Demetri Martin. Person. (TV)
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Noor Razzak (3rd October 2007).
The Show

Demetri Martin caught his first big break back in 2001 when he appeared on "Premium Blend" a Comedy Central show that featured stand-up comics. Later in 2003 he won the prestigious Perrier Award for his live show "If I..." at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the show was later produced as a television special for British TV the following year. Martin continued his success as a member of the writing team for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (1993-Present) in which he was nominated for an Emmy with his colleagues in the 'Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program' category. Martin has continued to produce stand-up recordings and this year performed at his own Comedy Central special entitled "Demetri Martin. Person."
I was first introduced to Demetri Martin by a friend of mine, we trawled through You Tube watching every clip we could find of his stand-up. Martin's comedy is akin to Steven Wright, his delivery is often deadpan and his jokes are simple and are often wrapped up quickly. Martin credits Wright as a huge influence and that is evident right from the start. Martin is gaining some popularity of late, most will know him from his appearances on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (1993-Present), and he also appeared in the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords" (2007), his comedy special features his stand-up, musical comedy and his artwork, fans can expect more of the same style for over 40 minutes of his best material in which he's cultivated over the last year or so.
Martin's style of comedy is very low key, the delivery is often dry and to the point and is made up of observations, quips and one liners that are simple in structure but are intelligent and often take a few seconds for the audience to react to the joke. Each joke is delivered in steady succession. Some of the funniest moments include the big pad of information and observations, the graphs are among the key features of this bit, including his ability to draw mountains over time and the pie chart of procrastination. Simply brilliant.
His artwork is a key feature of this special, the DVD cover and menus are designed with his own hand drawn style and it's also evident in the show's imaginative yet child-like production design. But most importantly a series of humorous artwork is also shown during the special and includes some laugh out loud material.
Many comedians have included musical segments as part of their stand-up and Martin has his own soft musical numbers, I must admit I thought they were the weakest parts of the show and delivered the least laughs, mainly because they often more cute than funny, however the final song in which is ponders what happens to a joke after it's told goes is great especially since the dancers come out on the stage.
Martin certainly plays up the adult-boy persona quite well, his mannerism, dress and production design all take on a child-like cuteness, but underneath that are intelligent, well thought-out and excellently executed comedy. This special is pure fun and comes highly recommended.

Video

Presented in the original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1 this full screen image shot on DV is in excellent shape, being so recent the image is crisp and clean with no major problems. Sharpness is consistent and colors are vibrant and rich with natural skin tones, some of the audience cut-away shots are a bit grainy but that's mainly due to the lack of sufficient lighting amongst the crowd. Otherwise is it's a solid effort.

Audio

A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track is included, this is of course a comedy special and therefore a 5.1 mix would be totally wasted in this case. The dialogue and musical segments all come out clean and without any distortion. The mix well balanced and suits the program rather well.
No optional subtitles are included on this DVD.

Extras

First up is an audio commentary on the special by comedian Demetri Martin and mother Lillian, Grandmother Dina, Sister Christine, Uncles Johnny and Joey. Martin tends to use his family in his specials whenever possible and they join him on this track as they share stories from his various performances, on working together and the fun they have being apart of it. Martin doesn't really comment the production and on how a comedy special is produced but rather watches it with his family and chat about performing comedy and sharing a few funny moments with the viewers, it's a family affair and is not a conventional commentary but it's fun to listen to.

Next up is "Comedy Central Presents: Demetri Martin" this is his previous TV special from 2004 and runs for 21 minutes 5 seconds, this special is in the same structure as the newer one, stand-up in the first act, the large pad in the second the musical numbers to end the show. Aside from the structure there's no danger in repetition as the jokes are different in this older special and is worth checking out.

A series of deleted scenes follows and includes:

- "Ones without commentary" runs for 3 minutes 20 seconds and is a reel of primarily outtakes of Martin having some fun with the audience, tuning his guitar and telling a few jokes while doing that and also tests out his microphone.
- "One with commentary" with comedian Demetri Martin and mother Lillian, Grandmother Dina, Sister Christine, Uncles Johnny and Joey runs for 5 minutes 13 seconds, the family comment on a few cut clips making fun of his performance and on why these clips were cut.
- "One with only commentary" with comedian Demetri Martin and mother Lillian, Grandmother Dina, Sister Christine, Uncles Johnny and Joey runs for 5 minutes 17 seconds, more footage of Martin trying to compensate for the shooting by having people come out and adjust things, his family tells a few stories while they watch the footage.

Next up is a "Bonus Mythical Creatures" clip which runs for 56 seconds and is unused footage of the Invisidor and the Invisidork bird.

Also featured is a short interview of Demetri which runs for 2 minutes 11 seconds, he doesn't go into any detail but glosses over the show and what it's about mixed in with a few clips from the actual TV special.

Three clips of Other Stand-up are included, these are basically home movies of his older stand-up stuff from various comedy clubs, you can see a development in his style and delivery through these tapes and feature some funny material, they include:

- "At Caroline's" which runs for 6 minutes 33 seconds.
- "At Luna Lounge" which runs for 2 minutes 25 seconds.
- "At North Star (Philly)" which runs for 1 minute 26 seconds.

"Rejected Set Design Ideas" is a featurette that runs for 3 minutes 27 seconds, Martin takes us through his drawings for set designs rejected by Comedy Central including an underwater set, a set that drops daggers on him and finally an invisible set.

"Behind the Joke" is a featurette which runs for 2 minutes 26 seconds and takes us behind a failed joke that he performed during his special, Martin analyzes the video and breaks down the failure for the audience.

Also on the disc is "Creep Eating an Ice Cream Pop" short which runs for 1 minute 18 seconds and is a voyeuristic video of Martin with a mustache eating an ice cream on a park bench. This clip is in reference to one of his jokes.

A series of Comedy Central Quickies are next and are promo clips for:

- "The Colbert Report: Breasts" which runs for 1 minute 27 seconds.
- "The Sarah Silverman Program: Poop Song" which runs for 1 minute 37 seconds.
- "South Park: Essays" which runs for 2 minutes 13 seconds.

Also featured are some bonus trailers for:

- "The Best of The Chappelle's Show" which runs for 1 minute 29 seconds.
- "Reno 911! Season 4" which runs for 1 minute 26 seconds.
- "Drawn Together Season 2" which runs for 1 minute 27 seconds.

Rounding out the extras is a tiny poster insert packaged in the case.

Overall

The Show: B+ Video: A Audio: B Extras: B Overall: B+

 


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