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Demetri Martin - Some Jokes
May 28, 2007 12:41 AM   Subscribe

Fans of the late & much missed comic Mitch Hedberg might enjoy the stand up routine of Daily Show correspondent Demetri Martin: Some Jokes, Some More Jokes, Other Jokes & These Jokes.
posted by jonson (45 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank you I'm a afraid of dolphins.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:25 AM on May 28, 2007


I want to get a shirt with a rainbow on it, but I don't want to seem gay. I'll have a rainbow, and under it I'll put, 'Not Gay' ... 'But supportive.' How did one group of people get to claim refracted light? Greedy gays.

I like this guy. He is no Mitch Hedberg, but he is hilarious.
posted by clearly at 1:45 AM on May 28, 2007


You're right, that's quite similar. Sometimes skirting dangerously close to "rip-off," stylistically.

Nevertheless, it's good stuff. I'm not honestly sure I have a problem with "stealing" someone else's style as long as (1) you don't steal their bits or material, and (2) you're actually funny.

But I still miss Mitch Hedberg.

.
posted by Riki tiki at 1:53 AM on May 28, 2007


Martin is like Mitch minus the funny. Good jokes, sure, but his delivery is so way too way too slick. He's like Mitch for people who can't handle Mitch. And if you can't handle Mitch, may I direct your attention to this one comic, Dane Cook? YOU'LL LOVE HIM.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:05 AM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Upon further listening I have to underscore this point: his material is Mitch material. Same jokes. But the thing he didn't count on is that Mitch died so that each and every one of us can channel him when we are stoned. Mitch belongs to all of us now, Demitri, and you aren't fooling anybody.
posted by wemayfreeze at 2:08 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Demetri Martin also did a comedy central special that was well worth watching. He used a sketch pad to emphasize the visions in his head.
posted by clearly at 2:13 AM on May 28, 2007


Mitch is too hardcore for you to handle!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:22 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


He just makes me miss Mitch more, by being like him but so far beneath him.
posted by ORthey at 2:55 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aw c'mon, I like him.
posted by tumult at 3:47 AM on May 28, 2007


An obvious comparison, but Demetri is no Hedberg ripoff. They both drank from the Steven Wright well, and they're both brilliant. Demetri is more prolific, and has a better head on his shoulders than Mitch ever did, to make a comparison anyone who knew them would agree with. Demetri has so many facets, one being that he's one of the world's foremost palindromists, and he's got a genius level intelligence. Demetri has a bright future, and he'll probably go far because he's got more than just a sharp stand up act. Sure, we all miss Mitch, but knocking a really talented young comedian won't bring him back.
posted by Blingo at 4:01 AM on May 28, 2007 [6 favorites]


If you're going to call Demetri Martin a rip-off of Hedberg, then you have to call Hedberg a rip-off of Zach Galifianakis. Then you have to call Galifiniakis a rip-off of Steven Wright. Then you have to call Steven Wright a rip-off of Bob Newhart. All of these gents have similar styles and delivery, but I don't think that means that anyone is ripping anyone off.

When I think of rip-offs, I think of Denis Leary, who stole Bill Hicks' entire act and persona. Or Carlos Mencia, who is a wholesale joke thief. I think there's a huge difference between tribute and robbery.
posted by Optamystic at 4:07 AM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Or, what Blingo said.
posted by Optamystic at 4:08 AM on May 28, 2007


Optamystic: I worded that too harshly... "rip off" has such specific connotations, especially in comedy, that I should know better than to use it in such a broad sense. And I certainly don't want to put "a guy who has a similar performance style as someone else" in the same boat as a Carlos Mencia.

Thanks for calling me on it.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:26 AM on May 28, 2007


I'd probably agree about this guy being inferior to Mitch, but given the fact Mitch is unlikely to produce any more comedy this guy will do nicely.

So I like it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:36 AM on May 28, 2007


world's foremost palindromists

I didn't even know there was a competition for this.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:59 AM on May 28, 2007


Half of Dmitri Martin's routine is looking like he just got fired from a Wes Anderson movie. There, I said it.
posted by saladin at 5:27 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm afraid to click and discover if he's actually laugh worthy. His material on the Daily Show is excruciatingly awful, imho, and I just can't wrap my head around the possibility of him being legit-funnay. I'll try...
posted by moonbird at 5:43 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't miss Mitch.
posted by Captaintripps at 5:48 AM on May 28, 2007


I'm with Blingo and Optamystic. I love Hedberg, but pretending he's not Steven Wright on different drugs is silly.
posted by Cyrano at 5:57 AM on May 28, 2007


I'm fond of his Sames and Opposites song.
posted by idest at 6:15 AM on May 28, 2007


I love Demetri Martin (from Comedy Central stand-up clips before he was on the Daily Show), but I've often found his jokes funnier to read than to hear. His delivery doesn't work for me.
posted by FeldBum at 6:20 AM on May 28, 2007


And sometimes Will Forte steals the show.
posted by milquetoast at 6:41 AM on May 28, 2007


His material on the Daily Show is excruciatingly awful, imho, and I just can't wrap my head around the possibility of him being legit-funnay.

