‘Building’ Comedy With Demetri Martin

HUNTINGTON, New York, Jan. 22

BY: Andrew Wroblewski

For Demetri Martin, a comedian and native of New York, when he’s up on stage performing, he views his jokes as building blocks. Separated into different categories, the jokes are built up – usually with the use of Martin’s props and instruments, which he incorporates in his act – and topped off with a punchline.

“With my act, I mostly tell one-liners, so I like that it [the props and instruments] adds a little dimension to things,” Martin said.

Martin will bring that “building” mentality of comedy to The Paramount on Jan. 30 for a one-night-only show.

Comedian Demetri Martin will be taking The Paramount’s stage on Jan. 30.
Comedian Demetri Martin will be taking The Paramount’s stage on Jan. 30.

“I’ve been doing this for a while now, but years ago I started by performing in smaller rooms in New York City,” Martin said. “From there, I thought it would be interesting to experiment with my comedy and using things like drawing to get extra punchlines by using images and drawings.”

Known for his deadpan style of comedy – best related to Steven Martin, his biggest comedic influence – Martin broke onto the scene in 2001 after Comedy Central featured his act on “Premium Blend,” a television series that aired from 1999-2005. He incorporated drawings on his “large pad” and music – he plays guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboard, glockenspiel, toy bells, ukulele and tambourine, sometimes all at the same time – into his act in order to get laughs from the audience.

“When I first got started I was living in New York and I always wanted to try standup before I left there; I would have regretted it if I didn’t,” he said. “After getting on that stage for the first time, I said to myself, ‘I think this is for me.’”

Following his success on Comedy Central, for more than a decade, Martin made his mark through his standup, writing – he was a writer for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” from 2003-2004 – and acting. In 2004, Martin was a part of the “Late Night” team that was nominated for an Emmy Award.

“I like to diversify what I’m doing so that I keep learning and growing,” Martin, 41, said.

That diversity has followed Martin onto the stage, and he has an especially “polished” act prepared for visitors to The Paramount next week. With a television special filming in Washington, D.C. looming in the next few months, Martin said he’ll be showcasing plenty of new material to the Huntington audience.

“I’m really focused on that special so I’m building up new jokes… I think it should be a good show,” he said.

Tickets range from $25-$50 and can be purchased at the box office or online at http://www.paramountny.com.

Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015;  Front page)

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