If Demetri Martin, comedian, actor, screenwriter, expands his growing empire and opens a bemusement park (just picture the Super Bowl MVP someday shouting “I’m going to Demetriland”), then I want to be first in line for what would certainly be the most popular attraction: an entertaining ride through Martin’s singular cerebral cortex.
Being a queasy sort, I would need to nearly OD on Dramamine to endure all the twists, all the steep comic curves that help make Martin’s new Comedy Central series, Important Things With Demetri Martin, so unexpectedly uproarious. I say unexpectedly only because the original cloying and overly arch commercials that had been airing on the network the past few weeks made me wary of watching the series, which premieres at 10:30 p.m. EST on Feb. 11. Although I enjoy Martin’s unusual routine (he views this weird world through the same set of warped corneas that Steven Wright has), I have seen him befuddle an audience with his occasionally hyperclever act.
More of a droll joke architect than a traditional joke writer, Martin, using multiple comic tools, including cartoons, smart one-liners and performance pieces, builds each episode of the series around a specific topic (timing and power, respectively, on the preview DVD). A highlight of the first episode includes a sketch that spotlights the Yale grad’s bright side in a how-did-he-ever-think-of-that segment about a guy, more dipster than hipster, who with the help of a secret time machine becomes a scheming sex machine of historical — and hysterical — proportions.
In episode No. 2, Martin and an equally obnoxious adversary who both need their space, converge at a parking spot, a common urban battleground now. Thinking themselves knights, the nitwits joust for the asphalt trophy using weapons of mass distraction in hopes of intimidating the other to surrender. Frighteningly funny.