Elon Musk decided to go on Joe Rogan’s podcast, where he checked out Joe Rogan’s swords, talked about his plans for an electric plane, and smoked weed on camera after being offered it by Rogan. Rogan’s podcast, filmed in Rogan’s garage, is insanely popular, and Rogan is well known for his enthusiasm for drugs, particularly psychedelics.
The majority of the podcast is an exercise in watching Rogan’s jock bro vibe bounce off Musk’s giggly dweebishness, the two coming off like a pair of mismatched college roommates. Musk talked about his belief that the only way to beat AI is to “join it” by melding the human mind with computers, admired Rogan’s samurai sword, and emotionally described using fossil fuels “a crazy experiment where we take trillions of tons of carbon from underground and put it in the atmosphere and oceans.”
About an hour into the podcast, Musk describes his idea for a supersonic VTOL electric plane, which he says he’s only previously discussed with friends and girlfriends. The plane, which Musk says is purely a backburner project for now, would use a need a lot of energy to get airborne, but not much once at cruising altitude, and then be able to use gravity to descend back down. However, “the electric airplane isn’t necessary right now,” said Musk. “Electric cars are important, solar energy is important, stationary storage of energy is important. These things are much more important than creating electric supersonic VTOL.”
About an hour later, Rogan lights up a blunt and offers a hit to Musk, who accepts. And it must be said: Musk smoking weed is pretty funny. “Is that a joint or is that a cigar?” asks Musk earnestly as Rogan lights up the blunt, which causes Rogan to laugh. “You probably can’t [smoke] because of stockholders, right?” says Rogan, which seems to be enough to goad Musk into taking a hit. Musk then pulls the classic nerd trick of not inhaling, instead just holding the weed smoke in his mouth briefly and puffing out with his lips. Another classic Musk Meme Moment!
We’re hardly ones to tsk-tsk someone for engaging in entirely legal behavior (recreational pot use is legal in California), but Musk’s appearance came just three weeks after Musk told the New York Times he was working 120 hours a week (or more than 17 hours a day). Yet Musk still took time to travel to Joe Rogan’s garage in Bell Canyon and chat for two-and-half hours.
Doing Rogan’s podcast was probably good for the intense cult of personality around Musk; one imagines the Venn diagram of Elon Musk fans and Joe Rogan fans is overlaps pretty well. But his appearance likely didn’t do much to boost investor or shareholder confidence in a CEO seen as increasingly erratic, or do much to help out Tesla, a company that will likely need to find new ways to raise money to continue to survive as it continues to struggle to produce enough cars to meet demand.
Some others seemed to realize this. Shortly after accepting the blunt from Rogan, Musk glanced at his phone. “I’m getting text messages from friends saying, ‘What the hell are you doing smoking weed?’”