Colin Quinn kept us up late at night watching Saturday Night Live for five seasons. Along with his news update, he has written for shows such as In Living Color and been on the stand-up circuit for decades. Now he arrives in Chicago with his one-man show entiteld Colin Quinn Long Story Short where he gives his humorous take on history.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Colin. Are you still in New York?
Colin Quinn: Maybe. (laughs) No I am in New Haven.
JN: Where does Chicago land on your tour?
CQ: It is my final destination.
JN: So this is the big finale?
CQ: I hope so.
JN: Are you familiar with Chicago?
CQ: I am not as familiar with it as I should be. I don’t understand Chicago very well. It is not one of those places that you just know immediately. It is a very complex city. There is something about it that needs full examination.
JN: It is a melting pot like New York so it has all the ethnicities that you talk about in the show.
CQ: That is true. I am very fascinated by it but would not presume to know it that well yet.
JN: Well, this is your chance.
CQ: Exactly. This is my chance, my love affair with Chicago!
JN: So tell our readers about your one-man act.
CQ: It follows the history of the world. It covers all the empires, all the crashes and falls of it all. How technology keeps advancing but human nature stays exactly the same. It is short, fast and brutal with people attacking each other for no reason. Well, the reason is they want to take what the other one has.
JN: Where did you come up with the idea to do this?
CQ: I was doing a show on the economy ironically enough, which I probably should be doing right now. I was sick of doing stand-up for stand-ups sake. I wanted to do it about things. I started doing this show and it was working okay but at stand-up clubs they are very ADD, they can only focus on one subject for five minutes. People get bored unless you say the word tits. If you say anything with either dick, tits or ass the crowd gets reverent. They think this guy has something to say so they shut up. It’s so funny. The crowd becomes silent if you bring up any kind of sexual stuff.
JN: So is sex in your show?
CQ: No, I don’t even talk about that. I should probably, you are right. There should be a little more sex in my show, let’s be honest.
JN: Do you have gay history in there for the gay folks?
CQ: There have been some great gay people in our history. The truth is I was trying to do a whole thing with Alexander the Great being the greatest gay warrior with the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell thing and the Greek philosophers. But I didn’t want it to come off with the straight guy doing the gay jokes. People could take it bad. God forbid I spare anyone’s ethnicity, which I don’t at all.
JN: Do people get offended much with your show?
CQ: No, but people have come up to me and ask why I talk about ethnicities in such stereotypes. I say if you don’t like that then how can they like this show? It’s all stereotypes but based on reality. People want to celebrate diversity but not point out that people are different. It is one of the many bones I have to pick with the world.
JN: You talk about Snooki from Jersey Shore right?
CQ: My girl Snooki? Yeah, she’s in the show of course. She’s the greatest. She represents the best of all of us.
JN: Jerry Seinfeld directed the show correct?
CQ: Yes, he directed me. We have known each other a long time so he was doing it as a favor to me really.
JN: To get feedback about the show?
CQ: Yeah, but we are two different styles of comedy. We are two different ends of the spectrum.
JN: What do you think of John Leguizamo’s one man show that recently played here?
CQ: I think it is a disgrace! No, I am kidding. I think it is great. I have seen all of his shows. He’s a master at that. As far as performance wise he has got to be the best. He never runs out of energy for one second.
JN: You have a book deal called Yesterday’s News that was just signed right?
CQ: Sure. It will be based on the show.
JN: It is in the process so not finished?
CQ: It is in the process but I am trying not to make it one of those annoying books that have a funny cover. But it is going to be hard to do that.
JN: How can people keep up with that project?
CQ: They can follow me on Twitter but a lot of times I just go on there to provoke soccer moms.
JN: Anything more you want to say about the show?
CQ: I want to say that this show is a culmination of my life’s work!