Demetri Martin is a Greek-American comedian, actor, artist, musician, writer and humorist. Martin is best known for his work as a standup comedian and as a contributor on The Daily Show. Currently, he is hosting his own show on Comedy Central titled Important Things with Demetri Martin.
Demetri Martin was born in New York City, New York, the son of Lillian, a nutritionist, and Dean Martin, a Greek Orthodox priest. His family also runs a Greek diner, the Sand Castle, in Beachwood, New Jersey. Martin graduated from Yale University in 1995. Despite objections from his family, he dropped out a year before graduating NYU School of Law to pursue a career in comedy. Regarding the event, Martin has said:
“ It’s weird to make a decision where everyone in your life disapproves, pretty vocally and directly. They said, ‘You’ve got one year left. Just do it.’ I had a full scholarship so I didn’t have to pay for it. I ignored them. They asked, ‘Why don’t you just get the degree so you can have it?’ And I said, ‘You don’t understand. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do and now I know. I have the answer and it’s dumb to waste any more time.”
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 British 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 talking; some of his comedian friends dressed as fairies and dragons acted according to the story he was telling, detailing the magical land where the jokes he told came from. Martin’s mother and grandmother also appeared.
Since late 2005, he has been credited as a contributor on The Daily Show, on which he has appeared as the named “Senior Youth Correspondent” and on which he hosts a segment called “Trendspotting”.
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 small part in the movie The Rocker 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. Prior to completing work on his second season, Martin starred in the Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock, which premiered at the 2009 Cannes 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 Catskills motel. The film is based on the book written by Tiber.
Martin sold his movie concept Will to DreamWorks; he 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 will also be appearing in the upcoming film Young Americans, in which he will play a Goldman Sachs employee.