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Stand-up a comedian’s first love

Updated: May 9, 2012 9:42AM

Colin Quinn, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Maher, Louis C.K., Jay Leno.

All comedians, who, no matter how much success they have elsewhere, have never given up stand-up. So what’s the draw?

“Anyone who goes into stand-up, whether they are successful or not, is immediately addicted to it,” Quinn said. “They’re doing what they love and that can’t be ignored.”

Seinfeld likes the freedom of stand-up and feels it’s “the purest connection of thought to audience that exists anywhere.”

“Nobody has this connection to a public sensibility that you have as a comedian,” Seinfeld said. “You say it; they hear it; they respond immediately or don’t. It’s a complete hardwire. And that’s an intense drug.”

Both comedians feel stand-up is the best way to hone new material. Quinn says ideas for “Long Story Short” were born out of his stand-up act, though he admits formulating material around one idea and staying focused was a challenge.

“In stand-up you can be done with one subject and move on to the next,” Quinn said. “That’s part of the charm of stand-up. With the show, I had to stay focused and not play around with things. It’s like the difference between short stories and a novel.”

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