There is no doubt Joe Rogan is a polarizing figure. The former host of Fear Factory and current UFC commenter hosts one of the world’s biggest podcasts. The Joe Rogan Experience podcast has been running for over a decade and finds the aloof host chatting with all manner of special guests. From UFC fighters and comedians to scientists and politicians, Rogan is willing to chat with anyone. This is also one of the reasons why he is often in the spotlight. While his chats with his stand-up friends are usually the best Joe Rogan podcasts, it’s the ones where he interviews controversial figures, such as Alex Jones and Ben Shapiro, that get the most listens. This is why Daniel Ek, the owner of Spotify, no doubt decided to pay him in excess of $200 million to stream his podcast exclusively.
His chats with billionaire Elon Musk, comedian Bill Burr, right-winger Milo Yiannopoulos, and Dr. Peter McCullough all got record views. Whether you agree with Rogan’s stance of “everyone deserves a voice” is up to you, but there is no doubting his influence on mainstream media. His podcasts often go in excess of three hours and while he does have the tendency to ramble on, people still love him.
For those just getting into Rogan or fans who want to revisit previous episodes, here are 20 of the best Joe Rogan podcasts worth your time.
1. Kevin Hart
Comedian and movie star Kevin Hart brought the laughs when he appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast in 2020. The two longtime buddies wide-ranging chat encompasses everything from their issues with social media and love of doco series The Last Dance to their comedy heroes and the car crash that nearly claimed Hart’s life in 2019. Hart also drops funny anecdotes about his first time meeting Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his fellow comedian Dave Chappelle, with who Rogan is also friends. This is a great chat between mates that sheds more light on Hart and his winning mentality. It also shows the human side of Rogan as the two talk about being dads and how they rear their kids.
2. Edward Snowdon
The infamous whistleblower who leaked hundreds of secret American government documents chatted with Joe Rogan for nearly three hours. This podcast episode was done over Zoom as Snowdon is still wanted by the American authorities. He currently resides in Russia, which granted him permanent residency. They discuss hacking, social media, cancel culture, and whether the government needs to be held accountable for its actions. Rogan gets excited when Snowdon mentions he looked for any evidence of aliens or well-known conspiracies. Unfortunately for the podcaster, Snowdown found none, but this is still a highly interesting chat.
3. Elon Musk
Tech billionaire Elon Musk is one crazy cat. The man responsible for Tesla and SpaceX has big ideas about where technology can take us, as he expresses to Joe Rogan in this episode. While it is interesting to listen to him discuss his success and his thoughts on artificial intelligence, the highlight is when he gets blazed with Rogan. While not a known weed smoker, Musk shares a huge blunt with Rogan and gets wasted. The moment was big enough to impact Wall Street, such is Musk’s standing.
4. Anthony Bourdain
Before he was the biggest podcaster in the world, Joe Rogan still managed to get some impressive guests on his show. Case in point Anthony Bourdain. The recently deceased chef and travel show host appeared on the pod way back in 2011. The episode is co-hosted by Brian Redban, Rogan’s old producer. Rogan and Bourdain were two were good mates and that comes through in their conversation as they chat shit while knocking back a few beers.
5. Kanye West
Kanye West is reason enough to listen to this episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. Appearing on the show soon after moneybags Rogan signed his deal with Spotify, West lets his mind wander throughout their conversation. Not one to be tied to conventions, West rattles on about religion, his brush with COVID-19, treating his bipolar with medication, and his take on abortion and racism. There is a lot to cover but two things really stand out.
At one point West reflects on the music he has put out and says he feels “bad when I hear rap songs. I feel bad, even the stuff that I just recently put out.” He also mentions he believes the Star Wars prequel trilogy is better than the recent sequels by Disney. While a lot of what he says is rubbish, to be honest, it is hard to disagree with his views on the Star Wars films.
6. Ben Shapiro
If there’s a type of guest Joe Rogan loves to have on his pod it’s right-wingers who are bound to stir the pot. Ben Shapiro fits that bill. The conservative political commentator writes a number of columns, has his own podcast, and is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers with his views. A Rogan regularly, he uses the podcast to validate his beliefs and appeal to the common man. Rogan is the perfect sparring partner as he is open to listening to his views and doesn’t try and silence Shapiro. This Joe Rogan Experience episode probably won’t be something lefties want to hear, but it is interesting nonetheless.
