"Emo is a Finnish name which, loosely translated, means, 'Damn it, he keeps floating back up to the surface."
Emo Philips is an utterly fantastic pop culture comedian who was big in the eighties but is making a recent comeback now, at the age of forty-seven.
"I bought some new underwear! Well, new to me..."
Unmistakeable both visually and vocally (though he has tuned down his look with the coming of the new millenium), the character Emo is famous for portraying is actually not that different from his actual personality. It's like him but exaggerated 100 times over (he really talks like that).
"The other morning my sister made some eggs. So we cooked them..."
In the eighties and nineties, Emo was a visual comedy; standing 6'2 at 145 pounds, staggering back and forth across the stage with elaborate gestures and flailing his boney arms; delivering sharp one-liners and cleverly ironic jokes with his infamous voice--varying greatly in pitch and tone and cracking impossibly as he spoke.
"My wife said, 'Emo, I'm seeing another man.' I said, 'Try rubbing your eyes."
The great thing about Emo is that he is funny without being too vulgar. He's somewhat of a family comedian in that sense, but not a cliche of Cosby Show-like scenarios. His quirky comedy is as endearing as it is hysterical; Jay Leno once called him "the funniest joke writer in America". His seemingly random remarks range from casual observations, poking fun at cops, conversations with the audience, to his misadventures as someone who is "pretty handy with the ladies."
"I'm not as good a swimmer as I used to be...thanks to evolution."
Recently, Emo has trimmed his characteristic bowl cut into something short, grey, and spiky, and exchanged his thrift store look for raver-ish clothing in futuristic materials (still at least a three-piece outfit). He has aged little, excepting a few pounds extra around the middle and the admission of his greying hair. His comedy has matured as well (he now uses the occasional profanity) but not at all watered down. As he says, "I'm just trying to do super-clean material that's very, very witty and clever, with nothing dirty or bawdy or shocking."
"When I do the little comedy clubs, it makes me realize why I got into this racket in the first place: to pick up skanks."
Emo is currently making a U.S. tour and I recommend seeing it if at all possible, as listening to his records is no comparison to witnessing him live, a truth Emo himself endorses.
"Always remember the last words of my grandfather,'A truck!"