Comedian and author Colin Quinn used an appearance on Wednesday morning's edition of Fox & Friends to agree with fellow comic Jerry Seinfeld, who claims that many people are "too politically correct" and too sensitive regarding the subjects of jokes.
While promoting The Coloring Book: A Comedian Solves Race Relations in America, Quinn responded to a question from co-host Steve Doocy about whether “the PC thing has gone too far on college campuses” by stating: “That's been true … since the early '90s.”
After fellow co-host Brian Kilmeade agreed that it seems everyone is “so sensitive now,” the author noted that he also hears strong reactions in clubs to “buzzwords,” but not jokes.
Quinn noted: “If you say a certain phrase, people gasp. 'Did you just hear that?' Also, 'there's a million different ones depending on where you are.'”
Calling the “PC thing” a “verbal operation,” co-host Elisabath Hasselbeck asked: “When Seinfeld says that he feels the lines are closing in on him, do you feel that way, that you're being more and more restricted in your art, in your profession and what you do, in your freedom?”
“No, he's saying you can't let it get to you,” the comic replied, because “the whole point of being a comedian is you're not supposed to listen to the crowd even though we need the crowd.”
“The whole point is: 'What's more insulting than somebody who panders to the crowd?' The worst thing you can be in comedy is somebody who comes out and says: 'Hey, I want to make everybody happy?' That's not our job," the author said. "People think it is, but our job is to make everybody unhappy.”
Kilmeade then pointed at a camera and stated: “We have a different job description. We like to make those people happy.”
Referring to Quinn's new book, Haselbeck noted: “You take on race in a way that many people are maybe just a little intimidated to do so. What do you think is a big mistake in how we talk about race and how far do you go in your book?”
The comedian responded:
Well, because I feel like the only way to talk about race now is either angry or pandering, so it's like everybody's just kind of on the same dialogue.
For every story that comes out on the news, there's just outrage, and then it's like nobody really discusses race.
In an earlier interview, Quinn stated: “While the language is being sanitized, feelings haven’t changed,” and "that is the problem with the ‘groupthink’ mentality where we can’t say certain things because some will be offended.”
“We should be more outraged over racist behavior, not over a joke about race that is clearly not intended to demonize any group but to raise issues about the racial divide,” he noted.
Back on Wednesday morning, Kilmeade stated that because the author grew up in Brooklyn, New York, Quinn socialized “with Italians, with Jews, with Koreans, with Chinese, and you made generalities about them, but they were correct in their assumptions about their culture.”
“You're not supposed to do that,” Quinn admitted sheepishly, “but it's very specific. I don't make jokes that you've heard before; it's more like stuff just based on my personal observations.”
Hasselbeck quoted the comedian as stating: “If anyone can make a joke on this, it's me because I experienced it all and I grew up like that.”
“Exactly,” Quinn responded. “At least, I'm going with that story.”
Doocy then asked: “So what has changed? It used to be where people could take a joke, but now, it seems people have no sense of humor.”
The author replied:
Yeah, a lot of people have no sense of humor, but it depends where you're coming from. Some of those people try to be slick, and they try to throw stuff in, but if you have to say something, you have to say it directly.
It can't be like: "Hey, I'm just making a joke." My stuff is jokes, but that's what I'm saying I believe. It's not a free pass.
“You grew up in an area that was very tolerant,” Kilmeade stated, “but it seemed like 'the wild west' in Brooklyn.”
“It was a little wild back then,” Quinn admitted.
Kilmeade then asked: “Was it better then than now?”
“There's no better,” the comedian stated. “Now, it's just people are trying to act, trying to regulate more humanity. It's good and bad for both. I like to glorify the way it was then because I was better then because I was young.”
Quinn ended the interview by stating he doesn't like the couch on the Fox & Friends set because he thinks it might make his “gut” look too large, and "it has too much of an angle" that makes it difficult talking with the co-hosts.