Former Saturday Night Live writer and stand-up comedian Colin Quinn decides to tackle world history and he's doing it in 75 minutes. Directed by Jerry Seinfeld, Colin Quinn Long Story Short is a one-man show that runs in Broadway for a few months before it was finally shown on television as an HBO program. The show can basically be described as History The Abridged Series hence the title Long Story Short. Or Axis Powers Hetalia as told by an American and with the good dose of Black Comedy.
The story starts at long before the Ancient Greeks. Colin Quinn satirically evaluates various civilizations from the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, Britain, India, Africa, China, and finally America.
- Anachronism Stew: The show runs on this trope.
- Black Comedy: Used heavily.
- Drugs Are Bad: And the reason why the Native American societies fell.
- Eagle Land: America is portrayed as Type 2. Though to be fair, every country portrayed are basically assholes, except Canada.
- The Eeyore: Russians, so much that when they tried to be idealistic, the result is the Soviet Union.
- Evil Brit: The portrayal of England.
- Hollywood History: Played for Laughs of course.
- Humans Are Flawed: A central theme. Quinn argues that not only that there are no such thing as a perfect system but also that humanity keeps doing the same thing and makes the same mistakes over and over again throughout history.
- Jerkass Facade / Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sort of Deconstructed.
"I'm violent because I'm afraid, so I tried to cover it up. I'm shoving you to the ground because I'm trying to reach out to you and I have a bad depth perception. Don't judge me by what I do, judge me by what I'm telling you what I am."
- Mad Love: England's feelings towards France.
- Master of the Mixed Message: France.
- Mayincatec: The Mayans, Aztecs, and the Incas are grouped together in one segment. The shows also seems to mixed up some aspects of the Aztecs and the Incas.
- She's All Grown Up: Used as a metaphor regarding how Europe views Africa.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Definitely lies on the cynical side.
- Talking to Himself: Done a lot throughout the show.