Colin Quinn at Carolina Theatre on Tuesday

Oct. 17, 2013 @ 08:24 AM

Comedian Colin Quinn talks fast, peppers his language with salt, and gives audiences the dry wit and working class guy they ask for, and he is. Well, except for the lengthy career in showbiz. He started in stand up, gained fame on the MTV game show “Remote Control,” and went on to do a lot more television, film and solo shows.

His 2012 one-man show, “Long Story Short,” produced by Jerry Seinfeld, was a hit on Broadway last year.
This year it’s “Unconstitutional,” which will be at the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham on Tuesday.
“I love doing live shows of course. Anything I write myself. That sounds conceited, but, ya know,” Quinn said. “I’m not good at following orders.”
So is it harder to get support for a project if he’s writing it?
“If Seinfeld wasn’t behind [‘Long Story Short’] they never would have produced it. I bully my way through it,” he said in a phone interview last week.
Quinn was on “Saturday Night Live” from 1995-2000, including a stint as host of “Weekend Update.” He let SNL writers write his material for the show. He could have written, he said, but he was in a weird space.
“I’m better off in a different form. I like to ramble,” Quinn said.
Twitter could be called one long ramble, 140 characters at a time.
A sampling of tweets by Quinn from the past week:
-- “If I ever have my own show again, I'm gonna come out and point at one section and go, ‘You guys are partiers! Is that the drinking section?’”
-- “I remember when the hoops team was the Washington Bullets. They changed to hollow points IN THE 80'S.”
-- “I'll be down south next week. You 'necks better come out and show some support. It's not all about Kyle Busch you dopes. It's about CQ!”
There were also several retweets from people threatening to beat him up, which may have been jokes, or maybe not.
Quinn uses Twitter not to deliver one-liners, he said, but to antagonize people.
“It’s an addictive thing. I love this conversation, this weird conversation,” he said.
For his fans, if they come up and want an autograph after the show, they’ll get one. He’ll stay until everyone gets one.
“I just sign whatever. I take pictures. I don’t care. As long as they want, I don’t care. It never bothered me. I got nothing else to do,” Quinn said.
When he’s not working, he wanders around New York.
“I write a lot of stuff. I read a lot. I like to read a lot of nonfiction, historical. I’m reading “Narcoland” about Mexican cartels. And “This Town,” the political book by Mark Leibovich. I like political stuff, contemporary national, international stuff,” he said.
What Quinn likes about the U.S. Constitution is also what’s crazy about it.
“What makes us great is what also destroys us. We’re equal, the pursuit of happiness, being equal to the king. It’s also our downfall, because it’s every man for himself: ‘It’s about my dream, not yours,’” he said.
“Unconstitutional” takes on the history of the U.S. in 70 minutes. The show changes a little bit for every city, Quinn said, and always fun.


WHO: Colin Quinn
WHEN: 8 p.m. Tuesday
WHERE: The Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St., Durham