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Wednesday May 15, 2013

NEW YORK -- There aren’t that many jokes in the U.S. Constitution and it’s never really been a big generator of belly laughs. Unless, that is, you are Colin Quinn.

The Brooklyn-born Irish-American comedian kicks off his new one-man off-Broadway show by wondering why that document is so darn fascinating.

"I’ll tell you why. Because it’s the one thing that we’re all experts about, which is amazing and impressive because none of us have read it," he says. "It’s four pages long. That’s kind of a hassle."

Finding laughs in history has become something of Quinn’s niche of late. His new show -- "Colin Quinn Unconstitutional," which opens Thursday at The Barrow Street Theatre -- comes three years after he traced the rise of civilization from the ancient Greeks and Romans to modern India, Africa and Europe in his Broadway show called "Long Story Short," which pal Jerry Seinfeld directed.

Quinn said he’s been working on the show for a year after becoming a new convert to how interesting the Constitution can be.

"I always hated it because it was boring to me," he said. "Once I got into it, I was like, ‘Oh, I get it now.’ "