I saw Emo Philips at a little comedy club in Philadelphia in 2009. There were four people in the audience. My son and I were seated at a tiny table for two positioned stageside and a man and a woman were at a larger table about six or so feet behind us. That’s it.
There were 46,000 people five miles south, cheering the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park as they tried to pull ahead of the New York Yankees in a World Series that was currently tied at a game each. The rest of the city was either tuned into the game on television or listening to the local radio broadcast.
But four brave souls — of which I numbered myself — were anxious to see an evening of irreverent comedy. Adhering to the show business credo “The show must go on!,” the somewhat peculiar Mr. Philips did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, at one point during the show, he sat down on the edge of the stage, set his elbows on our tabletop and rested his chin on the knuckles of his clenched fist as he delivered his surreal humor in his trademark sing-songy voice.
After the show, he mingled with the four of us and thanked us for not being baseball fans.