My Bucket List Just Got Another Check!
I’m still reeling from my appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, a.k.a., the Episode of the Year #2023″ 😂. This week it hit #1 spot as the most popular podcast episode on Spotify, only to be pile-driven down to number two by none other than Hulk Hogan. Keep reading for the full door-to-door description!
As you know, I appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience at the end of August. You can watch a short clip on his YouTube channel or some clips and shorts on my channel here. The whole episode is available only on Spotify here.
You know the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) if you listen to podcasts. He covers a wide range of topics, from science and tech to pop culture and politics. What sets it apart is the length and depth of the interviews – they can last for hours! Mine sure did — over three and a half, to be exact.
Being a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience can significantly impact your career, as the show has an enormous and feverishly passionate audience. Rogan’s interviews are often shared widely on social media, which can increase your exposure even further.
While it can be challenging to be a guest for hours, Rogan is known for creating a relaxed, conversational atmosphere that puts guests at ease, allowing them to share their thoughts and ideas in a way they might not be able to in other interviews.
Before I went on, I was nervous (as you know, because hundreds of you reached out to help me with advice to prepare for my appearance last month).
Still, I didn’t know what to expect. Since I was curious, and as Joe’s going to be on the air for decades, several thousand future guests may wonder what’s in store.
The show’s format is unique, with unscripted and unpredictable interviews that allow guests to explore ideas and have thought-provoking discussions, making it a favorite among fans of long-form interviews. It has helped the show gain a large following, the most popular podcast in the world.
If you’re going to be a guest on the show, it’s essential to do your research and come prepared with insightful ideas. Joe Rogan is known for his ability to engage with guests on various subjects, but he also will push you to bring out your best — for his benefit as much as the audience’s. He doesn’t suffer fools lightly…so be ready to discuss a range of topics, everything from UFC analysis to UFOs!
What follows are some answers to questions I wished I could’ve asked before I went on.
Why did Joe invite you to the JRE?
My subject matter expertise made me a relevant guest. I felt for years that my insights into many topics Joe covers on the podcast, such as UFO sightings and recent scientific discoveries, would make the conversation engaging and interesting. My three books on cosmology, a self-help guide for STEM folks, and Galileo’s Dialogue all touch on aspects of life and society that Joe is entranced by.
Lex Fridman all but demanded I meet Joe in my 4-hour chat with him in 2022. In 2023, Eric Weinstein, Stephen C. Meyer, and Jordan Peterson played a role. In particular, Eric name-dropped me back in his appearance in February, and then Steve Meyer mentioned me again last month.
Because I built relationships with all these guys, I finally got the courage to ask for an intro to Joe, which Jordan provided. Almost immediately after the introduction, Joe’s team reached out to me, and we selected August 21 as the date I’d film in Austin, TX.
Then, the hard part began: preparations. I got advice from professional podcasters I trust and am honored to call my friends: Peter Boghossian, James Altucher, Eric Weinstein, and Konstantin Kisin. Plus, my wife chimed in with helpful advice: make sure everything runs smoothly.
I felt a gravitational pull — the universe was trying to tell me something. So, I contacted Jordan Peterson, who was kind enough to introduce me to Joe. I reached out to Joe, and his team immediately came back with a date that happened to be perfect — August 21 in Austin. They’d fly me out, first-class the day before; then I’d stay in a luxury hotel, ditching my kids with my lovely wife for a 36-hour all-star Austin extravaganza.
Let’s begin with a travelogue of my trip, from door to door.
Well, August 20 dawned in San Diego with the first-ever Hurricane warning, which scuttled my best-laid plans for a leisurely journey.
All flights were canceled despite hardly a sprinkle at my 7 a.m. departure time. Oh well. Instead, I battened down the hatches with the family, and we waited out the trickle of raindrops by making some delicious homemade tomato soup — talk about cozy.
The next day would be a challenge — a 5 a.m. wakeup for a 7 a.m. departure leading to a noon arrival, with only one hour until the show would be recorded. That was cutting it close, but I had no other options, so I took it.
Thankfully, it was a quick trip followed by a quick coffee in the terminal. Then I plunged into the 110-degree Austin midsummer blaze.
A pro baseball player whisked me away from the terminal. I was chauffeured in a colossal limo air-conditioned, thank God, and whisked to a non-descript location a few miles away from downtown Austin. My wonderful driver who’s reading this email knows who he is and he graciously and patiently waited all day for the episode to end.
Arriving at the podcast studio was unlike anything I’ve experienced.
