Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal (2018)

Henry Rollins: Keep Talking, Pal is a TV special starring Henry Rollins. The singer performs a one-man spoken word show.
  • 6.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2020-03-15 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Brian Volk-Weiss, Director:
  • Producer:
10 / 10

A quietly amazing show from one of the most versatile people in music

Rollins (real name: Henry Lawrence Garfield) has been around for decades and seems to have done everything at some point. Starting as a punk rocker in the 1980's and '90's, he quickly branched out in every aspect of media and has been the owner of a record label (Black Flag), a radio and TV host, TV and movie actor (he has appeared in over 30 movies and countless TV shows), voice-over artist, and the author of half a dozen books... there seems to be nothing in media Rollins can't do. He hasn't had a relationship since he was in his 20's, by choice, He is voluntarily childless. Fronting the Henry Rollins Band, to me he was most memorable some 20 odd years ago as a video on Beavis and Butthead performing the oddly creepy/funny song "Liar" (while B & B provide the narration). When you hear the song you can't help but think of somebody you've met who fit the lyrics to a T - and who can forget them?

Cause I'm a liar, yeah, I'm a liarI'll tear your mind out, I'll burn your soulI'll turn you into me, I'll turn you into me'Cause I'm a liar, a liar, a liar, a liar, a liar.. (Maniacal laughter)

Despite having been around on the fringes of, well, everything for over 30 years, Rollins has not lost any of the steam that made him relevant - and if anything he seems to be gathering momentum yet again. Other recent appearances ("Portlandia") highlight Rollins' chameleon-like ability to create his own niche nearly effortlessly and this show is one more example. In this one-man show/documentary/comedy special/? we hear Henry's sometimes startling stories and observations on his life, his music, his opinions, strange experiences he has had and plenty more. Henry is the rare kind of musician that defies categorization; but if you're familiar with Rollins - and especially if you're not - this Showtime documentary is probably worth a look. It's a peek into the mind of one of the most amazing, prolific, and yet little-known personalities in show business.

1 / 10

Harcore Punk Icon turns to Safespace Liberalism to salvage career

Wow. I would've never predicted it.

Always an edgy character who pushes the emotional envelope, frontman for leading 80s hardcore punk group Henry Rollins has finally maxed out, lost his way over the hill.Without giving away too much- he suggests that we should replace men with women in jobs, 75/25 ratio- where 'killing sprees may be necessary.' He justifies almost every aspect manifest in the far left right now- quite sad to see such a strong figure in the fight for free expression tuck his tail, caving in for smug hipsters and self-deprecating academics. Of course I expected him to rage against Trump, and the establishment- I just didn't expect him to kneel to the intellectual half of it, especially the half who's done the most recently to restrict free speech and alter due process.

One of those moments where it makes sense for some folks to just go back and get normal jobs after their careers in entertainment have peaked- otherwise what they do for attention ends up being mind-numbingly hypocritical and pathetic. There is dignity in being just like anyone else, but being able to mantain your dignity.

3 / 10

Racist and sexist. That's progress

In 2018, Henry has distilled the world down to race and sex. According to the man himself, one sex is all evil (except himself) and one race (or to be more accurate, skin colour) is evil (except Henry himself). All of the world's problems are white men (like Robert Mugabee, Henry - or just Joseph Stalin? It's not clear with Henry's well articulated ... something!?!)

Henry, if you're reading this (and I hope you do), may you read up on two feminists, Cassie Jaye and Christina Hoff Sommers. Christina has a very useful insight into women in education (not all of them, only the activists, but enough to make a huge difference). Christina's books were so challenging that some feminists took to burning them on YouTube (check it out).

These two ladies should be able to answer some of your questions from your show, Henry. Christina wrote a book on education! Cassie also has some interesting perspectives on violence from women that I'm shocked you, Henry, never read about. I understand that takes wide reading to have a wide view of the world. This would likely include a wide view where one doesn't judge people by their skin colour or sex. Wait, that's exactly what Henry does!

To quote Henry in this performance "it's not Al-Qaeda, it's not Islam. It's white men. It's white men". That's insightful, Henry. How about we chip in for a free ticket to send you to Al-Qaeda homeland so you can judge first hand. May I recommend you read up some published materials before you go (maybe, Lawrence Wright ... if you can tolerate a white male other than yourself).

Henry has always been an interesting man. I've casually followed Henry for a long time. I'm very surprised to see how Henry has changed. Henry has the right to express his views, even the intolerant ones. I have the right to disagree with his sexism, racism and sponsorship of violence through ignorance. He'll vilify me for it and that's his choice.

Is this worth watching? Probably not. Rollins' older material is far more entertaining and thought provoking. The "I hate all white males, except myself" was cliched long ago. This performance is more sock puppet than thought provoking. That's the most disappointing aspect of a man who used to challenge how I thought.

3/10 for nostalgia.

1 / 10

Extremely Intelligent but Predictably Ignorant

Henry's delivery and structure is truly incredible but he's clearly a product of his generation and the media supplying its ideas. It's quite a shame.

1 / 10

Not Funny, No Talent

Sorry "Just Johnny" but stick to music or your one line acting career. You're not funny in any way, you have no comedic talent. Stay in your own lane, pal.