Welcome Anonymous !

Login or Register

User Menu

Login

FANS OF THE CONCHORDS

MESSAGE BOARD

Demetri Martin

Rhys, Kristen, Arj, Taika, Nigel, The Phoenix Foundation, Eugene, Demetri, Aziz and more.

by Katie » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:51 pm

[image]
I love how if you keep watching the left side of the screen, it looks like he disappears! [image]
User avatar
Katie
Totally Fine
 
Posts: 6505
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Down Mr. Lee's Stairwell

by Katie » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:03 pm



Meet Demetri Martin, the funniest man in America

Lego hair, a cartoon face, and a refreshing absence of snark are secrets of Important Thing star's success

* Johnny Dee
* The Guardian, Saturday 10 October 2009

[image]
Demetri Martin is the funniest man on TV in America. Employing deadpan one-liners ("I think the worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of charades"); crude drawings (his Pie Chart Of Procrastination featured a blank circle); animation (he lists Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson as a major inspiration); music of a distinctly uncomplicated variety and natural nerdy awkward charm, US viewers have made Martin the acceptable face of the modern male geek.

Demetri Martin is also one of the funniest-looking men on American TV. He has the kind of face where a cartoon version would look more or less identical to the real him. On top of his perfectly oval face, he wears what he calls "a gay Beatles haircut" but it is equally probable that he asked his barber to go all out for the Lego Minifig look. He has puppy dog eyes (specifically, a beagle in need of a hug); while his nose is of the variety small children draw on witches – triangular and of magical proportions. He's un-starry and bashful about his fame. He won't go on Twitter because little of what he does passes his own "who gives a shii?" test (although 50,000 followers of a fake Demetri Martin may beg to differ) and he describes much of his writing process as "sifting through crap, then polishing some of it".

Now, thanks to E4's wise decision to start showing his brilliantly smart and likably silly series Important Things With Demetri Martin, he is the funniest man on British TV, too. Which is only right, because, after all, we did discover him. Sort of.

Way back in the mists of time (AKA 2003) Martin wrote a stand-up show entitled If I which he performed at the Edinburgh festival fringe. He won the Perrier Award and a BBC one-off followed. Then, rather than become a mainstay of the panel show circuit he returned to his day job as writer on Conan O'Brien's chatshow. Quite why Martin didn't capitalise fully on his Edinburgh success remains a mystery, though a well-paid but disastrous corporate after-dinner show at a London hotel shortly afterwards for the elderly employees of a mutual fund may have played some part.

"It was a really old-school function. There were old men wearing tuxedos, and some of them even had medals, and I was just some unknown kid from America," he recalls. "So, this guy hits this gavel and says, 'Gentlemen! I suggest you turn your chairs around to enjoy the entertainment!' I go out there with my little guitar and my jokes and I just died.

"The worst part was they had these large, flat-panel televisions simultaneously broadcasting my performance around the room, so as well as dying on stage I got to see what my failure looked like."
'I find it more enjoyable to watch comedy that references something very basic, that doesn't need specialised knowledge'

As well as his TV series and stand-up shows Demetri is also making inroads as an actor (he stars as accidental festival organiser Elliot Tiber in Taking Woodstock), and screenwriter (he successfully pitched his own screenplay, Will – about our actions being controlled by a team of writers in heaven – to Steven Spielberg).

Martin grew up in New Jersey, the son of a Greek Orthodox priest and a nutritionist, and worked part-time in the family diner, The Sand Castle. When he wasn't waiting on tables he would practise his skateboarding skills or brush up on his hobbies of solving word puzzles or writing palindromes; check out his 224-word palindrome poem Dammit I'm Mad. By his own admission he partook in a selection of pastimes that were "the very opposite of things that would get you laid". In early adulthood he would add unicycling and juggling to his uncool repertoire. During his brief time at law school ("At the age of 11, I decided that I would be a lawyer, not knowing particularly anything about it, I just liked the sound of it"), he wore a gorilla suit for comic effect.

