Episode Number: 652
Episode Guest: Ricky Schroder
Original Airdate: May 25, 2015
Episode Sponsors: Squarespace, Uber, Onnit
Guest Bio: Ricky Schroder is an actor and film director. He debuted in the 1979 hit film The Champ, going on to become a child star on the sitcom Silver Spoons. His latest work, a docu-series called The Fighting Season can be seen on DirecTV or downloaded on iTunes now.
Topics Discussed: Being accepted by the soldiers; motivation to make the docu-series; Starting Strong infomercial series for the Army; working with the Army; not being allowed to film military technology; suicide bombers; Jihad; 72 virgins; having second thoughts about going to the Middle East; journalists being killed; not knowing who the enemy is; spoken languages in the Middle East; regional conflict; poppies and heroin in the Middle East; Kabul; food; change; corruption; feeling of helplessness; US pulling troops from the Middle East; locals want a US military presence; nation building; Ricky’s first day filming; decision making; all the footage he filmed; shooting process; why he made the docu-series; soldier sentiment of war; war misconceptions; civilians killed/collateral damage; reality of drones in war; second thoughts about filming; letting the enemy go; Guantanamo Bay; Geneva Conventions; his worst time there; working with an Aussie cameraman; seeing dead bodies; Islamaphobia; radical Islamics; religion; suicide bombers; anti-Taliban civilians; Islamic man-boy love; homosexuality; the treatment of women in the Middle East; challenges of returning home; growing up privileged; would he go back again; what’s next; what sparked Ricky’s interest in the military; reporters in the Middle East; apprehension before going; editing the series.
My Thoughts: This is a weird one. It’s basically a nearly two-hour interview/advertisement for Ricky’s docu-series. Joe barely talks, and when he does, it feels like he’s asking questions that have been prepared beforehand. The interview doesn’t go off the topic of Ricky making the documentary. I get the feeling that Joe holds back his opinions or bites his tongue at certain points. It comes off like he’s doing a favor for a friend.
Podcast Video: Below is a video of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast episode #652 available for streaming via YouTube.