Colin Quinn Talks With Dan’s!

Eva Price, Colin Quinn
Eva Price and Colin Quinn. Photo credit: Barry Gordin

Colin Quinn will be performing his Broadway one-man show Long Story Short: History of the World in 75 Minutes at Guild Hall in East Hampton, starting on June 8 and running until June 26. You really shouldn’t miss this show. Quinn is quite hilarious, and the show is directed by another very funny man, East Hampton resident Jerry Seinfeld. Across the board, critics elsewhere praised Long Story Short, calling it “immortal,” “hilarious,” “genius,” “brisk and Seinfeldian” and “comic anarchy.”

Quinn comes from Irish decent and is a big fan of Montauk. He explained to me his story on how he went from being a young lad in Brooklyn to an international sensation.

“I grew up in Brooklyn, my parents were both teachers. I was always the loud kid in school and always the class clown. I always knew that I wanted to be in show business. When I was a kid my first act was the dog in The Wizard of Oz. I had good grades up until about fifth grade and then it fell apart a little bit, but everybody would always tell me I should be in show business. In college I stayed on Long Island and went to Stony Brook University. I had a lot of fun there. I only lasted there a few years, but I never graduated. I never spent that much time on Long Island before that. I think we went out on a family trip in Montauk to a place called Leprechaun Colony. My cousins rented a place out in Noyac and I’d go and visit them when I was a kid. My college buddies ran The Still, which was a place in Southampton that I would head to to hang out, but I never got the full dose of the Hamptons until later in life.”

Quinn’s big break happened after a scout spotted him doing stand-up in New York City and approached him. “I got a break with MTV in the late ‘80s, I was doing standup and a scout saw me and wanted me to be a part of the show Remote Control, and then I just grew from there, one thing started to lead to another after that. Everybody thought I had a great voice, it all happened kind of fast after the break with MTV.” (As for the voice, it is booming).

Remote Control also featured two other great comedic talents, Adam Sandler and Denis Leary. Quinn co-hosted the show for three years. In 1989, he turned to writing, a piece called Going Back to Brooklyn, which he created and performed in with Ben Stiller.

In 1995, Quinn was hired by Saturday Night Live, working as a writer and featured player until the beginning of the 1998 season, when he became a full-time cast member. He established himself on the show with characters such as “Lenny the Lion” and “Joe Blow,” as well as the recurring segment “Colin Quinn Explains the New York Times.” Quinn took over as host of the “Weekend Update” and stayed on the show until 2000.

During this time he also made his Broadway debut in his first one-man show, Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake.

In 2004, Comedy Central named Quinn to its list of the “100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time,” placing him at number 56. He was also named to the Irish America Magazine list of the “Top 100 Irish Americans of the Year.”

His success has allowed him to vacation and hang out in one of his favorite places in the world, the Hamptons. “I love the Hamptons. I’ve always wanted to live out there. I love going to the beach, hanging out and walking around. I love getting lobster rolls and all that stuff in Montauk. I like Gurney’s out there as well, that’s a lot of fun. I really love Montauk—it’s like all Irish people there. I love Montauk. Let’s face it, Montauk is for the Irish.”

In the show Colin Quinn focuses his “articulate brand of comedy” on the demise of empires, including our own. It is a hilarious blend of incisive observation, sharp commentary, and Colin’s channeling of the personalities of the past. From Socrates to Snooki, Quinn takes on the attitudes, appetites and bad habits that toppled the world’s most powerful nations. Long Story Short proves that throughout human history, the joke has always been on us.

“I don’t know how I came up with it. I’ve always wanted to do something bigger than standup. So I just started doing this 75-minute routine focusing on the history of the world. When producers Richard Martini and Eva Price noticed it, they got interested into making it a Broadway show and the rest is history.”

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