Last night, the State Theatre in Minneapolis was full of chuckles and smiles as comedian Demetri Martin performed a witty and chaotic stand up comedy set in front of an almost packed house. It’s no surprise that Martin drew such an enormous crowd to come out on a cold winter’s night, as he may arguably be one of Hollywood’s most notorious comedians going right now. Demetri Martin is a hilarious deadpan comedian, and is no stranger to delivering monotonous satire to the masses. His show in Minneapolis was a part of the Wandering Minds tour, where he has been showcasing his stand up show all across the country and parts of Europe.
Martin recently released a Netflix special, The Overthinker, full of his notorious deadpan delivery, a seemingly endless stream of one-liners, drawings, and joint guitar-harmonica playing. I have never seen Martin live, but after watching The Overthinker and hearing positive feedback from my friends who have previously seen him live, I went into the night with high expectations.
I arrived at the State Theatre just on time and settled into my seat. I was ready to endure what would hopefully be an entertaining evening. I noticed some of Martin’s signature props on stage, including an acoustic guitar and giant notepad. With the curtain rising from the floor, Martin walked out on the stage to a roaring applause. He took the stage as casual as a cucumber wearing a comfortable hoodie, denim jeans and sneakers. I quickly noticed that Martin’s overall stage persona has no frills — he’s just a seemingly down to earth, regular guy.
I was delighted that before he went into his prepared jokes, Martin started out his act bantering with the crowd, encouraging audience participation and poking fun at Minnesotans. He roused up the crowd by taking questions and giving his opinion on important matters like the polar vortex, cajun pasta, lighthouses, sushi and peanuts (which by the way Martin is allergic to).
After a good 10-15 minutes of bantering with the crowd, he transitioned into some short joke telling which had me cracking up the whole time. He also played a bit with his acoustic guitar, where he told jokes while strumming a song. Martin kept the audience on their toes by then progressing into a bit with diagrams and drawings.
During his set, it seemed like Martin was the most comfortable making the audience feel almost uncomfortable at times, pausing with awkward silences between jokes and never changing his inflection delivering the punch line. He displayed dry humor at its finest, and loved sprinkling in satire without making the joke incredibly obvious.
After witnessing his live performance, I can understand why it’s no question why Martin has been rousing popularity recently — he is so unique and different from other stand up comedians going today. He is dynamic, and has way more to offer than just standing on the stage telling jokes. Martin creates a well thought out production, and offers the audience a glimpse into the peculiar tinkering in his mind. I haven’t had that long and hard of a laugh in a long time, and can’t wait to catch Demetri Martin again.