index_corner.gif - 11174 Bytes Banner.jpg - 11843 Bytes
Justice League
UPDATES


Follow Pazsaz Entertainment Network at Twitter!  Become a fan of Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Facebook!  Connect to Pazsaz Entertainment Network on Myspace!  See what Pazsaz Entertainment Network likes on Pinterest  Read the Pazsaz Entertainment Network Blog
OUR SPONSORS

index_center_banner.gif - 14958 Bytes

Bookmark and Share
 
Fear Factor Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Joe Rogan

This is an interview with Joe Rogan on December 1, 2011 about the show Fear Factor.

Joe Rogan:
The show is definitely much bigger and much more exciting and grander than the original Fear Factor. If we were going to bring it back we knew that we couldn't just bring back the exact same show, we had to evolve it. Fortunately stunt technology has evolved quite a bit since the time we stopped doing the show about six years ago and we were able to do a lot of things that just physically weren't possible before or weren't safe enough for us to be comfortable with it before.

On top of that we also have high definition television now which was really never used for reality shows before. So everything just looks better. It looks cooler. It looks just wilder. The gross out parts are much more graphic. And the team behind the show has never stopped working. And that's a big plus.

One of the best parts about Fear Factor is the production team and the crew. And they have constantly been working on Wipeout and 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show. So their experience in creating stunts, their experience in filming things, it constantly grew during the time that the show was off. It was very smooth and they're just really on top of it. And they're so adept at this whole genre of stunt game shows. So it's just much better. It's really crazy and exciting and it was fun to do.

Question:
After six year hiatus what was going through your mind when they said let's bring it back?

Joe Rogan:
Do I really want to do this? That was the real question. I couldn't believe it was actually going to come back. It seemed exciting and weird and it's fun. The anticipation was very high. And I just had a really kind of wrap my head around the fact that we're actually going to do it again.

I don't think it's ever happened like this before where a show took off for six years and then came back with the same host and the same crew and the same producers and the same directors. So Matt Kunitz, the Executive Producer said it best. He said it was like we went into a coma and wok up six years later and just started filming Fear Factor again. It was very strange but very seamless.

Question:
Can you tease us with any of the incredible challenges we can expect?

Joe Rogan:
The physical stunts are much grander. And the best way I could describe it is we do an A, B, C format where the A stunt is a physical stunt, the B stunt is a gross stunt and the C stunt is a huge physical stunt. The C stunts of the old show are not as big as the A stunts of the new show. The A stunts of the new show are crazier, bigger, more just bananas than the C stunts of the old show, than the grand finale stunts.

One of my favorite examples is there was one we did where we had these people attach these giant cables that are hanging beneath a helicopter and we flew them over a giant rock quarry. And while they were attached to the helicopter, they touched down on the ground. The cord is still above them connected to this helicopter that's following them overhead. And they run towards this box. They open up the box, they hit a lever. The lever activates a remote controlled pickup truck that's filled with barrels.

The remote controlled pickup truck filled with barrels starts driving towards this huge ammo dump. They jump into the back of the truck and have to pry open the barrels and release these flags. They only have a certain amount of time. And as they're doing this the truck is smashing through barriers until it breaks through this final barrier. And then the helicopter pulls them away. And as the helicopter pulls them away the truck keeps going, hits this ammo dump. The explosion was so big, we were 700 yards away and our clothes moved, like the impact boom, like you literally felt it on your clothes. You feel it in your skin and your face. It was really crazy.

We're doing in this season in this new Version 2.0 of Fear Factor are really like gigantic Hollywood movie stunts like something you would see in some crazy Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger type movie.

Question:
When the show went off the air the last time did you feel it ran its course or did you feel it could have survived and still have potential?

Joe Rogan:
It probably could have survived. I was fine with it ending. We had done 148 episodes over six seasons. I don't want to complain because it's not like coal-mining. It's not like really a really hard job. But I was happy to do other things. I do a lot of different stuff between standup comedy and working for the ultimate fighting championship. I was very busy as it is. So it didn't bother me that it ended but I was happy to see it come back.

