’s clearly brilliant

and interesting and is friends with you,

but you don’t get a chance to return that love.

And I mean.

My kids, it took them a while to figure out

what’s going on, but people would come up to me

and they would say something like,

hey man, I fucking love you, thanks man.

All right, hey brother, nice to meet you.

My daughter was like six.

She’d be like, do you know him?

I’m like, no, I don’t know him.

She’s like, how does he know you?

Like, it’s a very weird conversation I used to have

with young kids when I’d explain,

I’d do this thing called the podcast

and millions of people listen.

So now one of my daughters is 12

and one of her friends is 13 and he’s a boy

and he goes to school with her and he’s obsessed with me.

And so she’s weirded out.

And she says to him, I don’t even think you like me.

I think you’re just into my dad, you fucking weirdo.

She’s going to have that conversation

in a few stages in her life.

Like that hard conversation with a boyfriend.

Yeah, probably, yeah.

That was the thing about men too.

This podcast is, my podcast is uniquely masculine.

I’m a man and I’m not, I’m also a man

that doesn’t have to go through some sort

of a corporate filter.

I’m not going through executive producers

who tell me, don’t have this guest on,

don’t talk about that.

We looked at focus groups and they don’t seem to like

when you do this, like there’s none of that.

And I just do it.

So I have a whole podcast where I just talk about cars

and people are like, I don’t want to hear you

talk about cars.

Well, good, congratulations.

You found what you like.

Here’s good news, there’s 1500 other ones.

Go listen to the other episodes

where I don’t talk about cars.

You don’t have to listen.

And it’s not like your brand, you just are who you are

and that’s what you do.

But it’s like, it’s authentically what I’m interested in.

All the podcasts, whether I’m talking to David Fravor

about his experience with UFOs,

whether I’m talking to David Sinclair about life extension,

whether I’m talking to you about artificial intelligence

or what, it’s because I want to talk to these people.

And that resonates.

I like when people are into shit.

I’ve talked about this before,

things that I have no interest in making furniture,

but I like this PBS show where this guy

makes furniture by hand.

I love watching it.

Because he’s so into it.

He’s sanding this and polishing that.

I’m not going to do that.

I don’t give a fuck about furniture.

Furniture for me is function, like this desk.

Function works, but I love when people are into it.

I’m happy that someone can make it and they do a great job,

but I’m not interested in the task

or even the finished product

as much as I’m interested in someone’s passion

for something.

The passion that they’ve put into this, that shines through.

Last question.

I sometimes ask this just for to, what is it?

To challenge, to make people roll their eyes,

to make legitimate scientists roll their eyes.

Ask, what is the meaning of life, according to Joe Rogan?

I do not think there is a meaning.

I think there’s many, many meanings of life.

I think there’s a way to navigate life that’s enjoyable.

I think it requires many things.

It requires, first of all, it requires love.

You have to have loved ones.

You have to have family.

You have to have friends.

You have to have people that care about you

and you have to care about them.

I think that is primary.

Then it also requires interests.

There has to be things that stimulate you.

Now, it could be just a subsistence lifestyle.

There’s many people that believe and practice

this lifestyle of just living off the land

and hunting and fishing and living in the woods

and they seem incredibly happy.

And there’s something to be said for that.

That is an interest, right?

There’s something and there’s a direct connection

between their actions and their sustenance.

They get their food that way.

They’re connected to nature

and it’s very satisfying for them.

If you don’t have that, I think you need something

that is interesting to you,

something that you’re passionate about.

And there’s far too many people that get sucked

into living a life where you’re just doing a job,

you’re just showing up and putting in your time

and then going home, but you don’t have a passion

for what you’re doing.

And I think that’s the recipe for a boring

and very unfulfilling life.

You mentioned love, if we could just backtrack.

What, we talked about the demons

and the violence in there somewhere.

What’s the role of love in this, in your own life?

It’s very important, man.

And that’s one of the reasons why I’m so,

I’m so interested in helping people.

I’m very interested in people feeling good.

I like them to feel good.

I want to help them.

I like doing things that make them feel like,

oh, you care about me, like, yeah, I care about you.

