Colin Quinn on Surviving a Heart Attack and Hitting Broadway (Extended Interview)

Colin Quinn on Surviving a Heart Attack and Hitting Broadway (Extended Interview)

-Already, you’re —
you’re starting trouble. -I thought it would be funny,
like I was gonna do a set. -Yeah.
You’re already doing a bit. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -You’re already coming out here
doing a bit? -I was doing a bit like,
“Hey, I’m going to do stand-up.” -Yeah, exactly, yeah.
-Then you’d be like, to some producer,
“What’s going on?” -You’re a troublemaker —
you know that? -Well…
-You really are. You’re, like, from the streets.
I get it. [ Laughter ] Hard knocks, man.
It’s cool. Hard knocks. -I get it.
-I get it, man. Thank you for being here
on the show. Thank you for tweeting
about the show. So thoughtful of you.
-Oh. Oh, no. I didn’t tweet.
That wasn’t me. Some lady’s kid — you know, he — he wanted
to play with the phone. You know,
these little kids like — So I lent him my phone.
I wouldn’t do that. -Oh, so a child sent —
-I wouldn’t do that. I love the show.
-“Jimmy Fallon, thank you — thank you so much
for having me on the show. Thanks for the transportation.” That’s the subway.
[ Laughter ] That was a child —
That was a child that did that? -Well, you know, you guys
could have sprung for a limo. [ Laughter ]
-Come on, I know you. But you’re from
the streets, man. -Yeah. I’m sure Shaq didn’t have
a MetroCard out like I did coming for the show.
[ Laughter and applause ] -Did you meet Shaq?
-[ Chuckling ] Yeah. No, I didn’t meet him. -You didn’t meet him?
-No. -I know you’re a big basketball
fan, though. -I am a big basketball fan. I — I had a game in my day. You know what I mean?
-You did? -Yeah.
-Could you have gone pro? -Kind of
an Archie Clark-type game, which is
before everybody’s time. But you guys are from Philly.
You might remember Archie Clark. No? All right.
-Archie Clark? Yeah. -Thank you.
I know, yeah. I was kind of a Kyrie Irving,
Scott Skiles combination. It’s hard to describe my game,
but, you know. I busted my Achilles. Whatever career I could have
had, a couple of years ago, on a movie set,
they were playing basketball, and Richard Lewis was there. And I met Richard Lewis
like twice in my life. But then right before
we’re going, they go, “Do you want to shoot around,
play ball afterwards?” I was like, “Yeah.” And he just gave me
this weird look. You know, Richard Lewis —
he always looks like demonic. [ Laughter ]
-He doesn’t look demonic. -He does, too. Look at his face
from the side like this. [ Light laughter ]
-Wait. You think that — That’s my Richard Lewis
impression. -That’s a —
I’ve never seen you do that. That’s a fantastic impression. If you close your eyes…
[ Laughter ] -Anyway, I felt like
there was a curse — -You think
that Richard Lewis cursed you? -I swear to God —
I know it sounds stupid. But it was just getting
to be dark. And he just gave me a weird,
like, evil look, even though I met him twice —
we’ve always been on good terms. -Yeah. -But he just gave me
this weird look. And I felt like a jarring thing
go through my body. And then 20 minutes later,
I’m writhing in pain. My Achilles is destroyed. -And where was —
where was Richard? He was never there.
-He had left. But, I mean, he left with his,
you know… [ Laughter ]
You don’t give a cur– you don’t
put a curse on somebody and then watch like this.
[ Laughter ] -That’s true, yeah.
-Then you know it’s him. -You put the curse… -You put the curse,
and you leave. -You put the curse,
and you leave — there you go. Of course.
-Yeah, it was weird. -I got to say,
you look good, my friend. -Thanks. -About a year ago,
you had a heart attack. -Yes, I did. -It scared me.
-Yeah, thank you. -That was —
That was frightening, huh? -Yeah, it was pretty crazy.
But, I mean, you know. I thought it would be like
one of those things where, you know,
you turn over a new leaf. -Yeah.
-‘Cause I had had the heart attack. This is the only part
about the heart attack I like, is when people say it,
and everyone’s like, “Ooh.” [ Audience oohs ]
No, I don’t mean to say it. I meant how you feel —
[ Laughter ] -No, we do feel — Yeah.
-I felt that, yeah. -Yeah. Yeah.
-But…yeah. -But did you —
I mean, that’s — it just happened, right? It’s…
