I can hardly believe it, but I saw Emo Philips live last night.

No way. Way.
No way! Way!
NO WAY! WAY!

And yeah, so obviously, here’s where I reveal myself as the nerd fangirl I grew up as. ‘Cause I mean, seriously, how many other teenaged girls did you know who were into twisted absurdist silliness? I bet they, like me, were all mathletes too. Right? Yeah. I rest my case.

It’s true, though, and if I may reflect for a moment: my friend Walter introduced me to Emo Philips’ “E=MO2” album when we were in grade school, I think, and Emo’s material became a staple of our mutual friends’ vocabulary for years to come. I cannot overemphasize how both formative and refreshing that material was for me, since I had had no other exposure to such offbeat humor, and I loved it.

Twenty-some years later, I finally got to see him perform live at Zanies Comedy Showplace here in Nashville, and it was indeed worth waiting for. The man is a freakin’ comedy genius. His character is so well developed and his material so carefully written that you eventually just start taking his bizarre affectations in stride — in other words, his writing is so good that if he didn’t act like a mental case on stage, his comedy might seem too polished to be funny. (Which is probably why most of the people I’ve met later in life who’ve found out I was an Emo Philips fan have reacted with surprise — their only familiarity with him were quotes they’d read online, and although the jokes hold up, they’re just not the same without that spastic, tortured delivery.) Taken as a package, though, his work is pure gold.

Anyway, back to my being a fangirl: we hung around after the show to buy CDs and get Emo’s autograph, and — why not? — take a picture, too. So check it:

Emo, me, and Karsten

Whee!

Emo! Emo! Emo!

2 thoughts on “Emo! Emo! Emo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.