Joe Rogan’s Most Heated Celebrity Arguments on His Podcast

Joe Rogan’s popular podcast has afforded him the opportunity to welcome a host of high-profile guests onto his show—and this has sometimes led to heated clashes over the years.

Through The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan is streaming platform Spotify’s most popular contributor, regularly engaging his audience with discussions on a number of hot-button topics. This has included the ongoing Bud Light boycotts, transgender ideologies, vaccines, and the health of President Joe Biden. Often, his views impact social media rhetoric in some form, leading to further debate online.

Rogan started the podcast on YouTube back in 2009. By 2015, it had grown to become one of the world’s most popular podcasts, regularly pulling in millions of views.

In December 2020, Rogan signed a licensing deal with Spotify for the platform’s exclusive rights to broadcast the podcast. The deal was widely reported at the time to be worth $100 million, although The New York Times reported in February 2022 that the true number for the three-and-a-half-year deal was “at least” $200 million.

Joe Rogan on April 17, 2019, in Pasadena, California. The comedian has had a number of spirited discussions on his podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” over the years.
Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

The former Fear Factor host’s undeniable popularity has attracted several high-profile guests on his show (he has claimed that he turned down requests to have former President Donald Trump on the podcast).

While the large majority of the celebrities have gone smoothly, a few appearances have led to heated moments between the titular host and his guests. Newsweek has looked at some of Rogan’s disagreements with his guests.

Candace Owens

On June 1, 2018, a video clip of political commentator Candace Owens’ appearance was uploaded to the show’s YouTube channel, which showed the guest and host Rogan sparring over whether climate change was real.

After praising then-President Donald Trump for withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord in June 2017, Owens said that in the past, she “fell victim to the idea that it was progress…to care about the environment.”

“You don’t think we have to care about the environment?” a visibly stunned Rogan asked. “Not even a little bit?”

“OK, let me clarify this,” Owens responded. “I don’t throw trash on the ground. I’m not saying we need to trash the environment, but do I believe in climate change? No.”

Owens went on to state that “the climate always changes,” and described the Paris Climate Accord as “just a way to extract dollars from Americans…They had no actionable plan. It was great for Trump to get out of that deal. It was terrible.”

Rogan countered that climate change was an “incredibly complicated subject,” adding: “You would have to talk to a bunch of different scientists and see how they gather data, and see what they understand about [carbon dioxide] levels and what’s the danger of them and what could combat it and what could not. Have you done all this, or do you take this flippant opinion based on a party line?”

“This wouldn’t be the hill I died on,” said Owens. “The fact that there is a disparity in the science community about whether or not it’s real is enough to—”

“It’s very little disparity,” Rogan shot back. “Most scientists, the vast majority, agree that human beings are negatively affecting climate change.”

While Rogan later insisted that climate change “is definitely real,” Owens said: “The climate changes. It was different weather yesterday than it is today. The climate is forever changing. That’s the problem.”

“You’re misrepresenting the issue,” Rogan responded. “The issue is people think that human being are exacerbating climate change.” He also said that “this is not propaganda that is drummed up by some sort of big business.”

Rogan also questioned why Owens had such a strong stance on climate change “if you don’t have a background in it, you don’t understand the science?”

Owens continued to dig her heels in by saying she felt that the subject had been politicized, prompting her lack of belief in it.

Rogan told Owens that even if she was right in her assertion, she lacked having “enough information” at her disposal to dismiss climate change.

“Don’t say you don’t believe,” the host told his guest. “Learn about it and then have an opinion. But you’re stating this opinion without having any real understanding of what climate science is.”

Pointing out that she has a large audience, Rogan told Owens: “You don’t have to have a formed opinion on everything. What you do have to have is the ability to know when you don’t know what the f*** you’re talking about.”

Remarkably, the pair later laughed with one another as they proceeded to discuss other subjects on the show.

Steven Crowder

Rogan memorably had a clash of the ages with political commentator Steven Crowder, when they got into a spirited discussion about marijuana back in 2017.

Things started when Rogan asked Crowder which subjects he would back away from, if given the chance. While lighting up a pipe, Rogan then quipped that for him, it would be “pipe smoking.”

