The Palm Beach Post
By Melissa Patterson   |  Bars and Clubs  |  July 13, 2009

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Joe Rogan

Go ahead and try to typecast Joe Rogan, if you dare.

He’s a 20-year stand-up comedy veteran. A tae kwon do grand champion. A self-proclaimed pothead, and proud.

“Everything about this life is a psychedelic experience,” Rogan said by phone recently, and it’s difficult to imagine him as the same man who once challenged Wesley Snipes to a mixed-martial-arts beatdown.

You’re probably familiar with the Rogan who served up fly-and-maggot cocktails to contestants on “Fear Factor” — a hit show he readily admits he hosted for the money. But it’s his stand-up, like the new, curiously named Spike TV special “Talking Monkeys in Space”, that he puts his heart into.

Rogan will be stopping by West Palm Beach’s Improv club this weekend for four shows. He’s got some theories to share — let’s call them “unconventional” to be polite — on drug use, homosexuality, and of course, his hot topic du jour: the evolution of man.

“No one’s saying there’s no God,” he asserts in his special. “All I’m saying is maybe God made a monkey that doesn’t like to think it’s a monkey and lies a lot.”

Not only are we talking monkeys, Rogan says, but “we’re attached to this huge rock that’s spinning around a gigantic nuclear explosion, and we’re literally flying through space, and we never even bring it up. We’re the weirdest animal ever.”

If it sounds a little far out, it is. Much of Rogan’s world seems filtered through a lens of wide-eyed wonder, as if the comedian hasn’t quite come down from his last mushroom trip.

Yet, despite his burgeoning druggie image – made infamous by a 10-minute radio rant about the hallucinogen DMT — Rogan has also managed to carve out a niche as a color commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The mixed-martial-arts organization is famous for cage matches that leave both opponents bloody and toothless.

And just when rough-and-tumble Rogan seemed destined to live life on the edge well into his 40s, enter his infant daughter. But instead of turning him tame, he says, raising the now-14-month-old has been like traveling to “the edge of reality.”

“I always describe having a baby as just like doing mushrooms,” Rogan says, “in that if you’ve never done it before, I can’t really describe it to you accurately. … There’s no way I could tell you how much you would love your child.”

There’s been another big change at the Rogan household. After railing for years against the uselessness of marriage, the comedian finally tied the knot this year with his long-time girlfriend.

“I had to,” Rogan, ever the romantic, confesses. “Not really had to, but you know, she made a baby. (It’s) like, ‘God, all right, I’ll sign a silly legal contract.’ What she did was way more of a commitment.”

JOE ROGAN: Today, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, 7 p.m. and9:15 p.m., Palm Beach Improv, CityPlace, 550 S. Rosemary Ave., West Palm Beach. Info: (561) 833-1812, palmbeachimprov.com

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