Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian and podcaster with a net worth of $120 million! He was born in August 1967 and didn’t have the best of childhoods. He grew up in Newark, New Jersey and was raised by an abusive father who was a police officer. On his podcast, Joe described his father as crazy and psychotic. His parents later divorced and Joe moved to San Francisco with his mother when he was five years old.
It comes as a surprise that Joe struggled with being bullied as a kid which led him to martial arts. 13 year old Rogan became interested in karate and taekwondo. Joe still believes that this was the best decision of his life. Joe eventually enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, Boston but dropped out before graduating due to a lack of interest.
His transition into comedy came from his time in martial arts, the backstage at fighting tournaments was extremely nerve-wracking for Joe and his friends. To lighten the mood Joe would make jokes, his friends considered the jokes funny and they encouraged him to try stand-up comedy.
To get his hands dirty, Joe’s first performance as a stand-up comedian was at an open mic session. His jokes were crude and this helped him get bookings for bachelorette parties but then it was just about survival at this point.
Joe took a couple of jobs to pay the bills, he taught martial arts at Boston University, ran a newspaper delivery route and even put in hours as a construction worker. By 1990 Joe had become a full-time comedian. and made an appearance on national television in 1994 on NTC’s comedy hour. Soon after he started accepting acting gigs and worked as a post-fight interviewer for the UFC. It’s been reported, Joe Rogan makes an average of $50,000 per UFC event!
Joe’s first big claim to fame was featuring on Fear Factor and he hosted seven seasons. The first six seasons averaged around 11.5 million viewers. You could see Joe’s popularity increase and this helped his acting and comedy career.
In 2010 Aubrey Marcus and Joe worked together in developing a supplements brand. Both men had a prior working relationship when Aubrey was working with his stepfather’s company, Fleshlight. Fleshlight eventually became the first paid sponsor of Joe’s podcast in 2011.
When Aubrey approached Joe to discuss the possibility of entering the competitive supplements industry Joe suggested that he created a cognitive enhancer brand. Aubrey bought the idea and the duo partnered to launch ONNIT. Joe used his large online audience to promote the company and ONNIT has done more than $28 million dollars in annual sales.
The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is Joe’s main source of income. Initially, the podcast was launched with another comedian named Brian Redban. It began as a weekly current events show but has evolved into an almost daily show with a massive audience on YouTube and iTunes.
The show has had appearances from influential guests like Mike Tyson, Alex Jones and Elon Musk. Before getting a deal with Spotify the show consistently ranked at the top of Apple’s top 100 podcasts.
In May 2020, Joe’s podcast was acquired by Spotify but did not disclose the financial details of the agreement. However, the Wall Street Journal reported that it could be worth more than $100 million! Spotify heavily invested in Joe as they want to capture his loyal audience and expand beyond only audio content.
Joe Rogan’s rise to fame and wealth is really an interesting story. The lesson here is to follow your passion and stay consistent. On YouTube Joe has over 14.1 million subscribers and 16.2 million followers on Instagram. The Joe Rogan Experience has over 1400 episodes and counting.