“You know, I probably wouldn’t talk about the marijuana issue,” responded Crowder. “Because here’s the thing: I don’t care about it. I really don’t. But my issue with it is when… people lie about it and they’re dishonest with their voting constituency…. Saying it’s medicine for A, B, C, or D. It may be medicine for A, but not for B, C, or D.”

Asked to give examples of the health issues marijuana doesn’t work for, Crowder responded: “You’re asking me what I wouldn’t talk about and you’re asking me to defend it. The point is, I don’t really care about it.”

Rogan further pushed for Crowder to give an example, prompting his guest to say that he does not believe in the claim that marijuana has curative properties for cancer. “It helps with cancer, not as much as turmeric and ginger,” Crowder said.

The host agreed that all of those mentioned products have anti-inflammatory qualities, adding that cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient in cannabis, “has been shown to have tremendous benefits for cancer and it’s non-psychoactive.”

Crowder went on to state that his main issue with the marijuana argument is people who assert claims that it hasn’t been legalized in certain places because of strong-arming from big pharmaceutical companies.

Rogan countered that there have been influential bodies that have lobbied to keep marijuana illegal, prompting Crowder to attempt to cut in with an opposing point.

“Don’t interrupt me, you f***,’ Rogan shot back at his guest.

“You interrupt way too much,” Rogan later told Crowder, who responded: “You talk in paragraphs.”

“No, I don’t talk in paragraphs, I make full points,” said Rogan, as he argued against Crowder’s assertion that traffic fatalities had “skyrocketed” in states where marijuana had been decriminalized.

Telling Rogan that he was “so touchy about” the subject, Crowder said: “I just don’t really buy the arguments that everyone is in some kind of big conspiracy to try and snuff it out, and the idea that the drug war will end, and the idea that it cures cancer. I just don’t buy that. And people get so upset.”

“Scientific studies have proven that it shrinks tumors,” Rogan argued. “That it helps people with cancer, much like turmeric, much like any things that reduce inflammation.”

At one point, Rogan said that “marijuana is one of the things that are good” for fighting inflammation, sparking a seemingly dismissive “sure” from Crowder.

“Don’t ‘sure,’ man,” said an apparently irate Rogan. “Just like you don’t ‘sure’ turmeric, you don’t ‘sure’ ginger, you don’t ‘sure’ a reduced sugar diet. All those things that reduce inflammation are good for you.”

“I don’t buy that smoking marijuana would be as beneficial as a reduced sugar diet,” an unmoved Crowder responded.

“You might be correct,” said Rogan, “but it doesn’t matter, because it’s not a f****** contest to see what’s the most beneficial. The question is, is it beneficial and is it damaging.”

When Crowder reiterated that he doesn’t care about marijuana, Rogan hit back: “You definitely care. That’s why you’re arguing with me about it. Lying b****. You care like crazy.”

As Crowder protested another point that Rogan was attempting to make, the host told his guest: “Hold on, f*** face.”

“Watch it,” said an unimpressed Crowder. “Come on, man. It’s been a good discussion.”

“We’re friends,” Rogan responded, cracking a smile. “I’m just joking.”

Rogan then pulled up an article from The Washington Post to counter Crowder’s claim that states where marijuana had been legalized had seen an uptick in road fatalities. At this point, things got passionate as Crowder urged Rogan to go to his website for statistics to support the claim.

“I don’t care about your website, you f***,” Rogan said.

As things calmed down, Crowder revisited his point: “I don’t care about it… But I don’t buy that it’s as valuable as a low-sugar diet. And the fact that you can’t have a conversation about this as civilly as you do every other issue tells me that there’s a problem, that this is a TNT powder keg, this issue with pot.”

“The problem is that I get very defensive when people start talking over me,” Rogan told Crowder. “And you started it first.”

The exchange proved memorable for Rogan, who uploaded that particular part of their lengthy—and otherwise friendly—discussion on his YouTube channel back in November.

Milo Yiannopoulos

Back in 2015, former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos had quite the heated clash with Rogan over the former’s views on Christianity and his own sexuality.

“Everywhere that doesn’t have a strong Christian heritage is a f***** up place with bad morals,” said the British-born commentator, who over the years has been known for his criticism of Islam and feminism, among other topics.

“That’s a ridiculous statement,” Rogan shot back. “Everywhere that doesn’t have Judaeo-Christian values is a f***** up place?”

