Demetri Martin. Person.
Paramount // Unrated // $19.98 // September 4, 2007
Review by Preston Jones | posted October 5, 2007
M O V I E
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A U D I O
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R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
The Show

Unless you watch a lot of relatively obscure comedy, funnyman Demetri Martin will probably be something of a mystery to you. Martin's biggest platform thus far, aside from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," was a one-episode cameo on HBO's breakout hit "Flight of the Conchords," in which he played a keytarist named ... Demetri. Martin is also (curiously) more or less sponsored by Microsoft (he's created a series of shorts for the Web that tout Windows Vista), which, to the best of my knowledge, is a rarity in the comedy biz. He's bounced around to various gigs, including a stint writing for Conan O'Brien and his debut CD, "These Are Jokes," dropped in September 2006.

All of this build-up still doesn't prepare you for the desert dry, brusquely deadpan style in which Martin delivers his one-liners. Very much a student of Steven Wright, Martin's comedy is also part of the post-modern, ironic deconstruction school -- which is evident before you ever crack open your copy of Demetri Martin. Person.. Personable and amiably goofy, Martin makes these 42 minutes fly right by.

The 34-year-old comic draws a bit, plays harmonica, piano and guitar (evoking comparisons to the Conchord fellas and even Zach Galifianakis) and generally fuses a variety of approaches to stand-up into one, not always cohesive whole. The special is peppered with written asides and animated segments that interrupt the flow (such as it is) of Martin's set, but do display the full breadth of Martin's approach to making the funny. If you're a fan of left-of-center comedy, then Martin is a talent worth seeking out.

The DVD

The Video:

Presented as originally broadcast on Comedy Central earlier this year, the 1.33:1 fullscreen transfer looks sharp and clean throughout, with no discernible defects. A very sharp, problem-free presentation.

The Audio:

Nothing to tax your speakers here -- the Dolby 2.0 stereo track conveys Martin's low-key humor with no distortion or drop-out; the audience laughter never overwhelms the music and/or jokes.

The Extras:

One area where the DVD of Demetri Martin. Person. excels is in the supplements, all of which bear the mark of the comedian's distinctive sensibility. Martin's 2004 Comedy Central special, which runs 22 minutes, is here, presented in fullscreen. Around 15 minutes of deleted scenes from Demetri Martin. Person. are included; three minutes are presented without commentary and the remaining 12 minutes feature commentary from Martin. A 55-second animated clip titled "Bonus Mythic Creatures" is presented in fullscreen, along with a two minute, 11 second interview with Martin. Clips of Martin performing at Caroline's (six minutes, 33 seconds), Luna Lounge (two minutes, 24 seconds) and North Star (one minute, 25 seconds) are here, as is a two minute, 27 second slideshow featuring rejected set design ideas for Demetri Martin. Person.. The two minute, 26 second featurette "Behind the Joke" is a parody of the VH-1 series, with the bizarre one minute, 18 second clip "Creep Eating an Ice Cream Pop," a trio of Easter eggs (composed of a one minute, 20 second "Unnecessary Song," a six minute deleted scene with commentary and a two minute, 32 second "Alternate Menu Song"), a screen with nothing on it, "Comedy Central Quickies" from "The Colbert Report," "The Sarah Silverman Program" and "South Park" and trailers for "Chappelle's Show," "Reno 911!" and "Drawn Together" completing the disc.

Final Thoughts:

Unless you watch a lot of relatively obscure comedy, funnyman Demetri Martin will probably be something of a mystery to you. Very much a student of Steven Wright, Martin's comedy is also part of the post-modern, ironic deconstruction school -- which is evident before you ever crack open your copy of Demetri Martin. Person.. Personable and amiably goofy, Martin makes these 42 minutes fly right by. Recommended.



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