Demetri Martin
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Demetri Martin

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The best kept secret in music


"Demetri Martin - These Are Jokes"

It is strangely fitting that laid-back, uber-slacker Demetri Martin has chosen the college campas-like environs of George Square Theatre for his latest assault - if assault is the right word - on the Fringe.

The bowl-haired New Yorker, who came from nowhere to bag the 2003 Perrier with his debut Edinburgh show, has blown the comedy cognoscenti away with his literate, delicately constructed, knowingly smart brand of comedy. To us Brits his humour quietly screams - if you can quietly scream - with the intellectual wit of Greenwich Village coffee houses. His students and champions hold him in an almost messianic regard, so a lecture hall fits his comedy like a glove.

And if Martin himself wasn’t so unassuming, and if this no-frills hour of meticulously constructed one-liners didn’t seem so utterly effortless, you would call it a masterclass. Martin finds comedy in every corner of the stage, allowing him to move seamlessly off-book when the mood takes him. It helps that the audience are in the palm of his hand. But, to be fair, Martin earns their admiration with a standard of wry observation - covering subjects as diverse as heavy doors and the sneakiness of washing machines - not seen from a US comic since Woody Allen’s stand-up turned him into a superstar. And, on this showing, Martin too deserves nothing less.
- The Stage

"Demetri Martin"

Demetri Martin
Reviewer Emma Westwood
March 28, 2005

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Melbourne Town Hall, March 24
Until April 17

An educated guess would be that Demetri Martin likes Wes Anderson movies. He even resembles the leading man from Rushmore, Jason Schwartzman, with his dark, boyish looks and too-long-to-be-short-too-short-to-be-long haircut threatening to swallow his face.

Just as Anderson takes a skewed view of life and the little things that fall through the cracks of the everyday, Martin's very funny musings could easily be prefaced with "I wonder". He hits his punchlines with his head in the clouds, so each one has a soft, cushiony effect.

Since winning the Edinburgh Festival's prestigious Perrier Award in 2003, New Yorker Martin has gone on to massage his joke-crafting skills as a writer on television's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. And it shows. He has a lot of jokes. His stand-up performance is essentially an endless stream of one-liners, yet the pace remains meandering rather than frenetic, with appropriate pauses to ponder.

Martin often picks up a guitar or tinkers on the glockenspiel as a meditative soundtrack to his material, which keeps the continuity behind these unconnected observations. A high point of the show is when he reverts to a large sketchpad for some hilarious sight gags, merging his real-life body with the torso he has drawn.

Everything about Martin's performance is simple, but infinitely smart. The stage resembles a children's television show, the sparse props labelled with handwritten cards (eg. chair), Martin even labelling himself "person" in black marker across his T-shirt.

While audience interaction is minimal, Martin makes an affable instructor who can think on his feet but needs not raise his voice, pop the microphone or slip into profanity to keep his classroom enthralled. Everybody laughed, and laughed a lot.

- The Age

"The Ten Funniest New Yorkers You've Never Heard Of"

Demetri Martin
You May Have Actually Heard of Him If: You are one of the swooning Demetri-ites who flock to his appearances at UCB or the “Eating It” show at the Zipper Theatre.
The Setup: Martin melds Wes Anderson hipster innocence with the deadpan brains of Steven Wright, crafting smart, incisive one-liners. Plus, he writes palindromes, including a 222-word opus titled “Dammit I’m Mad.”
The Punch Line: “I’ve noticed that at most theme parks, the theme is ‘Wait in line, fatty.’ ”
- New York Magazine


"These are Jokes" CD / DVD released SEPTEMBER 26.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Demetri Martin is a person who lives in New York. He performs stand-up comedy for fun and money. When he was younger he went to college and law school. He dropped out of law school, because it was boring.

Now he travels to places where people speak English so that he can tell his jokes to them. He had a job as a writer at Late Night with Conan O'Brien. He performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents Demetri Martin, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and some of the other television shows that have comedians.

Sometimes he gets to appear on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as their resident trendspotter. Also, they allow him to have free food from their offices.

Demetri won trophies for comedy. One of them was the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival in 2003. The magazine Entertainment Weekly put him on the list of the 25 funniest people in America. He was number 21.

Demetri has brown hair. He is allergic to peanuts. He loves making things. And he knows at least 20 people who are funnier than he is (in America