The affable and congenial Colin Quinn is best known for stints on the MTV game show Remote Control (1987-1990) and the NBC comedy institution, Saturday Night Live (1995-2000). Remote Control was MTV’s first attempt at a non-music based program. It was the start of the network’s move from playing nothing but music videos to not playing music videos at all. Quinn served as the show’s sidekick and announcer. In 1995, Quinn joined Saturday Night Live as a writer and featured performer. He became a full cast member in 1997. Some of Quinn’s recurring characters include Joe Blow and Lenny the Lion. In 1998, Quinn started hosting the Weekend Update and did so until he left the show. He signed off each Weekend Update with the line: “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.” Quinn is not fond of his time on SNL.
Quinn was born June 6, 1954 in Brooklyn, New York. He began doing stand-up in 1984, just three years before getting the job on Remote Control. Besides writing for SNL, Quinn also wrote for the sketch comedy show In Living Color. In 1996, he co-wrote the movie Celtic Pride which starred In Living Color alum Damon Wayans. Quinn has also appeared in Married to the Mob, A Night at the Roxbury, Grown Ups, and Grown Ups 2.
In 2004, Comedy Central tapped Quinn to create a program to follow The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The result was Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. The show featured comedians talking about the news of the day. It ran on Comedy Central for two years.
Quinn’s television career is dwarfed by his live act. In 2004, Comedy Central named him the 56th greatest stand-up of all-time. In other words, if you have a chance to get Colin Quinn tickets you need to take it. In the late 1990s, the comic made his Broadway debut in Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake. The comedian co-wrote the show with Lou DiMaggio. Quinn returned to the Great White Way in 2010 with another one-man show, Colin Quinn Long Story Short. The hilarious production, which took an irreverent look at world history, was directed by another great stand-up comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. A special performance of Long Story Short aired on HBO on April 9, 2011.