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August 10 2019
Murder victim Billy Balls and his girlfriend, Rebecca, in the East Village, early 1980s.

Joe Rogan straddles the podcast planet like a colossus in chunky trail shoes. Sitcom actor (NewsRadio), reality-TV host (Fear Factor), stand-up comic (latest special, Strange Times, on Netflix), social-media star (over five million Twitter followers), distance runner, biohacker, mixed-martial-arts analyst, psychedelic explorer, flotation-tank advocate, and good old American dad—Rogan’s got it all going on and packs it into a podcast that resembles the ultimate audio man cave, though he doesn’t stint on female guests.

Titled The Joe Rogan Experience, the show might be better named The Joe Rogan Immersion: episodes can stretch as long as a David Lean movie, three hours plus. The epic lengths of these jaw-fests don’t daunt his loyal legions. Nary a week passes which doesn’t find two or three J.R.E. episodes notched among iTunes’ Top 10 downloads. The avid popularity of such deep-dive conversations belies the notion that we are a nation of attention-deficit ditzes. Ninety-five million downloads a month can’t be wrong.

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