You sign a waiver of all rights under the Geneva Convention, and then the wait for Joe begins. In case you’re wondering, guests are not compensated in any way for their appearance on the JRE.I used the 15-minute wait to set up all my Props — a spectrometer, a prism, some polarizers, two CMB beach balls, and my famous replica of Galileo’s spyglass that delighted Joe, as you can see here
The studio is a work of art, a sculpture of the mind and body. There are plenty of things to partake of, ranging from Black Rifle Coffee to Onnit supplements galore. Plus, there are other delicacies to vape and otherwise consume. I did not inhale or injest most of these.
The studio is replete with a rougue’s gallery of personalities, from Elvis to Klaus Schwab who watches over you as you use the urinal!
I am unsure, but I suspect he had a late night before my episode at his world-famous Comedy Mothership.
What was the topic of your conversation on the podcast?
Mainly cosmology, aliens, UFOs, and sharing tips about what it’s like to be a professor and actual scientist.
What did you think of Joe Rogan as a host?
Joe is an excellent conversationalist, 100% focused, and attention is most important. He comes off as avuncular with folks junior to him, as I still am. He’s the dominant force in podcasting, with each episode eclipsing the previous episode as the world’s most famous episode as soon as it drops.
Did the conversation get heated or controversial at any point?
Yes, when it comes to UFOs, Joe and I agree that most sightings have explanations other than extraterrestrial intelligence.
But we differ strongly on the probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Joe is convinced ‘they’ are out there; I am a prominent skeptic in our segment.
Did you get to share any interesting anecdotes or personal stories?
I discussed my complex relationship with my father. I was nervous to share, but I researched and found that Joe also has a complicated relationship with his father. However, he didn’t discuss anything personally but got me back on track when I, from his perspective, wandered.
Were there any surprising or unexpected insights during the conversation?
He’s extremely attentive. You feel like you’re the most important person in the world when you’re with him. His curiosity is boundless, everything from UFC to UFOs, Comedy to cosmology, God to Steroids to the Nobel prize. The most enjoyable moments for me were when he turned to give fatherly advice to podcasters at the end and spoke about advice to his younger self that you won’t want to miss.
Did you have any reservations about going on?
We mainly stuck to science, but we did veer into random topics just before I went on. Andrew Huberman, who had appeared on JRE earlier this year, had his Wikipedia page defaced for appearing on JRE because of Joe’s alleged trafficking in conspiracy theories around vaccines after ‘platforming’ RFK Jr. I found this absurd. But I was still concerned that I, too, would face a blowback, which thankfully hasn’t materialized primarily because we stayed away from controversial topics like vaccines, etc. However, I did defend Joe and Andrew by pointing out Joe hosted the top vaccine advocate, Dr. Peter Hotez, and autism against charges of RFK Jr.
Were there any moments of humor or lightheartedness during the podcast?
Many. He is a standup comedian, after all! I tried not to make too many dad jokes as is my wont. But those I proffered were acceptable to him. I made him laugh a bunch. He’s very affable, sincere, and focused on the day’s topics.
Did you and Joe Rogan have a good rapport?
I hope so. We didn’t become BFFs, but we did agree to get together again, and at the very end, he called me a “handsome devil,” a clip of which I will pin to my LinkedIn profile someday.
Did the conversation change your perspective on any particular topic?
Yes. I didn’t realize how loyal Joe was to his past guests. He will not tolerate badmouthing or dunking on them unless they can defend themselves. That said, he was critical of past guest Avi Loeb’s motives for investigating alien technology, but not as a person, saying, “I never heard of him [Avi] until he had a book to sell.” On the other hand, he seems convinced aliens, even intelligent ones, can create technology that could, but probably hasn’t yet, visit Earth.
He genuinely likes Elon Musk and made me reconsider whether Elon is serious about going to Mars. Joe thinks he is and answered my question about which kid he’d leave behind in a way that changed my mind.
Did you get to promote a particular project, book, or idea during the podcast?
Yes, we discussed my books and podcast quite a bit. That led to a massive bump in sales for my books and catapulted The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast into the Top 71 Spotify Podcasts in the USA [as of today]. For a few days, my particular JRE episode (#2023) was the top-ranked podcast episode on all of Spotify! Talk about overexposure!
Were there any memorable quotes or soundbites from the episode?
A lot. We are making many clips for my YouTube channel and have already posted a bunch here.
Did you have the chance to bring up any controversial or thought-provoking opinions?
We argued most about whether or not UFOs are alien technology. He seemed to genuinely agree with my proposition that the telescope changed the world as much as any scientific instrument.
Did the conversation cover serious and light topics, or did it focus more on one or the other?
Mostly light, but we focused on science and its responsibility to society. We also discussed scientists’ obligations and opportunities to communicate their work to the public that pays them.