“Yes, I think it should be [a] perfectly reasonable, respectful thing to say,” Yiannopoulos responded. “Our culture is better. I believe our culture is better than everywhere else in the world. I think European and American culture, which is based on Judaeo-Christian values, is better than other cultures. I think it’s uncontroversial to say so.

“But what’s based on Judaeo-Christian values about being a good person?” Rogan challenged. “It has nothing to do with the myths involved.”

“Ultimately, our sense of right and wrong comes from the Bible,” Yiannopoulos asserted.

As Rogan sought to once again challenge Yiannopoulos’ point of view, the host called out his guest for talking over him.

“Listen, if we’re gonna have a conversation, we can’t keep talking over each other like this,” Rogan explained. “When someone is trying to make a point about something that’s complex like this, if you think that the only way for a person to have ethics or an understanding each other, or compassion for each other, is to rely on ancient myths that are easily scientifically disproven… Well, that’s what Christianity is. That’s what the Bible is.”

“No, I didn’t say that,” Yiannopoulos responded. “I said that the specific set of values you have is influenced more than you would like to admit by your Judaeo-Christian heritage.”

Rogan countered that his values have been influenced by a number of “different factors,” before bringing up Yiannopoulos’ sexuality: “Who you are, being a gay man that’s promiscuous, that is prohibited in the Bible.”

“Yes, but I agree that it would be better if I didn’t behave like this,” Yiannopoulos responded. “And if I could choose to be heterosexual, I would do so.”

“Do you really? So you’re a self-loathing homosexual?” Rogan asked.

“No. I won’t have this,” Yiannopoulos hit back. “You need to read this wonderful essay…”

“No, I don’t need to read s***,” Rogan interrupted. “I need to know what the f*** you’re saying, because what you’re saying is who you are is prohibited in the Bible.”

“I don’t think my sexuality is an important part of [who I am],” Yiannopoulos said.

“It’s a huge part of you,” Rogan argued. “You talk about it all the time. It’s a massive part of what we’ve talked about on this show. It comes up any time you want to make a funny point. It comes up any time you want to define your sexuality or your urges, or your decadence. You jump to it because I think it’s you.”

“Well, I think people leap to the most different thing about themselves, or the most unusual thing about themselves anytime they want to be funny,” Yiannopoulos said in his attempt to explain himself. “That’s why Black comedians talk about being Black a lot. You know, Chris Rock always talks about Blacks and the n-word. It’s why Muslim comedians only ever talk about Islam, and gay comedians talk about being gay.

“I think you go to that because it’s the most different, funny thing about you. And it’s sort of a form of laziness, I suppose. So I don’t know if that’s particularly relevant.”

“Listen, it’s absolutely relevant,” Rogan insisted. “You’re supposed to be stoned to death in a lot of cultures.”

“Well, in Muslim cultures, not in ours,” said Yiannopoulos, taking aim at Islam. “It’s only the Muslim world that does that now.”

“Well, they’re the last ones that continue the grand old tradition of killing gay people,” Rogan said. “But that s***’s been around forever. But what does it say in the Bible about a man lying with another man? It’s death, right?”

Yiannopoulos again said that if he could choose, he “wouldn’t be a homosexual. That doesn’t make me self-loathing.”

“It sure f****** does,” Rogan boomed.

“I don’t hate a part of what I am. I love all of me,” Yiannopoulos protested. “But if I could choose to be even better then I would be.”

“So you would be better if you were straight?” Rogan asked.

“Yes, anybody would be,” said the controversial commentator in response.

“Wow,” Rogan responded. “So if [pharmaceutical company [Johnson & Johnson] came along and had an anti-gay pill, you would take it?”

“Well, it would be career suicide, but I probably would, yeah,” said Yiannopoulos.

Tom DeLonge

While Rogan’s 2017 interview with Blink-182 star Tom DeLonge didn’t necessarily turn into an argument in the strictest of terms, the host appeared keen to challenge many of the assertions the musician made about unidentified flying objects (UFOs).

Calling them “advanced aerial threats” rather than UFOs, DeLonge explained that he initially developed an interest in the subject when he was in junior high school.

After launching his band, this research continued, as he spent hours on tour buses reading more. “There were no smartphones [at the time], so we were buying books… Once you do that it’s a black hole, you’re done.”

