I had a nice chat with Colin Quinn earlier this week about how much New York City has changed since he and Donald Trump were kids, which not only conveniently brought us back to themes such as immigration — which play the primary role in the narrative arc of Quinn’s new Netflix special, The New York Story — but also allowed us to joke about real-estate prices and construction.
And now I’ve published a separate review. My thoughts on Quinn’s piece have evolved since seeing his off-Broadway run of the show, just as his show has evolved, too.
Here’s an excerpt from my review of Colin Quinn’s The New York Story:
New York has changed, man.
Say that, and you might as well have been talking about the past week-and-a-half as you had the past two-and-a-half decades – whether it’s the surprising notion bandied about that the next President of the United States might attempt to spend more time on Fifth Avenue than in the White House, or the once-radial proposition that Times Square could replace prostitutes and X-rated movie houses with a so-called Disneyfication. Goodbye, S&M. Hello, M&M and H&M.
The more essential truth about our Big Apple, our most populated city in these United States of America, is one you don’t even need a ticket to Hamilton on Broadway to acknowledge, although it’s as true as the lyric: “Immigrants: We get the job done.”
Immigrants keep putting the new into New York City. Colin Quinn, a native New Yorker, has seen those changes firsthand, and he weaves the waves of immigrants to great comic effect in his new Netflix special, Colin Quinn: The New York Story.
Until very recently, we alone in the world identified not only uniquely as Americans, but also as hyphenates (I’m not only Irish-American if you look at my name, but also Belgian-Franco-Scots-Welsh-Anglo-American if you ask my mother, and perhaps something else, too, if I took one of those ancestral DNA tests you see advertised on TV now). Our comedians could trade on ethnic or racial stereotypes to great fortune or fame. Look at how well Russell Peters sells out around the world, or how Sebastian Maniscalco is translating his Italian upbringing to bigger and bigger theaters.
Here’s a clip from Quinn’s special: