Comedian Colin Quinn takes on America
“This country is going to break up,” predicts comedian Colin Quinn, calling from a car in Virginia as he drives to the next stop on his tour. “It’s going to look like Russia.”
He doesn’t think that, despite the government shutdown, blue and red will actually go through with a divorce — but “some time off from each other” is definitely in order.
You know Quinn, a Brooklyn native, from “Saturday Night Live” And “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” — and then of course there was his Broadway hit “Long Story Short,” directed by Jerry Seinfeld, about the history of the whole world.
Quinn turns his focus slightly more narrow — to American history — for his politically themed one-man show, “Colin Quinn Unconstitutional,” which will be at the most fitting of venues tomorrow: the National Constitution Center. After the early evening show sold out, a 10 p.m. edition was added; tickets are still available.
“Unconstitutional” is in town as part of his 13 Original Colonies Tour. It covers, among other topics, the country’s founding document and its amendments, the evolution of politics and political leaders, the media, celebrities and political correctness.
Quinn had never been particularly interested in American history, but current events got him musing about how a 226-year-old document has dictated the course of the
country. “I started thinking about it a lot,” he says, “how our personalities — our national personality — has been shaped by the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. Everybody’s like ‘hey, my rights!” We’re all supposed to go out and get what you can.”
A prime example of that mentality, straight from “Unconstitutional”? The Kardashian clan. Yes, the family that rose to fame thanks to a murder trial and a sex tape.
“The Kardashians really are the America story, whether we like it or not. Our country is based on being successful — and not worrying about your name, your family’s name, being dragged through the mud,” Quinn explains. “We were just going to be the non-England, the non-class society — for better and for worse.”
Playing to the Philly crowd
When you were doing research for this show, did you come across any juicy history gossip?
“I was looking at the Constitutional Convention itself — the only juicy history there is that they were drinking all the time, all day and all night,” Quinn says. “And of course there’s Ben Franklin at the sex clubs. He was the king of the Philly sex club scene. It doesn’t get juicier than that.”