Colin Quinn

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Colin Quinn
Colin Quinn Interviewed cropped.jpg
Colin Quinn, July 2005 age 46
Birth name Colin Edward Quinn
Born (1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 54)
Brooklyn, New York, US
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 1984–present
Genres Observational comedy, black comedy, sketch comedy, satire, political satire, news satire
Subject(s) American politics, American culture, current events, race relations, world history, drinking culture
Influences Richard Pryor,[1] George Carlin[2]
Notable works and roles Co-host of Remote Control
Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live
Host of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn

Colin Edward Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian and writer. He is best known for his five-year stint on Saturday Night Live (1995–2000), as the sidekick on the late 80s MTV gameshow Remote Control, and as the host of the Comedy Central series Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.

Early years[edit]

Quinn was born and raised in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The son of teachers,[3] he attended and graduated from John Dewey High School. He attended Stony Brook University for a year and worked as a bartender. He stopped drinking in the early 1980s after several bad experiences with alcohol, including blackouts and arrests.[4]

He began performing stand-up in 1984, and first achieved fame in 1987 as the sidekick announcer of the MTV game show Remote Control, which lasted five seasons. In 1989, he hosted the A&E stand-up showcase Caroline's Comedy Hour, and wrote and acted in the comedic short/music video Going Back to Brooklyn with Ben Stiller. He wrote for In Living Color, and co-wrote and produced the movie Celtic Pride, which starred Damon Wayans and Dan Aykroyd.

Saturday Night Live[edit]

In 1995, Quinn was hired by Saturday Night Live as a writer and featured player. He became a full cast member during the 1997–1998 season. He established himself on the show with characters such as "Lenny the Lion" and "Joe Blow", and did the recurring segment "Colin Quinn Explains the New York Times". He began hosting Weekend Update in January 1998 after Norm Macdonald's firing, and anchored the segment until his departure in 2000. Quinn commented on a number of highly publicized media circuses, including the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal and the Microsoft Anti-Trust Trial. At the end of each Weekend Update segment, he used the catchphrase, "That's my story and I'm sticking to it." He was not thrilled about his run on the show, declaring on an episode of Tough Crowd, "I don't miss it."

During his SNL tenure, Quinn made his Broadway debut in a one-man show, Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake co-written with Lou DiMaggio, and was offered the role of Scott Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery by Mike Myers, which he turned down.[5] The role was accepted by Seth Green.

Recurring characters on SNL[edit]

  • Gene, an ex-convict who performs menial work.
  • Joe Blow, a blue-collar worker from Queens who complains about the decline of his neighborhood.
  • Lenny the Lion, a lion who is trying to better himself.
  • Rolf, a racist who always has second thoughts about his behavior.

Celebrity characters[edit]

Television and film work and stand-up[edit]

After leaving SNL, Quinn hosted The Colin Quinn Show on NBC and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn on Comedy Central.

Tough Crowd followed The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and was one of several attempts to create a companion show for Stewart's program. It was renewed through the 2005 season, but was placed on indefinite hiatus in October 2004, with its "final" episode airing on November 4, 2004. The show featured a panel of four comedians, with Quinn as host, discussing the social and political issues of the day. The show ran for two seasons, and consisted of over 200 episodes.

His stand-up was also used in the animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties.[6]

Colin performs regularly at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. In 2004, he was named No. 56 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-ups of all-time. He was also named to the Irish America Magazine list of the "Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year".[7]

Quinn shown during a USO tour in 2005

He was the "unofficial co-host" on the Nick DiPaolo show on the now-defunct 92.3 Free FM in New York City, airing Monday-Friday from noon to three. Quinn and DiPaolo were originally slated to host the show together on WJFK-FM, but the station decided not to pick up the show. Nick often referred to Quinn as "the joke fairy", due to his propensity for telling a joke and hanging up the phone before getting a response. Quinn is also a regular guest on The Opie & Anthony Show, where he disclosed the thousands of pages of "manifestos" that he's written since the cancellation of Tough Crowd. He has never elaborated on the contents.

More recently, Quinn played Dickie Bailey, the childhood rival to Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler's character) in both Grown Ups films. He also currently recurs as Hermie on the HBO series Girls.

In 2010, Quinn premiered his one-man show "Colin Quinn Long Story Short" on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre, directed by Jerry Seinfeld. Comically channeling the demise of various world empires, Quinn takes a satirical look at the history of the world in 75 minutes. Quinn recorded a special performance of the show that aired on HBO on April 9, 2011. He explores the attitudes, appetites and habits that toppled some of the world's most powerful nations.[8]

In summer 2011, Quinn toured "Colin Quinn Long Story Short" to Guild Hall in East Hampton, Philadelphia Theatre Company in Philadelphia, and other cities including Chicago at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1987–1990 Remote Control Sidekick/Announcer Television series
1987 Three Men and a Baby Gift shop Clerk
1988 Cosby Show, TheThe Cosby Show Davey Herbeck Television series
13 episodes
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Onlooker at mansion
1988 Married to the Mob Homicide detective
1988 2 Hip 4 TV Host Television series
1989 Caroline's Comedy Hour Host Television series
1990 Manly World Television series
1990 True Blue Television series
1 episode
1992 Ben Stiller Show, TheThe Ben Stiller Show Guest Television series
1 episode
1993 Who's the Man? Frankie Flynn
1995 Larry Sanders Show, TheThe Larry Sanders Show Cully Television series
1 episode
1995–2000 Saturday Night Live Various Television series
97 episodes
1996 Christmas Tree, TheThe Christmas Tree Tom Television film
1996 Celtic Pride Writer
1997 Pulp Comics: Jim Breuer Cop Television film
1998 A Night at the Roxbury Dooey
2002–2004 Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn Host Television series
2003 Crooked Lines Annoying customer
2003 Windy City Heat Talk show guest Television film
2005 Inked Himself Television series
2006 Home Himself
2008 Harold Reedy
2010 Grown Ups Dickie Bailey
2011 Colin Quinn Long Story Short Himself Stand-up performance
2012 That's My Boy Strip Club DJ
2013 Grown Ups 2 Dickie Bailey
2013–2014 Girls Hermie 3 episodes
2015 Trainwreck TBA Pre-production [9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Norm Macdonald
Weekend Anchor
1998–2000
Succeeded by
Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon