COLIN QUINN

The comedian, author and social commentator Colin Quinn will join us to break down how and why he sees our country as “dysfunctional and divided.”

Aired on July 9, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

WE STARTED OUT WITH 13 COLONIES.

WE GAME BECAME 50 STATES.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH 13 COLONIES?

13 STEAMS LIKE PLENTY.

WE'RE ALREADY BIGGER THAN ENGLAND AND FRANCE PUT TOGETHER.

BUT WE GOT GREEDY.

WE COULDN'T TAKE THE HINT FROM GOD.

GOD PUT MOUNTAIN RANGES, RIVERS LIKE TO INDICATE THOSE ARE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES.

THE GRAND TETONS, THE MISSISSIPPI, THE ROCKIES, NATURAL BORDERS.

EUROPE KNEW, EUROPE'S THE SAME SIZE AS US, MADE A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTOOD EVERY 700 MILES, PEOPLE HAVE A DIFFERENT PERSONALITY.

DO YOU THINK HUNG GI RA AND SCOTLAND HAVE LESSES IN COMMON THAN UTAH AND NEW JERSEY.

POLITICAL DIVISION IN THE UNITED STATES, A TOPIC RIFE FOR CONTEMPLATION SATIRE AND EVEN HUMOR.

COLIN QUINN KNOWN FOR BEING 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE''S WEEKEND UPDATE HOST BUT AN AUTHOR, A STANDUP COMIC, KNOWN FOR HIS COMEDY SPECIALS ALL DONE IN A PURE AUTHENTIC STYLE THAT ONLY A REAL NEW YORKER CAN DELIVER STARRING IN HIS LATEST ONE-MAN SHOW CALLED 'RED STATE BLUE STATE' AND TAKES ON WASHINGTON AND LAYS BARE WHAT HE SAYS ARE THE CAL AMITIES ON BOTH SIDES O THE POLITICAL DIVIDE.

IT'S GREAT TO BE ON.

THERE'S A LOT I WANT TO TALK TO YOU.

OKAY.

HERE'S MY STRUGGLE.

HELP ME WITH IT.

OFTENTIMES I'LL HAVE SOMEBODY DOING A SHOW AND SAY HERE'S THE SHOW THE YOU'RE DOING.

I'LL GIVE A SENTENCE OR TWO TO ENCAPSULATE IT.

RIGHT.

I'M STRUGGLING FIGURING HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THIS SHOW IF SOMEBODY SAIDCY SAW SU ON BROADWAY AGAIN.

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

HOW FAR WE FALL BASICALLY AS AN IDEA WHICH WHICH WAS A GREAT IDEA OF COMPROMISE BUT IT REALLY JUST DETERIORATES LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE.

MAYBE IT'S ABOUT HOW EVERYTHING FALLS APART.

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

IT'S BASICALLY TRYING TO SAY HEY, GUYS, WE'RE GOING TO HEAD FOR SEVL WAR SOON.

PEOPLE BETTER STOPPING THE WAY THEY'RE BEHAVING UNLESS YOU WANT TO GO TO WAR.

IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN.

IT'S INTERESTING HOW MUCH HUMOR IS DERIVED FROM CONFLICT.

ALL FROM CONFLICT.

THE TRUTH IN HUMOR.

YOU TALK HERE ABOUT WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

IT'S A DEMOCRACY AND A DEMOCRACY HAS TO BE FOUNDED ON COMPROMISE.

IT CAN'T EXIST WITHOUT THE NOTION OF COMPROMISE.

YET, IT'S BECOME AN ANA THOOEP THEME MA IN OUR SOCIETY.

YOU'RE FINDING HUMOR IN THE IDEA THAT BOY, CAN WE EVEN CONSIDER OURSELVES UNITED ANYMORE.

RIGHT.

I MEAN, HUMOR IS SUPPOSED TO SAY WHAT YOU THINK IS OBVIOUS TO EVERYBODY AND THEY GO OH, YEAH, OF COURSE THAT'S TRUE.

MOST GOOD JOKES, YOU'RE LIKE, OF COURSE, I KNOW THAT.

WE MIGHT BE THINKING THAT.

IT'S IN YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS.

YOU GO YEAH, OF COURSE.

'RED STATE BLUE STATE' AND IN THE THEATER, YOU ARE ESSENTIALLY TARGETED FOR YOUR HUMOR BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE.

WHAT SORT OF REACTION ARE YOU GETTING FROM AUDIENCES?

