Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn

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Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
FormatComedy/Talk show
Created byColin Quinn
StarringColin Quinn
Nick DiPaolo
Greg Giraldo
Judy Gold
Jim Norton
Patrice O'Neal
Keith Robinson
Rich Vos
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes200+
Production
Executive producer(s)Colin Quinn
Liz Stanton
Ken Ober
Running time21 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelComedy Central
Original runDecember 9, 2002 (2002-12-09) – November 4, 2004 (2004-11-04)
 
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Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn
FormatComedy/Talk show
Created byColin Quinn
StarringColin Quinn
Nick DiPaolo
Greg Giraldo
Judy Gold
Jim Norton
Patrice O'Neal
Keith Robinson
Rich Vos
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes200+
Production
Executive producer(s)Colin Quinn
Liz Stanton
Ken Ober
Running time21 minutes
Broadcast
Original channelComedy Central
Original runDecember 9, 2002 (2002-12-09) – November 4, 2004 (2004-11-04)

Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was a comedic talk show which aired on Comedy Central from 2002 to 2004. The show featured host Colin Quinn and a panel of comedian guests, discussing politics, current events, and social issues.

Show history and format[edit]

In 2002, comedian Colin Quinn was given his own show on NBC, titled The Colin Quinn Show, which was broadcast live from the Saturday Night Live soundstage in New York City. There were three 30-minute episodes, which aired on Mondays at 9:30 p.m., from March 11, 2002 to March 25, 2002. Although NBC chose not to continue with the show, Quinn took a similarly-themed show to Comedy Central later on that year. On December 9, 2002, Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn debuted on Comedy Central with an eight-episode test series, which ran Mondays through Thursdays, until December 19, 2002. The show was picked up in January 2003, and the regular series began its 21-week run on March 10, 2003. The show aired weeknights at 11:30 p.m. ET, immediately following The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

The show was presented as an alternative, unpolished and more accessible political "round-table" discussion/shouting-match program in the manner of CNN's Crossfire, taking cue from Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect. The guests on the panel were usually comedians who had been given topics in advance on which to prepare material. Quinn's regular guests consisted mainly of Comedy Central affiliated comedians from the Comedy Cellar comedy club in New York City.[1] The club was renowned for its postperformance roundtable discussions with comedians in the audience about political issues. These exchanges were the inspiration for Tough Crowd.[2]

The show would open with a monologue by Quinn. Quinn would then stand in front of a pool table, or sit on the edge of it, very often sipping coffee, eating or perusing through a newspaper. Usually, there were four comedians as guests, however, in some episodes there were five comedians, and on very rare occasions, only three comedians. On the episodes which featured five comedians, four of them would be seated in chairs, as was the normal fashion, while the fifth comedian would sit off to the side, on a bench. Whenever one of the four in the chairs told a joke that didn't get a laugh, Quinn would banish that comedian over to the bench, and replace him with the person who was previously on the bench. Quinn would introduce current events that were going on in the news, and would moderate (or attempt to moderate, sometimes futilely) the discussion. Most of the show was the comedians discussing these topics. Near the end of each episode, there was usually a sketch of some sort, followed by each of the guests doing a brief monologue on a particular topic that was discussed earlier in the episode.

Many of the comedians were also close friends, and mutually making fun of each other was a large part of the show. Part of Quinn's highly unusual approach was not to edit out jokes which fell flat, often leading to uncomfortable pauses, which were enjoyed by fans of the Cringe comedy style, but which may have appeared awkward to the mainstream television audience. Quinn also reprimanded guests who attempted to gain cheap applause from the audience.[3] For example, if a comedian made a general blanket statement which wasn't particularly funny, but elicited applause nonetheless, Quinn would berate the comedian for being sanctimonious and pandering. One of the show's running jokes, which occurred in numerous episodes, was that at some point, one of the comedians would insult Quinn over what he was wearing. Very often, the comedians would also insult each other over clothing choices, hairstyles or weight issues. Said Quinn of Tough Crowd's comparisons to Politically Incorrect: "It was a role model for our show. But on my show, we’re all comedians. No experts. We’re not as high-minded. If we don’t agree with someone, we just make fun of their shirt."[4]

The show featured comedians with all ranges of political viewpoints, be they liberal, (such as Judy Gold), conservative, (such as Nick DiPaolo), or moderate, (such as Jim Norton and Greg Giraldo). Tough Crowd did well in the ratings and gained a loyal following; however, Quinn was forced to battle network executives over content issues. The show was placed on an "indefinite hiatus" in October 2004, with what was presumably its final episode airing the Thursday following Election Day in 2004. DiPaolo, Norton and other Tough Crowd alums now make semi-regular appearances on Fox News' Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld, which is a similarly-themed comedic panel show, albeit with a predominantly conservative angle.