-It just happened. And now I know
I’m going to die someday. That’s the only bad part. [ Light laughter ]
-Nothing changed? You’re not, like,
a nicer person or…? -No, I mean, I was —
what bothered me is I — about a month later, I was like, “Yeah, this is really good
to be alive.” Then I’m like — look at this
heart-attack commercial with this guy —
had the same doctor I did. What’s — What’s wrong with me?
What am I — wood? I can’t be
in a heart-attack commercial? [ Laughter ] -You’re upset that you’re not
in a heart-attack commercial? -Yeah.
-That was the problem? -Hey, Colin Quinn. I get laughs for a living, but
the heart is no laughing matter. [ Laughter ]
-Oh, my God! -You know?
-Oh, my God. Don’t do this commercial,
please. -Why? -This is just
already embarrassing. [ Laughter ]
-What? -It’s already —
-You know, last year, I almost had
a permanent mic drop. [ Laughter ] -[ Coughing ] Stop. Please don’t do it. -That last —
The funny line in that — your producer gave me
that one — Sarah. -Oh, really? -Can’t even come up with the
funniest line in my own joke. -Tell me — Tell me about this. Let’s talk about
your one-man show here, “Red State Blue State”
over at the — -You don’t have to
hold it like that. Just like this. You’ve been doing the show
for years. You’re holding it like
this up to the mic. -What do you mean?
-I mean, you’re, like, too intensely holding it,
like this. -What do you want me —
to hold it like it’s a — -Yeah, like this. Like, “So, tell me
about the new show, pal.” -See, this is why
you don’t have a — -If I hosted the show,
here’s how I would be like. “So, what’s up with
this new show, Chief?” [ Light laughter ]
-You wouldn’t show it to me? -Yeah, people are like,
“Hey, let’s have a casual — it’s late night —
you know what I mean? -Looks like you’re
scalping tickets or something. [ Laughter ] -You’re holding it up like it’s,
you know, Kelly and Ryan in the morning. Like, hey —
you know what I mean? Hey, loosen up, pal. That’s all I’m trying to say. -So, tell me about —
tell me about this thing. -[ Laughs ] Oh! [ Laughter ] -[ Stammering ] I want to —
I want to know about it. -Will you — Will you show
the other tweet I sent, please? I really think it’s important that the crowd sees
what’s going on. You don’t understand
the brainwashing that goes on at 30 Rock. [ Laughter ]
-The photos — the caption says, “Less propaganda during
the cultural revolution.” [ Laughter ]
It’s the gift shop. -I go — I walk off the —
off the train, and I walk in the lobby. It says, the NBC Store —
it’s only pictures of Jimmy. [ Laughter ] The whole store.
-Dude. -Everywhere you look,
it’s pictures of Jimmy. -Aren’t you proud of me?
-It’s like Mao Tse-Tun, back in the, you know…
-Get a life. -Well, that’s what the cultural
revolution was, folks. -Did it make you happy —
see, a normal person — this would make them happy.
[ Laughter ] Because you were there
when it first started. -A normal person would never say
that, first of all, about them– A normal person would not look
at pictures of themself and go, “A normal person —
this would make them happy.” [ Laughter ] That’s the first thing
I want to say. [ Laughter and applause ] -But, dude,
I’m not saying I’m normal. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -But I’m just saying,
wouldn’t you be proud of me? Your old — Your old buddy.
-I love you. -Your old buddy
from the streets. -From Day One, you…
[ Laughter ] I remember you were…
-Brooklyn. -…just a little urchin
on the corner — I said,
“This kid’s gonna do something.” -Yeah, I go [British accent]
“‘ello, Colin Quinn. Can I have…”
[ Laughter ] -Yes.
-Do you do your — -Brooklyn. Brooklyn.
-Do you do — Do you — -[ Laughs ] The Brooklyn accent
came from England, actually. -Do you do accents?
Do you do — Do you do — Do you do accents in this,
in your one-man show? -No, I don’t.
-You don’t do any? -No, it’s not — it’s not — I’m
not Joel Grey and Ben Vereen. This is a serious comedy — [ Laughter ]
Thanks, guys. -If you’re — If you’re playing
a drinking game at home, the Joel Grey drinking game…
[ Laughter ] …take a shot. What — What — No, but
you’re talking about how — -I’m not
the Entertainer of the Year. It’s not a Vegas revue.
This is serious stuff. -I understand.
No, it’s funny. -I’m gonna call Bradley Cooper
