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I didn’t either — until last week.
That’s when his peeps contacted my peeps (Jim) to see if I’d be interested in reviewing Demetri’s new comedy CD/DVD called “These Are Jokes”. It’s being released September 26th.
Heck yeah! I’m all about good comedy.
I always enjoy checking out new comedians — either in clubs or when flipping through the TV channels late at night.
So I was definitely excited to check out the comedy of Demetri Martin.
So, Who Is Demetri Martin?
Demetri has written for NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien (a sketch writer, not a monologue writer), and performed on the show numerous times, as well as appeared on Late Show with David Letterman, Carson Daly, and numerous others.
He is the latest correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart with his critiques on pop culture.
In 2003, he taped his first stand-up special, Comedy Central Presents Demetri Martin, which remains one of the highest-rated half hours on the network.
Here is Demetri Martin on The Daily Show where he talked about “social networking web sites”. (Very funny!):
Demetri Martin’s Comedy CD/DVD
I was very much looking forward to “an evening of comedy” — just me & Demetri. (Since Jim’s out of town yet again.)
First impressions: The packaging itself for “These Are Jokes” is quite nice!
You get both a CD and a DVD of Demetri performing his standup routines.
Plus, you get lots of fun extras built into the package (…like a FREE bonus poster featuring some of Demetri’s drawings!) and some “interesting” extras on the DVD itself (…like a video where Demetri draws both left- and right-handed at the same time that he is telling some of his jokes!)
What’s His Style?
For the most part, Demetri’s comedy style is pretty much deadpan humor, where he barely cracks a smile.
He’s one of the most calm, mild-mannered, slow-speaking, even-keeled comedians I’ve ever seen. What keeps your attention are his one-liners… and his many props. They’re not always used. Instead, they are reserved and introduced only at the most pertinent times.
In fact, it’s almost as if Demetri treats comedy as more of an art form — a way for him to show off his drawing skills (which are amazing!) and his unique way of thinking (which is fairly deep, yet practical).
Basically, he expands on a bunch of “Did you ever think?…” kinds of things.
I like Demetri best because he “thinks outside the box” and he always comes up with unique ways of doing things and thinking about things.
How he enjoys going to sporting events & painting his body as an exclamation point. Why? Because he doesn’t have many friends. This way, he can just latch on to the tail-end of some other group of painted body fans!
Did you ever stop and think how the Employee of the Month is both a winner — and a loser?
Both a DVD and a CD? At first, I figured they would both contain the same Demetri Martin comedy routines. You know, one for watching from the comfort of your sofa, and one for listening to as you motor on down the road in your car. But no! The CD and the DVD each have completely separate Demetri Martin performances on them. Awesome.
“These Are Jokes” puts all of his best material (almost an hour) on one CD. The DVD compiles the highly rated Comedy Central Presents, and a bunch of other secret stuff.
I started with the Comedy Central special on the DVD first.
The on-screen interface for the DVD is quite creative — another example of Demetri’s fine artwork and creative mind. It’s fun to make your way through the myriad of choices on the DVD. And it was interesting watching his “older stuff” too.
Personally, I think I enjoyed the CD better than the DVD though.
Mostly because on the DVD you can see that you don’t get any real expression from this comedian. In fact, during the Comedy Central bit, he seemed more like “a motivational speaker who also happens to be very funny” than an actual stand-up comedian. Enjoyable to listen to; not much to look at. (And I mean that in the nicest way.)
His Comedy Central special just seemed to be pretty scripted — so much so, that he didn’t seem to add anything “off the cuff”. Nor did he really interact much with the audience. I’d give it a B- for good effort and for actually getting a TV special with your name in it!
I have to admit, once Demetri started incorporating props into his show (in the Comedy Central performance on the DVD)… then he became much more enjoyable to watch!
On the other hand, on the CD, Demetri seems to be much more laid back and “real” than he was in the Comedy Central special and some of the other videos featured on the DVD. It’s obvious on the CD that he was smiling and having a lot more FUN interacting with the audience. And to me, that’s what comedy is all about.
My Summary of “These Are Jokes”…
The best parts on the DVD:
The bit where he used an easel on stage to “illustrate” his jokes (as he went through them). Ingenious! And the “bonus video” (mentioned above) where he drew illustrations to his jokes — using both his right and left hands simultaneously — while telling his jokes.
The best parts on the CD:
All of it! Overall, the CD for “These Are Jokes” ROCKS! You can tell he was just flat out having FUN on the CD portion of “These Are Jokes”. I enjoyed the whole thing and I wished that was the part that had been on the DVD. He was definitely interacting more with the audience and even doing some improvisation here & there.
Demetri’s target audience is probably people who are a tad younger than me. Teenagers and 20-somethings will probably eat this stuff up. And it’s good clean humor, too (…with just enough swear words thrown in to still keep everyone’s attention).
But overall, Demetri’s stuff is great. He makes you think and laugh — all at the same time.
…but dude, you’ve got hair issues.
(Don’t believe me? See for yourself by clicking any of the links in this article which show Demetri Martin’s performances though the years. You’ll witness various stages of “hairy-ness” — each one drastically different from the rest.)
More About DeMetri Martin
Demetri Martin’s MySpace page (…check out his 9000 “friends”!)
Demetri’s personal homepage (…enjoy the ride!)
Demetri Martin: A Stand-Up Guy (…as interviewed on NPR – with videos!)
Check out “These Are Jokes” by Demetri Martin.
By the way, do you know why there are no “B” batteries??? Demetri does.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).