I always found his Daily Show material a little, I dunno, labored, or like he wasn't quite firing on all cylinders; now that I've listened to (since there's no video as such on these clips, just still photography) these clips, I think I was previously witnessing a stylistic mismatch. I think he's legitmately funny, very funny in fact, but just "out of sync" with the rest of the Daily Show vibe.

Now, if he can just stay alive longer than Bill Hicks & Mitch Hedberg ...

Also, what Optamystic and Blingo said.
posted by kcds at 6:51 AM on May 28, 2007


I think Demetri Martin is very funny, not Mitch Hedberg funny though. I think it is pretty much the delivery. Because in writing it isn't as though the jokes are so much less funny. And lots of Mitch Hedberg jokes don't hold up nearly as well in writing. I have a theory as to why this is. By sounding so stoned Hedberg reminds you of times when you were stoned and how funny those times were. The test of that would be to see if people who have never smoked pot found Mitch Hedberg to be particularly funny. I myself don't put much weight on my own theory, I am just curious about it in a this is so crazy it just might work.

The main thing about Martin that reminds me of Hedberg is the fact that they are so clean and not mean. They don't tell many jokes about dating or pop culture, or race, or gender, or sex that to me is the big similarity, that they don't mine the biggest comedy veins.
posted by I Foody at 7:18 AM on May 28, 2007


The test of that would be to see if people who have never smoked pot found Mitch Hedberg to be particularly funny.

Anecdotally (...right, because I haven't read that big peer-reviewed study of Mitch fans' drug habits), I can name a good number of people I know off the top of my head who laughed their asses off at Mitch before having ever smoked pot. Self included. Mitch is funny to nerds, stoners, AND nerdy stoners, in my experience.
posted by clavicle at 8:14 AM on May 28, 2007


Oh man, this just makes me miss Mitch Hedberg more and more. In Montreal: 1, 2. Misc live: 1, 2, 3
posted by jessamyn at 8:26 AM on May 28, 2007 [4 favorites]


I like Hedberg a lot, but actually the Martin material makes me laugh just as much. I think it's Hedberg's elocution, can come off as a little bit of a schtick, a la Bobcat Goldthwait's howl/snort or Gilbert Godfried's loud nasal whine.

I don't feel at all that Martin's material is low-rent Hedberg, any more than Hedberg was low-rent Stephen Wright. Observational humor's a type of stand up comedy, no one owns a patent.

IMO, the more genuinely funny performers in the world, to counter the waves of joke stealing, unfunny & absolutely fake (yet insanely popular) hacks like Carlos Mencia, Larry the Cable Guy, or Dane Cook, the better.
posted by jonson at 8:37 AM on May 28, 2007


That swimming suit/pants/naked thing was a horrible, shameless, 100% ripoff of Mitch's delivery. I guess somebody's got to claim the title of America's Official Mitch Impersonator... but it probably shouldn't be Demetri Martin.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:50 AM on May 28, 2007


youtube playlist here
posted by acro at 9:46 AM on May 28, 2007


Can't get too hung up on debating who ripped off who. It's pretty much all been done by someone. All these guys descend from Henny Youngman, anyway. And before Henny, someone else.
posted by starman at 9:47 AM on May 28, 2007


You guys are making me miss Sam Kinison, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Steve Allen, and Groucho Marx.

Cut it out.

...and where did they take Howie Mandel and what kinda bald humorless robot did they replace them with?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:50 AM on May 28, 2007




"Half of Dmitri Martin's routine is looking like he just got fired from a Wes Anderson movie. There, I said it."

I got a haircut, but I must have mis-spoken, said something like "gay beetle, please". - Link4.
posted by metaculpa at 10:31 AM on May 28, 2007


I'm not familiar with Mitch Hedberg beyond just a few jokes (I know, I know, I live under a rock), so I don't know how this guy compares, but he's pretty funny.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2007


Mitch Hedberg youtube playlist
posted by acro at 10:46 AM on May 28, 2007


Okay, everybody, we have to choose one or the other! Do you want the johnny-come-lately with the daily-show and mac spots or the edgy-cuz-of-drugs underground legend. ON OR THE OTHER PEOPLE!

Wait...