Regular guests[edit]

The show featured many different comedians, including legends such as George Carlin and Jerry Seinfeld, but the core group that was regularly rotated into the show's panels and often paired together was:

On September 26, 2003, Comedy Central aired an hour long Tough Crowd themed stand-up comedy special called "Tough Crowd Stands Up" hosted by Quinn and featuring stand-up sets from the show's seven regulars: DiPaolo, Giraldo, Gold, Norton, O'Neal, Robinson, and Vos.

Episodes[edit]

PanelNotes
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Keith Robinsonaired December 9, 2002; 1st of 8 test episodes
Greg Giraldo, Caroline Rhea, Rich Vos, ?aired December 16, 2002; 5th of 8 test episodes
Jim David, Nick DiPaolo, Patrice O'Neal, Sarah Silvermanaired December 17, 2002; 6th of 8 test episodes
Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Sarah Silverman, Jerry Seinfeldaired in 2002; test episode
Sue Costello, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinsonaired March 10, 2003; 1st official episode
Nick DiPaolo, Janeane Garofalo, Jim Norton, T. Sean Shannonaired March 11, 2003
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Kevin Hartaired March 12, 2003
Nick DiPaolo, Marc Maron, Jim Norton, Sarah Silvermanaired March 13, 2003
Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Eddie Izzard, Chris Rockaired April 1, 2003
Tough Cuts, Volume 1aired May 26, 2003; compilation of memorable moments from the show
George Carlin, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Jim Nortonaired June 27, 2003
Tough Cuts, Volume 2aired July 21, 2003; compilation of memorable moments from the show
Nick DiPaolo, Dom Irrera, Carole Montgomery, Scott Thompsonaired July 23, 2003; featuring Godfrey
Ray Garvey, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, William Stephensonaired July 24, 2003
Greg Giraldo, Dom Irrera, Ed Lover, Patrice O'Nealaired October 29, 2003
Louis C.K., Dom Irrera, Marc Maron, Ken Oberaired October 30, 2003; featuring Jerry Seinfeld
Pat Cooper, Greg Giraldo, Allan Havey, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2003
Nick DiPaolo, Paul Mooney, Jim Norton, Keith Robinsonaired in 2003; featuring Illeana Douglas
Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Graham Norton, Rich Vosaired in 2003
Ross Bennett, Nick DiPaolo, Todd Glass, Rich Franceseaired in 2003
Lewis Black, Ardie Fuqua, Greg Giraldo, Matt Walshaired in 2003; featuring Nick DiPaolo
Dov Davidoff, Lea Delaria, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2003
Bobby Collins, Sherry Davey, Bobby Slayton, Doug Stanhopeaired in 2003
Kerri Louise, Howie Mandel, Jim Norton, Robert Schimmelaired in 2003
Nick DiPaolo, Hood, D.L. Hughley, Jim Nortonaired in 2003
Jeff Foxworthy, Greg Giraldo, Patrice O'Neal, George Wallaceaired in 2003
Lewis Black, Bill Burr, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinsonaired in 2003
Jim Norton, Ken Ober, Patrice O'Neal, Rich Vosaired in 2003; featuring Nick DiPaolo
Nick DiPaolo, Hugh Fink, Greg Giraldo, Macioaired in 2003
Nick DiPaolo, Jamie Kennedy, Carlos Mencia, Patton Oswaltaired in 2003
Lewis Black, Greg Giraldo, Dom Irrera, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2003
Maria Bamford, Jim David, Jim Norton, Scott Thompsonaired in 2003
Greg Giraldo, Todd Lynn, Andrew Maxwell, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2003
Dave Attell, Lewis Black, Stephen Colbert, Nick DiPaoloaired in 2003; featuring Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinson
Greg Giraldo, Jake Johanssen, Lynne Koplitz, Jim Nortonaired in 2003
D.C. Benny, Greg Proops, Keith Robinson, Alexandra Wentworthaired in December 2003; featuring Greg Giraldo and Modi Rosenfeld
Nick DiPaolo, Ray Garvey, Macio, Greg Proopsaired in December 2003; featuring Keith Robinson and Rich Vos
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Artie Lange, Lizz Winsteadaired in December 2003; featuring Judy Gold, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Nick DiPaolo, Hugh Fink, Greg Giraldo, Wanda Sykes
Bob Golub, Cory Kahaney, Greg Proops, Rich Vos
Bill Burr, Nick DiPaolo, Keith Robinson, George Wallace
Dave Attell, Lewis Black, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton
Sue Costello, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Patrice O'Neal
Nick DiPaolo, Judy Gold, Brian Posehn, Kevin Robinson
Lenny Clarke, Sue Costello, Greg Giraldo, Denis Leary
Greg Giraldo, Laura Kightlinger, Jimmy Kimmel, Todd Lynn
Todd Barry, Nick DiPaolo, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Greg Giraldo, Dom Irrera, Keith Robinson, Sarah Silverman
Nick DiPaolo, Judy Gold, Colette Hawley, Sue Murphy
Kevin Meaney, Patrice O'Neal, Gregg Rogell, Rudy Rush
Dave Attell, Laurie Kilmartin, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Greg Giraldo, Cory Kahaney, Maurice, Rich Vosfeaturing Dante Nero, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Pat Cooper, Pete Correale, Patrice O'Neal, Tom Papa
Greer Barnes, Stephen Colbert, Greg Giraldo, Jim Nortonfeaturing Keith Robinson and Rich Vos
Louis C.K., Nick DiPaolo, Paul Mecurio, Keith Robinson
Richard Belzer, Greg Giraldo, Rene Hicks, James Smith
Flex Alexander, Kevin Hart, Dante Nero, Patrice O'Nealfeaturing Jim Norton and Keith Robinson
Sunda Croonquist, David Cross, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton
Greg Giraldo, Vic Henley, Robert Klein, Keith Robinson
David Alan Grier, Rich Hall, George Wallace, Lizz Winsteadfeaturing Sarah Silverman
Greg Fitzsimmons, Greg Giraldo, Laurie Kilmartin, Patrice O'Neal
Greg Giraldo, Bonnie McFarlane, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Dave Chappelle, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Fitzsimmons, Judy Gold
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Patrice O'Neal
Sue Costello, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinson, Rich Vos
Sue Costello, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Reggie McFadden
Jim David, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal
Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Greg Proops, Jimmy Shubert
Wayne Federman, Greg Giraldo, Kathy Griffin, Scott Thompsonfeaturing Jim Norton
John DiResta, Judy Gold, Ralphie May, Keith Robinson
Pat Cooper, Mitch Fatel, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinson
Nick Gaza, Judy Gold, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal
Greg Giraldo, Todd Lynn, Greg Proops, Keith Robinson
Richard Jeni, Lisa Lampanelli, Patrice O'Neal, Rich Vos
Nick DiPaolo, Don Gavin, Steve Sweeney, Jimmy Tinglefeaturing Keith Robinson
Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Donnell Rawlings, Keith Robinson
Franklyn Ajaye, Greg Giraldo, Kathy Griffin, Jim Nortonaired in 2003
Ben Bailey, Ty Barnett, Nick DiPaolo, Keith Robinson
Todd Barry, Vinnie Brand, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton
Nick DiPaolo, John Mendoza, Patrice O'Neal, T. Sean Shannon
Dave Attell, Greg Giraldo, Robert Kelly, Patrice O'Neal
Marc Maron, Patrice O'Neal, Barry Weintraub, Alexandra Wentworth
Jim David, Robert Klein, Patrice O'Neal, Tom Papa
Kevin Brennan, Nick DiPaolo, David Feldman, Jim Norton
Dane Cook, Robert Kelly, Howie Mandel, Patrice O'Neal
Bruce Bruce, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinson, Tim Young
Vinnie Brand, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Gregg Proops
John Joseph, Jim Norton, Dina Pearlman, Keith Robinson
Judy Gold, Drew Hastings, Laurie Kilmartin, Jim Norton
Goumba Johnny, Patrice O'Neal, Dat Phan, Rich Vos
Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Todd Lynn, Patrice O'Neal
Eddie Brill, Jackie Kashian, Keith Robinson, Rich Vos
Louis CK, Laura Dinnebeil, Rick Shapiro, Dan Vitale
Becky Donohue, Judah Friedlander, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinson
Laurie Kilmartin, Lynne Koplitz, Keith Robinson, Gregg Rogell
Judy Gold, Dave Mordal, Jim Norton, Joe Rogan
Nick DiPaolo, Todd Glass, Jimmy Martinez, Keith Robinsonfeaturing Jim Norton and Keith Robinson
Ian Bagg, Bill Burr, Patrice O'Neal, Gregg Proops
Greg Giraldo, Todd Glass, Patrice O'Neal, Paul F. Tompkins
