Colin Quinn got COVID-19 for the jokes. Well, not exactly. But he’s already developing new documents about his experience with the virus.
“I was really happy to have had it,” the actor tells me in this week’s episode of The last laugh Podcast. “Because when you stand up and you’re like, ‘Well, I got corona,’ everyone will be more interested. He only wishes the experience had been more eventful so that the jokes had higher stakes.
“You don’t want to be on a ventilator,” Quinn says. “But that would be funny!”
“And guess what? If I find out that other comedians are doing a corona routine, I want to make sure they got it,” he jokes. “I don’t want any medical appropriation!”
The old one Saturday Night Live The “Weekend Update” writer and host says the test was “scary,” especially because he suffered a heart attack just a few years ago and worried about the complications that ensued. “But I’m fine,” he insists.
The irony, of course, is that Quinn’s most recent project was a stand-up special that focused on not getting the virus. In March, after all the major comedy clubs closed, the comic strip tweeted, “Idea to save standing comedy. Drive in comedy clubs! You stay in your car and the show is where the player was in the movie! “
About eight months later, her dream came true when Colin Quinn & Friends: A comedy show in the parking lot created on HBOMax. Directing for the first time, Quinn made headlines for the special which also included performances by old friends like Keith Robinson and Rich Vos and emerging artists like (previous Last laugh guests) Sam Jay and Dan Soder.
The special features are almost as much behind-the-scenes jokes between the socially distant comedians as they are about the material on stage. And that was by design. “I think it’s more important than standing for the comedians,” he says. “It’s like any job. It’s the same as when a group of similar nuns get together. They would probably be like, thank goodness, someone understands my life.
Quinn, who suggests in the special that being on stage is the only time he’s not depressed, personally views comedy as addictive like any other. “Stand-up is definitely a drug,” he says. “It puts people in a narcotic state.”
Which makes it all the more upsetting that the comedians haven’t been able to get up and behave as they normally would over the past year. “I’ve done it enough where it’s like I can never do it again, I’ll live,” Quinn says. “But for the people who are right in the middle, it’s terrible.”
Highlights of our conversation are below and you can listen to it all right now by subscribing to The last laugh on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
How it became the ultimate comic book comic
“The actors loved me and the audience hated me. And that was the first three years of my career. The actors are the only reason I stayed in the game. The actors were so nice to me. I was no one and they were regulars at these clubs and they were like, wow. And the crowd was like, no laughs. Jay Mohr once said that I was a dog whistle and only comedians could hear me. The worst thing for me is always if you are talking to someone. Personally, I just don’t like acting when someone tries to win over the crowd with their personality or opinion. So maybe the audience came, maybe I came, maybe we both came a bit, but I wasn’t going to go on a charm offensive.
Why he turned down a chance to perform on Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight Show’
“I never had Carson or Letterman. I had a shitty attitude. I remember [Carson’s booker] Jim McCauley, he saw me do an improv set in Los Angeles. He said, “ Johnny would love your set, just take out the curses and I’ll take you to do a Tonight show“. It was like 1989 or 88. And I said, ‘I’m not doing that. I do it like I do. And he laughs and says, ‘Yeah, but to be on the show you can’t curse. But I was just in that school like, ‘Hey man, we don’t do Tonight show, fuck that. It was just my thing. So it was quite arrogant. But in the list of my regrets that I made in showbiz, it’s way down. They are small potatoes.
The moment Bill Cosby hit his girlfriend
“A lot of people loved Bill Cosby’s comedy and I can see why. But it was not my style of comedy. I always felt like he was playing the right guy and everyone was the asshole. I don’t like that kind of comedy, where you’re the good guy and everyone’s a dick. We once did a show at Carnegie Hall after September 11th. So I was with my girlfriend at the time who was really beautiful. And Cosby wanted to meet me and he’s upstairs in his own room in Carnegie Hall with a big cigar, alone. So we come in, he spends 15 minutes talking to me about comedy. He doesn’t look at me for more than 10 seconds. He knows what he’s doing, but he still can’t stop. It was really weird. And she said, ‘I don’t care, but that was a little weird.’
Next week on The last laugh Podcast: Comedian and star of the Netflix special “Tout va bien”, Sarah Cooper.
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