Joe Rogan Is No Longer in Love with Being the Uncancelable Comedy Don
It turns out that the hardest part of running a comedy club is dealing with comedians -- or so says Joe Rogan to Mitzi Shore’s son.
The king of anti-cancel culture comedy opened up Comedy Mothership in Austin, Texas earlier this year, a club where comedians can perform unfiltered, untweetable sets with the safety of knowing that their audience is unafraid, unvaccinated and unarmed — though vaccination cards are not needed to gain entrance to Rogan’s club, metal detectors are used to enforce the “no firearms” policy, phones are confiscated upon admittance and audience members are subjected to compulsory face scans before they are seated. The Mothership has hosted some of comedy’s most controversial figures as the likes of Roseanne Barr, Tony Hinchcliffe and Rogan himself graced the stage during the honeymoon period of the “Free Speech Stronghold” — but that phase may be over.
During last week’s episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan complained to Pauly Shore, the son of the legendary Comedy Store founders and himself a Mothership performer, that owning and operating a comedy club that caters to fringe comics isn't always a walk in the park. “I would always tell people, ‘Be nice to comedy club owners because you don’t wanna be one,’” Rogan lamented, saying that wrangling his lineups has been the biggest stressor of his young club owner career. Dealing with a green room full of Joe Rogans may no longer be Joe Rogan’s dream job.
“I had like talk with myself about it, like ‘God damn, you really wanna take on this,’” Rogan said of the realization that the nightly stressors in simply getting his chosen anti-woke comics onstage will be part-and-parcel to the Mothership experience. “You don’t want to be some person hoping that this guy shows up and that he was not doing coke last night, and he is not on a two-day bender, he misses flight, or he didn’t sleep,” Rogan admitted.
Rogan revealed that these past couple months of comedy club-ownership have made him sympathetic to all the gatekeepers at whom he thumbed his nose when Comedy Mothership first opened. Said Rogan, “There are so many factors dealing with your livelihood if you are a club owner — people get too drunk, they are crazy, they do this and that, they wreck the hotel room and you are constantly like putting out fires.“
At the start of the Comedy Mothership's opening night back in March, Rogan celebrated the christening of his pirate radio playhouse by loudly declaring, “I'm drunk and on mushrooms in my new club … This is the highest I've ever been onstage!” Now, there's nothing that stresses out Rogan more than one of his comics showing up for a set in the same state that he was in on opening night — two months later, the hangover finally hit him.