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Colin Quinn

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Colin Quinn
Birth nameColin Edward Quinn
Born (1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 65)
New York City, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • television
  • film
  • radio
  • literature
  • one man show
EducationStony Brook University
Years active1983–present
Jen Sochko
(m. 2019)
Notable works and roles

Colin Edward Quinn (born June 6, 1959) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. He first gained widespread attention for his work as a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live from 1995 to 2000, and he became known for anchoring Weekend Update, the show's news parody segment. Prior to SNL, he was best known as the announcer/sidekick on MTV's 1980s game show Remote Control. Following his departure from SNL, Quinn went on to host Comedy Central's late-night panel show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, where he and a panel of New York's big names in stand-up comedy discussed and debated news stories of the day. Notable film work includes his role as Dooey in A Night at the Roxbury, Dickey Bailey in the Grown Ups films, and playing Amy Schumer's father in the film Trainwreck. Comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, and Dave Attell have cited Quinn as the quintessential "comic's comic" and New York comedian.[citation needed]

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 2020, he has written and starred in seven stage shows: Irish Wake, My Two Cents, Long Story Short, Unconstitutional, The New York Story, Red State Blue State, and The Wrong Side of History, two of which he collaborated on with Seinfeld as director. Long Story Short was filmed as an HBO special that aired on April 9, 2011, and Unconstitutional, The New York Story, and Red State Blue State were released as Netflix specials.

Early life[edit]

Quinn was born on June 6, 1959, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, where he was raised, the son of teachers.[1][2] He is of Irish descent. Quinn's paternal grandparents arrived from Belfast around 1920.[3] He attended Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, Long Island, but did not graduate.[4] He stopped drinking in the early 1980s after several bad experiences with alcohol, including blackouts and arrests.[5]


Early career[edit]

Quinn began performing stand-up comedy in 1984. He 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[edit]

Quinn was hired as a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live (SNL) in 1995 and became a full cast member during the 1997–1998 season. He established himself on the show with recurring characters and segments such as "Lenny the Lion", "Joe Blow", "Colin Quinn Explains The New York Times", and "Weekend Update".[6]

Quinn began hosting "Weekend Update" in January 1998 after Norm Macdonald was fired, and anchored the segment until his departure from SNL in 2000. He commented on a number of highly publicized media circuses, including the Clinton–Lewinsky scandal and the Microsoft anti-trust trial.[citation needed]

During his tenure on SNL, Quinn turned down an offer for the role of Scott Evil in fellow cast member Mike Myers's film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. Quinn has called the role, which was ultimately played by Seth Green, the only project he has regretted turning down.[7]

Television and film work and stand-up[edit]

After leaving SNL, Quinn hosted the short-lived The Colin Quinn Show on NBC in the spring of 2002. The show combined sketch comedy and stand-up in a live-to-tape format. Despite mostly positive reviews from critics, it 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.

Quinn performing during a USO tour in 2005

In 2005, Quinn participated in a USO tour of American military bases around the world, performing stand-up to entertain the troops.[8]

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 played Dickie Bailey, the childhood rival to Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler's character) in Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. He also had a recurring role as Hermie on the HBO series Girls.

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 Seinfeld, Dave Attell, Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Che, Tom Papa, Jim Norton, Pat Cooper, Irina Shayk and Amy Schumer.[9]

Quinn had a supporting role in Amy Schumer's film debut, Trainwreck, as her character's father. He was critically praised for his performance.[10]

One-man shows[edit]

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.[11]

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.[12] A Brazilian version of the show featuring comedian Bruno Motta has the title 1 Milhao de Anos em 1 Hora ("1 Million Years in 1 Hour").[13]

In 2013, Quinn premiered another one-man show on historical themes, Unconstitutional, which covers the United States Constitution, its creation, and its impact on the American psyche.[14]

Quinn starred in his fifth one-man show, The New York Story, in July and August 2015 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. The show was 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.[15] Seinfeld, who directed Long Story Short, returned as director.

In early 2019, Quinn premiered his sixth one-man show, Red State Blue State, at the Minetta Lane Theatre.[16] The show explored contemporary politics in the United States on both sides of the primary political spectrum.[17]

In 2020, Quinn released his second book, Overstated: A Coast-to-Coast Roast of the 50 States, and directed the HBO Max comedy special Colin Quinn & Friends: A Parking Lot Comedy Show.

Personal life[edit]

In conversation with Judd Apatow in 2015 for the David Lynch Foundation Trainwreck tour,[18] Quinn said he had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for five years.[19]

On February 14, 2018, Quinn suffered a heart attack in New York. On Twitter several days later, he said he was doing well but if he dropped dead "you would see a funeral like Al Capone!"[20]

On June 8, 2019, Quinn married Late Night with Seth Meyers producer Jen Sochko.[21]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2004, Quinn was named No. 56 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest stand-up comedians of all time.