onstage? [ Light laughter ] Oh, just laugh. Oh, and it wasn’t a good
reference, but it was topical. [ Laughter ]
-I don’t even — What does it mean?
What does it mean? -Well, yesterday, he was all —
all viral with Lady Gaga. It’s — You know, it was a —
it was a bad reference. But it was topical.
-What’s happening? -I’m not — I’m not gonna
bow down for it. -Have you ever apologized —
-Even though it wasn’t funny. -Have you ever —
-I stand — I stand — -I’m not —
No one’s asking you — No one asking you
to apologize for it. -Well, I think I — Yeah. But I could have
easily groveled. I could have shriveled up
from a lack of humor in a comedian statement.
[ Laughter ] But I chose to stand tall.
-Instead, you rose. -I chose to back it up.
-The cream — The cream — Rise to the top.
-They can’t all — What do they say?
They can’t all be gems. [ Laughter ] -Let’s talk about this —
what is the play about? -Oh. [ Laughs ]
Let’s do it. I got off on the wrong foot when I came out
with my fake stand-up routine. -Your bit, yeah.
[ Laughter ] No one — No one got
that reference, either. -That was…
[ Laughs ] -You came off the wrong foot
for that one, yeah. [ Laughter ]
But… -I didn’t even think I had — I literally almost said
to the guys backstage, “Hey, do you have a mic?” I was gonna do, like, a prop. -God. What are you doing, man?
-I don’t know. Sometimes you get playful,
and people are not in the mood. I’ve been there. I’ve been on the other side
of it myself, so I understand if people
want to stab me right now. I get it. But let’s talk
about the show, yeah. -I haven’t been listening
to anything you said. -Oh. Okay. [ Laughter ] -“Red State Blue State.”
Tell us what this thing is. Please don’t show… Just stop touching everything!
Stop touching everything! Get — Seriously.
Give it to me, man. What’s wrong with you, dude? Can you just — Can you tell us
what this play is about? -Oh, yeah.
On a serious but comic note… [ Laughter ]
-No, but it’s funny. -It’s not funny.
Yeah, you’re right. My show is about the breakup of
the United States, you know. How this country really is on the verge,
on the precipice of a breakup. So it’s about that.
But it’s funny. I mean, you know,
I’m making fun of the fact that we could actually
get to this point. -But you think social media
is one of the reasons why… -Yeah, I feel like
social media — I think free speech was not —
It’s an acoustic art. It was never meant
to go electric. You know what I’m saying? It’s like a Bob Dylan thing. I think once it went electric… -That’s pretty good.
[ Applause ] Wow. Well, you’re killing…
-All right. Yeah. Okay, I’ll take one for 20.
[ Laughter ] -You should open
with that, yeah. -I’ll take one for 20. Isn’t that what Shaq says
on the foul line? [ Audience ohhs ] -Who are you — Jeffrey Ross? [ Laughter ] He’s a roastmaster, man.
I know you. [ Laughter ] No, let’s talk about your bit —
your acts. You used to do
The Lovemaster, right? Isn’t that you?
-[ Laughs ] -No, it was Craig Shoemaker.
-Oh, that’s — that’s right. [ Laughter ] -Now you’re the one
that’s acting up. -Well, no, it’s —
Well, I’m not acting up. I’m just more playing with you,
’cause I know you,
and I feel like — -I know, but, you know, let’s
not get too saccharine about it. Now you’re being weird. -This is what you —
you want me to be. You made this.
-Yeah, it’s true. -The old me from five minutes
ago would’ve been like this… and interested in you.
-Oh, thank you. -The new me is already
on to the next guest. -I like this.
The new, casual Jimmy. -Casual Jimmy. Casual Friday.
Wear, like, a Hawaiian shirt. Picture me in a Hawaiian shirt
and shorts, Crocs. -Let me see you —
You come out in jorts one night. -[ Laughs ]
-Jorts and flip-flops. -Jorts. Social media.
You did that joke, right? -Whoa. Let’s try to keep, you know,
the illusion alive here. “Did that joke.”
It’s a conversation. [ Laughter ] What are you doing, Jimmy?
What are you doing to me? -Oh, my God. -I like to be meta as much
as the next guy, but come on. -Oh, my gosh. [ Laughter ] Oh, my gosh. I’m broken, man. [ Laughter ] But one thing I think
is interesting from this is that you do —
You said that we don’t know what the founding fathers
sounded like. -That’s right. They might
have sounded like Trump. “We the people
