Demetri Martin

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Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin.jpg
Demetri Martin at Northeastern University on April 11, 2007
Born (1973-05-25) May 25, 1973 (age 41)
New York City, New York,
United States
Nationality American
Years active 2001–present
Genres Surreal humor, musical comedy, wit/wordplay, observational comedy, sketch comedy, alternative comedy, deadpan comedy
Subject(s) Everyday Life, American Culture, Random Subjects
Influences Steven Wright
Spouse Rachael Beame (June 2012–present)
Notable works and roles  · These Are Jokes
 · Demetri Martin. Person.
 · Correspondent on The Daily Show
 · Himself/Various on Important Things with Demetri Martin
 · Elliot Tiber in Taking Woodstock (2009)
 · Standup Comedian

Demetri Evan Martin (born May 25, 1973) is an American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer, and humorist. Martin is best known for his work as a stand-up comedian, being a contributor on The Daily Show and for his Comedy Central show Important Things with Demetri Martin.

Early life[edit]

Demetri Martin was born on May 25, 1973 to a Greek American family[1] in New York City, New York,[citation needed] and grew up in Toms River, New Jersey. He is the son of Lillian, a nutritionist, and Dean C. Martin, now deceased, a Greek Orthodox priest.[2] Martin graduated from Yale University in 1995. During his time at Yale he wrote a 224 word long poem[3] as a project for a fractal geometry class, which became a well known palindromic poem. Although he was accepted into Harvard Law School, he went to New York University School of Law after he received a full scholarship.[4]


In 2001, Martin caught his first big break in stand-up comedy when he appeared on Comedy Central's stand-up showcase Premium Blend. At the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe he won the Perrier award with his show If I....[5] The show was turned into a British television special in 2004. From 2003 to 2004, Martin wrote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[6] In 2004, Martin had his own Comedy Central Presents stand-up special. His special was divided into three parts. In the first, he performed in traditional stand-up comedy fashion. In the second segment, he used humorous drawings as visual aids, which would serve either as the punchline or a background. During the third segment, he played a guitar and put on a pseudo-play where he would strum his guitar while alternating between playing harmonica and talking; some of his comedian friends dressed as fairies and dragons acted according to the story he was telling, detailing the magical land from where his jokes came. Martin's mother and grandmother also appeared.

Starting in late 2005, he was credited as a contributor on The Daily Show, on which he appeared as the named "Senior Youth Correspondent" and hosted a segment called "Trendspotting". He used this segment to talk about so-called hip trends among youth such as hookahs, wine, guerilla marketing and Xbox 360. A piece about social networking featured his profile on MySpace.[7] On March 22, 2007, Martin made another appearance on The Daily Show, talking about the Viacom lawsuit against Google and YouTube. He is no longer a Daily Show contributor as of 2014.[8]

He has recorded a comedy CD/DVD titled These Are Jokes, which was released on September 26, 2006. This album also features Saturday Night Live member Will Forte and stand-up comedian Leo Allen. Martin returned to The Daily Show on March 22, 2006, as the new Youth Correspondent, calling his segment "Professional Important News with Demetri Martin". In 2007, he starred in a Fountains of Wayne music video for "Someone to Love" as Seth Shapiro, a character in the song. He also starred in the video for the Travis single "Selfish Jean", in which he wears multiple T-shirts with lyrics written on them. On September 2, 2007, Martin appeared on the season finale of the HBO series Flight of the Conchords. He appeared as a keytar player named Demetri.[9] He also had a part in the movie The Rocker (2008) starring Rainn Wilson. Martin played the part of the videographer when the band in the movie was making their first music video.

In 2009, he hosted and starred in his own television show called Important Things With Demetri Martin on Comedy Central. Later in June, it was announced his show had been renewed for a second season.[10] The second season premiered, again on Comedy Central, on February 4, 2010. Martin has stated that Important Things will not return for a third season. Prior to completing work on his second season, Martin starred in the comedy-drama film Taking Woodstock (2009), directed by Ang Lee, which premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In the film Martin plays Elliot Tiber, a closeted gay artist who has given up his ambitions in the city to move upstate and help his old-world Jewish family run their Catskill Mountains motel. The film is based on the book written by Tiber. On April 25, 2011, Martin released his first book, titled This Is a Book. Martin played a small role in the 2011 film Contagion.

