Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin Biography

Demetri Evan Martin (born May 25, 1973) is an American comedian, actor, artist, and musician. He is best known for his work as a stand-up comedian, being a contributor on The Daily Show, and his Comedy Central show Important Things with Demetri Martin. In stand-up, he is known for his deadpan delivery.

Early life

Martin was born into a Greek American family in New York City, the son of Lillian and Greek Orthodox priest Dean C. Martin. He grew up in Toms River, New Jersey, and has a younger brother named Spyro and a younger sister named Christene. He attended Toms River High School North and graduated in 1991.

Martin graduated from Yale University in 1995. During his time there, he wrote a 224-word poem about alcoholism as a project for a fractal geometry class, which became a well known palindromic poem. He was also a member of the Anti-Gravity Society, whose members juggle objects on Sunday evenings on Yale's Old Campus.

Although Martin was admitted to Harvard Law School, he decided to attend New York University School of Law upon receiving a full scholarship. Martin withdrew from law school before the start of his final year, opting to pursue comedy over obtaining his Juris Doctor degree.


Shortly after leaving law school, Martin started performing stand up in 1997. Four years later, in 2001, Martin caught his first big break in stand-up comedy when he appeared on Comedy Central's stand-up showcase Premium Blend. At the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe he won the Perrier award with his show If I.... The show was turned into a BBC television special in 2004. From 2003 to 2004, Martin wrote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. In 2004, Martin had his own Comedy Central Presents stand-up special. His special was divided into three parts. In the first, he performed in traditional stand-up comedy fashion. In the second segment, he used humorous drawings as visual aids, which would serve either as the punchline or a background. During the third segment, he played a guitar and put on a pseudo-play where he would strum his guitar while alternating between playing harmonica and talking; some of his comedian friends dressed as fairies and dragons acted according to the story he was telling, detailing the magical land from where his jokes came. Martin's mother and grandmother also appeared.

Starting in late 2005, he was credited as a contributor on The Daily Show, on which he appeared as the named "Senior Youth Correspondent" and hosted a segment called "Trendspotting." He used this segment to talk about so-called hip trends among youth such as hookahs, wine, guerilla marketing and Xbox 360. A piece about social networking featured his profile on MySpace. On March 22, 2007, Martin made another appearance on The Daily Show, talking about the Viacom lawsuit against Google and YouTube. He is no longer a Daily Show contributor as of 2014. Before starting at the Daily Show, he was offered to audition for SNL but turned it down due to the seven year commitment.

He has recorded a comedy album titled These Are Jokes, which was released on September 26, 2006. This album also features Saturday Night Live member Will Forte and stand-up comedian Leo Allen. Martin returned to The Daily Show on March 22, 2006, as the new Youth Correspondent, calling his segment "Professional Important News with Demetri Martin". In 2007, he starred with Faryl Millet, a comedian and actress better known for her show Fancy Nancy's Funny Hour, in a Fountains of Wayne music video for "Someone to Love" as Seth Shapiro, and Millet as Beth Mackenzie. Both of them characters in the song. He also starred in the video for the Travis single "Selfish Jean", in which he wears multiple T-shirts with lyrics written on them. On September 2, 2007, Martin appeared on the season finale of the HBO series Flight of the Conchords. He appeared as a keytar player named Demetri. He also had a part in the movie The Rocker (2008) starring Rainn Wilson. Martin played the part of the videographer when the band in the movie was making their first music video.

In 2009, he hosted and starred in his own television show called Important Things With Demetri Martin on Comedy Central. Later in June, it was announced his show had been renewed for a second season. The second season premiered, again on Comedy Central, on February 4, 2010. Martin has stated that Important Things will not return for a third season. Prior to completing work on his second season, Martin starred in the comedy-drama film Taking Woodstock (2009), directed by Ang Lee, which premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. In the film Martin plays Elliot Tiber, a closeted gay artist who has given up his ambitions in the city to move upstate and help his old-world Jewish family run their Catskill Mountains motel. The film is based on the book written by Tiber. On April 25, 2011, Martin released his first book, titled This Is a Book. Martin played a small role in the 2011 film Contagion.

