The Comedian Who Changed My Life is a new series where comics talk about, you guessed it, the comedian who changed their life.
I would have to say probably Colin Quinn. When I first saw him in Boston, I literally saw him go up there, and….. walk…. I think it was 500 people? — walked out on him. Just walked out. I just didn’t understand it. I was like, “Oh my God he wasn’t funny”, or “he stunk” or something like that. But then when I moved to New York, I finally met him when I saw him at the comedy cellar; I realized that there’s a difference between killing and being a great comic, because he was constantly changing his stuff. He was constantly writing about stuff. And stuff that nobody was talking about. You know what I mean? I realized that he went to Boston and didn’t just do what worked—dick jokes. He didn’t just go up and try to please the crowd. He went up and did what he was working on at that time, and he stuck to it no matter what.
So when I went to New York and I realized that ‘oh my God this guy has a whole new hour,’ and then I see him just switching it up all the time, I mean this is a guy who wrote something on the Constitution. Who the fuck would take – ‘what am I gonna write about this week?….well, I’ll write about the Constitution’– the least funniest thing on the planet; old white guys making up laws for the country. And he made it hilarious. I remember Tough Crowd he would write his own monologue, no help, five nights a week. And I really saw what hard work, and taking something and adding structure to it—you know, what stand up comedy is all about. So when I first met Colin Quinn is when I really realized, you know, what I needed to do to become a great stand up.
So he’s the one who probably changed my life. And as a person too, he’s one of the nicest guys in the business. And one of the greatest ball busters in the business. Which is hard to get both in the same—be a nice guy and to be able to bust your balls and make you feel like shit. He’s the guy. Colin Quinn. CQ. The Great Colin Quinn.