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Colin Quinn's 'Unconstitutional' constitutes humorous historical look at America

Images of Colin Quinn live in "Unconstitutional"
Images of Colin Quinn live in "Unconstitutional"Photo courtesy of Mike Lavoie (copyright 2013), used with permission

Colin Quinn "Unconstitutional"


Yesterday night, April 8, comedian and former SNL cast member Colin Quinn brought his "Unconstitutional" tour to Milwaukee's Marcus Center Vogel Hall. During the hour and a half show, Quinn discussed the history of America with special emphasis on The Constitution.

Colin Quinn in "Unconstitutional"
Colin Quinn in "Unconstitutional"Photo courtesy of Mike Lavoie (copyright 2013), used with permission

New Yorker Colin Quinn jumps into the show about as quickly as he closes it. The closing music almost seems to play him offstage, and yet he manages to get his message across for a well-rounded show. Unfortunately this quick start to the show makes it difficult to keep up with him until you get a handle on his pace.

The nature of the show combined with a screen projecting sections of the Constitution turn Quinn into a kind of cool history professor who swears and makes pop culture references while still teaching something. Through the humor, he brings the show to a close with a message and commentary on where we are as a nation, leaning towards lecture and away from stand-up, which can either be good or bad depending on your tastes and interests.

No matter your tastes or interests, Quinn is unique in that he manages to create a completely politically-centered show while not leaning in one political direction over the other. He brings up issues of debate such as gun control without favoring or insulting either side. Much like a history professor, he doesn't necessarily propose a solution or suggest which argument is "right", but he merely mentions them as they relate to The Constitution and takes apart their different applications. And while the show doesn't lean in one political direction, it does call for a specific crowd as young, sensitive, or politically extreme audience members might not take to Quinn's style or sense of humor.

The show in general takes apart The Constitution and American history bit by bit, analyzing and applying sections to modern day society in a way that is both humorous and enlightening. But no matter your opinion of the concept of the show, politics, or political humor, Quinn's time management and organization of the show are undeniably incredible. He covers all of American history, the Presidents, and The Constitution in less than 90 minutes, while finding time to infuse observational, political, and pop culture-inspired humor.

A few jokes fell flat, either because of timing or the small crowd filling just under half of Vogel Hall. Still, a good number of audience members stayed behind to get a picture with Colin Quinn and thank him for the show. So whether you're right-wing, left-wing, or impartial, Colin Quinn's "Unconstitutional" provides a quick-witted, unbiased inspection of a foundation of America, where it causes us trouble, and how society has developed and drifted as a whole.