'He had hookers': Joe Rogan confuses Jerry Falwell Sr. with Jimmy Swaggart

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan speaks with "Triggernometery" podcast hosts and comedians Francis Foster and Konstantin Kisin on July 27, 2022. |

Joe Rogan, who has one of the most popular podcasts in the world, made a major blunder when he confused the late Jerry Falwell Sr. with televangelist Jimmy Swaggart by describing the former as having been caught with "hookers."

On Wednesday's episode of the "Joe Rogan Experience" with "Triggernometry" hosts Francis Foster and Konstantin Kisin that covered a wide range of topics from free speech to the war in Ukraine, the three comedians and podcasters spoke about how people who virtue signal or claim to be "male feminists" are often the ones sexually harassing women or mistreating their colleagues.

"The more 'right' someone's opinions, the more naughty they are behind the scenes," Kisin said. 

Foster, who, along with Kisin, is from England and less familiar with American televangelists and Evangelical leaders, said: "It's a new version of the fire and brimstone preacher, like Jerry Falwell. Do you remember that case?"

"Yes, of course," Rogan replied, mimicking Swaggart crying. "God, I have sinned you."

"He had hookers and s—. He got a little too crazy," Rogan added. "But the thing is, back then, you didn't have Facebook. You couldn't counteract this with a nice blog post. ... So what he had to do was cry on TV and it's hilarious. It's hilarious also because he might've really meant it. Maybe he did really start off originally as a man of God and lost his way, and then got corrupted just like a politician."

Twenty minutes later, Rogan's producer, Jamie Vernon, told the podcasters that they had confused Falwell Sr. with Swaggart. "It wasn't him, by the way," Vernon said. 

"It wasn't him (Falwell) crying?" Rogan asked before correcting himself. "Jimmy Swaggart, that's right. So which one's Jerry Falwell?"

His producer then made a second factual error when he said Falwell "had stuff going on, too, but he didn't cry."

"Did he (Falwell) get busted too? Was it the same thing? Hookers?" Rogan asked with everyone replying in the affirmative, still confused about who Falwell was. 

"I had them confused," Rogan said.

"Jerry Falwell is now going to sue, wherever he is," Foster quipped. 

Rogan replied, "We might have to edit that out. ... I don't know what he did."

Falwell Sr. was the founder of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and the founding pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, where he served from 1956 until he died in 2007. He was also a major leader in what was known as the Moral Majority, which became a force in U.S. politics. 

Swaggart, now 87, is a Pentecostal televangelist who started his ministry in 1971 that was originally known as the “Camp Meeting Hour.” He garnered a Grammy Award nomination for Best Performance for Traditional Gospel in 1980. He is now the senior pastor of the Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

On Feb. 21, 1988, Swaggart delivered his famous and often parodied “I have sinned” sermon. After being caught with a prostitute, he took to the pulpit and tearfully confessed before his congregation, declaring: “I have sinned."

He apologized to various people, including his family and the Assemblies of God denomination. 

“I have no one but myself to blame. I do not lay the fault or the blame of the charge at anyone else's feet. For no one is to blame but Jimmy Swaggart. I take the responsibility. I take the blame. I take the fault,” he said.

“To my fellow television ministers and evangelists, you that are already bearing an almost unbearable load, to continue to say and tell the great story of Jesus' love, I have made your load heavier and I have hurt you. Please forgive me for sinning against you.”

On Oct. 11, 1991, Swaggart was caught with another prostitute when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over for driving on the wrong side of the road. 

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