Thursday, February 19, 2009
It's all in the timing
I suck. A couple of weeks ago, Royal forwarded me an invite from L Magazine to go to some bar in the LES to cover the launch party for NYC comedian Demetri Martin's new Comedy Central show, Important Things with Demetri Martin. I thought it was a week later than it was, so I missed the damn thing.
I considered saying I went, and that the free beer flowed freely for a few hours, that OMG Demetri was totally there and gaw he's so frickin' cute couldn't you just die. And how I mustered up the courage to talk to him and I was terribly witty and charming and he laughed at all my jokes.
"Do you wanna get outta here? Somewhere more quiet where we can talk?" he asks, and I say sure. We go to the backroom at 'Inoteca and share a bottle of Pinot and then we fumble all over each other up against a dumpster somewhere on Ludlow and part ways, promising to find one another on Facebook or something equally tragic. Yeah. None of that happened.
But I did watch the premiere of his show Wednesday, and aptly enough, the theme of the show was "timing." Like Martin's live comedy show, the New Yorker incorporates his simple drawings, songs, and dry jokes in between sketches.
Many many Mondays ago, Martin ran a sort-of focus group at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He spent a good four hours testing jokes and airing sketches from his upcoming show. Martin was looking for feedback, but most of us were too polite, or sincerely enjoyed what we saw. The only person who looked like he wasn't having a good time was the guy who played Stanford on Sex and the City. He sat up front, all arms folded and sour-pussed. What the fuck was his deal? Am I right, ladies? A few eager geeks did opine some of the sketches dragged on a bit, but for the most part they worked. Perhaps I'm biased 'cause I totally wanna bone him. What can I say; I'm a sucker for a big nose.
Anyway, Martin definitely took the criticism to heart, and tightened up his little sketches. One of my favorites of last night's premiere was the "guy too early for a rave." Martin's in bike shorts, and his long hair that usually hangs in his eyes in just the most darling way was up in pigtails. He was dancing around in broad daylight among people going to work and doing day time stuff. It was a simple idea, as most of Martin's premises are, but the visual was hilarious.
At that UCB show, Martin was asked who influenced him. Not surprisingly, he counted Steven Wright as one of his top inspirations. Like Wright, Martin deadpans intelligent commentary on life observations as humor without copping to raunch. And like Wright, I would totally do him, in case I haven't made that crystal clear.
Make a friend with cable and check out Important Things with Demetri Martin, Wednesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central.