New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


BIG NEWS! Here's the latest Issue of NJ Stage Magazine -- Click here

An Interview With Colin Quinn

By Gary Wien


Politics has always played a role in Colin Quinn's comedy, but never more so than in his current show, "Unconstitutional", which makes a stop at The Newton Theatre on July 26. In his latest one-man show, Quinn takes a look at how the Constitution influences the national character of America regardless of which side of the political spectrum you are on.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Quinn was a veteran of the New York comedy club circuit when he landed a spot as co-host of MTV's Remote Control game show. That run led to five seasons on Saturday Night Live where he wrote segments, acted, and eventually stepped in as anchor of Weekend Update. He's since had his own show on Comedy Central ("Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn"), had roles in films like "A Night at the Roxbury" and "Grown Ups", and brought two separate one-man shows to Broadway ("Colin Quinn— An Irish Wake" and "Colin Quinn — Long Story Short").


How does Unconstitutional work? Do you go step by step through the Constitution?
I go through all of the articles and what they mean to me basically. It's more like highlighting one, two, and three, obviously, and all of the Bill of Rights. It's the psychological and philosophical journey of our country. My whole philosophy on the Constitution is that it's so ingrained in us we don't even know that we believe in it. It's just part of our personality as Americans.

It's an interesting document that both political parties tend to twist and turn to their liking.
Yeah, I mean that's the truth of the matter. It's one of those documents where interpretation is interpretation... it's the Court's interpretation. That's what you're getting, so, of course it's going to be a problem.

The country is obviously quite divided, but has anything surprised you along this tour?
No, I feel like the big thing is that people don't like the division. I was talking to my friend about this earlier today. I was saying that this country should break up. It almost feels like ‘why are we doing this? Why are we still trying to get along as a country when obviously we have great philosophical differences about what this country should be?' And the differences aren't going away.

It's like we've got a city with a good side and a bad side and you wonder why it's one city.
Exactly! And the only people who would get lost in the divorce is a place like Austin. They would have to pay the price because they're in Texas and they are a blue state city in a red state. Somebody always gets hurt when the parents break up...

Politics has always been the background of what you're doing. Were you interested in politics growing up? Did your family discuss politics in the house?
Yeah, we were kind of political. We definitely read a lot. My relatives would talk about politics. They'd all sit there and smoke and drink and philosophize. But it was said in a very cynical kind of way.

As someone generally described as an Irish-American, were Irish politics discussed?
Oh yeah, we all knew that the IRA was a non-terrorist group and everybody else was a terrorist! (laughs) The thing about being Irish... I feel like part of being Irish is that you should be cynical. The worst thing you can be is sincere on one side or the other completely. I feel like anyone that is a true believer in anything 100 percent is the ultimate fool to Irish people.

Before you created this show, what did you think about the Constitution?
I didn't like the language, it was boring to me, and I was just turned off by the whole culture of the Constitutional Convention. I couldn't understand how everyone I know loves the Constitution. People who hate everything and disagree on everything, love the Constitution. So, that's what got me fascinated with trying to figure it out for myself.

Looking back on your career, you shot the video "Going Back To Brooklyn" in 1989. The city has changed so much now, did you ever wonder how you might have turned out if you grew up in today's hipster Brooklyn?
Oh my God, I would have probably been even more cynical and more ironic. Yeah, I would have been even worse.

And in the 80s, MTV was blamed for killing radio, but you were co-host of Remote Control — MTV's first non-music program. In a way, you helped kill the video star!
Honestly, I've never heard it phrased exactly like that. I've heard we killed MTV, but I like that... we killed the video star! We were there at the beginning of the end...



