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Rogan's Heroes

Fear Factor and UFC host keeps his eye on comedy with quicker CD/DVD release of new material

It’s hard to believe it’s already been three years since Joe Rogan’s last comedy album, but he’s now back with “Talking Monkeys in Space,” released March 30 on the Comedy Central label, which finds him a little angrier and fast-paced in his delivery, although the album clocks in a lot shorter than his last, “Shiny Happy Jihad” (see review, 4/4/07).

However, Rogan does make up for that with 10 tracks of bonus material in the form of an extended Q&A session with the audience conducted after the show captured on the album (from March 5, 2009). In the bonus material, listeners get another dimension of Rogan, as he dismisses some questions or comments out of hand, relishing mocking fans of UFC (Rogan is also a commentator on UFC matches among his several other media roles) -- saying stuff like “those are gay questions.”

The questions also showcase how sharp Rogan is. For all his marijuana advocacy, Rogan is quick, belying the myth of pot making you slow. Almost as if he already had it written, in response to one drug question, Rogan waxes poetic about DMT, a natural psychedelic produced by the human pineal gland, and how it wipes your mental slate clean after taking it.

And this explains why the regular stand-up act tracks on “Talking Monkeys in Space” are so sharp, particularly the later parts of his act, “Dr. Phil and His Shitty Advice,” “Touching Yourself Is Evolutionary…,” and “I’ve Been Caught Masturbating Twice.” On these Rogan hits heights of Sam Kinison’s classic “I was married for two years” line -- saying, “if you haven’t gotten caught, you’re not living on the edge enough. Don’t be a pussy.”

Rogan may not play up an outlaw nature like Kinison did, but his tone and outlook still are directly inspired by the man, although the material does diverge toward his own obsessions. And even with a three-year wait for this album, Rogan has cut down the time between discs/specials [“Talking Monkeys In Space” is also out in a DVD version]. He’s got a lot to offer to stand-up fans, and with “Fear Factor” off his plate, he may come out with all of it a lot more often.




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