Joe Rogan on OJ Simpson’s Death: “OJ Was Dead for About an Hour Before I Saw People…”

Published 04/12/2024, 11:53 PM EDT

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When the world thought OJ Simpson was recovering from his illness, his death news came as a shocker. Though he was cleared from the murder trial of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman in 1995, he will be remembered for changing American TV history. He appeared in many television programs but none of it attracted viewers as much as it did to his sensational “trial of the century.” While the media industry was actively covering this event, only Norm Macdonald gave Simpson ‘what he deserved’.

Remembering the former NFL star, on the recent episode of the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’, Joe Rogan and his guest, Neal Brennan, American comedian and writer, talked about conspiracy theories around Simpson’s death. They began that segment after sharing condolences to the controversial figure. “By the way rest in peace OJ [Simpson]. We lost the juice.” It was reported that OJ Simpson died due to prostate cancer and was surrounded by his family at the time of his passing.

Joe mentioned that when Simpson’s death news broke out, people started connecting it to him getting vaccinated which caused “turbo cancer”. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of mixed reactions to people getting vaccinated. At that time Rogan made it to the news because people thought he was against it. But, he cleared in a statement and said, “I’m not an anti-vaxx person. In fact, I said I believe they’re safe and I encourage many people to take them. My parents were vaccinated. I just said I don’t think if you’re a young healthy person you need it.”


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On the other hand, to be on the safer side, Simpson got himself vaccinated and urged others to do so. He took to his Twitter account and wrote, “Get your shot. I got mine.” So now, people spun the narrative that the vaccine could have caused his death. The UFC commentator also touched upon the conspiracy theory and said, “OJ was dead for about an hour before I saw people connecting it to the vaccine, because OJ was telling people to get vaccinated.” But there is no evidence that the vaccination caused death, and it was just misinformation that widespread the false claim that COVID-19 vaccines cause turbo cancer (a made-up term by anti-vaxers).

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However, Rogan had another theory of what may have caused Simpson’s death. Known for his controversial takes, the UFC commentator expressed that Simpson may have felt the guilt and public resentment he received after the famous trial, and that possibly took a toll on his health. Another person who echoed the same sentiment is Kato Kaelin, who lived on O.J. Simpon’s property when the murder took place. He felt terrible for the Brown and Goldman families because they have to still live with the pain of their loved one’s murders. Kaelin said, “… I don’t know if he (Simpson) had that moment of penance that he confessed to whoever he believes in… I don’t know if he’s going to heaven or hell…”

The Texas native also pointed out that Simpson died at the ripe old age of 76, which was a few years over the average life expectance among American men. Meanwhile, Joe and Neal Brennan remembered the legendary comedian, Norm Macdonald, who had passed away last year after a lengthy (and secret) battle with cancer.

Jokes on O.J. Simpson got Norm Macdonald fired from his job

Simpson’s death has reignited Norm Macdonald memes and jokes from the past. Macdonald was a former ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast member, who hosted the ‘Weekend Update’ during the period of Simpson’s murder trial. On the Macdonald made countless jokes about the incident and excoriated ‘Juice’ repeatedly with his sharp wit and impudent humor.

One of his hilarious digs at OJ was, “This weekend, O.J. Simpson, playing golf in Scotland, was heavily criticized for missing the first Mother’s Day, since Nicole Brown Simpson’s murder, with his children. An angry Simpson responded, ‘Idiots, I didn’t spend Mother’s Day with my kids because I killed their mother!'”


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Recalling the Mcdonald’s dark humor on the JRE podcast, Brennan told Rogan, “There’s a video of, uh, a compilation of Norm [Macdonald] doing doing OJ jokes and it’s 11 minutes and I watched it, and then went back and started it [again]. [It] was so glorious, it was so relentless he was so good he was so f***ing funny.” Rogan agreed that while the jokes may not have done well with the live studio audience, he was beloved by the millions of people listening at home. In fact, these OJ Simpson jokes were probably the reason the comedian was fired from ‘SNL.

Macdonald was warned by NBC President, Don Ohlmyer, to hold off on the OJ Simpson jokes since they “weren’t funny”. However, the late comedian disagreed and persisted, eventually leading to his firing from the ‘SNL’ show. Soon after that, Macdonald became one of the funniest comedians in America, whose irreverent and eclectic style of comedy was loved by millions.


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It was reported that after he was diagnosed with cancer, he never told anyone because he did not want the illness to affect the way his loved ones or the audience saw him. He lived with it for 9 years and passed away. Lori Jo Hoekstra, Norm’s long-time producing partner, revealed in a statement that it was Norm’s wish to be remembered by his comedy and that is how it is. People still remember Norm for his contribution to the comedy industry.


Written by:

Kanishk Thakur


One take at a time

Kanishk Thakur is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports with nearly 5 years of professional writing experience. Kanishk has expertly covered the heated rivalries of the fight game, and delivered meticulous reports of payouts of PPV events and Fight Nights, in addition to covering the personal side of fighters outside the sport. He is also an ardent Joe Rogan fan, who hopes to draw in more fans to the sport as Rogan did for him.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das