Whether he intended it or not, Joe Rogan has turned himself into one of America’s most influential personalities. The standup comedian and UFC commentator has spent the last decade building his Joe Rogan Experience podcast into one of the world’s most successful media properties. As such, when he speaks, he can be sure that a lot of people are paying attention.
So, when Rogan took to one of his recent shows with the claim that he’d advise younger people to not get vaccinated, his hot take immediately became national news.
“If you’re a healthy person, and you’re exercising all the time, and you’re young, and you’re eating well, like, I don’t think you need to worry about this,” Rogan explained, adding that it was “no big deal” when his own kids got COVID.
However, following public backlash, Rogan was swift to issue something like a retraction, telling listeners in a following show, “I’m not a doctor, I’m a fucking moron and I’m a cagefighting commentator who’s a dirty standup comedian who just told you I’m drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed.” Rogan also added that he’s “not a respected source of information, even for me.”
In a recent segment on his Last Week Tonight news satire show, John Oliver was more than happy to back Rogan up on all of that. In a bit for his May 2nd taping, Oliver took aim at adults who were hesitant about getting the vaccine, putting Rogan’s comments front and center for his diatribe.
“And if you’re thinking, ‘Eh, I’m not sure I need it. Joe Rogan says I’m probably fine,” Oliver paraphrased, “Look, it is true, you might not get seriously sick from COVID. Or, indeed, sick at all. But you could still inadvertently pass it to someone who could then die. And before you say, ‘Well, vulnerable people should just get vaccinated then,’ the Vaccines are only 95% effective, Mike. So, they’ll probably be okay. But, maybe not.
“Also, the more the virus circulates, the likelier we’ll see mutations that make it more dangerous, possibly helping it to evade the vaccine completely, putting us all the way back to square one. SO GET THE FUCKING VACCINE, MIKE.
“The point is, there is a problematic amount of vaccine hesitancy right now. Even among people you would really like to think would not need convincing,” Oliver continued, moving to a segment highlight various peoples hesitancy around vaccines and the different reasons for it.
Later, as he worked to debunk various claims made about vaccines in conservative and anti-vaxx media, Oliver circled around to Rogan one last time.
“The vaccine protects against COVID, not the concept of mortality. It is weird that I have to clarify this, but you are, in fact, going to die one day, Mike. Yeah, Mike, stop listening to what Joe Rogan tells you. He’s a ‘fucking moron.’ And those are his words, not mine.”
Honestly, it’s just good to see everyone getting along.