Followers of The Daily Show may remember Martin as the occasional youth correspondent between 2005 and 2007, charged with keeping viewers abreast of current trends such as the Xbox 360 (Demetri presented a flowchart of must-have Christmas items starting with frankincense), video résumés, wine and hookahs. Demetri is still puzzled as to why he was given this role, although the fact that he looks like a teenager but is in his mid-30s and favours sensible slacks over low-slung jeans may have been a factor in him being charged with a role where he would forever attempt to get his interviewees to say things that were "a bit more youthy".

You may also remember Demetri as the keytar-playing half of The Crazy Dogggz, in his rare but momentous appearance in a Flight Of The Conchords episode from season one that featured worldwide novelty hit The Doggy Bounce.

A similarly absurdist sense of humour informs Important Things, which finds Demetri focusing jokes and sketches each week around a single topic (Time, Power, Chairs, "I may do the colour green in the next series"). But, unlike Flight Of The Conchords and virtually every comedy show of the moment, one thing that's refreshing is that it's doesn't rely on pastiches or parodies of something else.

"I see it as a challenge to make things which are more primary source, rather than secondary," he says scientifically. "I find it more enjoyable when I watch comedy that references something that's very basic so I don't have to have specialised knowledge to get the joke."

Important Things has the air of a TV show made by someone who doesn't watch much TV; he claims to have watched DVDs of Brass Eye and I'm Alan Partridge but little else over the past decade.

Many of the jokes in Important Things are succinct, but still layered with more than one punchline, a technique he learned from Woody Allen.
'The absence of snark makes such a delightful change. I'm a fan of non-snarky things'

"A lot of the things I liked comedically when I was growing up, like Steven Wright, shared the trait of brevity," he says. "They didn't take long getting to the punchline. When I heard Woody Allen's stand-up I thought that was kind of similar. It was more anecdotal but, within each story, there's a lot of punchlines. There's not many wasted words."

He's also happy to acknowledge that his comedy is deliberately devoid of the curse of our age – snark, the snide sarcasm that first infected the internet but has now spread across pop culture.

"My friends and I talk about it all the time. It's weird. I watched a bunch of movies from the 70s with my girlfriend recently and I felt so sort of sweet after each movie. And it was like, 'What is that?', and she said, 'None of the movies were snarky.' The absence of snark was such a delightful change. So, I don't know, I'm a fan of non-snarky things."

Girls love him. Men love him. Old ladies love him and even those snarky young kids love him. You will too. Old men hate his guts, though. Must be the juggling.

Source: The Guardian
User avatar
Katie
Totally Fine
 
Posts: 6505
Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:11 pm
Location: Down Mr. Lee's Stairwell

by shianne517 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:38 pm

Don't know how accurate this is or if it's old, but here is a link to get tickets to watch tapings of Important Things: http://www.ocatv.com/shows/show/276

EDIT: Link to Demetri's site: http://www.thisisthesiteforimportantthingsinsanfrancisco.com/

I guess it's legit ???
User avatar
shianne517
Jem Ho
 
Posts: 4276
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:42 pm
Location: Maryland

by gezyka » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:43 am


shianne517 wrote:Don't know how accurate this is or if it's old, but here is a link to get tickets to watch tapings of Important Things: http://www.ocatv.com/shows/show/276

EDIT: Link to Demetri's site: http://www.thisisthesiteforimportantthingsinsanfrancisco.com/

I guess it's legit ???

[image]


Friday, October 23, 2009

"Important Things" in San Francisco - Free Tickets


Hi.

I am going to San Francisco to tape the 2nd season of “Important Things” in front of a live studio audience.

The dates are November 19, 20, 21.

To get free tickets:

http://thisisthesiteforimportantthingsinsanfrancisco.com/

http://www.ocatv.com/shows/show/276

I hope you are doing well.

Demetri.

Source: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=6871088&blogID=515595390

[image]
User avatar
gezyka
You don't have to be a prostitute
 
Posts: 20311
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 11:17 pm
Location: Texas Lexus?

by ashleyyy » Sat Oct 24, 2009 1:27 pm


gezyka wrote:
shianne517 wrote:Don't know how accurate this is or if it's old, but here is a link to get tickets to watch tapings of Important Things: http://www.ocatv.com/shows/show/276

EDIT: Link to Demetri's site: http://www.thisisthesiteforimportantthingsinsanfrancisco.com/

I guess it's legit ???

