The Joe Rogan Experience debuted in 2009, has been a Spotify exclusive since 2020, and we’re just getting started. Today we announced our new multiyear partnership deal with JRE. There’s so much more ahead, including that the show will soon be available on additional platforms. JRE remains podcasting’s king, consistently ranking as the most-listened-to podcast globally and our users have ranked the show as Spotify’s Wrapped top podcast each year since 2020.
We wanted to know how Joe gets it all done. He’s changed podcasting, but how has podcasting changed him? Joe also queued up an exclusive Green Room playlist for fans (peep the iconic neon sign from the Comedy Mothership as the playlist cover art), just to help set a proper mood.
You’ve released more than 2,200 episodes of JRE and have a signature interview style—especially the length of those conversations. Talk a bit about how your style has evolved over the years?
I think podcasting is an art form and I definitely sucked at it when I first started. I was curious, but I didn’t understand how to make a conversation flow. I didn’t know when to shut up and listen, and I didn’t know how to make someone comfortable so that you can get the most out of their perspective. I’ve learned how to assist the conversation’s flow instead of waiting for my turn to talk. I learned how to be fully locked in with what the other person is saying.
A lot of what helps is that I’ve done it for so many hours and learned how to do it better over trial and error, but also that I only have people on the show that I’m genuinely interested in talking to. I never do a podcast just because a person is popular. It’s always from a place of “I think it would be cool to talk to that person.” I’ve also learned so much—not just from all the episodes themselves—but also from all the audiobooks I’ve listened to, articles and books that I’ve read, and documentaries I’ve watched either for the show, or because of the show. I always feel like, in starting this podcast, I stumbled into this fantastic accidental education just by being interested in talking to people, and being fortunate enough that people want to listen.
Any guests that changed the way you think about life?
Too many to name. I’ve been blown away countless times by the way brilliant people interface with the world, and how it shapes the way they describe life. Cool conversations are a kind of mental nourishment, and if you’re never around interesting people, and you don’t get to have conversations with people who are exceptional, I think it’s almost a kind of social starvation. I think that’s why so many people like to listen to podcasts—because you can be a fly on the wall and experience the inner workings of the mind of someone way different than anyone you would normally encounter in your life.
I also think that from listening to these cool conversations it encourages people to have similar conversations with their friends, and it just generally makes life more interesting. I’m also lucky to be friends with some of the funniest people alive, and when people hear those episodes, it’s a hilarious relief from all the bullshit most people are going through in life. I think that experience is extra special because nothing is planned out. There’s no script of what we’re going to talk about, and it all just sort of happens in real time. It’s just an actual organic conversation with people enjoying themselves, which is something we all can relate to, and something we all love to do. These conversations have changed the way I think about life immeasurably and continue to do so. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do it.
Tell us about your Green Room playlist. What kind of music do you want to listen to before you start a show or go on stage?
The Green Room playlist is something we started when I realized it’s more fun to turn the green room into a party. I learned that from Dave Chappelle. He would always come to the Comedy Store and bring a big bluetooth speaker, and Dave has dope taste in music. It changed the vibe of the room and it actually enhanced the conversations. I copied that and started doing it everywhere I went, and it made it way more fun. When we set up the Comedy Mothership, we installed a killer sound system in the green room and whenever someone introduces me to something cool it makes it on the list.
I usually play it randomly. Sometimes I’ll start at the last song on the list. Sometimes I just spin the scroll and let my finger land anywhere. I think the current list is over 15 hours of music. It’s everything from Run The Jewels to The Black Keys to Janis Joplin and Liz Phair. A lot of the songs are recommended by my fellow comics and there’s some gems in there that I also picked up from Spotify’s suggestions. There’s all kinds of music on the list, from country to hip-hop to classic rock and Delta blues. I’ve even got a 1970’s Christian rock song in there. I love the vibe you get from shit hopping from Die Antwoord to Nina Simone right to Wu-Tang Clan and Led Zeppelin. It’s just a fun list of cool music and I love it. If I had to pick one song to get the party started, it’s KC & The Sunshine Band‘s “I’m Your Boogie Man.” That’s the best song ever to be listening to while you walk into a sold out arena green room. It just sets the mood perfectly.
Check out Joe’s Green Room playlist here and watch new episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience each week on Spotify.