Adam Ferrara, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal
Greg Giraldo, Ralphie May, Patrice O'Neal, Jeffrey Ross
Sue Costello, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Pauly Shore
Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Rich Hall, Patrice O'Neal
Kevin Hart, Robert Kelly, John Marshall, Patrice O'Nealaired October 6, 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Adam Ferrara, Denis Leary, Patrice O'Neal
Mario Cantone, Doctor Dré, Greg Giraldo, Kevin Meaney
Jim David, Vanessa Hollingshead, Jim Norton, Rich Vos
Judy Gold, Jake Johannsen, Andy Kindler, Louis Ramey
Nick DiPaolo, Marc Maron, Pete Tubbs, Rich Vos
Sherry Davey, Nick DiPaolo, Graham Norton, Gregg Proops
Rick Crom, Dom Irrera, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson
Jim Norton, Ben Stein, ?, ?
Mike Britt, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal
Pat Cooper, Kevin Hart, Todd Lynn, Keith Robinsonfeaturing Nick DiPaolo and Michael Olajide
Nick DiPaolo, Judy Gold, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinson100th episode; featuring Rich Vos
Andrew Dice Clay, Jim Florentine, Rich Vos, Lizz Winstead101st episode
Jim David, Robert Kelly, Jimmy Martinez, Bernadette Pauley102nd episode; featuring Jim Norton
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Mo Rocca, T. Sean Shannon
Susie Essman, Jim Gaffigan, Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold
Nick DiPaolo, Colette Hawley, Keith Robinson, George Wallace
Marc Maron, Jim Norton, Rich Vos, Mishna Wolfffeaturing Steve Schirripa
Ellen Cleghorne, Dane Cook, Nick DiPaolo, Jay Mohr
Rich Francese, Kathleen Madigan, Jim Norton, Tony Woods
Nick DiPaolo, Scott Thompson, Jim David, Greg Giraldo
Tough Cuts, Volume 3aired January 6, 2004; compilation of memorable moments from the show
Judy Gold, Hood, Dan Naturman, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2004; featuring Jim Norton
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Lynne Koplitz, Todd Lynnaired in 2004
Buddy Bolton, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Lynne Koplitz, Todd Lynnaired in 2004
Marc Maron, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson, Rich Vosaired in 2004
Sue Costello, Robert Kelly, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinsonaired in 2004; featuring Rich Vos
Louis C.K., Paul Mecurio, Graham Norton, Rich Vosaired in 2004
Jim David, Marc Maron, Patton Oswalt, Rich Vosaired in 2004
Ross Bennett, Sue Murphy, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson, Hal Sparksaired in 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Patrice O'Neal, Fran Solomita, Tony Vaired in 2004
Dave Attell, Louis C.K., Nick DiPaolo, Jim Nortonaired in 2004
Drew Fraser, Cory Kahaney, Kathleen Madigan, Ralphie Mayaired in 2004; featuring Nick DiPaolo, Patrice O'Neal, and Michael Walker
Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Maz Jobrani, Tony Vaired April 12, 2004
Mark Ebner, Greg Fitzsimmons, Cory Kahaney, Keith Robinsonaired April 13, 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Ralphie May, Jim Norton, Jeffrey Rossaired April 14, 2004
Marc Maron, Jim Norton, Patton Oswalt, Rich Vosaired April 26, 2004
Pat Cooper, Leighann Lord, Patrice O'Neal, Frankie Paceaired April 27, 2004; featuring Rich Vos
Dave Attell, Greg Behrendt, Greg Giraldo, Tom Papaaired April 28, 2004
Jim David, Nick DiPaolo, David Feldman, Lynne Koplitzaired April 29, 2004
Ted Alexandro, Judy Gold, Jim Norton, T. Sean Shannonaired May 3, 2004; featuring Nick DiPaolo and Greg Giraldo
Mike Britt, Pete Correale, Greg Giraldo, Keith Robinsonaired May 4, 2004
Ellen Cleghorne, Nick DiPaolo, Jim Florentine, Penn Jilletteaired May 5, 2004
Tony Camin, Dov Davidoff, Robert Kelly, Patrice O'Nealaired May 6, 2004
Tough Cuts, Volume 4aired May 31, 2004; compilation of memorable moments from the show
Nick DiPaolo, Robert Kelly, Patrice O'Neal, Tom Papa, Mike Sweeneyaired June 2, 2004
Ellen Cleghorne, D.L. Hughley, Keith Robinson, Sheryl Underwoodaired June 3, 2004