Martin sold his movie concept Will to DreamWorks, and is expected to play a key supporting role.[11] He will play the lead in the film Moon People, a pitch that he sold to Columbia Pictures. He also signed a blind script deal with CBS in October 2010 to produce, write, and star in his own television series.[12] After CBS was shown the pilot for the series, they decided not to air it.[13] On October 2, 2012, Martin released his second comedy album entitled Demetri Martin. Standup Comedian.[14][15]

Comedic style[edit]

Martin is known for being an unconventional stand-up comic. He uses one-liners and drawings on a "large pad", as well as accompanying his jokes with music on either guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboard, glockenspiel, toy bells, ukulele, or tambourine, sometimes all at once.[16] He has cited comedian Steven Wright as an important influence (both use deadpan one-liners in their acts) and he is also a fan of Bill Cosby.[17]

Martin plays instruments on stage and has music playing in the background of his performances as a way of preventing any editing of his performances to better fit for television.[18]

Personal life[edit]

According to a July 2011 interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Demetri had a short-lived marriage with Jen, a woman he knew from high school. They began dating after high school, and got married when he was in NYU Law School and she was attending NYU Medical School.[4] This relationship was further analyzed in his one-man show Spiral Bound. Demetri remarried June 1, 2012 to long-time girlfriend Rachael Beame in Santa Monica, CA.

He is extremely allergic to nuts.[19]

Martin moved to Santa Monica, California in 2009.[20]


Filmography and television work[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2002 Analyze That Personal Assistant credited as "Demitri Martin"
2003 If I Himself BBC television special, also writer
2004 Comedy Central Presents: Demetri Martin Himself
2004 12:21 Himself short film, also writer
2004 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself 1 episode, series writer
2007 Demetri Martin. Person. Himself Comedy Central special
2007 "Someone to Love" Seth Shapiro Fountains of Wayne music video
2007 Flight of the Conchords Demetri Season 1, Episode 12
2008 The Rocker Kip (a music video producer)
2009 Paper Heart Himself
2009 Post Grad Ad Exec
2009 Taking Woodstock Elliot Tiber
2009–2010 Important Things with Demetri Martin Himself / Various writer, series creator, executive producer, and composer
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Carlos
2011 Contagion Dr. David Eisenberg
2011 Conan Himself guest
2012 Standup Comedian Himself
2013 In a World... Louis
2015 House of Lies Ellis Hightower

Written works[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award For Category Result Other notes
2003 Perrier Comedy Award If I Won At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
2004 Emmy Awards Late Night with Conan O'Brien Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program Nominated Shared with Mike Sweeney (head writer), Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Daniel J. Goor, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg
2005 Writers Guild of America Award Late Night with Conan O'Brien Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Won Shared with Mike Sweeney (head writer), Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Daniel J. Goor, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg
2006 Barry Award Dr. Earnest Parrot Presents Demetri Martin Won Award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival


  1. ^ "Demetri Martin: The joker in the pack". The Independent (London). August 17, 2004. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Demetri Martin's Palindrome". Yale University. Mathematics Department. Retrieved 17 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast - Episode 195 - Demetri Martin". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  5. ^ Martin, Demetri (May 25, 2004). "Diary: A Weeklong Electronic Journal". Slate. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Demetri Martin Bio". Comedy Central. Retrieved March 7, 2008. 
  7. ^ "News Team: Demetri Martin". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  8. ^ "News Team". The Daily Show. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Flight of the Conchords" The Third Conchord (2007) - Full cast and crew
  10. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (June 2, 2009). "Another 'Important' Season for Demetri Martin". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ Gardner, Chris (March 27, 2006). "'Will' Fills D'Works Bill". Variety. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Demetri Martin To Star, Write, Produce Own CBS Show". October 19, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Demetri Martin's CBS Show Not Happening". March 11, 2011. 
  14. ^ Martin, Demetri. "Facebook". Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  15. ^ Josh, Bell. "Demetri Martin Standup Comedian album review". The Spit Take. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  16. ^ "Comedian Demetri Martin's 'Important' TV Show Fails at Funny". The Daily Texan. February 20, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2010. [dead link]
  17. ^ Huang, Keith (May 5, 2005). "Word Games". Gelf. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Will Ferrell Rider". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  20. ^

External links[edit]