He was named one of the Top 100 Irish Americans of the year in 2004 and 2011 by the magazine Irish America.[6][22]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Rock 'n' Roll Hotel DJ Aired on HBO
1987 Three Men and a Baby Gift Shop Clerk
1988 Crocodile Dundee II Onlooker at Mansion
1988 Married to the Mob Homicide Detective
1993 Who's the Man? Frankie Flynn
1998 A Night at the Roxbury Dooey
2003 Crooked Lines Annoying Customer
2006 Home Himself Documentary film
2008 Harold Reedy
2009 Paper Boys TV Voiceover
2010 Grown Ups Dickie Bailey
2012 That's My Boy Strip Club DJ
2013 Grown Ups 2 Dickie Bailey
2015 Trainwreck Gordon
2016 Booted Debt Collector
2017 Sandy Wexler Kevin Connors
2019 Drunk Parents Ryan the Bum #2
2020 Hubie Halloween[23] Janitor


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1990 Remote Control Sidekick/Announcer and writer All episodes
1988 The Cosby Show Davey Herbeck 1 episode
1988 2 Hip 4 TV Co-host with Ahmet Zappa Unknown episodes
1989 Men Baltimore 1 episode
1989 Caroline's Comedy Hour Host 2 episodes
1989–1990 True Blue 2 episodes
1990 Manly World Also writer
1992 The Ben Stiller Show 1 episode
1992 Gaudy, Bawdy & Blue Mulligan TV movie
1995 The Larry Sanders Show Cully 1 episode
1996–2000 Saturday Night Live Cast Member 97 episodes
1996 The Christmas Tree Tom TV movie
1997 Pulp Comics: Jim Breuer Cop 1 episode
1997 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Himself 1 episode
2002 The Colin Quinn Show 3 episodes
2002–2004 Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn Host and writer 200+ episodes
2003 Windy City Heat Talk Show Guest TV movie
2004 Ring My Bell Game Show Guest CW Network
2008 What About Sal? O'Brien TV short
2011 Cheat Delivery Boy TV short
2011 The Green Room with Paul Provenza Himself 1 Episode
2013–2017 Girls Hermie 8 episodes
2014 The Awesomes Jeff Apelstein 7 episodes
2014–2015 Inside Amy Schumer Judge / Elevator Passenger From Hell 2 episodes
2015 The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore Pinocchio 1 episode
2015–2016 The Jim Gaffigan Show Himself 2 episodes
2019 Crashing Himself Episode: "The Viewing Party"


Year Title Notes
1993 In Living Color TV series (8 episodes)
1995–1997 Saturday Night Live TV series (also cast member) (40 episodes)
1996 Celtic Pride Film written with Judd Apatow
2014–2016 Cop Show 26 episodes

Comedy specials[edit]

Year Title Studio Formats
1992 One Night Stand HBO Broadcast/streaming
2011 Long Story Short HBO Broadcast/Blu-ray/DVD/download/streaming
2015 Unconstitutional Netflix DVD/CD/audio & video download/streaming
2016 The New York Story Netflix Streaming
2019 Red State Blue State Netflix/CNN CD/audio download/video streaming
2020 Colin Quinn & Friends: A Parking Lot Comedy Show HBO Max Streaming
2024 Colin Quinn: Our Time Is Up YouTube[24] Streaming


Year Title Publisher Formats
2015 The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America Grand Central Publishing Print: hardcover/E-book, audiobook: CD/download/streaming
2020 Overstated: A Coast-to-Coast Roast of the 50 States St. Martin's Press Print: hardcover/E-book, audiobook: CD/download/streaming


  1. ^ "Colin Quinn Biography (1959-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  2. ^ "Colin Quinn...Irish Comic Standing". (interview) AskMen.com. n.d. p. 2. Archived from the original on April 9, 2017. Retrieved June 11, 2015. I grew up in Brooklyn, mixed area...
  3. ^ "Irish American stand up Colin Quinn's one man show will take New York by storm". IrishCentral.com. June 16, 2010.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Quinn interview, AskMen.com, p. 1
  6. ^ a b Top 100 - 2011: Colin Quinn, Irish America
  7. ^ Rabin, Nathan (June 18, 2003). "Colin Quinn". The Onion A.V. Club.
  8. ^ Garamone, Jim (August 25, 2005). "Around the World in 10 Days, Chairman-Style". United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  9. ^ Holcomb-Holland, Lori (February 3, 2015). "Colin Quinn's Streaming 'Cop Show' to Satirize Police Dramas". Arts Beat. New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Rosen, Christopher (July 23, 2015). "Colin Quinn is legit good in Trainwreck". Entertainment Weekly.
  11. ^ @iamcolinquinn (May 6, 2009). ""My Two Cents" opens tomorrow at the Roy Arias Theatre! Get tkts at brownpapertickets.com/event/63112 - Look forward to seeing ya there!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ "Broadway World". broadwayworld.com.
  13. ^ "Bruno Motta em 1 Milhão de Anos em 1 Hora". 1milhaodeanosem1hora.
  14. ^ Friend, Tad (May 27, 2013). "Framers Reframed". The New Yorker.
  15. ^ "Previews Begin July 9". Archived from the original on June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "Colin Quinn: Red State Blue State | Minetta Lane Theatre | Theater in New York". Time Out New York. January 22, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  17. ^ Comedian Colin Quinn Calls on the United States to ‘Divorce’ Over Division, Breitbart News
  18. ^ "The Trainwreck Comedy Tour". David Lynch Foundation. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
  19. ^ "Tour Talk with Judd Apatow and Colin Quinn". Funny or Die. June 18, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 25, 2017. I do TM every day, twice a day, five years. [2' 5"]
  20. ^ "Celebrity News - Entertainment News: Breaking news and opinions". www.mail.com.
  21. ^ "Colin Quinn marries 'Late Night' producer Jen Sochko". June 10, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2024.
  22. ^ www.irishabroad.com Archived July 4, 2004, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (July 22, 2019). "Adam Sandler Sets Next Netflix Comedy With All-Star Cast Including Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Maya Rudolph & Many More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  24. ^ "Colin Quinn: Our Time is up | Full Stand up Comedy Special". YouTube. May 3, 2024.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by Weekend Update anchor
Succeeded by