Jim Florentine, Marc Maron, Carrot Top, Rich Vosaired June 8, 2004; featuring Jim Norton and Keith Robinson
Nick DiPaolo, Susie Essman, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Nealaired June 9, 2004
Judy Gold, Marc Maron, Graham Norton, Keith Robinsonaired June 10, 2004
Jim Gaffigan, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Frank Santorelliaired June 14, 2004
Lewis Black, Nick DiPaolo, Bonnie McFarlane, Rich Vosaired June 15, 2004
Greg Giraldo, Kyle Grooms, Todd Lynn, Jim Nortonaired in 2004
Jeff Cesario, Pat Cooper, Nick DiPaolo, Keith Robinsonaired in 2004
Judy Gold, Chris Murphy, Jim Norton, Keith Robinsonaired in 2004; featuring Rich Vos
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Laurie Kilmartin, Al Lubelaired in 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Scott Thompson, Alexandra Wentworthaired in 2004
Jim David, Nick DiPaolo, Kevin Hart, Barry Weintraubaired in 2004
Judy Gold, Kevin Hart, Keith Robinson, Frank Vignolaaired in 2004; featuring Jim Norton
Rich Francese, Lynne Koplitz, Patrice O'Neal, Jim Mendrinosaired in 2004
Marc Maron, Jackie Mason, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2004
Steve Byrne, Lenny Clarke, Judy Gold, Jimmy Tingleaired in 2004
Omid Djalili, Graham Norton, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2004; featuring Nick DiPaolo
Greg Giraldo, Bernadette Pauley, Keith Robinson, Jimmy Shubertaired in 2004
Karen Bergreen, Marc Maron, Patrice O'Neal, Rich Vosaired in 2004
D.C. Benny, Laurie Kilmartin, Marc Maron, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinsonaired December 13, 2004
Lenny Clarke, Kevin Hart, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2004
Ross Bennett, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Rick Shapiroaired in 2004
Greg Giraldo, Lynne Koplitz, Todd Lynn, Jim Nortonaired in 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Marc Maron, Tim Meadows, Sheryl Underwoodaired in 2004; featuring Patrice O'Neal
Tom Cotter, John Fugelsang, Lynne Koplitz, Patrice O'Nealaired in 2004; featuring Nick DiPaolo
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Rich Vos200th episode
Dave Attell, Greg Giraldo, Judy Gold, Kevin Hartaired November 1, 2004
Jim David, Nick DiPaolo, Marc Maron, Rich Vosaired November 3, 2004
Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Jim Norton, Patrice O'Neal, Keith Robinsonfinal episode; aired November 4, 2004

Series finale and epilogue[edit]

Jim Norton addressed the program's demise on his blog, where he mentioned that Comedy Central would send down notes to the show discouraging the predominant focus on political topics and discussions about race and ethnic issues. The network claimed this was only because they already had scripted/talk programming that addressed these issues, referring to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Chappelle's Show, and warned that some of the views expressed on Tough Crowd did not appeal to the demographics at which Comedy Central's current business model was aimed.

The last show contained emotional monologues by Quinn, who attacked his detractors (such as The New York Times) as being hypocritical and elitist for their negative reviews. He also defined "comedic integrity" as the ability to critique the hypocrisy of society, but to be honest enough to admit that you are just as guilty of it as anyone else. The implication was that many political comedians spend all their time criticizing society and others, but rarely themselves.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Szalai, Georg (July 20, 2004). "Running with the crowd: A new breed of comics shuns L.A. and engages in foul play". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Holden, Stephen (January 2, 2004). "Manny Dworman, 73, Musician Who Owned the Comedy Cellar". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Just for Laughs exclusive - Jim Norton interview. Chicago Now. 2011-06-13. Accessed 2011-12-08.
  4. ^ Sklar, Ronald (2003). "Colin Quinn: Tough Guy". Pop Entertainment. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]