[image]


Friday, October 23, 2009

"Important Things" in San Francisco - Free Tickets


Hi.

I am going to San Francisco to tape the 2nd season of “Important Things” in front of a live studio audience.

The dates are November 19, 20, 21.

To get free tickets:

http://thisisthesiteforimportantthingsinsanfrancisco.com/

http://www.ocatv.com/shows/show/276

I hope you are doing well.

Demetri.

Source: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=6871088&blogID=515595390

[image]


I signed up for this even though San Francisco is 6 hours away....I'd still go.
ashleyyy
I'm not crying
 
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:29 am
Location: California

by hellomyfriend » Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:29 am


ashleyyy wrote: *stuff*



Hey! You never told us what happened when you met him!!!


Details, please? [image] [image] [image]
User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

by dontlookback » Thu Dec 10, 2009 5:46 pm

For anyone on tumblr (or who enjoys tumblr [image] ) I found this epic win of a page today :
http://'uckyeahdemetrimartin.tumblr.com/
Just replace the ' with an f,obviously [image]
User avatar
dontlookback
My shadow played a bass clarinet
 
Posts: 1891
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:12 pm
Location: delaware river.

by Amily » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:27 pm


Interestin’ News: Galifianakis, Rudd Reteam For “Will”, Written By Demetri Martin

Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd’s first film together, “Dinner for Schmucks,” hasn’t even released yet, but already the duo will team up again for the Demetri Martin penned “Will,” according to THR.

The story follows an ordinary guy (Rudd) who lives in a world where people’s lives and destinies are being written by scribes in Heaven. The man wakes up one day to find that his heavenly writer (Galifianakis) has decided to no longer draft his life, and he must go about his day unscripted, ending up on a journey to fulfill his hidden potential.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will co-direct. Their last project together was “Little Miss Sunshine,” a humorous and touching tale.

‘Schmucks’ actually has an impressive cast. Directed by Jay Roach, who helmed the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises, ‘Schmucks’ will star Galifianakis, Rudd, Steve Carrell, and Jemaine Clement.

Source: http://gointothemovies.wordpress.com/201....emetri -martin/

:D
Image
NEVER FORGET.
tumblr | twitter
User avatar
Amily
Administrator
 
Posts: 21840
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:18 pm
Location: New Zealand of the North

by squidhat » Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:05 pm


Amily wrote:
Interestin’ News: Galifianakis, Rudd Reteam For “Will”, Written By Demetri Martin

Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd’s first film together, “Dinner for Schmucks,” hasn’t even released yet, but already the duo will team up again for the Demetri Martin penned “Will,” according to THR.

The story follows an ordinary guy (Rudd) who lives in a world where people’s lives and destinies are being written by scribes in Heaven. The man wakes up one day to find that his heavenly writer (Galifianakis) has decided to no longer draft his life, and he must go about his day unscripted, ending up on a journey to fulfill his hidden potential.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris will co-direct. Their last project together was “Little Miss Sunshine,” a humorous and touching tale.

‘Schmucks’ actually has an impressive cast. Directed by Jay Roach, who helmed the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises, ‘Schmucks’ will star Galifianakis, Rudd, Steve Carrell, and Jemaine Clement.

Source: http://gointothemovies.wordpress.com/201....emetri -martin/

:D


WHAAAAAT
that is awesome. too bad jemaine isn't in it [image] that would've been CRAZY awesome
squidhat
I like to rock the party!
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:09 pm

by hellomyfriend » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:16 am

[image] [image] [image] [image] [image]


Aw man! Now I wish Jemaine was in Demetri's movie too! :(
User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

by hellomyfriend » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:41 am


Demetri Martin Talks Conan, Dorks, And Other Important Things
Dan Abramson
Associate Comedy Editor
Posted: February 2, 2010 10:46 AM

[image]

It wasn't too long ago that Demetri Martin was dropping out of NYU School of Law to pursue a career in a comedy. Now he's preparing for the second season of his Comedy Central show, "Important Things With Demetri Martin." He may be a self-proclaimed "dork," but if that's true, he is their king. After a stint on the "Daily Show," and starring in an Ang Lee film, this laid-back comic has hit the big time.

