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When it comes to speaking his mind, he has no fear

Most well-known comedians at some point sit by the phone, waiting for HBO or Showtime to offer them a special.

Not Joe Rogan.

Rogan, who spent his teen years in Newton, used his check from hosting NBC's ''Fear Factor" to film his own special two months ago in Phoenix. In fact, ''Fear Factor" has paid him so well, he's hired a camera crew to follow him around on tour. The edited results appear on his website ( in regular installments called the ''JoeShow."

''That's an immeasurable amount of freedom very few people have the opportunity to achieve," Rogan says by cellphone.

Still, Rogan, who plays the Comedy Connection tonight and tomorrow and will tape segments for ''Fear Factor" while in Boston (the show is expected to return as a midseason replacement), isn't afraid to bite the hand that feeds him. In interviews, he's made no secret he thinks ''Fear Factor" is a mindless show. ''I'm not saying don't watch it," he says, ''but it's a dumb show." That's the same brutal honesty Rogan brings to his stage act. Stand-up comedy is perhaps the one thing he believes is sacred -- it's what he calls his ''living philosophy." It's an onstage evolution of ideas, ranging from sex to religion to nationalism. That's why he keeps his day job separate from his stand-up.

''It has no bearing whatsoever on what I do onstage," he says. ''What I do onstage is always uncensored. It's always, 'Here's the world through my eyes with no filter.' You can handle it or you can't handle, that's up to you."

Joe Rogan's Comedy Connection shows tonight and tomorrow are at 8 and 10:15. $29. Call 617 -248-9700 or visit

Around town
Rebecca Anderson, Mandy Donovan, Andrea Henry, JJ Leslie, Ellen Moschetto, Tony Moschetto, the Steamy Bohemians, Brent Sverdloff, the Walsh Brothers, and Phil Yebba play the Comedy Studio tonight. . . . Kevin Knox, E.J. Murphy, and Matt Soni play the Comedy Escape in Lowell tonight and tomorrow. . . . Tracy Morgan plays two shows at the Connection Sunday.

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