I do standup comedy, writing and acting. I have a new album and DVD out called "Demetri Martin. Standup Comedian." My next book is called "Point Your Face At This: Drawings". It's a book of drawings and it comes out on March 19, 2013. Ask me anything. I've also tweeted my verification. UPDATE: Thank you for having me on Reddit and asking me questions. Take care.

Comments: 4471 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Im_A_Guy1367 karma

Could you please answer this question with a palindrome?

IAmDemetriMartin2692 karma

Tired nerd, I'd render it.

iSmokeTheXS645 karma

Damn it. He's not responding to any other questions because he's busy trying to come up with a palindrome.

IAmDemetriMartin2095 karma

Ahem. Is it I? It is I.. Me. Ha.

lethargicwalrus546 karma

raises pitchfork menacingly

IAmDemetriMartin2208 karma


igotdisshitfofree415 karma

You don't think he has a whole stock pile of palindromes ready to be used at a moment's notice?! You FOOL

IAmDemetriMartin1140 karma

i like that you think i have a "stock pile" of palindromes. that's very military of you.

anonymous123421458 karma

He's ambidextrous, and he writes insanely long palindromes (Dammit I’m mad), and he can play a ton of musical instruments at once. Demetri, how do you accomplish all this? Would you consider it a natural gift or is it more of something you taught yourself?

IAmDemetriMartin1642 karma

i just spend a lot of time doing things that interest me. it would be nice to have a lot of natural gifts but i mostly work at whatever i think is worth working at. ladies?

lethargicwalrus510 karma

And he went to Yale, and then NYU law school. He's practically a god.

IAmDemetriMartin1523 karma

at first i thought your standard for god-hood were maybe kind of low, but then i saw that your name is "lethargicwalrus".

BreWitty304 karma

Ha! Nah...

IAmDemetriMartin835 karma


Trucker_Ducker1162 karma

Would you consider bringing back "Important Things" to another location, like maybe a YouTube channel?

IAmDemetriMartin2282 karma

i brought it back to where it started: in my head. and it's getting decent ratings there. i'm working on some other other things these days.

jaroberts241097 karma

Do you remember that time you hit me with a water ballon while I was riding my bike in the 12º weather?

Edit: http://i.imgur.com/LPEo0.jpg

Edit 2: Here's a funnier one. http://i.imgur.com/CedXf.jpg

IAmDemetriMartin1124 karma

hey. yes. thanks for doing that. you really made that shot work. i hope you are doing well, man.

wmeers990 karma

What is your own favorite joke?

IAmDemetriMartin2557 karma

law school

davidlethal923 karma

How did you take this picture?


IAmDemetriMartin1559 karma

i have a small coin bank that looks like an obelisk. i took the top off it and rested my phone inside the open top. the change under the phone enabled me to prop up the phone to a workable angle. then i positioned my hands with the pens on the page and took the photo by using my mouth on the surface of the phone. i can't say that it felt great, but i got the photo i wanted.

rchard921 karma

Will you name my new cat? You're competing with Ken Jennings on this, so choose wisely.

IAmDemetriMartin2271 karma

i name your cat "Ken Jennings". everyone wins.

lethargicwalrus440 karma

I like callypgian.

IAmDemetriMartin1401 karma

are you into cat asses?

PairofDoctors883 karma

Does being Demetri Martin make it easier or harder to pick up chicks?

IAmDemetriMartin2117 karma


Bizzatch873 karma

Demetri, do you find yourself having to beat the ladies off with a stick? You handsome, talented, devil, you!

IAmDemetriMartin1601 karma

this has not been my experience. but i really like the tone of your question. you've got class.

goisart690 karma

Do you get upset when people say "The pleasure was all mine." Aren't they hogging all the pleasure? Shouldn't they be sharing the pleasure?

IAmDemetriMartin1231 karma

i guess all depends on how you feel about the tense. is the pleasure renewable? the pleasure "was" all theirs. what about now?

PhoneDojo646 karma

How much do you credit your success to your haircut?

IAmDemetriMartin1578 karma

what a lovely, snarky, passive aggressive question.

Pianta620 karma

Hi Demetri! As a big fan of "Important Things", can you elaborate as to why it ended so soon?

IAmDemetriMartin1511 karma

yes. it ended for two reasons. 1 - i was tired of doing the show. 2 - comedy central cancelled it. so, it kind of worked out.

Mono200616 karma

What was it like working as a correspondent on The Daily Show?

IAmDemetriMartin956 karma

it was fun. i got to write my own segments on the show and shoot and edit them with a producer who is a friend of mine (who still works at the daily show). then jon would come and watch the piece and give us notes. we would make changes according to his notes. then we would put it on the show.

cogneuro315 karma

Would you come back to do more segments if they offered?

IAmDemetriMartin437 karma

i spend most of my time in california these days so that would be tricky.

Im_an_antelope507 karma

First off thanks for the countless laughs.

My only question is how long did it take you to learn to draw with both hands?

IAmDemetriMartin1030 karma

it took me the duration of a few flights. i was bored during a flight and i put down my tray table and tried it. a few hours later i could mostly do it. it helped the time pass faster on the flight. it was a little awkward because i was in the middle seat on a crowded flight.

