A Look at David Johansen’s Life


Showtime has unveiled a new trailer and set a release date for Personality Crisis: One Night Only, a documentary about the life and influence of rock star David Johansen. The documentary is directed by Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese (Direction Home: Bob Dylan, George Harrison: Living in the Material World) and co-directed by Emmy nominee David Tedeschi (The 50 Year Argument).

The trailer takes us to New York City’s Café Carlyle, where Johansen showed up for an intimate cabaret performance in January 2020. As a huge fan of the artist’s work, Scorsese wanted to film the performance and use it as a framing device to explore Johansen’s life’s lasting influence. So, by stitching together fragments of Johansen’s Café Carlyle with archive footage and interviews, Scorcese and Tedeschi intend to show the singer’s evolution as an artist in a thoughtful exploration of the 1970s and 1980s.


Johansen was the singer of the New York Dolls with bandmates Johnny Thunders and Sylvain Sylvain on guitar, Arthur Kane on bass, and Billy Murcia on drums. The New York Dolls front-headed the punk movement in America, serving as inspiration for artists such as The Ramones, KISS, and The Smiths. Johansen has also had memorable appearances in films like Scrooged, Let It Ride, and Freejack. Currently, he hosts the weekly show David Johansen’s Mansion of Fun on Sirius XM.

Image via Showtime

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Talking about Personality Crisis: One Night Only, Scorcese said:

“I’ve known David Johansen for decades, and his music has been a touchstone ever since I listened to the Dolls when I was making Mean Streets. Then and now, David’s music captures the energy and excitement of New York City. I often see him perform, and over the years I’ve gotten to know the depth of his musical inspirations. After seeing his show at the Café Carlyle, I knew I had to film it because it was so extraordinary to see the evolution of his life and his musical talent in such an intimate setting.”

When Is Personality Crisis: One Night Only Coming to Showtime?

Scorsese also serves as a producer for Personality Crisis: One Night Only alongside Margaret Bodde, Justin Wilkes, and Sara Bernstein. Executive producers are Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Mara Hennessey, Rick Yorn, and Vinnie Malhotra.

Personality Crisis: One Night Only premieres on Showtime on April 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The documentary will be available for streaming and on-demand to Showtime subscribers on the same day. Check out the new trailer and poster below:



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