Although he's often billed as a spoken word performer, Henry Rollins' humorous and insightful monologues could easily be classified as comedy.
Although he's often billed as a spoken word performer, Henry Rollins' humorous and insightful monologues could easily be classified as comedy. But Rollins was a bit concerned when he recently performed at a New York comedy club. You see, the show was originally going to be held at another local venue -- which specialized in live music -- but the place closed its doors recently. Only problem is that Rollins doesn't consider himself a stand-up comedian.
In fact, one of the first things Rollins explained upon hitting the stage on this night was that he had never even set foot in a comedy club before. He needn't have worried, because the evening was loaded with funny stories about his seemingly endless life on the road. There was never a dip in the intensity, a major accomplishment when considering the performance lasted for two hours and 15 minutes.
Rollins kicked things off with a story about recently acting in a movie with Sam Elliot and Selma Blair called "The Alibi," in which he plays a bodyguard who must keep Blair's character from being unfaithful to Elliot's character. One scene required him to go into an 'adult store' (another place he had never set foot in before) and improv a scene.
Other funny stories included meeting a strange NYC cab driver named Ijaz, who offered Henry a plane ticket to go with him to visit his native Pakistan but never came through on his promise.
Henry also talked about how he likes to put himself in unpleasant situations (feeling he gets stronger/wiser from them), such as traveling on the fabled Trans Siberian Express, which is basically a weeklong ride on an old train in Russia. With the only scenery being miles upon miles of a snowy frozen wasteland, Rollins explained how he had to battle other dangerous elements, such as a nagging stewardess (who had to communicate via hand gestures, due to the language barrier).
It was this same stewardess that eventually coerced Rollins into eating a foul fish dinner one evening. This then detoured into a hilarious tale about how he vomited up the evening's entire cuisine into the train's public toilet.
As longtime fans know, Rollins refuses to skirt around people and issues he dislikes, and President George Bush is high on his list (although past Rollins targets like U2, Sylvester Stallone and Geraldo Rivera were spared this time).
How Rollins continues to keep up such a hectic pace is anyone's guess, between music, acting, book publishing, etc. But as evidenced on this cool early autumn evening, he never runs out of things to talk about.