Saturday, April 9, 2011

Colin Quinn - Not A Boston Comic

Colin Quinn is not a Boston comedian, but I have seen him listed as such more than once. For the records, he is Brooklyn born and raised, but he says it’s a common mistake to associate him with the Hub. During a recent interview for about his new one-man show, Long Story Short (tonight, HBO 10PM), I asked him why he thought that was. Is it just his Irish connections or something else?

“The Irish and the loud,” he said. “It’s because I’m Irish and I have self esteem, which only Boston Irish have.”

Long Story Short has enjoyed a successful run on Broadway (with an assist from Quinn’s longtime friend, director Jerry Seinfeld), and Quinn will be putting the show up again in the Hamptons in June. There might be other engagements after that, Quinn isn’t sure. If it’s a hit on HBO, Quinn would like to bring back his critically acclaimed one-man show from 1998, An Irish Wake, and possibly try to film that, too.

“I’d like to put it up for a few weeks, anyway,” said Quinn. “Maybe I’ll put it up in Boston. That’s where it belongs, anyway.”

Which probably won’t help him clear up the Boston myth. To debunk that once and for all, watch the Boston comedy documentary When Stand Up Stood Out. Quinn always wanted to make Boston a “go-to” town. He figured there would be a decent Irish, working class base to which he could play. He was wrong.

He came in the 80s, and the film talks about a New York/Boston rivalry that extended to the comedy world. Quinn said he faced a sea of hostility, and Joe Yannetty had to use all his good will as a Boston native to get Quinn out without being attacked.

Things have improved for Quinn in Boston. He sometimes appears at the annual Comics Come Home show and he used to play the Comedy Connection when it was still in Faneuil Hall. If he brings An Irish Wake to town, my guess is that it would play The Wilbur.

1 comment:

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