Way before he was the popular color commentator for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Joe Rogan was a struggling stand up comedian and C-level actor on "NewsRadio."
His "big break" came in 2001, when he debuted as the host of "Fear Factor," a stunt-oriented reality show on NBC that challenged ordinary people, and couples, to accomplish extraordinary daredevil feats for average (by today's standards) sums on money.
On the side Rogan, a mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast, was doing play-by-play for a reeling promotion for next to nothing. He was merely a fan, a quasi-popular celebrity, who essentially traded out his talents for the best seat in the house every few weekends.
That passion paid off in spades when the UFC took off in 2005 in the wake of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and the slobber knocker between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, which was just one year before "Fear Factor" fizzled.
Talk about incredible timing.
Rogan is now the voice of the most popular MMA brand in the word, as well as a professional jokester who tours the nation, drawing large crowds in the process. Life is good, and about to seemingly get a little better thanks to a blast from the past.
TV Guide reports that NBC will resurrect the "Fear Factor" franchise as soon as Sept. 2011 and that Rogan has been invited to return to his role as host. An invitation that he has happily accepted:
"It doesn't seem real. It seems like some sort of bizarro dream world. But I'm looking forward to it. The idea of sitting at home and watching someone else host it would have driven me crazy.... What I brought to Fear Factor the first time I hope to bring to it again — a background in competitive athletics along with being a standup comedian. This show is tailor-made for me."
NBC has reportedly ordered eight episodes with production set on the first episode as soon as the end of July. "One of the eight episodes could be a celebrity edition" and the "first and last episodes" will be "taped as two-hour events."
Who's watchin'? In the meantime, check out a video of Rogan's first announcing gig with the UFC right here.