Not surprisingly, Martin's only opportunity to chat with me was en route to work, which only seemed fitting. In Los Angeles, an astounding number of phone conversations take place while driving. Most traffic jams are essentially a collection of mobile phone booths. Lucky for me, I was able to catch him on this commute and chat with him about the upcoming premiere of his show, projects he's working on, and most interestingly, his feelings on the world without Conan.

Martin recently relocated from New York to LA, which is a move that's usually accompanied by quips about the lack of quality pizza, Dunkin Donuts, and jaywalking. But it turns out Martin has barely noticed a difference in his life. "My last year in NY was really just a year in an office. Then I switched offices. It just happens to be on the other side of the country."

But for the show itself, the move is already paying off. Martin told me Season 2 of "Important Things" will feature guest stars like "Fred Willard and Alan Dale from 'Lost.' (He's one of the bad guys.)"

I admit to him I've never seen an episode of "Lost," which is something I'm simultaneously proud and ashamed of. And picking up on this, Martin puts me at ease: "I haven't seen 'Lost' either. I'm not against it or anything. All I know is that people have been stranded for a long time...they're all really good looking and in good shape, but they have problems with each other."

Rather than getting sucked into "Lost," Martin has found a more practical use of his scant free time: "For some reason I've been watching a lot of HGTV. They just have those shows that are like, 'Linda and Steve are getting their first house. These are the three houses they're looking at.' There's something very simple about the programming that doesn't seem too tied to the real world. So I get to watch people and images but I don't have to know too much about news or politics. It's kind of irresponsible, but it's really relaxing." That actually sounds great. It actually sounds like the opposite of watching "Lost."

Aside from his show, the topic I was most looking forward to discussing was the Leno/Conan mess. Yes, it's been covered to death, but I was curious to hear what Martin's thoughts were, considering his time spent as a writer for Coco.

"I think he's a real class act and I, like a lot of my friends, was surprised and sad when the whole thing came out that they wanted to move him. This is a bummer for my generation."

He then paused and repeated that word - "Bummer" - which summed up the situation in a way I hadn't yet thought of. We get so caught up in the media circus; it's easy to forget the whole thing just flat out sucks. A major blow to the dorks who look up to Conan...the dorks who also look up to Martin.

But despite his bummed out-ness, Martin spoke fondly of his experience on "Late Night":

"I loved working for Conan. He has a great staff and he's a genuine person who I think is good to people. He works really hard. And I think he contributed something great and original to late night television.

"People treated each other well. You didn't have pressure to get things on," he continued, describing the office culture. "You didn't have to have something produced every day or your job was in trouble. You didn't have to feel like 'I'm gonna get fired because I'm not prolific enough this week' and in a weird way, that frees you up to come up with more stuff. I think it makes you more productive because you're not afraid."

He added that the combination of hard work and comfortable environment "[filtered] down from the top. Conan's a good guy and what you see is what you get."

It seems this balance is something Martin takes to heart. In a time when Hollywoodites drunkenly hold up banks (oh Rip Torn) and chase their wives with kitchenware (oh Charlie Sheen), it's refreshing to hear from someone in the business who is, to use a phrase that goes back to the pioneers of Hollywood, a real mensch. It's like he believes in comedy karma, which is probably why he sounded so confident that Conan will be fine in the long run: "He's gotta resurface. I read some stuff about how the television landscape has changed and the money isn't there...all that business stuff. I'm sure it's all true, but it doesn't change that he's really funny. A lot of people want to see him doing the show."

And a lot of people want to see Martin doing more than just his show. Well, fellow dorks, luckily his script "Will" is in the works and is set to star Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis. Yeah, that's right. Rudd and Galifianakis, i.e. your two favorite actors. (Weird that I totally read your mind, right?) On top of that, it's being helmed by "Little Miss Sunshine" directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. Obviously this movie's guaranteed to win an Oscar for best original awesomeness (and possibly costume design, but let's not get ahead of ourselves).

What would really be the icing on the cake? If Martin joined the cast, too. "We're trying to work that out now," he explained. "I had the idea for that movie about a decade ago. I always thought I'd be in it [but] so far I'm not famous enough to be enough in my movie." And while he's excited to see this labor of love come to life, Martin remains "cautiously optimistic," a refreshingly pragmatic approach to success.

"Everything from watching Conan lose 'The Tonight Show' to working one day on 'Moneyball' and then having it canceled - you learn to really temper your optimism and be a realist as much as you can. At the same time, be hopeful and work hard, but expect very little. You never know."

At the moment, Martin is working so hard, he doesn't have the time to return to stand-up, something he expressed interest in getting back to at some point. "I would have to find a way to work maybe 50 hours a week [on the show], rather than 70 or 80."

With all his projects, which also includes a book of essays and drawings, he might not have time to commit to "Lost," but his prolificacy has certainly expanded his fan base. But despite his growing fans, Martin doesn't anticipate his comedy changing its tone.

"I think for me I can't imagine that big of a crowd being excited for what I do. That's not a self-deprecating thing; I'm not an arena guy. I'm not really shouting at the audience or jumping around. It's a little bit quieter. It's nicer to have a little more intimacy with an audience, and really put on a show that feels connected.

"When I started, most of my stand-up career was playing to much smaller numbers. Sometimes there were four people in the audience. Having a TV show now, it's nice to go different parts of the country. Like in Portland or Baltimore or North Carolina or Chapel Hill or something. It's like, 'Wow this is cool. I found similar kinds of people in different spots.'"

And I'm sure the slightly hip/slightly uncool comedy-fans in Chapel Hill would agree it's important in this now Conan-less age that hard-working, sincere, funny people all over the country have Martin's show as an outlet. You might need to sift through some of the Hollywood bullies to get there, but as Martin assures us, "Dorks like me are alive and well."

source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-abramson/demetri-martin-dorks-like_b_445634.html
User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

by hellomyfriend » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:49 am

From Demetri's myspace (http://www.myspace.com/demetrimartin/) "Important Things with Demetri Martin," season 2 flyers! :D


[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]

[image]
User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

by dontlookback » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:20 am

Bruce the funny dog [image]
User avatar
dontlookback
My shadow played a bass clarinet
 
Posts: 1891
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:12 pm
Location: delaware river.

by hellomyfriend » Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:11 am


A Very Important Conversation with Demetri Martin
On January 22, 2010 at 10:23 AM


[image]


Even a year ago, an intro to Demetri Martin required a quick résumé, citing what he'd done, who he'd worked with (The Daily Show, Conan, y'know), examples of his observational one-liners ("If I were blind, I'd wear a blindfold all the time). Now, two weeks from the second season of his Comedy Central sketch show Important Things with Demetri Martin, he's just...Demetri Martin. That deliciously deadpan, incredibly clever comic on his way to becoming a household name.

Here, Demetri dishes with GQ on his screenplay becoming a hot Hollywood property, why he makes everything harder for himself, and how comedy audiences are like pigeons.



In our last interview with you, we suggested that if there was a second season of Important Things, you'd be a fantastic actor after your tutelage with Ang Lee on Taking Woodstock. Were we right?

Hopefully the quality of everything has gone up a notch. Including the acting.


What's new in season two?

It's the same structure where there's a topic, some sketches, a little bit of stand-up, some music mixed in there. I tried to put in new live bits and connective bits, those in-between things, the jingles and little drawings. And three more episodes—we'll have ten this time.


Any guest stars for the sketches?

Alan Dale, who's one of the bad guys on Lost, Widmore, he's in the first episode. He was really funny. We got Fred Willard to do something, too.


Are you bringing back the themed episodes?

The first one is Attention. There's also Money, Ability.


Are you banking on a bigger audience?

I don't have a good sense of how many people have seen the show. I try to keep it realistic in my head. The country has 300 million people. I'm looking to get in the neighborhood of 3 million for an episode, which would be awesome. I'm looking for a robust 1 percent of the country.


