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Featured DVD Review: Joe Rogan: Talking Monkeys in Space

March 27th, 2010

Joe Rogan - Talking Monkeys in Space - Buy from Amazon

Joe Rogan is known now has being a commentator for the UFC, the host of Fear Factor and Joe Garrelli in NewsRadio. However, he's also a stand-up comic and Talking Monkeys in Space is his latest stand-up concert special, which aired on TV last year but hits the home market this week. Will this be a triumphant return for Joe Rogan?

Joe Rogan is a very energetic comedian with a wider range of topics than his reputation would suggest. I think a lot of people assume he would just talk about sex and drugs and violence. Which he does. But he also delves into topics like evolution and nature. I like his take on nature... it's similar to my take on the phrase "Chemical Free". Everything we do is natural, because we're part of nature. He talks about evolution and how similar we are to monkeys. (The experiment with the monkeys and coins was cool. Didn't know about that.) He deals with hypocrisy in religion, specifically Ted Haggard. It's well done, but perhaps not as topical as it would have been a few years ago. The same can be said of his Dr. Phil bit near the end.

The set is quite short at just 38 minutes. However, after his comedy set ends, he has an extended Q&A session with fans in the audience. I have mixed feelings on bits like this. On the one hand, it's interesting to hear him talk to his fans and answer their questions. On the other hand, usually the material prepared by the professional is better than the questions asked by the amateurs in the audience. In this case, Joe Rogan is a smart guy and he was able to recognize and have fun with the comments. It helps that he's smart and he can think on his feet. This is a skill that has likely gotten better thanks to his color commentary work with the UFC. I'm not a fan of a lot of his past work (Fear Factor, UFC, The Man Show) so questions about that don't interest me as much. But overall he was able to give fun answers to most questions.

Extras on the DVD include two short featurettes: Behind The Scenes and Talking Monkeys in Columbus. Each featurette is about 8 minutes long and they are pretty self-explanatory. Behind The Scenes is mostly Joe hanging out with his friends, talking about what he does to prep for a show. Talking Monkeys in Columbus has Joe Rogan doing publicity for the comedy set and prep for the show.

The Verdict

Right now Joe Rogan is best known for being a color commentator for the UFC and I think it may have been too long since he's done a stand-up comedy special like this. He seemed a little rusty at the beginning and it took a few minutes for him to hit his rhythm. But once he did and the crowd was revved up, Talking Monkeys in Space packed a lot of laughs in its running time. It's worth checking out if you are a fan of stand-up in general and worth buying if you are a fan of Joe Rogan.

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