Demetri Martin – Live (at the time)

2020-07-15 10_54_09-Demetri Martin - Live (at the time) - Google Docs

Demetri Martin is known for his tight jokes that focus on wordplay. He tends toward being more family friendly than not. This is Martin’s sixth, out of seven Cd/specials. He’s seasoned and been putting out comedy specials in a consistent manner for over a decade by this point. He’s done some movies and is a voice on the kid’s show We Bare Bears.

The special starts with Martin just walking on stage and getting into it. He wears a simple black sweater. The cuffs on the sweater have two stripes, white and red, which gives it a certain simple but not boring feeling– a classic vibe. It’s a theatre setting, with a simple red curtain as the backdrop and black stage. Simple and classic. He doesn’t move much on the stage, and when he does it is usually part of a joke in some way. During a joke about what sport looks the coolest he pantomimes various cool and uncool motions in sports.

He’ll take a great one liner, and then expand on it. “Pets are animals that are not delicious” then goes on to talk about pets who are escape artists, missing cats, and how it’s weird that we eat birds. All of these jokes are transitioned between with precision. He either transitions through the structure of the joke or by just moving on to the next joke. A joke that starts with him being on the beach, and someone asking him to kick their volleyball over, he then goes into some material about volleyball. From there he discusses some thought on sports– including the various shapes of balls and then which sport looks the coolest.

A lot of the jokes are wordplay. “I went to jewelry shop and they had a necklace that said Diana, I told the owner, I think you would have a bigger market if you had a necklace that said Not Diana” one of the opening jokes is about how you can’t replace one magic word, “Please” for another magic word, “Abracadabra”. Later there is a joke in a similar structure, about interchaning business and beeswax. Both these bring a sense of silliness to a very language driven joke.

I think the pacing of these jokes make it hard to watch a full special of them. Martin moves on from idea to idea so quickly that I find it wearing on me by the twenty minute mark. I do think these kinds of jokes would make it really easy for Martin to rise if he were a Sam Moril or Mark Normand level comic right now. These jokes are bite sized and the perfect kind of things for social media. Martin’s delivery is also super low key, which necessitates that his words choices are funny– so these jokes work even with necessary being able to hear the audio– with just subtitles. This special, and Martin’s other specials, would be a good watch for any comic trying to do instagram videos.

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