7. Wim Hof
Now, this is one crazy dude. Wim Hof is the man behind the Wim Hoff Method. This is a practice that involves cold therapy, breathing, and meditation. It is similar to Tibetan meditation and allows you to control your internal body temperature. This is the reason why Hof can survive in ice water for so long without going into shock and freezing his balls off.
Hof has appeared on Rogan’s podcast a couple of times where he delves into the science and ideology behind the Wim Hof method and how it has benefited his life. Rogan is surprisingly skeptical of Hof and asks enough questions to help you better understand the process.
8. Bill Burr
Comedian Bill Burr is one funny guy. Described by Rolling Stone as “the undisputed heavyweight champ of rage-fueled humor,” Burr isn’t afraid to upset people with his views. Nothing is off-limits when the two sit down and chat. Burr is also one of the few guests to call out Rogan on his behavior. On his latest visit, Burr was quick to take issue with Rogan’s view on the pandemic.
When Rogan said he disagree with mask-wearing, Burr was quick to respond. “I don’t want to start this bullshit,” he said. “I’m not going to sit here with no medical degree, listening to you with no medical degree, with an American flag behind you, smoking a cigar, acting like we know what’s up better than the CDC. All I do is I watch the news once every two weeks. I’m like ‘Mask or no mask? Still mask? Alright, masks.’ That’s all I give a f**k about.” It’s always nice to hear someone give it back to old man Joe.
9. Michael Osterholm
Speaking of the pandemic, Joe Rogan managed to secure a chat with an expert in infectious disease epidemiology, Michael Osterholm, at the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020. Just days before his appearance, then President Donald Trump had said COVID-19 was nothing to fear. Osterholm strongly disagrees and explains how the virus is “10-15 times worse than the worst seasonal flu season.” Osterholm’s chat shows Rogan is open to all points of view and also gave many people clarity on what COVID-19 was and what to expect in the coming months. It is a groundbreaking conversation that is still worth a listen two years on from the initial breakout.
10. Sam Harris
Sam Harris is an interesting character who has appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast several times over the years. A free thinker who is a neuroscientist, author, and podcast host, Harris has some fairly controversial views on religion and race. On his latest visit to the Joe Rogan Experience, Harris gets stuck into those who come up against free thinkers like himself and Rogan. He believes they should be protected against trolls who take aim at them on the Internet. Depending on what side of the fence you fall on, you will agree with his points or think he is a nutjob. Either way, Harris always courts controversy and gets people talking, which is exactly what Rogan wants.
11. Quentin Tarantino
It should be no surprise that this conversation stretches for well over three hours. If there is one thing Quentin Tarantino loves, it is the sound of his own voice. The generational director gets candid about his obsession with film and where it started. He also touches on life outside of Hollywood, discussing writing books and plays as well as how he is finding fatherhood. He does upset the apple cart when he gets to talking about his portrayal of Bruce Lee in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Rogan brushes over that pretty quick.
While he can ramble on, there is something about Tarantino that holds your attention. It is clear he is passionate about film, but there is also a weird charisma to the man. He is a great foil for Rogan who seems happy sitting back and listening to the director.
12. Dr Rhonda Patrick
Whenever Dr Rhonda Partick appears on the Joe Rogan Experience it is worth a listen. She has a Ph.D. in biomedical science, is an expert on nutritional health, and even has her own podcast, Found My Fitness. During her most recent chat with Rogan, Patrick delves into the keto diet, the health benefits of saunas and omega-3, and disproves some of the fake news surrounding COVID-19. She is always incredibly knowledgable and comes with facts, with even Rogan hard-pressed to disagree with her COVID-19 information.
13. Mike Tyson
The Baddest Man on the Planet left his mark when he chatted with Joe Rogan in 2020. While a beast in the ring, Mike Tyson is a much gentler spirit these days and never afraid to open up about the tough periods of his life. As Tyson is a boxer and Rogan a known MMA trainer, you would think the two might spend most of their time talking about combat sports. Well, you would be sadly mistaken.
