Stand-up comedian Colin Quinn believes that everyone in politics thinks they’re right, as in correct, right now. That’s one of the reasons why he wants to be on—and what is also the name of his new comedy show—“Wrong Side of History.”
A follow-up to his critically acclaimed show “Red State, Blue State,” which toured the country last year, Quinn brings this show to Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis on Thursday, January 23.
“I do a lot of stuff about the state of the union and about human behavior,” explains Quinn. But he also talks about how politics is such a mess, and that the most honest people are no longer the smart ones. “Only dumb people are honest now. They are the ones who will say how they actually feel. A lot of people are keeping their mouths shut because they could get fired. So only idiots and extremist people speak their minds,” says Quinn. “[My show] is about how everybody thinks they’re on the right side of history and thinks that they’ve evolved. While we may have evolved technologically, as human beings, we stay the same.”
Getting His Start
From the time he was a kid, Quinn says that people told him he was funny. “Everywhere I went, I would make people laugh, and I would not shut up,” says Quinn.
After attending college for a year-and-a-half, Quinn dropped out because he wanted to pursue stand-up comedy. “But I just didn’t have the guts, you know? I was just too scared,” he recalls. When he finished his first performance at an Open Mic night, the emcee said Quinn was a natural and to come back in a year. “He should’ve said 10 years,” jokes Quinn.
He got his first big break in the 1980s when MTV was in its prime. While Quinn is now a successful stand-up comedian and actor, but back then, he was the sidekick announcer on the channel’s first game show, “Remote Control,” where college kids tried their luck at trivia that was based on TV shows.
But Quinn began performing, and in 1996 became a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live, where he would be part of the cast from 1997-2000. In January 1998, he took over as the anchor of “Weekend Update” on SNL, and he would continue in that role until he left the show.
Since then, Quinn has written and performed in more than half a dozen one-man shows and appeared in TV shows and movies like Trainwreck, Grown Ups, and Girls, among many others.
Quinn continues to do stand-up comedy because he says it’s the one place where he can say what he wants without getting edited. “You find out the hard way—when people are actually laughing or not laughing. It’s a great reality check,” he says.
Politics and More Politics
In “Wrong Side of History,” Quinn says he jokes about politics because in society “you can’t avoid it. It’s going to bleed into your act no matter what.”
Quinn covers other topics in his act, but admits he doesn’t use a lot of sexual humor. “I talk about sex once in a while, but it’s not my focus,” Quinn says. “I’d probably do well in Puritan times, [but] I curse like a beast.”
One of his focuses is how there is chaos on both sides of politics—Democrat and Republican. “And everything gets a label because dumb people have to label things. The internet obviously created a great platform for people who are not that smart and just keep putting their two cents in,” says Quinn.
If Quinn had his druthers, he has a way he would control the internet: “I would give everybody two minutes a month—including Trump, by the way. That will be your time on the internet. Everybody gets two minutes, and that’s it,” he says. “About 10% of the population would die from that.”
Colin Quinn appears at Rams Head On Stage on Thursday, January 23, with an 8 p.m. show. For more info, go to Wrong Side of History.
Michele “Wojo” Wojciechowski is a national award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box. Her work has appeared in publications such as Vanity Fair, Esquire, Parade, Discover, AARP, PBS’ Next Avenue, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, and many more. Over the last few years, she’s been learning to play the drums and dreams of playing one song with the Foo Fighters. Oh yeah, and she’s got a Xena Warrior Princess costume hanging in her closet. Don’t ask. Reach her at WojosWorld.com, Twitter @TheMicheleWojo, Facebook WojosWorldFanPage.com.