Martin sold his movie concept Will to DreamWorks, and is expected to play a key supporting role. He will play the lead in the film Moon People, a pitch that he sold to Columbia Pictures. He also signed a blind script deal with CBS in October 2010 to produce, write, and star in his own television series. After CBS was shown the pilot for the series, they decided not to air it. On October 2, 2012, Martin released his second comedy album entitled Demetri Martin. Standup Comedian.

Martin also voices Ice Bear in the Cartoon Network series We Bare Bears. Martin made his directorial debut in the film Dean, which he also wrote, edited, and stars in.

Comedic style

Martin is known for being an unconventional stand-up comic. He uses one-liners and drawings on a "large pad," as well as accompanying his jokes with music on either guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboard, glockenspiel, toy bells, ukulele, or tambourine, sometimes all at once. He has cited comedian Steven Wright as an important influence (both use deadpan one-liners in their acts) as well as The Far Side cartoonist, Gary Larson. He has submitted cartoons to the New Yorker magazine at its invitation - and had them rejected. "'You gotta get better at drawing. These aren't funny enough,' Martin told comedian Marc Maron in 2017.

Martin plays instruments on stage and has music playing in the background of his performances as a way of preventing any editing of his performances to better fit for television. However, Martin has also confessed a desire to evolve his comedic style. "I love one-liners, I love jokes...but I also want to talk about how I feel. I want to talk about below-the-neck stuff. It's hard, if that's not where your head goes, it's hard to get comedy out of that...[But] I want to dig deeper, I want to connect in a different way with the audience. "

Personal life

According to a July 2011 interview on the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Martin had a short-lived marriage with a woman named Jen, whom he knew from high school. They began dating after high school, and got married when he was at NYU Law School and she was attending NYU Medical School. This relationship was further analyzed in his one-man show Spiral Bound.

Martin has anaphylactic reactions to seafood, poultry, and nuts.

On June 1, 2012, Martin married his long-time girlfriend Rachael Beame in Santa Monica, California. He had moved to Santa Monica in 2009. They have a daughter and a son, Eve and Paul.


  • Invite Them Up (2005)
  • These Are Jokes (2006)
  • Demetri Martin. Person. (2007)
  • Important Things with Demetri Martin (2009-2010)
  • Standup Comedian. (2012)
  • Live *at the time (2015)


Year Title Role Notes
2002 Late Show with David Letterman Himself Guest
2002 Analyze That Personal Assistant Credited as Demitri Martin
2003 Jimmy Kimmel Live Himself Guest
2003 Last Call with Carson Daly Himself Guest
2003 If I Himself Writer
2004 Comedy Central Presents: Demetri Martin Himself
2004 12:21 Himself Short film
2004 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself Writer
2007 Demetri Martin. Person. Himself Comedy Central special
2007 Someone to Love Seth Shapiro Fountains of Wayne music video
2007 Flight of the Conchords Demetri Season 1, Episode 12: "The Third Conchord"
2008 The Rocker Kip
2009 Paper Heart Himself
2009 Post Grad Ad Exec
2009 Taking Woodstock Elliot Tiber
2009-2010 Important Things with Demetri Martin Himself
Various Characters
Writer, creator, executive producer, composer
2011 Take Me Home Tonight Carlos
2011 Contagion Dr. David Eisenberg
2011 Conan Himself Guest
2012 Standup Comedian Himself
2013 In a World... Louis
2015 House of Lies Ellis Hightower
2015-present We Bare Bears Ice Bear Main role
2015 The Last Time You Had Fun Will
2015 Sequoia Steve
2016 Dean Dean Writer, director, producer
2016 Our Fascinating Planet Ted Rimmarniet Funny or Die go90 series, later on YouTube
2018 Demetri Martin: The Overthinker Himself Netflix special

Awards and nominations

Year Award For Category Result Other notes
2003 Perrier Comedy Award If I Won At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
2004 Emmy Awards Late Night with Conan O'Brien Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program Nominated Shared with Mike Sweeney (head writer), Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Daniel J. Goor, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg
2005 Writers Guild of America Award Late Night with Conan O'Brien Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series Won Shared with Mike Sweeney (head writer), Chris Albers, Jose Arroyo, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Daniel J. Goor, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg
2006 Barry Award Dr. Earnest Parrot Presents Demetri Martin Won Award for best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival


  • This Is a Book, April 2011, .
  • Point Your Face at This, March 2013
  • If It's Not Funny It's Art, September 2017

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