The world of stand-up comedy is full of wacky characters, but none are quite like Emo Phillips, a mop-headed dude that became a fairly well known comic in the 80’s and 90’s. After seeing a video of him performing on Youtube, I almost immediately went out and got his most popular CD, E = mo². The falsetto voice and garden path delivery may be a turn-off for some people, but his one-liners from more than 20 years ago are still some of the best in the business. The man lulls you into thinking that some guy tripping acid has wandered on the stage, and then he drops these ridiculously funny and intelligent punchlines. To honor one of my favorite stand-ups, a guy who has dropped back into obscurity while Comedy Central promotes absolutely terrible performers like Jeff Dunham, here are 20 quotes (and some video) of life, love, and cole slaw according to Emo Phillips.
- “At my lemonade stand I used to give the first glass away free and charge five dollars for the second glass. The refill contained the antidote.”
- “I go from stool to stool in singles bars hoping to get lucky, but there’s never any gum under any of them.”
- “I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” I said, “You’ll be sorry.” He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?” I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”
- “I was sleeping the other night, alone, thanks to the exterminator.”
- “I was walking down fifth avenue today and I found a wallet, and I was gonna keep it, rather than return it, but I thought: well, if I lost a hundred and fifty dollars, how would I feel? And I realized I would want to be taught a lesson.”
- “Women; Can’t live with them, can’t get them to dress up in a skimpy little Nazi costume… and beat you with a squash, or something.”
- “When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn’t work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”
- “You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman: Stuff you pay good money for in later life.”
- “You know what I hate the most?…… People that imitate owls.”
- “I love to go down to the schoolyard and watch all the little children jump up and down and run around yelling and screaming. They don’t know I’m only using blanks.”
- “Always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said: A truck!”
- “When I was ten, my family moved to Downer’s Grove, Illinois. When I was twelve, I found them.”
- “Ambiguity — the Devil’s volleyball.”
- “I used to be scared of pretty girls, until one confessed they’re just as scared of me.”
- “Well, my brother says “hello”! So, hooray for speech therapy!”
- “Probably the toughest time in anyone’s life is when you have to murder a loved one because they’re the Devil. Other than that, though, it’s been a good day.”
- “New York’s such a wonderful city. Although I was at the library today. The guy was very rude. I said, “I’d like a card.” He says, “You have to prove you’re a citizen of New York.” So I stabbed him.”
- “How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.”
- “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for old women digging through garbage bins. They saved my life so many times as a baby.”
- “At parties, people always ask, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” Well, I don’t have an alibi!”
To be perfectly honest, I giggle revisiting some of these lines, and I have already listened to most of his material on numerous occasions. Still, quotes simply aren’t the same as the real thing, especially with a guy like Emo Phillips, whose delivery is important to the comedy. Here’s some required viewing.
That’s Emo Phillips, and if you think Jeff Dunham is better, then you should just stop trying.