SO FAR IT'S GREAT AND LAUGHING EVERYWHERE I WANT THEM TO LAUGH.

I THINK PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT I COULDN'T -- I COULD NEVER CONSIDER MYSELF IDEOLOGICALLY ALIGNED WITH ANY PARTY JUST BECAUSE I CAN'T IMAGINE ANYBODY'S NOT FILLED WITH THEIR HYPOCRISY AND THEIR PART IN WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

MOST PEOPLE DO FEEL, MOST PEOPLE I KNOW BELIEVE THAT IT'S THE RIGHT IS DESTROYING THE COUNTRY OR THE PEOPLE THAT I KNOW CONSERVATIVE BELIEVE THE LEFT IS DESTROYING THE COUNTRY.

THEY BOTH BELIEVE THAT WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS AND SOULS.

HOW DO YOU THINK, THIS IS A LITTLE BIT PHILOSOPHICAL BUT IN OF HUMOR IT, HOW DO YOU THINK HUMOR LIKE YOURS CAN GET PEOPLE TO COME TO GRIPS WITH THE NOTION I MIGHT DISAGREE WITH SOMEONE, THAT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN I HAVE TO DESTROY THEM.

OR THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE AN EVIL PERSON IF WE DON'T AGREE.

I DON'T THINK IT CAN.

DO YOU THINK WE'RE THAT FAR ALONG A TERRIBLE ROAD?

I BELIEVE SOCIAL MEDIA TOOK IT TO A NEW TRIBAL EF LEVEL AND VIGILANTE.

SOCIAL MEDIA SOMEHOW ENHANCE THOSE I THINK SFINGS IN US.

I BELIEVE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A CIVIL WAR.

HOPEFULLY SOMETHINGING WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THEN WHERE WE GET PERSPECTIVE.

NOBODY WANTS TO SEE A CIVIL WAR.

I WANT TO MENTION THE PEOPLE.

THIS IS A VERY FUNNY SHOW.

YOU AND I ARE HAVING WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A VERY SERIOUS DISCUSSION AND DEEP AND PHILOSOPHICAL R.

BUT IT'S A VERY, VERY FUNNY SHOW.

THANKS.

IT'S FUNNY.

I MAKE SURE I GET LAUGHS ALL THE WAY THROUGH OR I WOULD FEEL UNCOMFORT CREDIBLE.

WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO LAUGH IN SOME KAY WAYS AT THEMSELVES.

THE HUMAN CONDITION.

I'M HAPPY WHEN SOMEBODY I DON'T LIKE GETS TAKEN DOWN JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE.

IT'S A HUMAN CONDITION.

I DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THAT.

I WANT TO BE LIKE PEOPLE ARE HAPPY WHEN OTHER PEOPLE GET TAKEN DOWN, PEOPLE LIKE MYSELF.

EVERYBODY IS, YOU KNOW.

IS THE AUDIENCE IN NEW YORK, DO THEY REACT DIFFERENTLY FROM THE AUDIENCE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY?

SURE.

THIS SHOW'S JUST BEEN IN NEW YORK FOR THE MOST PART BUT I'VE DONE VARIATIONS AND IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, THEY'RE VERY -- THEY'RE LIKE NEW YORK ONLY FROM THEIR SIDE WHERE THEY'RE LIKE, OKAY, WHERE'S THIS GO.

LIKE WHEN PEOPLE SENSE YOU'RE DISRESPECTING THEM IN NEW YORK OR IN MISSOURI OR WHEREVER, THEY STILL HAVE THE SAME, THEY'RE STILL HUMAN BEINGS.

OKAY, WHAT'S GOING ON HERE.

YOU'VE GOT ONE PART OF THE SHOW I THOUGHT WAS FASCINATING WHERE YOU TALK ABOUT I'VE GOT A SOLUTION HERE.

CITY STATES.

YEAH.

ANCIENT GREEK CITY STATES.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

I MEAN CITY STATES BEING LIKE SPARTA AND ATHENS.

THEY WERE BOTH GREECE BUT THEY HAD NOTHING IN COMMON.

SPARTA WAS JOCKS AND ATHENS WAS AN NERDS.

THEY WOULD ONLY GET TOGETHER WHEN PERSIA INVADED.

OTHERWISE.

DO YOU THINK THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE?

YEAH.

DELINEATED HOW, BY GEOGRAPHY.

UNITED CITY STATES OF AMERICA.

WELL DELINEATED BY MAYBE CITIES, SUBURBS AND RURAL.

