Joe Rogan Recalls the Most Dangerous ‘Fear Factor’ Challenges

Joe Rogan has seen some weird stuff. The fight commentator and comedian has people from all walks of life on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Rogan’s fame extends back to the days of Fear Factor when he used to hose the show. And it’s no exaggeration to say that it was one of the most disgusting and shocking shows on television at the time. 

Now, with those days behind him, Rogan can reflect on the wildest Fear Factor challenges he hosted. 

Things escalated quickly on ‘Fear Factor’ 

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan | Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

According to Joe Rogan, Fear Factor was a show that never stopped getting more intense. Rogan says that’s just the nature of the type of show — it always has to one-up itself. 

Rogan explained on an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, “Those shows, what happens is you get used to one thing, so you have to do something that’s bigger and better the next year. So when we came back I felt uncomfortable with a lot of the sh*t,” explained Rogan.

Rogan remembered one particular stunt in which contestants were launched into the air by bungee cords beneath helicopters. He said this one gave him pause.

Rogan explained, “The stunt guys are top of the food chain, but they were doing some sketchy sh*t. One of them, we had these people chained to a tree with bungee cords that were attached to a helicopter. They had to figure out the right locks to unlock the bungee cord, the straps that keep them to the tree, and then as soon as they undo the strap, they go f*cking shooting out into space, into the center of this gigantic canyon, bouncing under this helicopter.”

“I remember thinking, we could do this a thousand times and someone’s gonna die. And it might be the next one. We got lucky, I really honestly 100% feel like we got lucky,” he went on to add.

This one particular challenge made him nervous

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan | Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

You think Joe Rogan would get used to seeing all of these outrageous challenges, but it sounds as if there were certain ones that really gave him pause. According to him, bull riding was the worst option.

“We had people fly cars across a moving train — there’s risk involved in that. But the thing that scared me the most was bull riding. It was the only time I told contestants don’t do it, I’m like, if you want to ask me, I would say don’t do it. On air I gave them the standard, but before I would talk to them and tell them, this is up to you,” said Rogan. 

He went on to explain, “We had this girl who was like 98 pounds, and she got launched off the back of this bull, and she went f*cking flying. That thing’s kicking, and it barely misses them when they’re kicking. … The way she fell like that, that’s like getting hit in the back of the head by the world.”

“My personal feelings about trauma and about what’s dangerous and sh*t like this, this is a no-no. Especially for a 90-pound woman like this poor lady. … She got up, she was tough as sh*t, but on that one I feel like we got lucky. I feel like we rolled the dice. Because if they stomp you, they lacerate livers and crush spines, they can stomp you.”

‘Fear Factor’ stuntmen knew no fear

However, Joe Rogan says that the men who tested and organized the stunts and challenges looked at them like another day on the job. 

Rogan said, “The funny thing is those stunt guys are so tough, they’re so used to putting their a** on the line, they don’t think anything about someone doing something risky. To them, that’s what you do, you show up for work.”