EastVegas498 karma

How old were you the first time you went onstage?

IAmDemetriMartin841 karma

i was 24.

fetucide457 karma

You obviously have a brilliant mind. How did your family react to you doing comedy instead of pursuing law?

IAmDemetriMartin1247 karma

when i started my family was not interested in me doing comedy. and that hasn't really changed.

hippohead447 karma

How was it working with H. Jon Benjamin?

Edit: And/Or Flight of the Conchords?

IAmDemetriMartin1175 karma

it was fun to work with them, but kind of scary to hang out with them. jon benjamin is actually a cranky, dangerous old woman in makeup and prosthetics and the conchords are former wedding dj's from new jersey. they put on a good act with those fake accents though.

SkyBS445 karma

Name two foods that go well with neither chocolate or cheese.

IAmDemetriMartin1277 karma

this sounds more like a demand than a question.

ihavesomethingat11426 karma

What did you think of Toy Story 3?

IAmDemetriMartin1327 karma

haven't seen it... yet. boom. that is how i inject suspense into one of my... answers.

eddie_the_zombie397 karma

Hi Demetri! What do you consider your biggest break in your comedy career?

IAmDemetriMartin1138 karma

i'm still trying to find it.

Tezcatlipokemon382 karma

What do you think of artificial plants?

IAmDemetriMartin826 karma

i have two. i like them. i use them as bookends.

The_Warlus_Was_Paul297 karma

Demetri, you are my favorite comedian. I loved "This is a book" (it lived up to the expectations of the title) and Important Things was a great show. I've also noticed that you're into some pretty awesome music. Since you were in Taking Woodstock and Fountains of Wayne's (one of my favorite bands) music video for Someone To Love, and your recent "interview" with Rainn Wilson where you quoted John Lennon. My question is simply, what kind of music do you like?

IAmDemetriMartin810 karma

the beatles are my favorite band. in addition to the beatles i listen to a lot of other kinds of music. when i was a kid the first music i got into was hip hop (this was early hip hop in the 80's). since then i've gotten into indie rock, classic rock, jazz (mostly bebop), classical, electronic, mechanical, electro-chemical, people randomly yelling, the sound of a piano falling down a staircase, babies

ct_nittany277 karma

Demetri, regular sized fan but enjoy your work and style a lot. What was the deciding factor to stop pursuing a, what seemed like, successful career in law (assuming you did) and become a comedian appealing to just about everyone?

IAmDemetriMartin584 karma

when i was in law school i often woke up feeling dread about what i had to do each day. law school was fine and my grades were fine but i wasn't inspired. so i started to think about what it would take to feel inspired when i wake up each day - to feel like i'm looking forward to what it is i am going to do. the answer at that time was to try standup comedy.

vwojton276 karma

Do you have a favorite one-liner?

IAmDemetriMartin612 karma

not yet

dictioncanary275 karma

Why did you take a role in contagion? It was enjoyable to watch, nonetheless.

IAmDemetriMartin866 karma

almost as snarky as the question about my hair. try harder.

Dr_Lurk238 karma

What do you consider your best joke to be among your giant arsenal of jokes?

IAmDemetriMartin606 karma

i don't think i have a best joke. it's all so subjective. but i know that my favorite is usually the one i came up with most recently that surprised me when i first thought of it.

madcaplaughter231 karma

If you could fight any person in history, who would it be?

IAmDemetriMartin791 karma

it would be someone who lives in a time that i would like to visit so that after the fight i could check out a bunch of things in history

HumbleSuperGod206 karma

Your jokes are the entire basis for my sister's sense of humor. We've never loved the "loud" humor of guys like Jeff Dunham and Katt Williams. Why do you think, for your standup style, you went the route of dry sarcastic humor compared to in-your-face standup? Do you enjoy both sorts of comedy?

Thank you for my favorite jokes ever. I will never think of treehouses, grapes, or straws the same way.

IAmDemetriMartin310 karma

there is a woody allen quote that i really like. i think it goes like this: "the audience teaches you how you're funny." i've found that to be true. there are bits from a lot of comedians (who do all kinds of different styles) that i like. i don't watch as much comedy as i used though.

SharplyDressedSloth197 karma

What was the inspiration behind making "If I" and mixing comedy with philosophy?

IAmDemetriMartin373 karma

in 2001 i got a deal to write a pilot for a sitcom for nbc. i went to la for a few months and wrote the script with two writers/showrunners i met through nbc. we wrote it, got notes, and rewrote it several times. after we handed it in i got on a plane back to new york. when i was on the plane i took out my notebook and decided that i would write a one-man show that i could perform on stage somewhere in the city. after going through the network television process i decided i wanted to make something that was completely unmarketable - something that was just personal. i booked a date for the show in a small theater in new york (the original ucb theater on 22nd street) and started writing, hoping that i could figure out the show in time for it's debut. that was january of 2002. i think i did the first performance of the show in july.

MattDerpy175 karma

Hey! Thanks so much for doing an AMA. Who is your favorite comedian? Or rather who or what was your biggest influence in comedy?