That's not bad. I mean, what's the most people you've performed in front of?

In one room? 15,000. The smallest audience was two. So that's a pretty good range.


You're versatile.

Yeah. I scale up and down pretty easily.


I can't imagine your humor in front of two people. That's gotta be awkward.

Stand-up is like scaring pigeons. If there's only one or two pigeons and you try to scare 'em, they might not fly away. Those pigeons might be the kind who don't really care and they're not scared. But if you have a hundred pigeons and you do the same thing, there's a couple scaredy cats in there—they scare the other pigeons, and then they all fly. So there's strength in numbers. So it kind of gets easier, the bigger the audience gets—to a point. Eventually if I have too many pigeons, they probably know they can overtake me and I'm not going to scare any of them. Somewhere in the middle is the pigeon count I'm looking for.


[image]


The pigeon count. Got it. You don't get heckled on a TV show. What's the Demetri Martin response to hecklers?

I haven't done stand-up clubs in a long time; that's where I got heckled the most. I started to develop those muscles and get pretty good at coming back, but it just depends on what they say. After you've been doing this so long—this summer will be 13 years for me—you get enough exposure. Somewhere like Scotland, heckling seemed more playful; the times somebody interrupted me or messed with me, it seemed like they were inviting more of a dialogue. In New York it was usually more...


"F*** off."

Yeah, just trying to take you down, to get you.


That dialogue—I saw one of your larger shows last year, close to 1,000 people, and you came out for an encore and basically had a conversation with the audience for 15 minutes.

That developed over time. When I started, I couldn't get much stage time, so those five- or six-minute slots I'd get were really precious. I'd try to jam in as many jokes as I could and I would just remove every word that I didn't think was really necessary. And if somebody heckled me or interrupted me, I'd get so frustrated 'cause I didn't want to waste my time. But now, that conversation at the end of some shows, especially at colleges, helps me figure out who my audience is. And I think it's cool if you're sitting there for an hour-plus, to get some sense of who this person is you paid to see.


Your screenplay, Will, has been making headlines the last few weeks. Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd are set to star, Will Ferrell's production company grabbed it, and the two directors from Little Miss Sunshine are attached. Excited?

I'm excited it's gotten as far as it's gotten, but I'm not holding my breath. Last summer I was supposed to be in this movie called Moneyball, directed by Steven Soderbergh, starring Brad Pitt, with me as the second lead. We worked for a day—the crew was there and everything—and then it got shut down. So I'm like, Wow, if a Soderbergh/Brad Pitt movie is getting shut down once it's been greenlit and is technically in production, I know nothing really counts until it's all over. At this point I'm just grateful to be the sole writer on it. And as hard as it is to work on that and the TV show at the same time, I'm trying to stagger my work responsibilities here.


So how involved will you be if the film goes forth?

I thought I was going to have a big role, but I guess I'm not famous enough. If I'm lucky, they'll give me a little role and a small producer credit or something.


You've written a few failed pilots. Was it a rush to actually sell a feature script?

Oh yeah. Sometimes I look up from the stresses of everything and think, "I am getting paid to make things." I never thought that I would get to be one of those people. But when you stop and think, "Wow, people will pay me to go and tell jokes?" That's pretty awesome.


What do you attribute it to? Luck? Hard work?

Because I make everything so hard for myself.


You're pretty meticulous.

But I'm not a perfectionist. Now I just try to make things accurate. If something was an accurate representation of what was in my head, I'm happy.


[image]


You like to dabble—producing and editing on Important Things, acting, incorporating music and art into your stand-up. Is there any chance you'll go Steve Martin on us and ditch live comedy for one of these talents?

Man, with Steve Martin, I think it's so inspiring to see someone who's tried a lot of different things. What I'm finding is all the things I'm trying to get good at require a lot of time—and if I don't put a lot of time into stand-up, I start to get rusty pretty quickly. But I want to do all of it, and I don't know how to do it. That's why I have no social life.


Still, you're a very well-rounded dude.