Question:
Given what the show did in the past, do you think it's a better time now for Fear Factor as compared to then?

Joe Rogan:
I think people are definitely more used to this type of programming. I think it's easier for them to digest. When Fear Factor first came on the air in 2001 there was nothing like it. It was I mean we had Survivor which they did a few gross things. And they had a few challenges and it was a reality show. But as far as like grand game show type reality shows really ridiculous over the top shows there was nothing like Fear Factor before.

But now there's been a bunch of these kind of shows. And there's been a bunch of reality TV. And it's sort of become an accepted genre whereas in 2001 we were really like the red-headed stepchild of television. I remember some articles when we first aired where I was like wow people were looking at it like it was the downfall of Western civilization and not from a joking standpoint. I would joke around about it and I would say that after season one of Fear Factor that we're about three seasons away from The Running Man.

Question:
Would you have been really surprised then if someone would have come up and told you that these will be nothing compared to what people are going to be doing in 2011?

Joe Rogan:
Yes. If you came up to me in 2001 and showed me a Fear Factor that we did from this Version 2.0 in 2011 and said this is going to be the future I would have said no way. There's no way. This is never going to be on TV. This is never going to be on NBC. It's impossible. It's impossible.

Question:
Can you give us an example of one that maybe you did think was kind of cool and you would have enjoyed doing that one and may one that when people did it you would have never done that?

Joe Rogan:We did some really crazy car stunts launching cars off the top of buildings into giant stacks of boxes. We launched a car through a moving train. We had a special car built on the train, a special cab that was really made out of like very light wood. Almost all of the eating things I would want to have no part of. I don't have any desire to eat any of the things we forced these poor people to eat.

Question:
You have referenced in your standup over the years since leaving the show just something your personal feelings about how you did or didn't like certain things. I'm wondering if that's caused you any grief coming back to the show?

Joe Rogan:
No, no one ever said a word about it. I mean the producers of the show, they all know me really well. And there's no way as a standup comedian I could not make fun of Fear Factor. Essentially it's a job and I do it for the money. And I definitely wouldn't do it if it was if I wasn't getting paid for it.

But as far as jobs go it's a fun one. You know, it's pretty crazy and it's pretty ridiculous. But yes it's fast food television. It's really over the top crazy well done high definition expertly produced and directed fast food television, you know. And it's not Masterpiece Theater. It's not any sort of award-winning beautifully produced drama that's going to sort of open your eyes to the potential of humanity. No, it's a wild crazy game show where people eat disgusting shit.

But no one ever gave me grief about it. I mean I'm sure they probably would have liked it if I didn't make fun of it as much. But I have to. I mean it is what it is. It's one of the reasons why I got the gig in the first place. When they first brought me in way back in 2001 I had a meeting with the executive producers and we all sat down, they explained to me what they were going to do with this show.

I just started laughing. I couldn't help but pick fun of the whole thing. Like you're going to sick dogs on people, on television. You're going to make people eat worms on TV. Really? Like this is your show cause there's never been anything like this before and I thought it was ridiculous. I just started laughing and mocking it. But I said hey, you want to do it, I'm in.

They didn't want me to host it initially. There was an argument in-between the producers because they wanted it to be they wanted someone to be like really serious about this. This is a fearful show. This is Fear Factor. And David Horowitz, one of the executive producers, it's probably because of him that I got the job.

He said we have to be honest about what we're doing here. This is a show that everyone's going to make fun of. And we should be fucking making fun of it too. It's funny. It's ridiculous. His thought was having someone like me who's going to make fun of it along with the people at home like is important. And it's more honest. And it's the best way to approach it. So I think it's one of the reasons why I got the job in the first place.

Question:
You're coming back through January is there talk about a season after that?

Joe Rogan:
We don't know. I mean it all depends upon the ratings as always. If the show bombs that's a wrap. We did it and season seven will be in the history books and it's very doubtful that we'll come back again. But if it does well you never know. It really is about how well it's received.

Question:
Are there any plans this season for a celebrity edition?

