Review: Colin Quinn, “Red State Blue State” on CNN

CNN wanted Colin Quinn’s new comedy special to air because of how he splits America down the middle (even suggesting the country follow suit) in his latest hour, Red State Blue State.

But Quinn makes a couple of even greater points, perhaps, outside of that central premise.

Instead, the comedian pivots back to America’s First Amendment, and reveals just how much the Internet and social media has tainted our freedom of speech. To wit:

“Free speech did nothing, but gave everybody an opinion. And social media ruined opinion. Because free speech was never meant to go electric. That was an acoustic art. It was meant to be spoken on top of a tree stump in front of seven other farmers, or maybe in a general store, sitting outside on the porch in a rocking chair. If somebody told you even 15 years ago, ‘We have this idea, where everybody’s going to be able to give their innermost thoughts all day, every day, minute-by-minute updates to the entire planet.’ You would say, ‘Oh God no, please don’t do that.’”

From the rich and famous telling us how to act, to the blogging masses critiquing comedians on how to poke fun at all of it, Quinn stands aghast at how, why and what we communicate with each other today.

Especially as a comedian.

“Yeah, it’s been really fun watching comedy become woke.” To which he retorts: “That’s actually why I got into comedy: So I could march in lockstep with society’s contemporary conventions.”

Quinn takes us back to a time before technology, just short of calling them the good old days, before reminding us that no matter the day, what we think of as democracy does fall short of it every day. From the dictatorship of corporate workplaces to the “failed anarchist experiments” of commuting and mass transit.

Read my full review on

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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