Comedian Colin Quinn, it turns out, likes to bicker and complain. A lot.
In a dressing room at the Cherry Lane Theater, where his one-man show, “Colin Quinn: The New York Story,” is playing through Aug. 16, the comedian first bickered with his cousin Tim Gage, who came in to use his iPhone charger. Then Quinn leapt into a tirade about political correctness.
“We’re worse than Canada,” he said on a recent Sunday night. “A country of social psychologists online.”
This tied neatly into the themes of his show – homogeneity, plutocracy, technology – which he performed moments later to a sold-out crowd of 180, and which offered him a larger stage to complain.
Among the latest things about New York that irk him: that tourists never ask for directions anymore because of smartphone maps, and that the murder rate has fallen so low there’s no material for “Law & Order” spinoffs.
“Most crime takes place at the Dalton School,” he said. “It’s like: ‘Oh, no! Columbia Prep! The Bloods are up to it again.’”
All this kvetching is a little curious, since things are going awfully well for Quinn, 56, of late.
He has a popular web series called “Cop Show,” a kind of spoof on “Law & Order,” in which he plays a pompous actor starring in a police procedural. The Cherry Lane show, which is directed by Jerry Seinfeld, has been sold out since it went into previews in July, and it will return for a three-month engagement starting in October.
He also wrote a book this year, “The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America.”
And this summer, he is a co-star in Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck,” playing the protagonist’s father, a perennially disappointed but nevertheless lovable rogue who helps instill but one value in his daughter: to thine own libido be true.
So was it exhausting to hear Quinn moan and groan all night? Au contraire, mon frere. He was actually delightful.
Quinn intersperses his monologues, onstage and off, with uncanny impersonations of virtually every ethnic group imaginable, including his own, Irish-American. There is also a menschy quality underneath his craggy exterior. He doesn’t so much whine as offer amused resignation about the state of the world.
He’s the sort of guy who, if you left your kids with him, would win them over by feeding them potato chips and letting them watch R-rated Bruce Willis action movies. He would also tell them never to get married and to ignore a summons for jury duty.
After his performance, Quinn was joined in his dressing room by comedians Bonnie McFarlane and Rich Vos, who have turned their own marital bickering into a web series, “My Wife Hates Me.”
“That yuppie shirt with all those tattoos,” Quinn said, ribbing Vos about the sleeve of ink running down his arm.
“Shut up, you watered down Bogosian,” Vos said. “Just shut up! And let me use your bathroom.”
“I’d prefer if you didn’t,” Quinn said in a deadpan tone before allowing him to do just that.
After a quick wardrobe change, from corduroys to bluejeans, Quinn dashed down to SoHo to Bravo’s studios to appear on “Watch What Happens Live,” with Andy Cohen and Gina Gershon.
In a conference room there, a production assistant prepped Quinn for a game he was to play involving imaginary one-man shows. Which predictably was cause for even more complaining.
Quinn complained about Vin Diesel being on the list, as well as Björk and Ryan Seacrest. Then he complained about Caitlyn Jenner not being included.
“You can’t make any Caitlyn Jenner jokes,” he said. “But a month ago, you could make Bruce Jenner jokes all day. This list stinks. What’s wrong with these people?”
Then, Quinn was perfectly charming when the cameras went live.