I really do.

Like, I want people to feel good.

I want my family to feel good.

I want my friends to feel good.

I want guests to feel good about the podcast experience.

You know, I am, I’m a big believer in as much as I can

to spread positive energy and joy and happiness

and relay all the good advice that I’ve ever gotten.

All the things that I’ve learned

and if they can benefit people,

then I find that those things benefit people

that actually improve the quality of their life

or improve their success or improve their relationships.

I’m very happy to do that.

That means a lot to me.

The way we interact with each other is so important.

It’s one of the reasons why, like,

if someone gets canceled or you get publicly shamed,

it’s so devastating because there’s all these people

that are negative, all this negative energy coming your way

and you feel it.

As much as I like to pretend that you’re immune

to that kind of stuff

and some people do like to pretend that, you feel it.

There’s a tangible force when people are upset at you.

And that’s the same with loved ones or family

or anytime someone’s upset at you,

whether it’s a giant group of people

or there’s a small amount of people.

That has an impact on you and your psyche

and your physical being.

So the more you can spread love

and the more love comes back to you,

you also create this butterfly effect, right?

Where other people start recognizing like,

oh, you know, when he is nice to me, I feel better

and then I’m gonna be nicer to people.

And when I’m nicer to people, they feel better

and I feel better and it spreads outward.

And that’s one thing that I’ve done through this podcast,

I think, is I’ve imparted my personal philosophy

in kindness and generosity to other people.

Yeah, I mean, to correct you, you didn’t do it.

The ideas that are breeding themselves through your brain

have figured out.

Yes, the ideas that are alive in the air

that made their way into my head.

Love is a more efficient mechanism of spreading ideas.

They figured out.

Yes, probably, man.


So as far as like the meaning of life,

that’s a bit, without that, you have nothing.

You know, one of the biggest failures in life

is to be extremely successful financially,

but everybody hates you.

Everybody hates you and you’re just miserable

and alone and angry and depressed and sad.

You know, when you hear about rich, famous people

that commit suicide, like, wow, you missed the mark.

You got some parts right,

but you put too many eggs in one basket.

You put too many eggs in the financial basket

or the success basket or the accomplishment basket

and not enough in the friendship and love basket.

And there’s a balance to that.

And when I talked about the violence and all that stuff,

like that to me is me understanding, recognizing that

is me trying to achieve that balance.

It’s to like go kill those demons

so that this boat is level, you know,

because if it’s not, then the boat is like this

and then everything’s all fucked up.

And every time we hit a wave, things fall apart.

Balance that boat out, figure it out, like know who you are.

Some people don’t have that problem at all.

Some people, they could just go for walks

and they’re cool as a cucumber.

I need more, you know, I need kettlebells.

I need a heavy bag.

I need the Echo bike, you know, the Air Assault bike.

I need some hardcore shit.

And if I don’t get that, I don’t feel good.

So I figured that out too.

And that makes me a nicer person.

That makes my interactions nicer.

It changes the quality of my friendships

and my relationships with people.

I think we mentioned Neuralink.

I can certainly guarantee that this is one of the memories

I’ll be replaying 20, 30 years from now

once we get the feature ready.

Joe, it’s a huge honor to talk to you.

I hope. It’s an honor

to talk to you too, man.

Keep doing podcasts. I’m glad you came down here for this.

The first week of me doing this here

and it’s very cool to have you always.

I hope you make Texas cool again

and do your podcast another 10, 11, whatever,

however many years you’re still on this earth.

All right, thank you, brother.

I appreciate you, man.

Thanks for listening to this conversation with Joe Rogan

and thank you to our sponsors,

Neuro, Eight Sleep and Dollar Shave Club.

Check them out in the description to get a discount

and to support this podcast.

If you enjoy this thing, subscribe on YouTube,

review it with Five Stars and Apple Podcast,

follow on Spotify, support on Patreon

or connect with me on Twitter, Alex Friedman.

And now let me leave you with some words of wisdom

from Joe Rogan, the universe rewards,

calculated risk and passion.

Thank you for listening and hope to see you next time.

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