Demetri Martin

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Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin.jpg
Martin performing in April 2007
Birth name Demetri Evan Martin
Born (1973-05-25) May 25, 1973 (age 43)
New York, United States
Medium Stand-up, television, film, music, art
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
Spouse Rachael Beame (m. 2012)
Notable works and roles Live * at the time
These Are Jokes
Demetri Martin. Person.
The Daily Show
Important Things with Demetri Martin
Taking Woodstock
Standup Comedian

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

Early life[edit]

Martin was born in New York City, New York to a Greek American family.[1] He is the son of Lillian and Greek Orthodox priest Dean C. Martin.[2][3] He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey, and has a younger brother named Spyro.[4]

Martin graduated from Yale University in 1995. During his time there, he wrote a 224-word poem about alcoholism[5][6] as a project for a fractal geometry class, which became a well known palindromic poem. He was also a member of the Anti-Gravity Society, whose members juggle objects on Sunday evenings on Yale's Old Campus.[7]

Although Martin was admitted to Harvard Law School, he decided to attend New York University School of Law upon receiving a full scholarship.[8] Martin withdrew from law school before the start of his final year, opting to pursue comedy over obtaining his Juris Doctor degree.[9][10]


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....[11] The show was turned into a BBC television special in 2004. From 2003 to 2004, Martin wrote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

He has recorded a comedy album 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] After CBS was shown the pilot for the series, they decided not to air it.[19] On October 2, 2012, Martin released his second comedy album entitled Demetri Martin. Standup Comedian.[20][21]

Martin also voices Ice Bear in the Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears. Martin will make his directorial debut in the film Dean, which he also wrote, edited, and stars in.[22]

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.[23] He has cited comedian Steven Wright as an important influence (both use deadpan one-liners in their acts). 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.[24]

Personal life[edit]

According to a July 2011 interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Martin had a short-lived marriage with a woman named Jen, whom he knew from high school. They began dating after high school, and got married when he was at NYU Law School and she was attending NYU Medical School.[8] This relationship was further analyzed in his one-man show Spiral Bound.

On June 1, 2012, Martin married his long-time girlfriend Rachael Beame in Santa Monica, California. He had moved to Santa Monica in 2009.[25][26]



Year Title Role Notes
2002 Late Show with David Letterman Himself Guest[27]
2002 Analyze That Personal Assistant Credited as Demitri Martin
2003 Jimmy Kimmel Live Himself Guest[28]
2003 Last Call with Carson Daly Himself Guest[29]
2003 If I Himself Writer
2004 Comedy Central Presents: Demetri Martin Himself
2004 12:21 Himself Short film
2004 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself 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: "The Third Conchord"
2008 The Rocker Kip
2009 Paper Heart Himself
2009 Post Grad Ad Exec
2009 Taking Woodstock Elliot Tiber
2009–2010 Important Things with Demetri Martin Himself
Various Characters
Writer, creator, executive producer, 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
2015–present We Bare Bears Ice Bear
Spider 1
Main role
2015 The Last Time You Had Fun Will
2015 Sequoia Steve
2016 Dean Dean Writer, director, producer
2016 Our Fascinating Planet Ted Rimmarniet


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. ^ "Sepinwall on TV: 'Important Things with Demetri Martin' Interview". TV & Film. New Jersey Entertainment. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Article: 'I know men who can far outgeek me'; Demetri Martin is obsessed with word games and maths, and sets himself bizarre challenges. He's also a favourite to win this year's Perrier Award". The Evening Standard. August 21, 2003. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ Schwab, David (August 29, 1994). "Off to College". The Star-Ledger. Newark, New Jersey. Demetri said his major regret is that he will be graduating at the end of the school year. He said he's thinking of taking a year off or even trying to become a standup comic. 'I'd rather avoid the real world as long as possible - I am going to law school - and continue to party,' he said, flashing a broad smile. 
  5. ^ "Demetri Martin's Palindrome". Yale University. Mathematics Department. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 
  6. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (October 19, 2003). "If it's hip to be square, then comedian Demetri Martin must be the coolest man on the planet". The Sunday Times. London, England. 
  7. ^ Gold, Arnold (September 2, 1992). "The Fun of Testing Gravity". New Haven Register. New Haven, Connecticut. p. 1. 
  8. ^ a b "WTF with Marc Maron Podcast - Episode 195 - Demetri Martin". Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  9. ^ Stoner, Rick (May 4, 2004). "Harvard graduate changing the face of comedy". Badger Herald. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin. Although his success in comedy came quick, achieving is nothing new to Martin, as the second-generation Greek-American grew up as an academic prodigy in an upscale New York suburb. After graduating high school as the valedictorian, Martin enrolled at Yale and graduated with grades that landed him a scholarship at NYU. While at law school, Martin became bored with the life of class by day and library by night and decided to spice things up. He began to neglect his studies and attend class in bizarre fashion, one time suiting up in a full gorilla costume. As his interest in comedy grew, Martin began to debate dropping out of school. His parents encouraged him to stay in school, but Martin's father told Demetri to do what he was most passionate about. His father died shortly there after in 1994, and Martin then decided to give comedy a chance. What has ensued so far has been a remarkable start in the comedy field thanks to a perspective that the world has never seen before. 
  10. ^ O'Connell, Alex (August 21, 2003). "Is the rest of the world any better?". The Times. London, England. p. 5. 
  11. ^ Martin, Demetri (May 25, 2004). "Diary: A Weeklong Electronic Journal". Slate. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  12. ^ "Demetri Martin Bio". Comedy Central. Retrieved March 7, 2008. 
  13. ^ "News Team: Demetri Martin". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  14. ^ "News Team". The Daily Show. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Flight of the Conchords" The Third Conchord (2007) - Full cast and crew
  16. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (June 2, 2009). "Another 'Important' Season for Demetri Martin". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  17. ^ Gardner, Chris (March 27, 2006). "'Will' Fills D'Works Bill". Variety. Retrieved February 24, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Demetri Martin To Star, Write, Produce Own CBS Show". October 19, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Demetri Martin's CBS Show Not Happening". March 11, 2011. 
  20. ^ Martin, Demetri. "Facebook". Retrieved August 2, 2012. 
  21. ^ Josh, Bell. "Demetri Martin Standup Comedian album review". The Spit Take. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Comedian Demetri Martin's 'Important' TV Show Fails at Funny". The Daily Texan. February 20, 2009. Archived from the original on February 14, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ The Adam Carolla Show, 13 April 2011, 20 minute mark
  26. ^ Horn, John (June 21, 2009). "Demetri Martin, star of 'Taking Woodstock'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 April 2011. Martin, who recently moved from Brooklyn to West Los Angeles 
  27. ^ McDonough, Kevin (April 5, 2002). "'Dateline' follows Las Vegas murder probe". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Chattanooga, Tennessee. 
  28. ^ "TV Today". The Philadelphia Inquirer. April 8, 2003. p. D5. 
  29. ^ "Pour a Bowl of Milk and Pull Up Cat Bed". The Hartford Courant. Hartford, Connecticut. May 30, 2003. p. D10. 

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