Judge Clark Douglas. Extra-terrestrial.
This is a DVD of a stand-up comedy special. The person in the special is Demetri Martin.
If you haven't heard the name Demetri Martin, I have a sneaking suspicion that you will before too long. Martin, a talented young comedian who was a writer for Late Night with Conan O'Brien in 2003-2004, seems poised to become a pretty big deal. Jon Stewart's production company is currently developing Martin's own television show for Comedy Central, and Martin currently has a couple of film projects in the works as well. His most recently completed endeavor was this one-hour comedy special which aired on Comedy Central in early 2007. Fans of Martin's dry, understated sense of humor now have a chance to view this stand-up routine again and again by watching Comedy Central…um, I mean, by purchasing this DVD.
I like Demetri Martin. He's a funny guy, and this DVD offers a fairly solid look at his style and sense of humor. Let's start with the main feature offered here, Demetri Martin. Person. The 42-minute program (filmed in Austin, Texas) is essentially divided into three different parts. Part one is what you'd expect from a stand-up special, as Martin holds a microphone and tosses off some stories and jokes of the "you know, I've got this friend who does the funniest thing," variety. The material here is pretty funny, if occasionally a little bit on the conventional side. Martin's own personality really starts to shine through in the second part, where he presents some amusing visual aids in the form of drawings and charts (all hand-drawn by Martin). There's even a funny little animated sequence in which we are given some rather hilarious information about various mythical creatures. Things take a musical turn in part three, as the multi-talented Martin works various instruments and clever songs into his routine. This last portion is also aided by some goofy costumes being worn by Martin's friends and family member.
Martin's deceptively quiet delivery and considerable wit are a real pleasure. It's also a pleasant surprise that he is finding such success, considering that Comedy Central is a network that seems to support loud, noisy, abrasive types. There's more humor to be found in the commentary track for the DVD, in which Demetri is joined by his mother, sister, grandmother, and two uncles. There's a lot of good-natured ribbing going on, and Demetri's grandmother in particular is just delightful. There's also a few "deleted scenes" from the special in which Demetri amusingly deals with various problems such as hecklers or technical issues. These scenes are also accompanied by commentary from the same crowd.
Further footage of Martin's comedy routines (including a twenty-minute Comedy Central special and some clips from various tours) gives us further laughs and insight into Martin's style. While the jokes run all over the map in terms of content, Martin seems to have a particular fondness for two things. The first is mythical creatures ("If you want to make a mythical creature, just take any old animal and add wings to it"). The second is grammatical rules. Grammatical rules? Yeah, grammatical rules. For instance, Demetri tells a story about Scrooge getting visited by the ghosts of past, present, and future tense. These delightful moments of wordplay are some of the highlights of the disc, and are possibly rooted in Martin's law school education.
There are quite a few fun moments within the main feature and the bonus features, but there are even some laughs that appear elsewhere on the DVD. Everything is given a unique look thanks to Demetri's very recognizable writing and artwork being featuring all over the packaging and the DVD menus. The back of the case informs that, in addition to the special features, we are given some non-special features such as "plastic security stickers, a UPC code, legal information, and atoms." When you go to the bonus features menu, you're treated to a fun little acoustic guitar tune about bonus features. Try to access an area entitled "Nothing Here," and you'll get a good punch line. The back of the tiny poster included in the packaging features a message: "Back of tiny poster. See front." You get the idea; it's an entertainingly packaged set, one that Martin evidently had a great deal of involvement in.
I enjoyed watching Demetri Martin. Person. quite a bit. If I had to guess, I would say that I got about a dozen LOL (laugh out loud) laughs out of it, and about two dozen LQTM (laughing quietly to myself) laughs out of it. Though it would have been cool if the DVD could have included some of Martin's wonderfully entertaining appearances as a correspondent on The Daily Show, this is a pretty well-presented comedy special that offers more than enough bonus material to make up for the brief running time of the main course. Demetri Martin. Person. is more amusing and pleasant than it is riotously entertaining, but I suspect it will sustain itself better with repeat viewings than many comedy specials. Based on the contents of this DVD, I'm certainly looking forward to seeing where this person known as Demetri Martin is going in the future. Not guilty.
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