With Rogan also admitting to having been “obsessed” with the subject since childhood, it seemed that all was on course for an entertaining exchange.

However, things took an awkward turn when DeLonge spoke about time travel that he said occurred in an “artificially created bubble of gravity,” in which he explained that “you literally could fly around and grab a Coke out of someone’s hand and put it in someone else’s hand.”

“Where are you getting this from?” Rogan asked his guest.

“Well, take a wild guess. Look at the people I’m surrounded by,” said DeLonge, in reference to people who have worked with such agencies as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

“So the people you’re surrounded by are telling you this, is that what it is?” Rogan asked.

“I don’t want to get into that, but the people I’m surrounded with, and myself, are very close to this stuff,” DeLonge mysteriously responded.

After DeLonge talked up the credentials of those around him, Rogan sought to deduce just how much the star knew himself and had actually seen.

DeLonge backed away from specifying who had told him certain things, explaining: “I represent more than myself these days, so I definitely have to watch what I say.”

The musician then explained how his multimedia company To the Stars, which he launched to make science-fiction franchised stories that would include books and movies, led to him coming into contact with high-profile people.

While researching UFOs for his Sekret Machines book series, DeLonge said he “flew around to places” to meet with undisclosed people, who listened to his pitch. “And then I got an email out of nowhere that says, ‘Meet us next to the Pentagon at this day and time,’ and I did that.”

DeLonge went on to state that he started taking “high-level” meetings in Washington, D.C. This, he said, led to him meeting with another unnamed person at a “high level that closed the door, looked me in the eye and said, ‘OK, I’m gonna introduce you to somebody.” He then spoke with a “general” about his franchise plans.

This eventually saw DeLonge traveling to NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, where he had a two-hour meeting, per the star. He said he was then introduced to somebody else who he asked for him to fly him out to an undisclosed location.

DeLonge said that while he was sitting at a table in an empty restaurant, “This gentleman sits down and the waiter comes up. He waves off the waiter and he looks me in the eye and says, ‘It was the Cold War and we found a life form.'”

As Rogan appeared to question the credibility of his claims, DeLonge explained that he was a logical collaborative choice for the unnamed people in question because he could tell the public the stories that the major U.S. agencies couldn’t.

DeLonge said there was a misconception that U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, “have a monopoly on information. They get their information from the real world, too. They do have access to archives of information. They do have access to some amazing satellite data and stuff like that. But if you’re smart and you take your time, you know where to look and you find patterns, you can pretty much put together all the same s*** they can.”

“But why you?” an apparently unconvinced Rogan asked. “What is it about what your message or your idea was that made them want to tell you some top-secret s*** that they’ve tried to keep away from the American people?

“When you take a guy who’s like a big celebrity in a huge rock band like you and you just say, ‘Hey, meet me in an airport, I’m gonna tell you about a life form that we found during the Cold War,’ [is it] because you’re famous or because you know things?”

While Rogan may not have been the easiest audience for DeLonge, the musician has gone on to continue with his research. He also made an appearance in the Netflix show Top Secret UFO Projects: Declassified.

DeLonge last week expressed his delight after claims were espoused in a special hearing that alien life not only exists but has traveled to Earth and specimens are held by the U.S. government. Research by his To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science was also cited.

In a session of the House Oversight Committee last Wednesday, part of an investigation of claims regarding UFOs, witnesses testified that the government had been aware of non-human activity since the 1930s.

“The UFO Hearings today made history,” DeLonge wrote in an Instagram post last week. “I am so proud of the three witnesses today that blew the lid off the UFO secrecy that has been intact for decades.”

Praising those who had testified at the hearings, he added: “[Ryan] Graves, [David] Fravor and [David] Grusch are HEROES. I appreciated the shout-out during the hearing, but so many were involved with to make this happen.”

Mikhaila Peterson

Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, made an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience in 2021 and talked up the purported benefits of going on the meat-heavy carnivore diet.

When Peterson mentioned the increased energy such a diet gave people who were on the diet, Rogan pushed back on the suggestion that people are ever lacking enough strength to exercise.

Taking aim at the “average fat f***,” Rogan said that people who aren’t inflicted with serious health issues are merely “making excuses” when they claim to not have the energy for physical activity.

“Diet is most certainly a part of that,” said Rogan. “But there’s also a discipline aspect. And these things are not mutually exclusive.”

