Martin Jokes Around In New TV Special
Published: Sunday, September 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Some comedians revel in offensive profanity, while others embrace a more self-deprecating style of comedy. Then there are comedians like Demetri Martin, who can salvage humor in the everyday and the mundane: the stuff most of us dismiss without giving a second thought. Audiences have come to love Martin for his witty one-liners, often accompanied by guitar/keyboard/harmonica playing, and his “large pad” full of simply drawn sketches. Martin’s observational comedy first caught the public’s attention on Comedy Central’s stand-up showcase Premium Blend. Comedy Central continued to feature Martin’s comedic talent on a stand-up comedy special and eventually on his own show, Important Things with Demetri Martin. Some may also remember Martin as the “Senior Youth Correspondent” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In addition to his television success, Martin published a New York Times bestseller, This Is A Book, and released his successful comedy album, These Are Jokes. And we must not forget his crowning achievement: a 224-word palindrome poem titled “Dammit I’m Mad” (read the title backwards). To call Martin’s sense of humor “unusual” would be an understatement. He revels in the quiet, subtle absurdities, rather than the overt humor more commonplace in American culture.
The Heights: So, Demetri, What can you tell us about your new special on Comedy Central? How is it different from your older stuff?
Martin: My new special is based in jokes … there are a lot of one-liners. In the other television specials that I’ve done, I’ve had friends come on stage, and they’re wearing costumes, and there were decorations, like a tree or something. But this time, I really tried to simplify it and just tell a big bunch of jokes … for lack of a better description.
The Heights: What inspires your stand-up?
Martin: Well, I lived in New York for a long time and I’m a big walker, so I think from walking around and not talking to anyone you pick up a lot. This way my mind just wanders and it feels like I’m working.
The Heights: Is there a comedian you really look up to? Or a comedian you’d really like to work with some day in the future?
Martin: Well, let’s see … there was a lot of comedy on television when I was a kid in the ’80s. I remember when I was really young Eddie Murphy was really big and “Eddie Murphy Delirious” was a cassette at that time and a lot of my friends had it and we all listened to it. My dad really liked Bill Cosby, and Bill Cosby was on HBO a lot at back then … so those were really my first introductions to stand-up. But then I saw Steven Wright on TV, and that was the first comedian that I was really struck by and I felt like wow, his ideas are so great. I just liked the way he did it. As for working with people in the future, it’d be pretty cool to work with Woody Allen someday.
The Heights: Any advice for the aspiring comedians of Boston College?
Martin: Really try to make money separately from stand-up. If you can make money separately, you can develop your creative career without making decisions based on money. And I have to say, New York City is a great city for that.
The accessibility of Martin’s stand-up undoubtedly stems from his approachable demeanor. And by the accessibility of his stand-up, I mean to say that anyone can enjoy his jokes. His comedy doesn’t require any special knowledge or, as Martin put it, “You don’t have to know who Salvador Dali is or anything like that.” Martin’s new special premiered on Comedy Central Saturday night, Sept. 29. The DVD/CD of this comedy special will be released on Oct. 2, along with 15 minutes of jokes not aired in the original broadcast. So if you enjoy simple, fun jokes without any lofty pretense, be sure to check out Martin and his new DVD/CD Demetri Martin. Standup Comedian.