Joe Rogan:
They thought about it but ultimately they decided to just do eight episodes. So they decided this run should just do regular shows. And if it's well-received and we start bringing it back for a season two then yes, that's definitely part of the plan. The real problem with that is of course the problem that we always have with celebrity Fear Factor getting actual celebrities, you know? I mean it's like you wind up with like the Snookies of the world and that becomes tricky.

But hopefully we'll get some celebrities that were fans of the show when it was younger when they were watching it when they were kids. And in that case we might be able to get some interesting people.

Question:
Have there ever been any challenges that were rejected for safety reasons that were considered far too dangerous?

Joe Rogan:
The people that are proposing these stunts work very closely with the stunt coordinators, the professional stunt man. And the guys that we have, Pat Romano and his crew, they're responsible for some huge, huge Hollywood Blockbuster movies.

So there's no guesswork involved in what's safe and what's not safe. It's once a concept is brought to the table it's drawn out, the design is put forth and then they go about seeing what is the best way they can implement it and what safety precautions there are. So it all gets kind of weeded out in the process of developing a stunt. So there's never been a stunt that we wanted to do and we brought it to the network and the network was like this is crazy, this is not safe. There's no way we could do it.

Because everything that we've done, by the time it gets to the process of being considered, it's already been rehashed, gone over back and forth. It's already been investigated. There's examples of how they've done very similar type things in the past. So it's not guesswork. The guys who are doing this are really, truly experts at this type of thing.

Question:
What would you say personally was the grossest stunt ever done there?

Joe Rogan:
The grossest one is this season for sure without a doubt. But we can't talk about it because NBC has not decided yet whether or not it's going to air. So unfortunately I can't tell you what's up.

Question:
I would think they would do anything for ratings. It's got to be pretty gross.

Joe Rogan:
I don't think it's a question of doing anything for ratings. The real thing is whether or not it's so offensive that no one will ever watch the show again. It's a real consideration. I wish I could tell you what it is. If it was up to me, I would have never asked people to do this. While we were there I made a point of saying that I just want to point out this is not my idea that I just work here.

Question:
During this past seven years how many times did the idea of bringing it back come up?

Joe Rogan:
Came up quite a few. Matt Kunitz, the Executive Producer really never stopped trying to bring it back. And in fact, even brought it to other networks and was trying to get it done in other places. But what really brought it back was the ratings from the Chiller Network. The ratings of Fear Factor repeats on the Chiller Network were really good and shockingly good to the point where it motivated them to attempt to try to reboot it.

Question:
Could you see yourself doing if this does blockbuster which it sounds like it will could you see you doing it for another four or five years?

Joe Rogan:
I think I'm under contract. So yes I have to. But yes absolutely. Look one of the big things about the show and one of the most one important aspects of any show is that the environment where you do the show is fun. And the environment where we film Fear Factor is filled with some really cool people. And it's one of my main motivating factors besides money. Money was number one.

And the group of people that I work with was number two for the motivations for coming back. They're really cool people. And it's a real fun set. And everyone's real nice and they're very professional. It's a pleasure. It really is. It's a pleasure to work with them.

Question:
Is there anything else we can expect to see you in, any movies anything else coming out?

Joe Rogan:
I'm in a movie with Kevin James called Here Comes the Boom and it comes out in the summer. But other than that I'm just working on my standup comedy and doing Ultimate Fighting Championship commentary and just trying to have fun.

Question:
Over the years with shows like Bizarre Foods and all the craziness that goes on with the TV Real World Challenges do you think it's stolen any of the shows thunder?

Joe Rogan:
I want to say I haven't watched either of those shows. I know Bizarre Foods they eat bugs and stuff like that. Whatever they do is nothing like where we're forcing these people to do. It's so extreme and so over the top I don't think anything on television is even as close to disgusting or just aggressively shocking as the new Fear Factor is going to be.

Question:
Do you think that maybe they owe Fear Factor a debt of gratitude at all in some way for paving that road?