Much of the chat between the two individuals is about drugs. Iron Mike reveals he first started taking drugs at the age of 11 and how this impacted his life. Not one to miss an opportunity for free advertising, Tyson also talks about his cannabis company and the huge amounts of money he is making from weed. Rogan, a known smoker, happily shares his thoughts on the green as the two have a genuinely entertaining discussion.
14. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Another of Joe Rogan’s regular guests, Neil deGrasse Tyson is always a delight. The American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator is well respected for his scientific views and always manages to amaze Rogan with his knowledge. One of his most memorable appearances is the nearly three-and-a-half-hour conversation he and Rogan had back in 2018. Promoting his book at the time, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Tyson touches on a range of subjects including Eric Dubay and the flat earth theory. He is able to explain even the most brain-numbing things to the average man, which is exactly why he is a great guest for Rogan.
15. Steve Schirripa & Michael Imperioli
Anyone who is a fan of The Sopranos has most likely listened to the Talking Sopranos podcast. Hosted by two actors who featured on the show, Steve Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti), the duo dissect each episode of the show while also speaking with other cast members, such as Steven Van Zandt, Edie Falco, Vincent Pastore, and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. The two have incredible chemistry that is clearly evident when they visited the Joe Rogan Experience.
While they obviously speak about The Sopranos, James Gandolfini, and their own podcast, the trio also delves into politics, the demise of Harvey Weinstein, and the differences between actors and comedians. As both Schirripa and Imperioli are outspoken and opinionated, it makes for a fascinating conversation when they don’t agree with Rogan or each other. This is hands down one of the best Joe Rogan podcasts so far.
16. Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson is another regular with some contentious opinions. The conservative, clinical psychologist and YouTube personality has an opinion on everything and is allowed to speak his mind on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Peterson is another guest you will either love or hate, depending on your political leaning, but there is no doubting he is one of Rogan’s most popular guests. His episodes always rate well and provide plenty of commentary for other media blogs and podcasts.
On his latest visit last year, Peterson expresses his views on climate change (he isn’t a big believer), capitalism, gender, and social media, while also getting a plug in for his upcoming book.
17. Lance Armstrong
Not every controversial guest on Rogan’s podcast has right-wing political views or is super conservative when it comes to gender. Back in 2015, Rogan invited disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on to his show. Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, was banished from the sport when it was uncovered he was a drug cheat. Ridiculed and now an outcast from the sport he loves, Armstrong is open and honest about his career and reasons for doping. Rogan clearly tries to paint Armstrong as a good guy who did something a little naughty, but it is still a fascinating insight into Armstrong’s motivations and the cost of his actions.
18. Andrew Yang
If you ever needed proof of the power of Joe Rogan’s podcast, look no further than this episode. Rogan’s chat with 2020 Presidential hopefully Andrew Yang (he didn’t win obviously), a 45-year-old Taiwanese-American entrepreneur, was used as a platform for Yang to get his political ideas across. While Yang’s wish for a $12,000 universal basic income is misguided, it’s what happened after his appearance that really speaks to the popularity of Rogan’s podcast.
The YouTube clip has over two million viewers and led to a rash of donors to Yang’s cause. He managed to surpass the 65,000 donor threshold so he could compete in the first two debates. This is just one of the many signs of how highly regarded an interview with Rogan is and the impact it can have.
19. Bob Lazar and Jeremy Corbell
Here is one for fans of aliens and conspiracy theories. Bob Lazar is an American conspiracy theorist who has said he worked on alien technology during the 80s. Jeremy Corbell is a filmmaker and artist who collaborated with Lazar on the film Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers. As you can imagine, this chat is all about Lazar’s experiences trying to reverse engineer alien spacecraft at the secret military base S-4, which is meant to be close to Area 54. There is a lot to digest and while much of it is hard to believe, it is an interesting conversation and one Rogan clearly gets a kick from.
20. Bernie Sanders
Rogan gets a lot of stick for always having people from the right on his show, but to be fair, he allows just as many left-leaning personalities on his podcast. In 2019 he invited Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders on the Joe Rogan Experience. While they may seem like total opposites, there is a feeling of respect amongst the two as they discuss all the major talking points from Sanders’ election campaign. Sanders must have had an impact on Rogan, as he not long after the show he came out in public support of Sanders, not that it helped. This is another fascinating chat that is worth a listen.