Northeast Times

Colin Quinn performing at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre

FOR PULSE: Colin Quinn Long Story Short . Photo Cred­it: Car­ol Rosseg

Dir­ect from its Broad­way run, and star­ring Sat­urday Night Live and HBO writer-comedi­an Colin Quinn, Long Story Short: A One-Man Com­edy Mani­festo con­tin­ues through Ju­ly 10 at the Su­z­anne Roberts Theatre.

Dir­ec­ted by Quinn’s friend and com­edy le­gend Jerry Sein­feld, this satir­ic­al pro­duc­tion ex­plores a his­tory of the world in 75 minutes that proves throughout hu­man his­tory, the joke has al­ways been on us.

Ac­cord­ing to Quinn, “I wanted to show that no mat­ter how much time goes by, noth­ing really changes. People nev­er really change. So in this play I could be talk­ing about people in Phil­adelphia today or in an­cient Greece. The only thing that has changed is that we may have got­ten more soph­ist­ic­ated in our tech­no­logy, but our be­ha­vi­or and our emo­tions have stayed ex­actly the same.”

Maybe so, but Quinn has cer­tainly evolved over the years. Born in Brook­lyn 52 years ago, Quinn’s grav­elly Brook­lyn ac­cent and man­ner­isms be­came a trade­mark of his per­form­ances, as did his polit­ic­al com­ment­ar­ies, work­ing-class hu­mor and cyn­ic­al de­liv­ery. Today he is known for tack­ling con­tem­por­ary so­ci­et­al is­sues with satir­ic­al hu­mor.

Grow­ing up, Quinn said, he gave no ser­i­ous thought to be­com­ing a comedi­an, al­though he ad­mit­ted he was the quint­es­sen­tial class clown. “I was the class cut-up, the wise guy who sat on the stoop mak­ing people laugh, the one with ADD who nev­er shut up,” he said.

In the back of his mind loomed the idea of be­com­ing a comedi­an, but when he was grow­ing up there wer­en’t many com­ics around. “There was George Carlin, Richard Pry­or, Robert Klein and Dav­id Bren­ner. That’s it. Only about four in the whole world who were suc­cess­fully do­ing stan­dup, so it was really hard to pic­ture your­self join­ing those ranks,” he said.

In­stead, Quinn worked as a bar­tender, which, he in­sisted, was just the right job for him to even­tu­ally go in­to show busi­ness.

“One night, I went to an open-mike night and fell in love with per­form­ing,” Quinn said. “I kept bar­tend­ing while work­ing on my routines. Bar­tend­ing was the greatest job for a comedi­an, be­cause I worked from 11 a.m. un­til 8 p.m. and wouldn’t go on un­til 1 in the morn­ing, so I had time to make money and prac­tice my com­edy.” 

In 1984, Quinn got his real start in stan­dup, and by 1987 he be­came co-host of the MTV game show Re­mote Con­trol, which also fea­tured per­form­ances by Adam Sand­ler and Denis Leary. Quinn re­mained the show’s co-host for the next three years, and later wrote and per­formed in the pop­u­lar comed­ic short Go­ing Back to Brook­lyn along with Ben Stil­ler.

In­deed, much of Quinn’s early ca­reer fo­cused on writ­ing as well as stan­dup com­edy, in­clud­ing a stint as a writer for the TV show In Liv­ing Col­or. In 1995, Quinn was hired by Sat­urday Night Live, work­ing as a writer and a fea­tured play­er un­til the be­gin­ning of the 1996 sea­son, when he be­came a full cast mem­ber.

After SNL, Quinn went on to pro­duce Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and later starred in his first one-man show, Sanc­ti­fy­ing Grace, off-Broad­way, which was later pro­duced as Colin Quinn — An Ir­ish Wake. More re­cently, he was seen in Sand­ler’s com­edy film Grown Ups. Today, Quinn is hap­pily tour­ing his Long Story Short.

ldquo;I really like do­ing them­at­ic stand-up — something with a be­gin­ning and an end,” he ex­plained. “Maybe be­cause in that way people pay more at­ten­tion to me. Be­sides, I love writ­ing and then per­form­ing the things I have writ­ten about. I also love the feel­ing I get when I’m do­ing stan­dup. The laughs are what every comedi­an loves. And un­til that stops you feel good — really good.” ••

For times and tick­et in­form­a­tion, call 215-985-0420.

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