IT SEEMS MORE LIKE THAT'S THE WAY IT IS.

IT'S NOT REALLY RED STATES BLUE STATES.

CITIES, SUBURBAN RURAL HAVE DIFFERENT MENTALITIES.

LIKE I SAY IN THE SHOW, IN A REAL DEMOCRACY YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIVE IN A DICTATORSHIP IF YOU WANT TO.

SOME PEOPLE WANT TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO AND MOVE FORWARD.

THERE'S DIFFERENT TYPES OF PERSONALITIES OUT THERE.

WE MENTIONED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CONVERSATION HOW MUCH OF HUMOR IS DERIVED FROM CONFLICT.

YEAH.

YET YOU WERE SAYING TO ME JUST BEFORE WE WENT ON, I SAID THERE'S A WEALTH OF MATERIAL OUT THERE FOR COMICS NOW WITH ALL THE CONFLICT GOING ON.

ABSOLUTELY.

YOU WERE SAYING YET WITH ALL THAT OUT THERE, THERE'S BEEN A CONTRACTION, SORT OF LIMITING WHAT YOU ALL CAN BE TALKING ABOUT.

OF COURSE.

NOW EVERYBODY'S KIND OF, EVERYBODY'S ON HIGH ALERT ABOUT EVERYTHING.

ESPECIALLY SINCE EVERYONE'S GOT A TRAIL OF WHAT THEY'VE SAID OVER THE YEARS.

NOW IT WAS LIKE DO I WANT THIS TO GO OUT.

YOU'RE NOT JUST SPEAKING LIKE IN THE OLD DAYS YOU WOULD SPEAK AT A COMEDY CLUB AND YOU WOULD BE THERE IN THAT MOMENT.

NOW HALF THOSE PEOPLE ARE THE MEDIA.

THEY'RE THEIR OWN MEDIA.

EVERYBODY'S GOT A PHONE THAT CAN RECORD TAPE YOU AND RECORD YOU.

SO IT'S LIKE YOU'RE PERFORMING EVERY NIGHT TORE 100TV STATIONS.

YOU KNOW?

ARE YOU THINKING THAT SOMETIMES?

ON STAGE?

YEAH, OF COURSE.

IS THERE A GOVERNOR IN YOUR MIND SAYING SHOULD I BE SAYING THIS RIGHT NOW?

OF COURSE.

I DON'T THINK IT'S ONLY HUMAN NATURE TO GO ALL RIGHT, HERE IT GOES.

THEN YOU STILL -- COMEDIANS WANT TO GET THE LAUGHS.

WE SAID WHATEVER WE'RE GOING TO SAY EVENTUALLY EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW THIS IS A MISTAKE.

YOU WANT THAT LAUGH.

IT'S GOING TO GET ME A LAUGH.

YOU'RE ON STAGE FOR 80 MINUTES.

YEAH.

THERE'S NO PROMPTER UP THERE.

YOU DON'T HAVE NOTES IN YOUR HAND.

RIGHT.

YOU'RE DONE I MENTIONED 'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.'

YOU'RE WORKING OFF A SCRIPT YOU HELPED TO WRITE.

HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT FOR YOU IN TERMS OF BEING A PERFORMER?

WORKING FOR 80 MINUTES BY YOURSELF YOU MEAN?

YEAH.

I'M USED TO IT.

FOR STANDUPS IT'S LESS DIFFICULT THAN ANYBODY ELSE.

WE'RE ALWAYS -- YOU'RE ALWAYS BY YOURSELF ON STAGE.

WITH A CROWD FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR.

THAT'S OUR LIFE.

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

THAT'S A STANDUP LIFE.

I'VE ALWAYS BELIEVED ONE OF THE VALUES, GREAT VALUES OF AN COMEDY IS IT KIND OF HOLDS A MIRROR UP TO US TO SOCIETY.

GIVE US A CHANCE TO LOOK AT OURSELVES AND MAYBE BETTER UNDERSTAND OURSELVES.

WHAT YOU'RE DOING NOW, 'RED STATE BLUE STATE' IS A MARVELOUS CONSTITUENT FOR ALL OF US TO HOLD A MIRROR UP WHILE WE'RE LAUGHING.

INCLUDING MYSELF.

WHILE WE'RE LAUGHING BUT TO HOLD THE MIRROR UP.

THAT'S PRETTY GOOD AND PRETTY VALUABLE.

COLIN, ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH AND GOOD LUCK WITH THE SHOW.

THANK YOU.

Funders

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