Volume 91, Issue 80

Thursday, February 19, 1998

warm buns


Grab yourself a tickle-Emo

©Gazette file photo

By Elliott Platt
Gazette Staff

"I was in a bar the other night, hopping from barstool to barstool, trying to get lucky – but there wasn't any gum under any of them." This is Emo Philips at his comedic best as he prepares to bring his signature squeaky, whiny voice to Yuk Yuk's tonight.

Philips, born in Downers Grove, Illinois, started doing comedy when he was 18 years old. "I was forced out of college because my Dungeons and Dragons character got killed. So, I was walking along and I saw a sign on a building that said "Open Mike Night Comedy Club," he says. So he walked in, said some jokes and "instantly got hooked – and [his] neck is still sore." When asked why he likes the lifestyle of stand-up comedy, he simply replies, "What's not to like? You're on stage, people love you, you make people laugh and you get a lot of money too!"

Starting off was not the easiest thing for Philips, as during his stand-up debut he spouted a few jokes about someone, but the crowd had no idea who he was talking about. However, Philips obviously didn't take it to heart – because his career is as funny and successful as ever.

"My road to success started when I first appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in 1984," says Philips. "After that I came out with my own record, then my Cineplex special and then my second Letterman appearance." Philips has had two hit comedy albums and the first won the New Music Award for Best Comedy Album in 1985. He has also co-hosted the Arsenio Hall Show, appeared on Miami Vice and in Weird Al Yankovic's comedy film, UHF.

Philips says his experience onLate Night with David Letterman was terrifying. "You have no idea you can go to the bathroom so many times in five minutes," jokes Philips. "I would recommend going on Late Night to any constipated person... forget taking laxatives."

Philips' advice for up-and-coming stand-up comedians is: "If you ever steal my material you'll have both of your legs broken." On a more serious note, he says, "don't keep doing stuff that doesn't get a laugh. If it doesn't get a laugh, stop doing it." Philips also recommends that when you are attempting to think up a comedy routine, you can not force yourself into it. "Sometimes your best material can be thought up while just talking to a pretty girl at a party." He also adds, jokingly, "when I get ready to do a show I have to prepare for it spiritually." Once you have your own material you should not use it on your friends, he suggests, but rather toss it into a conversation with a stranger or acquaintance.

When asked what he wants people to remember him as, Philips simply replies, "I want to be remembered as just an Emo." As for any future endeavours, he says, "there are none, I'm just preparing for London."

Emo Philips offers some extremely important words of advice at his parting. "If you are going into Canada from the United States and they ask you if you have any firearms, don't say 'not yet,' – just say 'no'."

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 1998