23 February 2011

Stand-up Comedy Greats: Emo Phillips 1988

"Most states don't end in the letter 'A'..."

Surrealist comedian Emo Phillips (dob 2.08.56) is an entertainer and comedian originating from the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois.

The highly unique brand of self-deprecating stand up comedy that made him famous is often built upon the paraprosdokians and garden path sentences spoken in a wandering falsetto tone. It's been said that the wide-eyed, confused, and childlike delivery is employed to invoke the 'wisdom of children' or the idiot savant...

Philips has recorded three comedy albums, including E=mo², which won the 1985 New Music Award for best comedy album. It was later re-released along with his Live at the Hasty Pudding Theatre (1988) album on a single CD. 

Aside from his long career as a standup comic, Emo has been featured in acting roles on television series such as Miami Vice and The Weird Al Show. He was recently a guest star on British television and has numerous voiceover credits.

Emo Phillips  has appeared in feature films as well, including 1989's UHF (as a rather clumsy school shop teacher that accidentally saws his thumb off), the original 1992 version of Meet the Parents (also executive producer), and Desperation Boulevard in 1998.

I sure remember him hitting the stand up scene on the Letterman show in the mid 80s- I thought he was nuts, but a talented act of the sort that tends to stick in your mind.

This clip comes from Emo's exceptional comedy video made at Harvard University's historical Hasty Pudding Theatre in 1988...

OK, OK- I know he's weird, but... I always found Emo to be very, very funny- this schtick's great:

More RR Comedy Greats features archived -here-