Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn

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Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn was a talk show on Comedy Central. It aired weeknights at 11:30 PM ET, immediately following The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It debuted in 2003, and was put on an "indefinite hiatus" in October 2004, with what was presumably its final episode airing on November 4th of that year.

The show featured Colin Quinn and four other comedian guests discussing current events and issues. the emphasis was on the comedy and the debates were never settled. The show opened with a monologue by Quinn; after the opening credits, the debates happened throughout most of the show. Near the end there was usually a sketch of some sort, followed by each of the four guests doing a brief monologue on a particular topic that was discussed earlier in the episode (the comedians prepare these monologues ahead of time).

Frequent guests were Patrice O'Neal, Nick DiPaolo, Judy Gold, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson, and Greg Giraldo. Less frequent guests were Stephen Colbert, Dave Attell, Jim David, Al Franken, Laurie Kilmartin, Dom Irrera, and Lewis Black. The guests on the final show were O'Neal, DiPaolo, Norton, Giraldo, and Keith Robinson.

It was frequently cricitized for being low brow, blue collar, racist, sexist, and so forth, often by panelists on the show itself.

However it was also cricitized for being unfunny. This could be seen especially in certain episodes where the panelists would simply begin shouting at each other without making any jokes. Supposedly the topics would have been provided ahead of time to the panelists, and they were supposed to prepare funny comments, but this did not happen every time and sometimes guests would just come to shout at each other. However the regular panelists, as they grew used to the format, and used to each other, were often able to keep from doing this.

Jim Norton discussed the ending of the show on his blog, where he said that Comedy Central would send down notes to the show to stop being political or racial, because they already had shows that dealt with those topics (probably meaning The Daily Show and Chappelle's Show), or that the show did not fit with Comedy Central's image it wanted to have. Near the end of the show a website started up to try to save it. This website was created by the folks who run cringehumor.net, a New York City based comedian discussion website/blog/forum.

The last show contained emotional monologues by Quinn, who attacked his detractors, such as the New York Times, for their negative reviews as being hypocritical and elitist. He also attempted to define comedic integrity, as the ability to critique the hypocrisy of society, but to be real enough to admit that you are as guilty of it as anyone else. Obviously implying that many other comedy/political shows spend all their time criticizing society and others, but never themselves.

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