Rich Rebuilds on the Joe Rogan Experience.

We have talked about Rich Benoit and his YouTube channel, Rich Rebuilds.  It was a compelling and nicely produced video on the Motherboard YouTube network that first caught our eye…  Rich finds two halves of salvageable Tesla sedans and tries to marry the two cars into one functional ride.  The ensuing quest to rebuild these cars with the assistance of the local Tesla dealer becomes a comical and thought provoking display of corporate protectionism mixed with a Marx Brothers routine.  (The party of the first part…)

Rich’s work with Tesla bits and pieces is asking fundamental questions that need to be answered.  Who REALLY owns this car when you buy a Tesla? What is Tesla’s responsibility to the vehicles after they run out of warranty?  Can they decline repairs or the sale of replacement parts? Can the car be deemed obsolete like an old iphone?

Rich Benoit sitting in a Tesla Salvage… Photo unceremoniously stolen from the Boston Globe.

When Rich’s interview with Joe Rogan showed up on my Podcast list…  I was ready to listen ASAP. Rogan asks great questions and digs deep in every interview.  His trademark 3-hour marathon podcasts afford him the time and sometimes flat-out cander to go to the core of the subject.  I love the progressive thinkers he acquires on this show and listen at every opportunity. Benoit seemed like the perfect fit with his cutting edge work on Tesla’s and the sinister underbelly of a big corporation that he shed light on.

Let’s be clear… I am a fan of the Rogan show, so I know how it goes.  Lots of Joe “weirdness” and maybe even some mind-altering drugs conversation… But that is usually in some kind of third eye, hypnotic state conversation.  Whatever. I’ve heard a lot of it!

Benoit and Rogan start off talking about the “Rich Rebuilds” YouTube channel and conversation rolls back and forth but starts to wander onto odd subjects like rent in San Francisco to the Fugees.  About 90 minutes in it begins to become obvious that this episode is not going to be talking about Tesla, Elon or anything about Benoits restoration business. There is a moment of pitching for his garage that he is starting…  But its brief.

Instead…  After talking about things like Bow Hunting, Vampire Facials and AI overtaking the world.  We end up with the last hour being Rich interviewing Rogan about his “party tricks” and what advice Rogan can impart on the newly unemployed Benoit.  Joe’s advice? Stand-up comedy. (To be fair, I think Rich baited the hook and Joe runs with it)

I am not Rich’s biggest viewer, so I cannot proclaim to know that he would not be successful at a gig in front of a brick wall.  But this advice does not seem like it would take his current skill set into consideration. The show digresses into Benoit pandering to Rogan like a telemarketer who gets paid to keep you on the line for a few minutes longer.  Rogan is game and the show just rolls on… and on… and on. There is nothing in this last hour except a desperate sounding Benoit who is looking to make sure he can snag as many of his 15 minutes of fame as he can… Clinging to them… Second by second!

All of this led to a frustrating show…  Heres a few reasons why:

  1. Missed opportunities for real conversation.  Benoit knows as much about future tech and how it operated in the real world as any engineer at an EV company.  His hands are dirty from working on these cars. Why are we not getting into this?
  2. Shill to the man?  Rogan owns a Tesla…  He mentions this frequently when talking to any interviewee.  Rogan famously interviewed Elon Musk recently and we know he is a bit of an Elon desiciple.  Does he toe the Tesla line and hold off from critical thinking when it comes to criticising Tesla to appease Elon?  (Does Elon even care what humans on earth are saying about him?) You would hate to believe this is possible, as Rogan is one of the most freely thinking individuals I have ever heard.  Is he mentally caged by his love of Elon?
  3. Electrified Garage?  Benoit starting his own shop dedicated to EV’s and their future as affordable transportation for all is another missed opportunity.  What is the market? What are customers asking him for that the manufacturers aren’t providing?
  4. The Garage did have an Indigogo…  But it literally had rewards like Steak Knives and Condoms.  Maybe this can be part of the future comedy act?  It was definitely something that could have been talked about!
  5. Stand Up and Podcasts are not something that 99.9% of the population can make a career out of.  Rogan suggesting that anyone can make this a reasonable line of work shows that he getting to that “out of touch” celeb who I am dreading thinking he could become.  
  6. The guest interviewing the host was great fun… But I didn’t listen to this episode to hear the tables get turned…  And it had that whiff of desperation I mentioned above.  Get Maron to interview Rogan…  Get Charlie Rose (He’s free I heard).  Dont waste Benoits time with this ego stroke!

What do I know???  Benoit could be the greatest podcaster…  The greatest comedian… Time will tell what’s in his cards.  Sticking to the card theme… His hand is filled with EV knowledge…  I dont see great success if he strays from this EV path and continues on this new quest to build pseudo celebrity status.   Thats just what one car guy in the Midwest thinks.  I have nothing on the line…  He has his whole life depending on this show.  (At least that’s what it felt like)

Link to Rogans Feed:

Link to Rich’s Electrified Garage:

Link to the original Motherboard Video that started the Rich Rebuilds phenomena:

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