Joe Rogan is seriously considering leaving California and moving to Texas, he says. The comedian talked about the prospect in a new episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, on Wednesday. Speaking with comedians Tom Papa and Bryan Callan, made the case that California's tight coronavirus restrictions might push him to leave the state for the long-term.
Rogan went from joking to serious on Wednesday as he discussed moving to Texas with his family. The long-time standup comedian had a lot of gripes with the state of California, but he indicated that its "restrictive" coronavirus pandemic response might be the last straw. He said: "First of all, it's extremely expensive — the taxes here are ridiculous. And if they really say that we can't do standup until 2022, or some s— like that, I might jet
Rogan added that the only thing tying him to the state of California was its proximity to the entertainment industry. A Boston native, he moved first to New York City and then to Los Angeles as his comedy career picked up throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. He had a role on the NBC sitcom News Radio, and later became the host of Fear Factor, along with other TV jobs.
These days, Rogan is best-known as a UFC commentator and the host of his massively popular podcast. He said that California "is ill. I don't need to be here," yet he told Papa that it would change his show if he were to give up in-person interviews. However, with other comedians considering a move, he seemed to float the idea of a mass exodus.
"The only reason why I'm here is because I'm close to people like you," he said. "A lot of my friends live here, the [Comedy] Store is here. But if they won't let us do the Store, but we can do stand up in other places, why would we stay here?"
Rogan's consideration of moving comes after Los Angeles County announced plans to extend its stay-at-home order for three more months. It also follows similar rhetoric from entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has been an occasional guest on Rogan's show. Musk has tried to get work at his California car manufacturing plant going again despite the state's orders and has also threatened to move the business elsewhere.
Musk discussed some of these considerations with Rogan on a podcast earlier this month. The tech exec revealed that he is selling all of the homes he owns in California as he looks to simplify his own life in pursuit of his career goals. He told Rogan that while he was trying to design his perfect home for himself, it occurred to him: "should I be allocating that time to getting us to Mars?"
Public health officials say that ongoing restrictions like those in Los Angeles are required to prevent tens of thousands more deaths from COVID-19. For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.