Instead of thinking of this as a comedy show (though there are laughs) rather it is a spoken word show. Delivering his talk/dialogue at the same frenetic pace as when he fronted the punk band Black Flag, this Showtime special was filmed at a show at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland, Maine. Right off the top he says that he selected Portland because he has never had a bad time or show there. Also goes on to tell a story about how back in the day when he was touring with Black Flag a lot of his audience and fans were people he was afraid of. People from Los Angeles who had warrants out against them. Then he would play a show in Portland and see them. Asking what they were doing there they would tell them that Portland was a place people could disappear.
Not your typical comedy show in that he does not tell jokes. Stories and his observations on life and the world today make up the 58 minute set. Talks continuously with hardly any pauses. Obviously comfortable on stage which is not surprising as early on in the show Rollins says that he calculates that he has played over 3,000 shows over the course of his career. A career that began as a singer in a punk band in the 1980s and has morphed into television and radio show host, actor, author, and voice over work. Early on he explains that he is quite a shy guy, but it is combined with the fact that he does not like to back down or take the easy way out. This has led to several crazy moments on stage. Like one in Michigan where a member of the audience threw a deer head on stage. Not one to back down from a challenge, he proceded to pick up the head, pluck out an eye with some difficulty and then chow down on it. Another time to earn money from the audience by doing something to gross them out, he took off his tube socks, wrung them out which filled an entire glass and then drank it. The guy is no shrinking violet.
This is also proven through his solutions to the problems in the United States and world today. They are most certainly unique in that he thinks there is no better time to live in America than now because everything matters. Definitely a left wing guy, so he says to keep the faith as there will soon be no one left alive to watch Fox News…not that he is advocating killing them, rather that they will die of natural causes soon. A more violent action might be required for his next change. Rollins believes that leadership should from now on by 75% female and 25% male. That white men, not immigrants, Islam or brown people, are the problem in the USA.
Another large portion of the set is taken up with how uncool he is when he meets musicians/celebrities. He tells stories of how he met Ozzy Osbourne and David Bowie without stopping his fan boy from coming out. That their music saved his life. Then there is a good 10 minutes on Rupaul. How brilliant he thinks he is, how seriously he took being a judge on his show and how they are now friends. Believes Rupaul is an important person and how as a civil rights activist he has kept others alive.
To watch this show on Showtime check out the schedule at https://www.sho.com/titles/3456511/henry-rollins-keep-talking-pal
It is also available on demand at Showtime.