Comedian Colin Quinn makes the Constitution funny at Fine Arts Center

February 20, 2014 Updated: February 21, 2014 at 10:32 am

7:30 p.m. Friday, Fine Arts Center, 30 W. Dale St., $40, $30 FAC member; 634-5583,

The Constitution of the United States was a puzzle to comedian Colin Quinn.

The standup comic, who was also a writer and featured player on Saturday Night Live in the mid-'90s, is touring "Unconstitutional," a new show he spent 2013 putting together. He'll perform at the Fine Arts Center on Friday.

"I was just trying to figure out the Constitution thing," he says. "Everybody loves it. Nobody ever says a bad word about it. People misuse it, but both people on the left and the right love it. That makes it unique right there. Why does everybody love this damn document? I tried to investigate."

His first big realization?

"That it was four pages when I thought it was a hundred pages."

His gut reaction to the material?

"Nothing. I didn't feel anything."

But that didn't stop him.

"I read a few old books about it," he says. "Four books. Maybe five. Three of these were written in the old days, when they were not written to make you interested."

It was the human nature element that caught his attention.

"When I started reading about it, I thought it was legal, boring (expletive)," Quinn says, "but then I started getting into it, and I thought this is deep.

"They were saying, we know that we'll tell you what to do if we get the power. It's the human nature aspect. We all know that if we get the power, we'll abuse it, and if you get it, you'll abuse it. If men were angels, we wouldn't need The Constitution. It says that. It says that if all men were Aristotle or Socrates, we would still need a Constitution."

From there, he cobbled together a show that combines both history and comedy. In a review, The New York Times called him a "history nerd."

"I like being called a nerd," he says. But to clarify, he's not a history buff. Rather, he's just a typical comedian.

"You ask a comedian about a topic and he always has to yap for, like, 20 minutes. We like to think we know everything."

Jennifer Mulson, 636-0270,



"Who Goes There?" Paranormal Investigation - 7-9 p.m. Friday, Victor Lowell Thomas Museum, 298 Victor Avenue, Victor, $20, reservations required; 689-5509,

"ChitChat 2014: Generosity & Make-Up" - With Kathy Giuffre from Colorado College and Mark Modeer from Zeezo's, 7-8 p.m. Wednesday, GOCA 121, Suite 100, 121 S. Tejon St., $10, $5 GOCA member, with snacks, wine and beer, tickets required, limited seating; 255-3504,

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