IAmDemetriMartin405 karma

before i did comedy my favorite comedian was steven wright. i still love steven wright but i have seen many, many comedians since then, so i don't really have a favorite. i mentioned simon munnery and daniel kitson in another reply because they are both comedians i really enjoy watching. my biggest influences in comedy have probably been steven wright, gary larson, bill cosby and my dad (who was not a comedian).

fireballman166 karma

Any comedic inspirations?

IAmDemetriMartin795 karma

the biggest is probably my unavoidable death

VickyStElmo145 karma


IAmDemetriMartin786 karma

i write new material all the time and i try a lot it on stage. and a good amount of it doesn't work. when that happens i usually try to punch something that is smaller than me.

maximumdoodoo144 karma


IAmDemetriMartin825 karma

i would remove the flavor that the person who has forced me to do this least wants me to remove

caitymac125 karma

I can't properly describe how excited I am that you're doing this. There's a question in this, I promise.

Firstly: "I is equal to all of the if's added up over time" has completely blown my mind and changed my life. That was actually my quote for my senior high school year book.

Secondly: Thank you for signing my shirt in Indianapolis last April for my birthday, which was a fortnight before your show. Also, thank you for signing my boyfriend's ticket "Get it together, man. Demetri (whatever)"

Thirdly: I hope you healed from your paper cut. I also hope you come to Louisville again (and not at the Louisville Improv...please. That place eats money).

FINALLY a damn question (or questions): After divorce, dropping out of law school, then doing comedy, having your own show, going on tours, and many other things in between, how do you like your life now, opposed to before getting in a job that makes others quietly laugh to themselves? If someone else wanted to get into comedy, what advice would you give him/her?

I'm crossing my fingers to be receiving "This is a Book" for Christmas. Lastly, thank you for being you. I wish I could send you a rum cake.

IAmDemetriMartin217 karma

thanks for coming to my shows. i really appreciate it. as far as my life goes i'm still trying to figure it out. there are a lot of things i want to make and sometimes i get frustrated that i'm not working fast enough, but i guess it's all part of the process. what i've learned from doing comedy is that i tend to regret passive choices but i don't usually regret active choices, so if someone wants to do comedy they should get on with it.

Shampubes123 karma


IAmDemetriMartin297 karma

no. no one really cared about what i was doing. i was having my own little crisis that went largely unnoticed by the people who were getting ready to go work at law firms and places like that.

jared97110 karma

First of all, I think you are a brilliant person and are very talented and hilarious. I was wondering though, where do you get the inspiration for your jokes, music, books etc.?

IAmDemetriMartin349 karma

thanks for saying nice things about me at the beginning of your question. i spend a lot of time writing, drawing and daydreaming. usually i try not to worry too much about what the ideas are good for. i just try to come up with a lot of them. then, when i want to make something, like a standup album or a book or a screenplay, i go through the ideas and see what might work. after that i try to commit to a few ideas and build on them.

32koala88 karma

Who is your favorite comedian right now (currently performing)?

IAmDemetriMartin163 karma

i don't have one favorite but two comedians i really enjoy watching are simon munnery and daniel kitson

Look_Alive80 karma

Hi Demetri, love your work!

1). Will you be coming to perform in the UK anytime soon?

2). How was it working on The Daily Show?

3). Which do you prefer, acting/writing, or stand-up?

4). Do you have any more TV shows coming up soon?

5). I remember seeing a conversation you had with Beck, is that the sort of music you like? (Alongside this, playing instruments while telling jokes is an interesting concept - how did this originate?)

Thanks a lot!

IAmDemetriMartin190 karma

  1. i hope to make it back to the uk next year
  2. working on the daily show was fun but each piece took a lot of time
  3. i love doing standup but i am focused these days on writing and directing a film
  4. the last thing i did for tv was a standup special that premiered in october on comedy central. it's called "demetri martin. standup comedian". when they rerun it that will be what i have coming up soon.
  5. my taste in music has expanded in the last few years. i like beatles and then a lot of other things, including beck. i started playing instruments while telling jokes because i thought it would be an interesting challenge to "score" what i was saying while saying it.

limpyturtle7578 karma

You are my favorite comedian and I love you. Keep on keepin' on.

IAmDemetriMartin144 karma

hey. thanks so much. i appreciate the encouragement.

lookatthisusername74 karma

What is the meaning of life?

IAmDemetriMartin306 karma

for me it is to find meaning in what i do during it.

atakenusername59 karma

Thanks for doing this. Has visual art always been a big part of your comedy?

IAmDemetriMartin122 karma

when i first started i just told jokes on stage. but the more i wrote in my notebooks the more i started to draw. when i was a kid i used to draw a lot but that faded away as i went through middle school, high school and then by the time i got to college i didn't draw at all. years later, thanks to the habit of carrying a notebook around with all the time for joke writing i started to draw again. and now i probably draw as much as i write.

Selachian43 karma

If you could write for any ongoing TV show which would you write for?

IAmDemetriMartin125 karma

i'm not sure. but i think the simpsons is a great, long-running show.