Joe Rogan:
No I don't think so. I think it's probably inevitable. As people tried to figure out what to put on television to be entertaining once the door for reality television was opened up it was just sort of a matter of time. I mean when you look at shows like Jackass or you look at what those guys do and it's one upping each other and trying to think of the most ridiculous things to do that are going to shock and entertain people that kind of a genre was almost inevitable.

Question:
Will there be any kind of cross or introduction of ultimate fighting or any ultimate fighting style challenge?

Joe Rogan:
Not in this season. But we have talked about if the show continues to go if we do a second season we have talked about doing a UFC Fear Factor and with UFC fighters. And the UFC is totally into it and NBC is into it so who knows. That's definitely a possibility.

Question:
When you're doing standup or hosting UFC events it's fairly easy to sort in your mind who's the audience or who's the fans of that. Is it tougher or easier to do that with Fear Factor?

Joe Rogan:
I don't really have to think about that. I just kind of have to just host the show. I don't really think about who's the audience. I just think is this good, is this entertaining. At the end of the day I sit down with the producers and we just go that was a good one. This is going to be good. This is fun.

And and that's sort of what we did after the show, you know. There was six regular episodes and two hour ones. And every single time we were done we sat down and went wow that's another good one. This is great. And we would go over the different beats of the show and all the crazy moments and how this person freaked out or how that person did this and the bitchiness between the cast members. I never really had to think about that.

Question:
Personally do you ever miss being in on a sitcom?

Joe Rogan:
I certainly love doing NewsRadio. And there was an honor and a privilege and I really feel incredibly privileged to have been a part of that cast. And to this day I'll watch those episodes and just go it was just incredibly fortunate for me. I had never done any acting before. I just done a little standup comedy and really and only doing standup comedy for a few years.

It was a really, really amazing opportunity for me and I just think the stars aligned on that show. And would I do a show like NewsRadio again? Absolutely at the drop of a hat. I mean if Paul Simms the creator NewsRadio called me up and he said hey I'm doing a new sitcom are you in, I would have to consider it even if it was with Andy Dick again. I would have to consider it. But the real problem is it's incredibly difficult to produce a sitcom to create a new sitcom.

There are so many different ingredients that have to come to the table including the support of the network and producers. And there's a you have to all have to all be on the same page creatively. And it's so hard to do. I've been a part of bad ones. I've been in some pilots for some bad ones. I've seen the disasters.

I've been around actors who I wanted to strangle. You know, actors are for the most part like all people there's most people are nice 70% of the people, 80% of the people know matter what you do are pretty nice. But there's always going to be 30% that are absolutely ridiculous. And actors, those 30% are absolutely unbearable.

I come from two very real worlds, the world of standup comedy and the world of fighting of martial arts. And those two worlds have been a major part of my life. That's been the major focus of my life since I was a boy. So for me to accept self-indulgent pretenders who like to think that what they're doing is super special because they're running around acting like they're someone who they're not I mean that's really what acting is. You're pretending to be someone who you're not really.

They take themselves incredibly serious. And it's not all of them. It's a small percentage but that small percentage is absolutely unbearable. It's a ridiculous job it really is. Being an actor is - it's an incredible privilege. If you get work on a good movie or you work on a good television show it's an amazing honor and a privilege.

But if you work on a bad one or if you work with a bunch of self-indulgent fuckheads it makes you literally, it makes you homicidal. It'll make you crazy. It'll make you want to drag them and stomp their face in the mud. It makes you want to make them work in a boot camp somewhere just like you need to like experience real reality like their perception of what is difficult and what is important and what is significant is so vastly overrated and distorted. It's just very hard for a thinking person, for a rational person to work day in, day out with actors.

Question:
I know are you a fan of social media Facebook and twitter and will that play a role?

Joe Rogan:
I love it. Yes that's a very good point. Thank you for bringing that up because that's something we didn't have in 2001, it was nonexistent almost. I mean towards the end of Fear Factor there was MySpace but we never used MySpace to promote Fear Factor. This time we're very, very heavily involved in it. And and I'm heavily involved in it too both for fun. I think twitter personally for me it's one of the most amazing resources for discovering information.