“I kind of agree,” Peterson responded. “From my perspective, I’ve seen my dad and he was very—you can see from the videos from 2014 before he started going low carb and everything—he was carrying about 50 extra pounds. And he didn’t have enough energy to exercise.”

“That’s not true,” Rogan hit back. “He just didn’t do it.”

“When you say he didn’t have enough energy to exercise, did he walk around?” Rogan asked.

“Yeah, but you can drag yourself through things,” Peterson replied.

“Then you can drag yourself through an exercise routine,” Rogan said. “You most certainly can. You don’t have to do a lot. You just have to do something… To say you don’t have enough extra energy to exercise, that’s crazy. Can you walk to the refrigerator? Then you can exercise. I’m not saying that you have to marathons. You can exercise. And everyone should f****** exercise.”

While Peterson acknowledged that she was “a different case,” due to an autoimmune condition that causes her body to react to various kinds of food, she continued to push back on part of Rogan’s assertion.

Speaking of her father, she said: “Once he fixed up his diet, once he went on this carnivore diet, he’s exercising now.”

“He could’ve exercised then, too,” Rogan said. “But to give people this excuse, ‘I don’t have energy to exercise,’ that is crazy. You don’t have to do anything crazy, just walk around the block. There’s 80-year-old ladies who take yoga with me. They’re f****** really old and they’re in there. They’re going after it. They could easily say, ‘I don’t have the energy to do that.’ But they don’t. It’s a mental attitude. They make a decision.”

Nick Di Paolo

When comedian Nick Di Paolo sat down with Rogan back in January 2019, the conversation took a heated turn when then-President Trump was brought up.

While discussing Russia and the country’s President Vladimir Putin, Di Paolo alluded to previous collusion allegations when he said: “This idea that Trump’s working with him is f****** silly.”

“Well, I don’t know about that,” Rogan countered. “I don’t think he’s working with him to undermine democracy, but I definitely think they’ve got some business dealings.”

“But that’s not illegal,” Di Paolo responded. “None of that is illegal.”

“I’m not saying it’s illegal, but I don’t think he was honest about it,” said Rogan, prompting Di Paolo to ask what Trump lied about “specifically.”

“Well, there’s a lot… We can pull it up,” Rogan said. “I’m not a Trump scholar. I don’t have at my disposal all the different times that he lied. But it’s a lot.”

As Rogan pulled up different articles that reported tallies of untruths told by Trump, Di Paolo appeared irate as he trashed each outlet and accused each of having a bias against the real estate mogul.

“You doubt that it’s true? You think it’s all a lie?” Rogan asked his guest. “They just made up the fact that he lies a lot?”

“Lies about what?” Di Paolo responded. “First of all, what’s the definition of a lie?”

After a brief back-and-forth about the amount of “inaccuracies” on Trump’s behalf, Di Paulo says, “You could go back with Hillary [Clinton] and f****** count,” he said of the former Secretary of State. “You could go to Fox News and pull up an article of how many times Hillary was inaccurate.”

“Do you know what a whataboutism is?” Rogan asked in response, before explaining. “When someone talks about something and instead of refuting it with facts, they go, ‘Well, what about Hillary, what about Bill [Clinton]? Bill did it, too.'”

Rogan later added that he was also not a fan of Hillary Clinton before Di Paolo went on to question the honesty of her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“I don’t think he lied as much,” said Rogan, prompting Di Paolo to hit back: “Did they count [Former President Barack] Obama’s?”

“I don’t know, but that’s a whataboutism,” said Rogan, reiterating his earlier point.

While Di Paolo eventually conceded that he believed that Trump had told lies, he continued to compare his actions to those of his presidential predecessors.

“Jesus Christ, you’re so defensive,” Rogan told Di Paolo. “It’s like you work for the [Trump] organization.” Rogan also told the comedian that he was “so emotional about this, it’s ridiculous.”

“I’ve got four cups of coffee in me,” Di Paolo explained, to which Rogan quipped: “You should’ve had two.”

Later on in the discussion, Rogan asked Di Paolo: “Would you agree that as you get older you get more conservative?

“No, I was always a bit of a d***,” said Di Paolo, raising laughs in the studio. “I’ve got a tattoo of [former President Richard] Nixon on my a**.”