of the United States in order to form
a more perfect union! And, by the way, it’s actually
getting pretty perfect! It’s actually pretty fantastic!” [ Laughter ] “James Madison,
tremendously talented person!” [ Laughter and applause ] -You have big news,
though, tonight? ‘Cause this —
You’re extending your run. -Yeah.
I’m extending it two weeks. So, it’s not really —
[ Cheers and applause ] Well, thanks. [ Cheers and applause ] I extended it two weeks.
There’s a lot of people I know that haven’t been
to the show yet. [ Laughter ] Oh, I wasn’t talking about you. I’m just, you know… -It’s just hard to get downtown. -[ Laughs ] You could have at
least thought that out better. Hard to get downtown?
I got d– I live downtown. Show that picture… A little thing we call
the F train, ladies and gentlemen. [ Light laughter ] When I was a youth,
it was the Ind line,
back in those days. -Yeah. My driver doesn’t go
around this neighborhood. -Whoa. [ Audience ohs ] [ Laughter ] -There’s a lot of illusions
being crushed tonight. The casual conversation,
my social-media joke. The fact you’re Mr. Regular Guy,
elbowing people on the train. Singing at the train station
with Justin Timberlake. I’ve watched the show.
I know what goes on. -Yeah. I’ve never sang
in the train station with Justin Timberlake ever. -Well, you sang with
somebody of his caliber. -Yeah.
-Somebody famous. -Miley Cyrus.
-Ooh. [ Laughter ] -I’m not name dropping!
You’re the one that started it. -I thought you did that
as a regular thing. That’s probably
a good regular feature, but it’s probably too much
of a hassle security-wise. -It’s hard, but we pull it off. We work with the NYPD and stuff.
And they help out. -You just went to Puerto Rico.
I watched that whole thing. -You did?
-I know what’s going on. Yeah. -I love you.
Thank you for doing that. I appreciate it.
Thank you for watching. -This whole interview
is turning around now where I’m the good guy
and you’re the villain. [ Light laughter ] If you stay in an interview
long enough, it turns around. -What are you talking about?
There was never a villain here. -Oh, yes. Every interview, there’s
a good person and a villain. I’ve always said that. -You have to put
your coffee cup down, ’cause when we edit this —
We have continuity. -You should have a cigarette for
one of the things when we edit. I’ll be like this, smoking.
Can somebody smoke on TV? You probably
can’t even smoke on TV. -Of course you can’t smoke
on TV, no. -Well, don’t say “of course.” In the old days,
you could smoke on TV. When I was on MTV… [ Cheers and applause ] You weren’t born yet.
I used to smoke on TV. -You did?
-Yeah. -Letterman used to smoke
in between commercial breaks. -Well, but I was
literally smoking on TV. Don’t throw Letterman
in my face. I don’t care what Letterman did.
Letterman is yesterday’s news. We’re talking about me,
here, now. I’m promoting a show
and used to be on MTV. -Yeah, but you’re talking
about old times. -I could have done a great set. I could have just been finishing
my stand-up set right now. [ Laughter ]
-What would you open with? Social media?
-I have no idea. You should’ve left me out there and said,
“Go ahead. Do stand-up.” -How long is the show?
-How long is it? -Yeah. How long
do we have to sit there? [ Laughter ] -And watch this…? [ Laughter ] -An hour and 15.
-An hour and 15? -Oh, it goes by like nothing.
Goes by like nothing. -90 minutes.
-What? -You got to change it up. -90 minutes is longer
than an hour, 15. [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] -That’s the intermission. -That’s where I draw the line.
90 minutes. I’ll leave it at 90. A janitor just comes up. “Sir. You have to leave.
Everyone’s gone.” “All right.”
-You want to play a game? All right. Don’t look at what
I’m writing down. Okay? -Should have let me
play that game before. It looked like fun.
-Yeah. I wanted you to watch it, right? -All right.
-Don’t look at what I’m — -I’m not looking.
[ Laughter ] I’ll look at my thing.
-All right. Ready? Ready for this?
-Whoa. Yes. -What’s 2 plus 2?
-4. -What’s 4 plus 4?
-8. -What’s 8 plus 8?
-16. -What’s 16 plus 16?
-32. -Name a vegetable.
-A carrot. Whoa! ♪♪ -Colin Quinn, everybody! “Red State Blue State” is at Minetta Lane Theatre
through March 16th.