For more by this author, click here






NJPAC Presents Maria Bamford
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents stand-up Comedian Maria Bamford on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 8:00pm. The stand-up sensation starred in the semi-autobiographical Netflix comedy series Lady Dynamite, lauded as “revelatory” by Entertainment Weekly and one of 2016’s must-see shows by Variety and Rolling Stone.
Newton Theatre Presents Big Apple Comedy Club On January 18th
(NEWTON, NJ) -- The Big Apple Comedy Club returns with four of New York City's freshest comedians for a show on Friday, January 18, 2019 at 8:00pm. The lineup includes Matthew Broussard, Chris Coccia, Drew Fraser, and Mike Speirs.  Don’t miss the chance to see these hilarious, high energy comics in action! Tickets start at just $19.
Patton Oswalt To Perform At Beacon Theatre
(NEW YORK, NY) --  Patton Oswalt will take the Beacon Theatre stage on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 7:30pm. A comedian, actor and writer, Patton Oswalt continues to find success in all areas of entertainment. From his award-winning comedy specials to his many memorable film roles and guest appearances on his favorite TV shows, Oswalt continues to choose work that inspires him and entertains audiences.
Craig Ferguson To Bring His Hobo Fabulous Tour To Mayo Performing Arts Center
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Craig Ferguson's Hobo Fabulous Tour comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, December 4 at 7:30pm. The show, which will be 100% new material, will never be recorded for any form of broadcast or streaming outlet given Mr. Ferguson's new (ironically) Luddite mistrust of digital technology. Tickets range from $49-$79.
NJPAC Presents Candice Guardino: Italian Bred
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Presents Candice Guardino: Italian Bred on Saturday January 26 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Created, written by and starring Candice Guardino, Italian Bred is based on true-life events seen through the eyes of a little girl.


A Look At 2 Guys From Jersey
In issue 50, New Jersey Stage gave readers the opportunity to learn more about the writers who contribute to the magazine and the daily site. We’d like to give you the opportunity to learn more about the two shows that are featured in our magazine each month.  One is a podcast called 2 Guys From Jersey that runs a new episode every Wednesday. It involves Dr. D, Rocky, and Erin (a recent addition to the team) trying to settle trivial bar arguments that have plagued mankind for centuries.
"Legal Immigrant" Alan Cumming Brings His Cabaret To State Theatre New Jersey
It was the fall of 2008. Barack Obama had just been elected president. And Scottish-born actor Alan Cumming was sworn in as a citizen of the United States.
“Hysterical!” Gallagher LIVE! at The Strand Lakewood
Gallagher is joking with patrons in the lobby of Lakewood, NJ’s historic Strand Theater this Thursday, May 24, 2018 evening. In his audacious style, he’s grabbing cameras out of the hands of patrons who want to take great selfies with him, while also taking the time to sign T-shirts for stand-up comedy fans waiting for him at the merch table.
So You Want To Be A Comedian?
“I feel I have the kind of life where people think I’m making things up all of the time, but weirdness is kind of attracted to me,” said Jess Alaimo, a comedian from Monmouth County.  “So, I just go with whatever happens to me.”
The United States of Russia
Rutgers alum, Ben Rosenfeld released his third comedy album in January.  Entitled, The United States of Russia, the album was released by Comedy Dynamics and continues the Russia born, American raised comedian’s style of mixing tales of his immigrant parents and outsider childhood with topics ranging from millennials, terrorism, politics, and adjusting to life as a newlywed.  We caught up with Ben to talk about the album.






Event calendar
Saturday, Nov 17, 2018


MUSIC

THE GAY BLADES @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

HERMAN'S HERMITS STARRING PETER NOONE & THE BUCKINGHAMS @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

Nelson Riveros Trio: “The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery” @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Hawaiian Music and Hula @ 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, Ewing - 8:00pm

Pop 2000 Tour @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

THE MACHINE PERFORMS PINK FLOYD @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 8:00pm

THE FAB FAUX A HARD DAY'S NIGHT AND REVOLVER IN THEIR ENTIRETIES @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm

Swamp Boogie Trio @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Annie @ Broad Street United Methodist Church, Burlington - 8:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Annie @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 8:00pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Billy Bishop Goes to War @ Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, Morristown - 2:00pm

Kiss Me Kate @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Phoenix Productions Presents: The Hunchback of Notre Dame @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Enchanted April @ The Summit Playhouse, Summit - 8:00pm

Heathers, The Musical High School Edition @ Pebble Players, Oakes Center, Summit - 7:30pm

Junie B. Jones The Musical at Black Box PAC @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 11:00am

Into the Woods @ Studio Playhouse Upper Montclair, Upper Montclair - 8:00pm

The Drowsy Chaperone @ Lauren K. Woods Theatre at Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 8:00pm


COMEDY

Todd Barry at SOPAC @ South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), South Orange - 8:00pm


DANCE

BALLET FOLKLORICO DE MEXICO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


KIDS

ROALD DAHL’S WILLY WONKA JR. @ Ridgewood Ave School Theater, Glen Ridge - 1:00pm and 7:00pm

View all events
























New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.