Question:
During the hiatus when you were not doing Fear Factor is there anything on TV that grips you like be it like something really funny, a good show that you think's hilarious or another reality show that you think is right on it?

Joe Rogan:
I really love Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations. That's probably my favorite show. I think it's one of the best shows on TV because it's one of the few shows where you have a guy who's a really interesting intelligent and a guy who's experienced a lot of things in his life and he's going to all these different places and experiencing all these different cultures and trying their foods.

And there's a passion that he has for cooking and for being a chef and for fine foods and the preparation of fine foods and the artistry involved in that I think is very addictive and very I enjoy the show very much. I think he's a really interesting cat. I've had an opportunity to have him on my podcast. I have a podcast that's on iTunes and it's available from my Web site joerogan.net and we've been doing it for almost two years now. It'll be two years at the end of this month.

And it's one of the most fun things that I've ever had a chance to do in show business because it's really pure and honest. And it's, there's no censorship. There's no producers, no network, no nothing. It's just me and my friends and a microphone and recording and it goes to the Internet. And I've had a chance to interview some really, really cool people because of that. And Anthony Bourdain was one of them.

So I really enjoy his show. I watch a lot of science shows. I'm fascinated by space and astronomy and the universe. And I spent a good deal of time watching those types of shows from the Science Channel or DVDs. I love the show Walking Dead, that zombie show. I think that's a great show. As far as like sitcoms I haven't watched a sitcom in years. You know, I really I just I find them to be for the most part they're just canned, and stale, and rehashed, and it's see most of the jokes coming. I don't enjoy most of them.

Question:
What's your view of reality and why is Fear Factor not a reality show?

Joe Rogan:
Well Fear Factor is a contest. It's a game show. I mean it is reality in the fact that you get to see real people with real reactions. But everything is absolutely artificial and staged. I mean we have helicopters and giant explosions and scorpions that you have to eat. I mean it's not reality. It's a stage setup that's designed as a contest.

But when it comes to regular reality boy I think if you had to look at, if you were a conspiracy theorist and you thought that well what the new world order wants and what the terrorists want is to dumb down America and to lower our standards and get us to a point where we're our brains become tapioca pudding losing out of our ears Jersey Shore, that's it for you.

I mean that's what they're doing. What they're doing is they get you numb. I've caught myself watching man, it's god damn hypnotizing. I'll come home and I'll flip through the channels and then I'll just see myself watching some stupid reality show and I don't know why it's interesting to me. It is the editing and the music. Meanwhile I'm watching these talking monkeys go through some stupid scenario in their life where they're arguing over, and, who's going to pick up the dry cleaning or whatever the fuck they're arguing about.

And it's you're like wow how has this become entertaining? What is this weird distraction? What's going on? Are they tricking me? Is this like They Live. Do I need some Rowdy Roddy Piper glasses so I can see the fucking aliens behind the scene here? It really is almost like there's a slow like a pull towards, not just towards mediocrity but towards stupidity, towards just dulling your mind.

I mean I don't think that's what's going on. I think what's really going on is it's simple easy entertainment. But if you wanted to make the argument for for there's a plot to dumb down America and to lower our defenses to the point where we could be tricked into believing and watching and following almost anything reality TV is your evidence right there.

Question:
Have you ever actually just have you jumped at any of the stunts for the show?

Joe Rogan:
I haven't created anything. I just sort of show up and do what they tell me.

Question:
Can you tell me about what's the most interesting location that you guys have done stunts at this season?

Joe Rogan:
The most interesting location without giving too much away, the most interesting location to me was a warehouse with a giant tank filled with cow's blood. That was interesting just because it was kind of surreal and bizarre.

  • Return to Articles at Pazsaz Entertainment Network
  •  
    Site Sponsors Check this out!    

    Disneyland
    ARTICLES
    OUR SPONSORS

    | Copyright & Disclaimer | FAQ | Privacy Policy | Partners | Discussion Board | Feedback |
    Copyright © 1991-2017, Pazsaz Entertainment Network, All Rights Reserved.
    Space