  1. I remember him from a game show called remote control on MTV , I think back in the 80's…..anyone remember that?

  2. popovich
    shoe AUSie
    when a light particle travels at light speed a second later it is in exact same location relative to other light particles from different sources so they are all in exact same position relative to each other but in different location relative to fixed point such a earth just a second away in respect f a distance. 
    but if we look say relative to li ught p article that travels there isnt a change oil li ught particles exact where there are relative to each other. they all move at li gt speed and so there isn't a change same distance between them&same movement&they keep on moving until the end they ligfe of particles are finite. unless the light bends so that might generate a relative change if we were able to tag the 3 li got particle for example.
    the ear c th and planets not large enough to bend li e ught. the only light bending there is black holes or large stars or what else bends- who is tech. what about white holes emit tin g light only who talks about those..
    they aren't stars are they in the no rh ??
    am not ei sign teased
    there is all black i had seen it when light stops at the end of the light life
    no energy
    li e run so long
    was really move people
    why on ly death of a body we own? ie own child
    jimmy kimmel has brain free ze and doesnt get sep t

  3. Rich Vos will be performing tomorrow the 1st of February at the Comedy Works in Saratoga Springs, NY. Get your tickets now

  4. Wow, I stopped watching the Fallon show for a while but this was a hilarious back n forth, and that trick at the end… perfect ending.

  5. Johnny Carson used to smoke onscreen! One of the most famous unscripted moments in television was when Don Rickles broke his cigarette box!

  6. He made Jimmy pop open like a fortune cookie, real authentic and the fake laughter reduced to 50/50 genuine and somewhat improvised. Not an easy task to do and Jimmy remains fake with at least 90-98% of his guests but this guy opened up a decent conversation and he got 15 minutes. Well done dude and Jimmy try to be like this authentic and stop laughing for 2 seconds and try to be serious right away, looks so fake.

  7. Colin Quinn is the godfather of the modern NYC comedy scene. He's been simultaneously tearing down and rebuilding comics there for 20-30 years and he gets no credit for being a mentor to pretty much half the headliners out there now.

  8. I like this kind of Jimmy. The fireback with some shots of his own, a little mean and vicious. He should do that all the time.

  9. For those of you unfamiliar with Colin Quinn check out his old show Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn. The episodes with Greg Giraldo, Patrice O'Neal and Jim Norton are tremendous. Classic roast-style comedy.

  10. A bit concerning that an interview with one of the funniest men alive gets 30,000 views, while all the other interviews from this channel with talentless bums hit a mil. Perhaps I’m reading too far into it, but smart craft and talent mean little these days.

    Edit: I typed this immediately as I clicked on the video, and didn’t realize someone made this point more concisely. Though I’m glad I’m not the only one

  11. I ordered his special "Long Story Short" on DVD from Amazon because those bastards at Netflix pulled it. Funny as it gets. I highly recommend it.

  12. Got to open for Colin last year. He's hilarious, one of the most respected comics in the business, and the nicest guy you'll ever meet.

  13. For as much as people say Jimmy is a phony brown noser, when a guy like Colin comes on Jimmy is more than willing to riff and make the interview fun

  14. the way colin's expression changes when jimmy asks him 2+2, 4+4… is the best depiction of what kind of a person he is.. just funny and totally nuts

  15. Colin Quinn moves his off-Broadway comedy to CNN on Memorial
    Day, confirming that appearance marketing is a malignancy that even a fifty-nine-year-old
    comedian cannot excape from, as hair dye appears as his second banana, and is a
    very necessary element in his comedy, never shall he appear without some…

  16. Colin doesn't belong here. He can never relax. Plus jimmy is a terrible host who can't talk. Nice guy but just bad at this

  17. "Sometimes you get playful and people are not in the mood. I've been there. I've been on the other side of it myself, so, I understand if people want to stab me right now, I get it."
    I love Colin.

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