Described by Jay Leno as "the best joke writer in America," by British comedian Gary Delaney as the best joke writer in the world, and by "Weird Al" Yankovic as one of the funniest people on the planet, Emo Philips has performed over 7000 times throughout the English-speaking world, including a multi-week run at the Playhouse Theater in London's West End. Since starting out in Chicago in 1976 at the age of twenty, Emo has had award-winning comedy albums, several cable specials (including an hour-long one on HBO), and many appearances on network television, both in America and in the UK. He has appeared in films (most notably, as the table-saw demonstrator in UHF) and has lent his distinctive voice to animated TV shows (such as Slacker Cats, Doctor Katz, Adventure Time, and Home Movies), but his first love, stand-up, remains his true one.
"Kavalcade o' Kudos"
"I'm not sure exactly when or where I first heard one of Emo's routines, but once I did I instantly became a fan," says "Weird Al" Yankovic. "Emo had the iconic look of somebody who could have been a major star in the era of silent films. His body language was indescribably weird. And his material was flat-out brilliant." If asked at gunpoint who the funniest guy in the world was, Yankovic adds, "Without question I would have to say Emo Philips -- especially if Emo happened to be the one holding the gun."
-- "Weird Al" Yankovic, quoted in CHICAGO MAGAZINE
Emo Philips is admittedly a bit cuckoo, but he's the king of that stand-up staple, the one-liner.
-- Katie Johnston Chase, BOSTON GLOBE
If you’re under 30 and never listened to Emo Philips because of his goofy album covers or because everyone else was into Eddie Murphy, you’re missing out. Seeing Philips is on par with watching one of the great comedy standards live; from Jay Leno returning to form outside of his Tonight Show confines in Hermosa Beach to Steve Martin taking the stage with his singing “balls.”
-- Anthony D'Allesandro, LA WEEKLY