I wish I could find the balance. It's so weird when you want to make something really good, and you have a limited amount of time and you just work so hard on that thing, and everything else gets kind of pushed aside.


Is that frustrating? Confounding?

It's frustrating to be over 30 years old and still not know how to manage your time.


I'm not so sure anyone really figures that out though. Time is hard to come by.

It's true. Sometimes I think it'd be better to just think simple. But with the TV show, there's so many moving parts and I probably made it harder than it needed to be. But I feel each part teaches me something, so when it's done, hopefully I've learned a little more about how to tell a story, how to write, how to direct, how to make music. And even if I'm not great at any of them, each skill-set will develop more and more for me and hopefully I can use it in the future.


Do you think that's part of why Important Things has succeeded? Because you made it harder than you had to?

I hope so, 'cause if making it harder didn't do anything, then I'm really, really an idiot.



[image]



source: http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/01/a-very-important-conversation-with-demetri-martin.html



Aw, Demetri. [image] [image] [image] [image] [image] The part about him being unable to find balance made me worry about him a little. [image]


[image] [image]

User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

by hellomyfriend » Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:05 pm


Demetri Martin - Interview
Ethan Stanislawski
Published on March 3, 2010


Over the past few years, Demetri Martin has emerged as one of the leading stand-up comedians in America. Already long popular in the U.K. due to his successful stints at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Martin has become a sensation in the U.S. due to his "Trendspotting" feature on The Daily Show, his stand-up special, Demetri Martin: Person., and his variety show for Comedy Central, Important Things With Demetri Martin, now in its second season. He has become a favorite of the college crowd, and his use of music is often an integral part of his act, such as this inspired bit about getting his harmonica "the cool way." Last summer, Demetri Martin starred as an actor in the movie Taking Woodstock, based on the memoirs by Elliot Tiber and directed by Ange Lee. Here, Martin, talks about the role of music in comedy (and vice versa), why college is awesome, and his experiences with Taking Woodstock.

What kind of music do you like in general?

A lot of late-'60s stuff. I'm a big Beatles fan. I always seem to come back to the Beatles. I also just read a biography about Brian Wilson called Catch the Waves. Pet Sounds is one of my favorite albums. What else can I tell you? Indie rock. I'm trying to listen to classical music, trying to learn to play music better.

You use a lot of lo-fi and twee music in your act (along with glockenspiels and unnecessary bells). How did you begin to integrate that into your act?

Years ago I did a one-man show. When I started I just told one-liners on stage. My first attraction to comedy was to just think of jokes and then go tell them on stage. And then I got an idea to do a show that was a little more involved that would have a whole structure to it. I wanted to see if I could get the audience to laugh using a different presentation. When I started writing that show I thought, "I'd love to score it. I'd love for certain parts of this to have certain kinds of music." That got me into playing music, which I knew wouldn't be easy. But then I learned guitar with a book that told you how to make chords. Most of the show was in C-major, and it was very simple, and then I added a glockenspiel -- harmonicas were kind of a challenge. It started out as just a task for myself to see if I could score moments. If I wanted to be more hopeful, what chords what I do? And, likewise, what if I wanted to do something darker? What was amazing to me was it didn't take that much ability to add an emotional moment a little nudge. That led later to performing on stage.

Traditionally there was a lot of integration between music and comedy. Do you feel like it's coming back into favor?

A lot of it's hard to gauge. A lot of people haven't heard of Victor Borge. Henny Youngman used a violin. But I don't even know how many people know who Henny Youngman is who aren't into comedy. When you think of silent films like Chaplin's, music was the only sound and scores were everything. Maybe it's just that things have ebbed and flowed a little bit, and people have used it differently who've been popular over the years, like Steve Martin and the banjo. Even Andy Kaufman playing the bongos was a big bit -- bongos and crying. But then there were Seinfeld and other guys who were really big and don't use music. I guess in the '80s the stand-up acts weren't as musical, so what people of our generation know to be stand-up comedy is '80s stand-up comedy. Like, "Here's this next guy with a microphone and a brick wall."

