UFC commentator and podcast pioneer Joe Rogan reminds everybody how he got so famous in the first place, with his hilarious new Netflix Comedy special Triggered.
Regular readers of this site would know that I’m a pretty big fan of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. In fact, ‘pretty big fan’ is probably playing it down a fair bit. Yet, if I’m asked to rattle off a list of my favourite stand-up comedians, or asked to rank comedians in any way (I’m not sure who is asking me to do these things, but still), Rogan’s name rarely makes the list. It seems I underrate and undervalue his stand-up abilities, and when one takes a look at his back catalog of work, this is completely unfair with no real basis behind it.
Triggered is Rogan’s first Netflix Comedy special, and his eighth comedy recording overall, and an argument could be made that it’s the pick of the bunch. The arrogant, almost cocksure style of his younger performances is still there, but it’s more refined, more nuanced and more controlled. Joe has grown substantially as both a comic and a person over his extensive career, and the quality of this special really highlights that.
Image: Joe Rogan Facebook. #Repost @jamievernon
He bursts onto the stage of San Fransico’s The Fillmore in a state that could only be described as ‘High as Fuck,’ and frankly I’d be disappointed if he did so any other way. It’s also gives him a nice little segue into some material about one of his favourite topics, weed. More specifically, the difference between smoking it and eating it, and how one of them allows you to “Talk to Dolphins.” For many people, being a little too stoned in front of that big of an audience for a live recording may prove to be hindrance, but as Rogan has proved time after time, weed gives him his rhythm and flow, and this show kicks in the funnys from joke one and never looks back.
One of the unique aspects to following a comedian on a podcast so closely, is the ability to watch bits grow from ideas or discussions had on the podcast itself. Many of the jokes here came from things I’d heard Joe discuss before, but by the time they have hit the stage, they’ve evolved into something completely new. The best example of this is a story about the lone attacker who was the first person to break into the White House in 100 years. I’d heard the story before, but the punchline and more importantly, the delivery, made me laugh even when I knew roughly where the joke was heading. That’s some skill right there.
Joe also tackles the sensitive topic of gender politics, and delivers it with the subtlety of a ten pound shit. (Talk about mixing your metaphors.) Naysayers love to constantly throw expressions that begin with the term ‘bro’ at him, and he is continually called out as being a misogynist or worse, a Men’s Rights Activist. Well, I don’t personally see that about him (but then again, I’m a misogynist myself apparently), I see somebody who actually has the guts to push back against the label-obsessed brigade, and call out bullshit when it’s clearly bullshit. “Women can’t do everything men can do… men can’t even do everything men can do! There’s no physical equality folks, that’s why we have the Olympics.” That being said, the bra-burning feminazi’s would probably get their knickers in a real twist at a lot of Joe’s material here, but probably not as much as they would about that last sentence.
This is a very smooth, fun and energetic performance (seriously energetic, there are times he looks like he might burst a blood vessel, or ‘pop a pooper-valve’ as we say here in Australia) from a guy who doesn’t get enough credit for how good he is at just being laugh out loud funny. The Rogan fans will love it, but I can’t see too many reasons why all comedy fans in general won’t find plenty here to enjoy.
Check out the trailer below, and then watch the full show Streaming now on Netflix.