Emo Philips (4 stars)

This article is from 2010

Emo Philips

Over-familiar but still funny

Possibly the finest purveyor of paraprosdokians since Groucho Marx uttered his last quip returns to the Fringe for the first time since 2001. For those of you familiar with Philips, the face has aged and the dark hair is now lighter and greyer, but everything else is intact. The clothing is the same (you can see the same jacket in a YouTube clip from 1983), as is the wandering falsetto voice and the distinctive body movements. More worryingly, some of the jokes can be traced back a long way too.

With a show that consists almost exclusively of one-liners, it’s clear that a wealth of material is required and you expect the odd joke to remain, just not for 20 years. That said, the childlike wonder with which he moves around the stage belies a razor-sharp mind, and this is not a show for the slow-witted; there are moments of pure genius, particularly when he heads into darker territory. If you have never seen him before then it is well worth checking out a true original. But for the fully initiated, this may all feel a little déjà vu.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, 8pm, £14—£16 (£12.50—£14.50).

Emo Philips: Please Witness My Act

  • 4 stars

Emo Philips - 54th funniest comedian ever (Channel 4 survey). Last played Edinburgh in 2001; he out-sold every act on the Fringe. This is the show he currently performs in the States. '...a master of one-liners, he's way ahead of anyone else' (Independent); '...glitteringly sharp comic mind. It's hard to criticise when…

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