Colin Quinn in 2010
June 6, 1959 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film|
|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, George Carlin|
|Notable works and roles||Co-host of Remote Control
Weekend Update anchor on Saturday Night Live
Host of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
Colin Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. On television, he is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, where he anchored Weekend Update, on MTV's 1980's game show Remote Control, where he served as the announcer/sidekick, and as host of Comedy Central's late-night panel show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Notable film work includes his role as Dickey Bailey in the Grown Ups films and co-starring as Amy Schumer's father in the film Trainwreck.
Quinn has also become known for his comedic one-man shows that offer his unique takes on history and growing up in New York City. As of 2015, he has written and starred in five shows: Irish Wake, My Two Cents, Long Story Short, Unconstitutional, and The New York Story, two of which he collaborated on with Jerry Seinfeld as director. Long Story Short was also filmed as an HBO special that aired on April 9, 2011.
Quinn was born and raised in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, the son of teachers. He attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in Stony Brook, Long Island, but did not graduate. He stopped drinking in the early 1980s after several bad experiences with alcohol, including blackouts and arrests.
Quinn began performing stand-up comedy 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" (a parody of LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali") 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
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.
During his SNL tenure, Quinn was offered the role of Scott Evil in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery by Mike Myers, which he turned down. The role was accepted by Seth Green. Quinn has called it the only project he has regretted turning down.
Television and film work and stand-up
After leaving SNL, Quinn hosted the short-lived The Colin Quinn Show on NBC, which was cancelled after three episodes.
Quinn had greater success with his subsequent show, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, which ran on weekdays on Comedy Central from 2002 to 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 over 200 episodes.
His stand-up was also used in the animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties.
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. Quinn was also a regular guest on The Opie & Anthony Show until its run ended in 2014.
Quinn wrote and starred in the L/Studio web series Cop Show, which premiered in February 2015. The series stars Quinn as a satirical, pompous version of himself, starring in a New York City-based crime drama. The show's guest stars have included Jerry Seinfield, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Che, Jim Norton, Pat Cooper, and Amy Schumer.
Quinn made his Broadway debut in 1998 in a one-man show, Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake, co-written with Lou DiMaggio. The show reflected Quinn's upbringing within the Irish-American community of Brooklyn; it was set at a wake in 1976, with Quinn portraying family members and acquaintances who show up for the event.
In 2009, Quinn premiered his second one-man show My Two Cents, which covers the economic crumbling of the American empire.
In 2010, Quinn premiered his third one-man show Colin Quinn Long Story Short on Broadway, directed by Jerry Seinfeld. The show covered world history from prehistoric times to the present, offering satirical takes on the rise and fall of various world empires. Quinn recorded a special performance of the show that aired on HBO on April 9, 2011.
Quinn starred in his fifth one-man show, The New York Story, in July and August 2015 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. The show is based upon the experiences chronicled in his book, The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America. It delves into his growing up in the ethnically diverse Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and how it has changed over the years into its current state. Jerry Seinfeld, who directed Long Story Short, returned as director.
Quinn has gained attention for his account on the social network Twitter, where he usually posts deliberately vacuous statements, often in the form of either inspirational statements or boasts about his celebrity status, that are intended to provoke his readers.
Awards and honors
In 2004, Quinn was named No. 56 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all-time.
|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
|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
|1992||Ben Stiller Show, TheThe Ben Stiller Show||Guest||Television series
|1993||Who's the Man?||Frankie Flynn|
|1995||Larry Sanders Show, TheThe Larry Sanders Show||Cully||Television series
|1995–2000||Saturday Night Live||Various||Television series
|1996||Christmas Tree, TheThe Christmas Tree||Tom||Television film|
|1997||Pulp Comics: Jim Breuer||Cop||Television film|
|1997||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Himself||Television series|
|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|
|2010||Grown Ups||Dickie Bailey|
|2011||Colin Quinn: Long Story Short||Himself||Television movie|
|2012||That's My Boy||Strip Club DJ|
|2013||Grown Ups 2||Dickie Bailey|
- "Colin Quinn". Popentertainment.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
- Colin Quinn: Tough Guy
- "Colin Quinn Biography (1959-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
- "Colin Quinn...Irish Comic Standing". (interview) AskMen.com. n.d. p. 2. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
I grew up in Brooklyn, mixed area...
- Rattiner, David (June 2, 2011). "Colin Quinn Talks With Dan’s!". Dan's Papers (Southampton, New York: Manhattan Media LLC).
In college I stayed on Long Island and went to Stony Brook University. ... I only lasted there a few years, but I never graduated.
- Quinn interview, AskMen.com, p. 1
- Top 100 - 2011: Colin Quinn, Irish America
- Rabin, Nathan (June 18, 2003). "Colin Quinn". The Onion A.V. Club.
- Holcomb-Holland, Lori (3 February 2015). "Colin Quinn’s Streaming ‘Cop Show’ to Satirize Police Dramas". Arts Beat. New York Times. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- Rosen, Christopher (July 23, 2015). "Colin Quinn is legit good in Trainwreck". Entertainment Weekly.
- Broadway World
- Galchen, Rivka (June 3, 2013). "Framers Reframed". The New Yorker.
- Colin Quinn at the Internet Movie Database
- Colin Quinn on National Public Radio in 2003
- ColinQuinn.com – official website
- Colin Quinn at the Comedy Hall of Fame
|Weekend Update anchor
Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon