Demetri Martin keeps his worries at bay

After Demetri Martin left New York for California a few years ago, he realized the reason he does the thoughtfully silly type of comedy he does.

“I would go for these long beach walks, and bring my notebook, daydreaming and writing,” he says. “I do like going for walks and kind of escaping, which is probably why I don’t do a lot of topical material, if any: I just don’t feel as inspired by any of that. But it was this beautiful day and I was walking home and it was like the end of the day and it was sunset and there was hardly anybody on the beach. The ocean was on my left, I had flip-flops in my backpack and the water was hitting my feet and I remember thinking, ‘I’m gonna freaking die!’ I got all the distractions away, all the New York stuff that keeps me from worrying about really big stuff, so I had to escape into some stupid line drawings or jokes or whatever, because it’s just kind of too much.”

The tools he uses to hold his existential crisis at bay enables his audience to also stop thinking about their own mortality. His brand new book, “Point Your Face at This” is a compilation of these self-described “stupid line drawings” that mine a similar life-affirming absurdity as the “The Far Side.”

“I do remember, as a kid, Gary Larson being one of my first favorite things that I found funny,” says Martin. “I used to just pop into the bookstore and not have any money to buy books or anything, but I would just flip through a ‘Far Side,’ probably like a lot of kids, and just think how funny they were. And it was an interesting experience, looking at something on a page — often something without words — and find it funny. There was something so powerful about that for me.”

Martin is humble about his skill as an artist, however, saying he doesn’t think his drawing is on par with that of Larson.

“A lot of my stuff, I think there’s a simplicity to it, whether it’s by design or just the best that I can do,” he says. “It’s funny how your style often is really just the upper limits of your own effort. I know people who are kind of virtuosos and style for them is a different thing: It’s a conscious choice. But for me it’s like, ‘Here’s the best I can do with where I’m at right now.’”

Though “Point Your Face at This” features the sort of drawings that Martin has been injecting into his standup for years, his current show does not feature extra emphasis on drawing. He says although he likes to dabble in drawing, music and longer-form writing , standup is still his first love.

“Standup is so fun because you get immediate feedback,” he says. “You can think of stuff and improvise it right there onstage, or think of it earlier in the day and then you get to say it and see what the audience thinks.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.