They're both funny. They both come from Steven Wright-style delivery. And yes, we all miss Mitch Hedberg dearly, although I think a bit too much of his current cred comes from the drugs and early demise.

Mitch's jokes were bizarre, and VERY hit-or-miss, as he would be the first to admit (and was : "This Cd's gonna be called 'Hit-or-Miss.'") What made the performance, in a lot of ways, was the super-stoned, laid-back delivery, and the fact that you weren't sure when a joke was going to be a dud or hilarious until he started laughing at himself.

Then came "Mitch All Together," in which he replaced the downers with uppers, and it was an entirely different delivery - aggressive even - while still doing the same innocuous type of material.

Martin's stuff has a much greater Hit-to-Miss ratio, probably because he tends over it with a lot more care, but I will admit that there was something about Mitch that seemed a bit more natural. Like he was making it all up as he went along.

Mitch was one of my favorite comedians, R.I.P, and Martin is now. There's no need to choose between them. It's not a contest.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:10 AM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's no need to choose between them.
You're killing metafilter man.
posted by jouke at 11:25 AM on May 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Sorry jouke. Dmitri Martin sux. Cuz he's not Mitch Hedberg.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:35 AM on May 28, 2007


Right on
posted by jouke at 11:37 AM on May 28, 2007


Martin's stuff has a much greater Hit-to-Miss ratio, probably because he tends over it with a lot more care

Navelgazer, you're absolutely right about everything you said except maybe for what I've cited above. Mitch's erratic delivery had a stream-of-consciousness vibe to it that gave the impression that his jokes weren't meticulously rehearsed. But if you dissect the verbiage of his jokes, they reveal themselves as having been crafted with an exceptional degree of care with regard to word choice and usage. See:

I got a "Do-Not-Disturb" sign on my hotel door. It says "Do Not Disturb"; it's time we go with "Don't Disturb". It's been "Do Not" for too long. We need to embrace the contraction. "Don't disturb"; "Do Not" psyches you out. "Do": "Alright, I get to disturb this guy". "Not": "Shit! I need to read faster!" (thanks Wikipedia.)

The economy of language Mitch uses here is calculated and brilliant. There is *precisely* enough description to get the essence of the joke across--nothing needs to be added, but nothing can be removed. This is especially evident in the last four "quotes" of the joke, with the absence of any description outside of the "dialogue" alone.
posted by jeremy b at 12:01 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Come on, man. It's common knowledge that while you may like three bands of the same scene, three movies of the same genre, or three artists of the same movement, you cannot like more than one comedian of any particular style. Gotta pick your poison, and down it like the rest of us.

It's jacked up, I know, but people are stupid like that.
posted by aftermarketradio at 12:02 PM on May 28, 2007


Look, I'm sorry about my Dane Cook comment earlier. Nobody should ever be subjected to that man's act. But I see him and Demitri as diametrically opposed yet still both failing on some fundamental level: Cook is all personality with no content, and Martin is all content, no personality. He's so gorram slick, this unengaged, disaffected hipster that can't be bothered to bring a little honesty to his act. Like, let's listen to LCD Soundsystem and do coke and laugh at Demitri Martin, you know? It's the Mitch without the fundamental Mitch-ness. It's the chocolate laxative. It's give me jokes without pathos because I can't handle actual real people.

Hell, maybe it's meant to be. Mitch died because we all laughed too hard at his act without dealing with the problems behind it, with the drugs and the alcohol. Demitri's act is born of guilt for that transgression, that failure of compassion and action. "Look, guys, we can do this without feeling, without Mitch's flaws". But Mitch's flaws, his tragic schtick, were what rendered him meaningful. Demitri—this lesser Mitch—allows us to hide our guilt; allows us to forget that we ever felt or needed to feel.
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:48 PM on May 28, 2007


Or maybe he's a guy telling jokes, and you're reading way too much into it?
posted by Gary at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2007


...Mitch died because we all laughed too hard at his act...

And, because he did a bit too much heroin.

...But Mitch's flaws, his tragic schtick, were what rendered him meaningful...

That, and he was a great joke writer.

...It's the Mitch without the fundamental Mitch-ness...

Demetri is Demetri WITH all the fundamental Demetri-nesss. And that's pretty damn good.

You can keep trying, but Mitch ain't coming back. Demetri is a unique talent, and Mitch saw that. He was a fan because he saw Demetri was a great joke writer with his own style, and that's rare.
posted by Blingo at 2:18 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Channeling a bit of Gawker Stalker for a second here, I saw him and a guy from Best Week Ever and Fred whatshisname from SNL playing bocce next to me at Central Park today.
posted by Juggermatt at 6:40 PM on May 28, 2007


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