If you look back in comedy, music's been around for a while. But at the same time, acts like Tenacious D or Flight of the Conchords are using music in a new way. So yeah, things are resurging now. Maybe digital media -- even things like Garageband -- is making it easier for people to do things like make music and comedy at home and put it on the Internet.


I think a lot of people are surprised when they learn you're in your late 30s. Do you think your connection with technology and "Trendspotting" on The Daily Show gives you more of a connection to a college-aged audience?

I think the weird thing is when I started doing comedy in 1997, comedy didn't seem as big a thing at the time. It was hard to get audiences. Even at the clubs in New York, people weren't coming out that much to see it. I didn't know a lot of comedians who made their living off college shows. But then something happened. I guess people started finding comedy on the Internet and promoting comedy on the Internet, and they didn't have to rely on comedy clubs. And that college audience is a big audience. Bands are still one of the bigger gets for college, for spring-fling kind of events, but there's a growing arena for comedy there. I like doing college crowds; I liked college, and maybe that helps me stay relatable. When I do colleges, the crowds don't seem so cynical, and they're up to let you try things and they encourage experimentation. It's a really hopeful age.

You seem to find a lot of comedy about how people use music in their everyday life. How do you work on putting music culture into your act?

One of my favorite live performances is always music. When I see someone performing music, there's a certain level of commitment and connection with the audience. Comedy is great, but music is so visceral. When I think about seeing music live, even if I don't particularly love the band or their music, I still appreciate it. People can get an emotional connection by telling stories in comedy, which is great, but I seem to get the most moved by music. You can get comedy'd out when you're always going to comedy shows and going backstage and all your friends are comedians. It's harder for me to get music'd out.

Is it a similar situation with basketball players and rappers, where comedians want to be musicians and musicians want to be comedians?

Yeah, I think so. I think there are some really funny musicians. When I go and hang out with musicians, they're funny in this really great way, where it's not like they're trying to be funny. And it's not like they need to be funny in order to have some sense of self or accomplishment. They can just be an awesome guitar player or an awesome drummer. For comedians it can be more challenging, like you're trying to prove something.

I wanted to talk about Taking Woodstock, because I think your character was a pretty good example of how freeing and exciting music can be when it's not really part of your life.

That was interesting because when they approached me my thought was, "Wow, I'm going to be in a movie about Woodstock." What was surprising to me was this side story. The music was present, but it wasn't about the concert in the way people would expect it. What was cool about it was it was like a time machine to a smaller, local story rather than a portal to some big historical event. It was a story about a guy and his parents, what it feels like to be alienated and not sure of yourself at the time, but surrounded by this cultural moment. It was really cool. I just love '60s music and late-'60s fashion and art.

You've talked about how you come from a family that didn't really have an artistic background, and how weird it was seen to go into that. Were you able to tap into something more autobiographical with that role?

I think that's a good point. My parents were the children of immigrants, so there was a slight generational gap. But having said that, I came from a family that focused more on business and practical matters, much less on things like art expressing yourself or music or dance. My character, Elliot, was a real person, an interior designer, but there was big difference between him and his parents. But there was something I could relate to with my family. Though they do like sports. They're big sports guys, but that's quite a difference.

You've been working on a couple of movies that are in development. How are those going?

The movie Will, that's a movie I had a long time ago. I worked on developing it, and it took me years. Then the script kind of sat on the shelf and was reignited this year. Now it's gotten the green light, and we're supposed to work on it this summer. I get a small part in it, but I still get to work on it and rewrite it. Jonathan Dayton and Val Faris are the directors (Little Miss Sunshine), Paul Rudd will star in it, and Zach Galifianakis will be in it. I'm really excited that it's becoming a film. That's what I'm going into right after the show [Important Things].


***


Demetri Martin's TV show, Important Things With Demetri Martin, airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on Comedy Central. Taking Woodstock was released on DVD and Blue Ray on Dec. 19. More info can be found at http://www.demetrimartin.com/.

source: http://www.prefixmag.com/features/demetri-martin/interview/37947/
User avatar
hellomyfriend
Probing Planet Bret
 
Posts: 24051
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Earth

PreviousNext

Return to Conchordian Cohorts

cron