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Colin Quinn
Colin Quinn in 2010
Born (1959-06-06) June 6, 1959 (age 56)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
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 Quinn (born June 6, 1959)[3] 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.

Early life[edit]

Quinn was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of teachers.[3][4] He attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in Stony Brook, Long Island, but did not graduate.[5] He stopped drinking in the early 1980s after several bad experiences with alcohol, including blackouts and arrests.[6]

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".[7]

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.[8]

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 satirizes popular New York City crime dramas, namely Law and Order which Quinn has famously never appeared in. Jerry Seinfield, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Che, Jim Norton, Pat Cooper, and Amy Schumer all guest starred on Cop Show episodes.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

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.[12]

Quinn will be starring in his fifth one-man show (The New York Story) July 9 - August 16, 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.[13] Jerry Seinfeld, who directed Long Story Short, has returned as director.

Social media[edit]

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.[12]

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.[7][14]


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
1 episode
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
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
2005 Inked Himself Television series
2006 Home Himself
2008 Harold Reedy
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
2013–2014 Girls Hermie 3 episodes
2015 Trainwreck Gordon


  1. ^ "Colin Quinn". Popentertainment.com. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ Colin Quinn: Tough Guy
  3. ^ a b "Colin Quinn Biography (1959-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved June 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Colin Quinn...Irish Comic Standing". (interview) AskMen.com. n.d. p. 2. Retrieved June 11, 2015. I grew up in Brooklyn, mixed area... 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Quinn interview, AskMen.com, p. 1
  7. ^ a b Top 100 - 2011: Colin Quinn, Irish America
  8. ^ Rabin, Nathan (June 18, 2003). "Colin Quinn". The Onion A.V. Club. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Broadway World
  12. ^ a b Galchen, Rivka (June 3, 2013). "Framers Reframed". The New Yorker. 
  13. ^ https://thenew-yorkstory.squarespace.com/
  14. ^ www.irishabroad.com

External links[edit]

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

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Quinn — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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11945 news items


Mon, 03 Aug 2015 11:33:45 -0700

On stage, he's appeared on Broadway in Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake and Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, which was also directed by Seinfeld and nominated for a Drama Desk and an Emmy. Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional played the Cherry Lane Theatre in ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 23 Jul 2015 19:00:49 -0700

Complaining about its demise, however, remains one of its wonderful traditions, and Colin Quinn, a comic alert to ritual, plants himself firmly in the middle of it in his new monologue, “The New York Story,” a nostalgic lament that makes for a lovely ...


Tue, 28 Jul 2015 10:15:00 -0700

Colin Quinn New York Story If there are two topics that Colin Quinn loves to discuss, they're race and New York City, so his new one-man show might be the best use of his talents to date. The New York Story, which opened Friday at the Cherry Lane ...


Tue, 28 Jul 2015 07:26:15 -0700

As one of the stars of Trainwreck, comedian Colin Quinn told CNN's Don Lemon Monday night that he was personally saddened by the shooting that took the lives of two young women in a Louisiana movie theater showing the film this past weekend. “It was ...


Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:48:45 -0700

Elijah Wolfson, Newsweek's senior editor, with contributors Linda Marsa and Megan Scudellari, on the state of cancer now, including high drug costs, and the lack of treatment options available for children. Martin Short on his evolution from a ...

New York Observer

New York Observer
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:03:45 -0700

The Park Slope of Colin Quinn's '70s youth was not dotted with Corcoran offices and mostly white faces. By his account, it was possibly the most integrated neighborhood in the history of the world. “It was a special place to grow up. Everyone felt it ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Wed, 15 Jul 2015 14:13:25 -0700

Comedian Colin Quinn wants to talk about race. And in his new show at the Cherry Lane Theatre, he tackles the sensitive subject in a way that only a blunt-talking native New Yorker and “Saturday Night Live” alum can—without setting off a Donald ...

New York Post

New York Post
Thu, 09 Jul 2015 19:15:00 -0700

Colin Quinn doesn't believe in over-researching things. That includes his new one-man show, “The New York Story,” which began previews at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Thursday. The show — directed by his pal Jerry Seinfeld — is a ...

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