Review: Joe Rogan – Talking Monkeys in Space

Artist: Joe Rogan
Album: Talking Monkeys in Space
Genre: Standup Comedy
Label: Comedy Central

Joe Rogan has been tearing up the small screen for over two decades now, but did you know he has spent even longer working comedy clubs? Yes, the color commentator on UFC, who previously hosted Fear Factor and had an recurring role on News Radio [amongst a billion other projects], cut his teeth on the small stage in front of America’s toughest crowd – live comedy fans. During his run, Rogan has released two comedy records that showcased his story driven comedic style, but left something to be desired in terms of depth and scope. However, his latest offering, an official release of his 2009 special Talking Monkeys in Space, finds the comic fully coming into his own and leaving the crowd in stitches in the process.

Having followed Rogan’s comedy career for the better part of the decade, I knew what to expect going into this release, but allow me to educate those of you knew to his genius. While Rogan may have something of an all-ages appeal due to his television work, his live material is not for the faint of heart or morally grounded. In all actuality, one probably needs to be leaning more toward college student or sailor to handle some of Rogan’s material [which covers the gamut of marijuana, oral sex, animal attacks, race, history, evolution, and more]. Unlike many in his field, Rogan [though he claims stupidity] inserts a lot of obscure facts and wisdom into his material to not only entertain, but inform which allows for the audience to become a part of the show and not be merely entertained. It is actually this facet of Rogan’s live show that sets him apart with this release as you feel the connectivity pour through the speakers with each listen and follow along to every syllable.

It only takes about .5 seconds for Rogan to grab the crowd on Talking Monkeys in Space. Choosing to stray from the path of easing the audience into your set, Rogan opens with banter regarding Obama’s election and the [still] illegal state of marijuana usage and it becomes obvious early on its these quick witted remarks on hot button topics of this nature that makes up the bare bones of Rogan’s stage presence. These are topics everyone in the audience is both aware and familiar with enough to get everyone back on the same page whereas some of his other jokes may leave a few in the dust. The whole set moves along with few, if any misteps from the crowd or Rogan until the cd version’s bonus Q&A tracks. It is in this material that we see why Rogan has been building such a great live reputation – he cares about his fans. Rogan openly accepts over a dozen no holds barred questions form the audience with quick and hilarious responses and a heart of gold throughout. It may seem like insanity while it occurs, but with repeat listens you begin to sense that it is exactly how Rogan wants it to be. His inflection and delivery may seem well prepared, but there’s a childlike sense of wonder in his voice before each fan speaks that allows us to feel his anticipation. It is enthralling.

As long as you have no issues with profanity or discussion of drug use, Talking Monkey in Space will leave you in stitches. In fact, the first time I put the album on for review I had to pull over in my car on the highway to wipe tears from my eyes before track 3 even began. Now I understand that standup comedy is subjective, but we cover a lot of varieties here on UTG, to the point some staff have claimed to be numb to the art itself, and not one staff whose heard the record hasn’t had to pause to catch their breath from laughing. An [obvious] early contender for Best Comedy release of 2010.

Score: 10/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Review: Joe Rogan – Talking Monkeys in Space”

  1. Geena says:

    I totally agree! Rogan targets a more adult audience in his special, but his jokes are hilarious. He’s definitely not shy about sharing his views on drugs or masturbation.

  2. Lu says:

    HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!! Most comedy is for adults anyway, right? He’s funny and has no limits with his comedy. PICK UP TALKING MONKEYS IN SPACE!!

  3. Andrewwww says:

    Joe is just amazing! i never realized how hilarious! and smart he is until watching this special! you gotta watch this!

  4. I absolutely go along with the above comment, the web is without a doubt growing into the most powerful medium of communication internationally and it is because of sites like this that thoughts are spreading so quickly.