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Colin Quinn
Colin Quinn in 2010
Birth name Colin Edward Quinn
Born (1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 55)
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, actor and writer. On television he is best known for his work on Saturday Night Live, Remote Control, and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. Since 2010, he has also become known for writing and appearing in two one-man shows that offer a comedic take on history: Long Story Short and Unconstitutional.

Quinn performs regularly at the Comedy Cellar in New York City.

Early life[edit]

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

Early career[edit]

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 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".[5]

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.[citation needed]

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.[6]

Television and film work and stand-up[edit]

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.

Quinn performing 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. 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 both Grown Ups films. He also currently recurs as Hermie on the HBO series Girls.

L/Studio announced in February 2015 that Quinn will write and star in an online web series to be hosted on the studio's website. Entitled “Cop Show”, the series will satirize popular New York City crime dramas. Jerry Seinfield, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Che and Amy Schumer are set to guest star on future Cop Show episodes. [7]

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 2010, Quinn premiered his 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.[8]

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.[9]

Social media[edit]

Quinn has gained fame 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.[9]

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 the Top 100 Irish Americans of the year in 2004 and 2011 by the magazine Irish America.[10][5]


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 One-man show
2012 That's My Boy Strip Club DJ
2013 Grown Ups 2 Dickie Bailey
2013–2014 Girls Hermie 3 episodes
2015 Trainwreck Gordon Post-production


  1. ^ "Colin Quinn". Popentertainment.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ Colin Quinn: Tough Guy
  3. ^ http://www.filmreference.com/film/65/Colin-Quinn.html
  4. ^ http://www.askmen.com/toys/interview_60/99_colin_quinn_interview.html
  5. ^ a b Top 100 - 2011: Colin Quinn, Irish America
  6. ^ Rabin, Nathan (June 18, 2003). "Colin Quinn". The Onion A.V. Club. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Broadway World
  9. ^ a b Galchen, Rivka (June 3, 2013). "Framers Reframed". The New Yorker. 
  10. ^ www.irishabroad.com

External links[edit]

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

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Quinn — Please support Wikipedia.
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5158 news items


Thu, 19 Mar 2015 07:13:09 -0700

Colin Quinn loves sports—he wrote a movie, Celtic Pride, about basketball fans—but he doesn't fill out a bracket. “I don't do brackets because I don't work in an office,” says the one-time host of Tough Crowd and former anchor for Saturday Night Live ...

New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV

New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:03:45 -0700

(PIX11)– Comedian and Saturday Night Live (SNL) alum Colin Quinn talks about his new web series, which he writes and stars in called “Cop Show.” “Cop Show” is a brace, bold new show that takes on the issues the other cops shows are afraid to deal with.
Huffington Post
Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:49:46 -0800

Colin Quinn was quick to take the blame for ruining a birthday of Robert DeNiro's in a HuffPost Live conversation on Wednesday. The former SNL cast member was asked by DeNiro's wife to do an impression for the gathering, at which point Quinn prepared a ...

Village Voice (blog)

Village Voice (blog)
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 03:02:49 -0700

Thus begins episode one of Cop Show, a new Web series created by and starring veteran stand-up comedian Colin Quinn. A mockumentary-style take on New York City–set procedurals and the grizzled cops who populate them, Cop Show finds humor not ...

The Big Lead

The Big Lead
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:30:53 -0700

Colin Quinn simultaneously owns the best and worst celebrity Twitter feed going these days. For example: My spring allergies are acting up… Oh, I didn't tell you gang? Yes, turns out in Spring I'm allergic..to frowning. Just can't do it. :). — Colin ...
Thu, 12 Mar 2015 11:03:54 -0700

Colin Quinn plays a dramatized version of himself as the showrunner of his own network series in which he's also the main star. After years of rejection as a dramatic artist, Quinn takes it upon himself to show the world his serious side — with a ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Wed, 18 Mar 2015 23:01:15 -0700

Brooklyn native Colin Quinn and Bayonne, N.J.-born Jim Norton tell us it's baffling that Bill Cosby, who resumes his tour in Baltimore next week, still takes the stage regularly without addressing the dozens of sexual-assault accusations against him ...

The Interrobang

The Interrobang
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 17:21:56 -0700

Tonight is the season finale of the HBO series, “Girls”. A highlight from tonight's season 4 ender, is the return of Colin Quinn. He plays Hermie, the manager of the Brooklyn coffee shop, Grumpy's. Colin's only done a handful of “Girls” episodes as ...

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