An emotional Joe Rogan revealed Wednesday that he was left devastated by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain’s sudden death in 2018.
Rogan discussed his reaction to his friend’s passing during a conversation with fellow comedian Sam Morril on Wednesday’s episode of his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
“When he died, I was f*cked up for a while,” Rogan said.
Bourdain, a celebrated writer and host of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” travel series, was found dead at age 61 in his hotel room in France in 2018. Authorities later ruled his death a suicide.
Rogan went on to describe the early days of his friendship with Bourdain, which began after they discussed their mutual love of mixed martial arts.
“He’s just like a guy that I was so excited that he was my friend. You know, like when I, first met him, I said, ‘My wife says you’re my boyfriend.’ And he was like, ‘…Okay,’” Rogan said. “It was like, ‘oh my god, f*ck.”
“You were like, ‘am I blowing it with Bourdain?’” Morril said.
“The only thing that saved me, I think was that I met him at a UFC and he was a giant UFC fan, and this was actually before he had gotten into jujitsu, his wife was into jujitsu and then he started getting into the UFC and then he started coming to the shows,” Rogan said.
“And then he started coming to my standup and then we started hanging out and then, you know, went to dinner with him a bunch of times.”
Rogan described going out to dinner with Bourdain, who authored the acclaimed restaurant industry memoir “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000, as similar to “showing up at a rock show with Mick Jagger.”
“It’s like, you were with Bourdain. The chefs would all come out and they would, you know, they would insist on like, just like off the menu, ‘Let us cook for you,’” Rogan said.
Rogan said that he would frequently contact Bourdain for food recommendations in travel destinations such as Tokyo. The comedian appeared on an episode of “Parts Unknown” that aired in 2016, when he and Bourdain went hunting in Montana.
“I have an old phone that — I change my number all the time – and I keep this number because I have text messages from him,” Rogan added. I’m just like, I’m not getting rid of that number. I’m just gonna keep that number just for that. Just to go over the text messages and see pictures and shit he would send me.”
The podcast star got choked up at his continued to reminisce about the friendship.
“It sucks when you think you could have helped. That’s what sucks the most, you know, when a friend takes their own life and you’re like, ‘God dammit, I wish I was there,” Rogan added. “I think if I was there, I could have helped.”
Mediaite earlier reported on the segment.