Did Joe Rogan challenge your viewpoints or ideas?
He’s no pushover. He is confident in his opinions and research, especially about subjects he’s passionate about, like alien life and government control, and that’s not surprising, given all the cancelation attempts he’s been subjected to.
Did you interact with Joe Rogan in his usual podcast style, like discussing topics while sipping drinks?
Only coffee was drunk, and, unlike his famous episode with Elon Musk, the only smokable substances I saw were some cigars that a fan or company sent in a custom JRE humidor! However, Joe spent a few minutes vaping an e-cigarette from what I could tell…
Did your appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience impact your public image or popularity?
Very much. This is the most significant bump to date for my podcast. My episode was number one on Spotify for a day (until Hulk Hogan took me out and pile-drove me down to number two.) Then Into the Impossible skyrocketed to #71 on the podcast charts worldwide and top in science, too! I had a pleasant influx of YouTube subscribers, too.
What was the most exciting thing you talked about?
I loved talking about Galileo and asking him for advice to his younger self when I turned the tables on him and hit him with my Final Four question — going Into the Impossible with my most prominent ‘guest’ ever.
Did you learn anything new about yourself during the interview?
I was nervous for the first time in many years of appearing on podcasts. Fortunately, I received a ton of advice from all of you and did the most podcast prep I’ve ever done.
In the two weeks since the episode aired, I haven’t felt a letdown despite almost nowhere to go but down in the podcast world. I also resolved to up my game on the Into the Impossible podcast to make it a dominating force in science, technology, and curiosity-driven podcasts. I need your help sharing the show with your friends and family to achieve this!
Would you do it again?
Absolutely. It would also be fun to hang out or attend a show at his comedy club.
What is the one piece of advice you would give someone hoping to be a guest on the show?
Don’t pitch yourself directly. I tried doing that five years ago when my first book came out, and it was well received, but it didn’t pan out. That’s for the best. Since 2018, I have produced two more books, appeared on 200 podcasts as a guest, and hosted over 300 of my own. I wasn’t ready. If you have a considerable following, it doesn’t matter. You need to tell stories, be interesting, and be reliable, even though Jamie does real-time fact-checking.
What is Rogan like?
Physically, Joe said he weighs 200 lbs, and I estimate he’s about 5’9″ tall, contrary to the internet rumors that he’s under 5’6″! I don’t think of him as exceptionally sentimental or emotional. He works out religiously and has called exercise his favored form of therapy. To me, he’s a good masculine role model for many young men to emulate.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about Joe Rogan?
He comes off as a character but can be deadly serious. When it was all over, we posed for a few pictures, and then he left for the bathroom, which was, I realized in hindsight, his form of Irish goodbye! I didn’t see him again.
Unmatched. It is an actual man cave with an archery range, a mini gym, and an entire wall of security cameras. It made me sad that Joe is such a target. He’s a decent man, father, and role model to millions, with no political bias.
I a bit worried about how my colleagues would react. One long-time ‘friend’ at a top school criticized me online, which wasn’t cool. Another said I shouldn’t go on with anti-vaxxers. I quickly showed them evidence to the contrary but no such mind because I’m not sure they can be convinced, so that it may be a waste. Much of it stems from jealousy or opportunists — those who criticize him most are the most likely to ask me for an intro.
How did it end?
I was chauffeured to dinner with my podcast buddies and then straight to the airport, where I returned, satisfied but exhausted, to San Diego at 11 p.m.
If you’ve read this far, I appreciate you. Even a week later, I am still on a high as I write this email. Joe and I plan to watch the April 2024 total solar eclipse together in Texas. I even got a few dozen new channels on YouTube, some even impersonating me! The rest are fans who post clips from the 3.5-hour chat of a lifetime.
I’m sorry that I trolled so many of you by suggesting my big podcast appearance that I was nervous about was my buddy Peter’s podcast. I love Peter and learn so much from him, but even still, the Rogan bump is a whole new level. I appreciate the advice you sent me — over 100 of you darling brainiacs sent in tips, and I used every one.
Now I need your help!
Click HERE to win Avi Loeb’s latest masterpiece, INTERSTELLAR!
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FREE: Click here to download extensive show notes from my episode of JRE from my friends at Podcast Notes and make sure to subscribe to them too!
On Apple devices: Click here
🎧 On Spotify click here
🎧: Listen to the full JRE episode on Spotify here. We covered so much I can’t believe it “only” lasted 3.5 hours:
💥 When did the Big Bang happen?
👽 Do aliens exist?
🔭 How Galileo’s telescope changed the world
🪐 How the planets were discovered
🧠 Joe’s thoughts on the meaning of life
🎙️ Joe’s advice to podcasters