Colin Quinn on Alcoholism, Sobriety and the Comedy Lifestyle

By

There’s a certain mystique that comes with the myth of the out-of-control comedian, an allure that starts to lose its potency once you realize you don’t have enough change to clean the vomit out of your interview pants. Currently starring his one-man Broadway show Long Story Short, Colin Quinn spoke with TheFix about his twenty years of sobriety, and why the lifestyle of the comedian can be a slippery slope to Despair Town. “I think it’s a risk taker thing and an excitement thing,” Quinn muses. “I think it’s partially that you know you are able to indulge more because you get up later, you set your own hours. The lifestyle appeals to certain types of people.” Already in recovery for his alcoholism when he got into comedy at 24, the SNL alum actually started doing stand-up “because I was so tortured by not being able to drink and be in my lifestyle that I started comedy so that I could be around the bar scene and around the excitement.”

Colin also describes declining what was shaping up to be a coke-fueled stripper orgy while working on MTV’s Remote Control. “I was just tortured the whole night and I was grabbing the bed being like ‘why’ feeling so sorry for myself,” Colin recalls. “But I woke up the next day and was like, ‘Wow, you felt sorry for yourself, but how would you like to wake up as a person in a wheelchair for life from what you did last night?’ So it’s all perspective.” And now he has a Broadway show directed by Jerry Seinfeld. Really makes you think…about getting your life together.