Talking tough, leaning hard to the left, and living life to its psychedelic fullest, comic and television host Joe Rogan is love him or hate him when it comes to his standup act. Don’t fully agree with the reform of marijuana laws, and he’ll berate you despite the $23.50 you paid to get in, and if you can’t make the transition from Ultimate Fighting Championship talk to a discussion on how the naturally occurring tryptamine DMT can open the mind’s eye, then please stay home. Most of all, avoid his 2010 album Talking Monkeys in Space, a much more casual and looser set than 2007’s Shiny Happy Jihad which made a greater effort to broaden the audience. This set is preaching to the converted live in Columbus, OH, kicking off with a bunch of pot jokes and closing with a Q&A session where the fanboy and fangirl-filled audience flex their Rogan trivia knowledge in front of the man himself (fanboy: “Your reaction to ‘2 girls and 1 cup’ is on YouTube by the way. I was watching some of Frank Mir’s commentary on the WEC the other day….”). Jihad’s very high belly-laugh count is scaled back a bit to make room for a better, more relaxed flow, plus some personal insights into the life of a comic growing up and becoming a father just as he notices grey hairs appearing on the most surprising of body parts. Don’t make the jump from Fear Factor to here without first stopping at one of his more traditional standup albums. If you’ve devoured those and consider yourself a true Rogan-head, this Monkey’s gone to heaven.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries