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Episode 292: Nerdist Podcast
Demetri Martin
Nerdist PodcastNerdist Podcast

Nerdist Podcast: Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin is FINALLY on the podcast! Everyone talks about their disdain for technology, dressing inappropriately on dates, and the preparation that goes into preparing a comedy special!

Get Demetri’s new album, Standup Comedian, and his book, This Is a Book!

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  1. BaSH PR0MPT says:

    Came here purely for the reference linked to on reddit about music in the background to avoid editing of his sets; was disappointed to find it’s a one and a half hour podcast.

    Talk about tl;dl. I’ll just take OP on reddits word for it and leave it at that. I don’t even know who this guy is, or why I should even care. I am rather bored though.

    Add me on Twitter if you can think of something I can do to be un-bored. I follow back, and could use some inspiration. Open to any suggestion right now, including illegal ones.

  2. Fgutz says:

    here’s that Design Boom collapsable wheel thing mentioned:

  3. Patty Marvel says:

    @Sebastian – I really hope addressing me as “PEtty” instead of “PAtty” was just a typo.

    • Sebastian says:

      I didn’t even notice until you mentioned it. I had to look it up just now to find out what you were getting at. So that’s a definitely a typo. And I learned a couple new meanings of a word (finally found out what “petty cash” means).

      So thanks 🙂

  4. Adam says:

    Movies, and movie theater screens are 21:9 aspect ratio. That is all.

  5. kittnen says:

    Matt Mira, I just want to say Fuck you for the helicopter bit at the end and once again causing a moment for me at work where I have to put my head on my desk to stifle my laughter. Either that, or I would look like I was having an epileptic seizure from giggling so hard. Pure gold.

  6. Sebastian says:

    @Petty Marvel:

    to be honest I kind of feel like you had a need to talk about Chris and Maria more than I did. That whole paragraph – yeah… I know all that. My comment wasn’t about the whole Bamford situation at all.

    So it’s nice that you are explaining to me what Chris could or couldn’t have done but I kind of get the feeling that you expressed all that more for your own conciousness than because I said something about it. I didn’t even take a look at the comments for Maria’s recent episode because I didn’t think that there was a reason for that. Chris handled the whole thing perfectly and I’m feeling more than ok about how he handled the situation. Without going to that episodes comment section now – could it be that you commented there as well and expressed what you said here already? Just a guess.

    Maria’s case was the precedent for “Something Chris didn’t know about even though he’s living in LA while I live in Germany”.

    The “Important Things” pilot in conjunction with the Mitch Hedberg material is something that one could say is much more difficult to know about. That’s why I mentioned it and the whole Bamford situation was just mentioned to express that I think it’s impossible for Chris, Matt and Jonah to know everthing and if this is the case here then I hoped that it was ok to mention what I knew.

    Hey – I don’t feel great about it either. It’s been years since I saw that episode and back then I was royally pissed at Demetri – today I simply don’t care anymore, but I still make a point of not watching anything he puts out because of it – just like I don’t buy tickets for Dane Cook movies.

    Louis C.K. used his TV show to kind of come to terms with Dane and Maron, after Maron used his podcast to reconnect with Louis.

    I kind of felt this was an opportunity for Demetri and I felt like he dreaded talking about it yet was kind of hoping it would be mentioned so he could talk about it.

    That’s why I commented. Maybe this was a lost opportunity for Demetri.

  7. Patty Marvel says:

    Wow, Big Papa has been on FIRE lately. “I can list my allergies” and “There [in Europe], they’re doing an hour, here [in America] they’re trying to get five clean minutes” and the whole crashing traffic chopper, “There’s gonna be a BIG hold up right here” bits were brilliant and spot –on and sounded off-the-cuff. I’m tellin’ ya, Matt, ditch those two losers and go out on your own ‘cuz they’re holding you back! 😉

    Very amused to hear Demetri Martin talk about attending and then getting the heck out of law school while my own law school has just started finals. There are a few poor souls in the library who look like they want to pack it in, starting with the guy I saw using his Con Law textbook for a pillow. BTW, I would give Plessy v. Ferguson only one out of five because it established that “separate but equal” bullshit that didn’t get overturned until decades later with Brown v. Board of Education, which I give a five out of five. And as comedians, ya’ll should thank your lucky stars for the unanimous decision of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell.

    @Doctor Quemmento – Nice catches there, Doc. I dig Curtis’ “Clinically Inane” as well and am glad to see he’s expanding it to offer fans something new almost every day of the week.

    @Ross – It’s a bit like the old saying, “Every problem looks like a nail when all you have is a hammer.” Actually, that sounds a bit negative compared to what you’re saying, but the idea of seeing the world as X because you come from the perspective of Y seems to be the case in both statements.

    @Sebastian – Hi. Thanks for being as delicate as possible with what you had to say. I know expecting civility on the internet is a quixotic quest, but I do appreciate it when I see it.

    Having said that, I think you’re being a little too tough on Team Nerdist. First of all, if DM wanted to talk about what you think he wanted to, I’m sure he would’ve spoken up. He doesn’t strike me as a shrinking violet and I doubt he would’ve survived two years of law school if he were. Second, to be fair to Chris about what he did or didn’t know, especially with Maria Bamford, please bear in mind he’s not just some guy with a podcast. Based on what he’s said here and there, the man spends twelve- to sixteen-hour-long days running his digital empire AND working on his standup tour (which begins this week IIRC) AND he just wrapped up hosting duties for “Talking Dead” until February AND he just bought a house which means he’s in the process of moving, all within a few weeks of Christmas. Something tells me CH doesn’t spend a whole lot of time picking his nose and playing “Farmville,” both of which I would find disappointing.

    Could he have called MB at some point just to check on her? Sure. To be fair, she could’ve done the same.

  8. @Di
    I still do. In fact, on Sunday I did something wildly out of character and listened to a solid hour of marching band music while doing chores thanks to your podcast. Contrary to my expectation (based solely on uninformed musical prejudice and general ignorant snobbery) it did not suck. Not even a little bit! My favorite part was the Beatles medley. 😀

  9. Sebastian says:

    *sigh* Ok where to start. This is going to be a “long story short” comment.

    Chris, you said that you didn’t know what happened to Maria Bamford which irritated me because I knew about it. Read it on the web a couple of months ago and was really shocked and thought about you and how you said she’s your favorite comedian so I had mixed feelings when you said you didn’t know. But what can you do? Could you have helped? I guess not, so let me preface this with the notion that I don’t blame you for not picking up on something on this episode.

    A couple of years ago I really got into standup comedy after having loved comedy TV shows for years. Living in Germany through the miracle that is I was able to order a ton of specials and TV shows. Chris Rock’s hour special DVDs, Robin Williams, The Larry Sanders Show. Some stuff I couldn’t buy so I got them via the web, for instance George Carlin’s specials as well as Mitch Hedberg’s.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, Mitch didn’t publish nearly enough before he passed. It was right around that time when I was craving for more of his genious material, kind of mourning the fact that there wasn’t more of him. Combined with the fact that there was also Bill Hicks who wasn’t able to do more I was in this really bummed out place.

    And right around then “Important Things with Demetri Martin” came out. I knew about Demetri but didn’t get a chance to see any of his stand up act until that point. So I managed to get a hold of the pilot and…

    Well. Do you guys know what I am getting at? Demetri sure expected you to mention it on the podcast. He mentioned Mitch Hedberg three or four times on this episode. He even used “ripping off” in a sentence if I am not completely wrong.

    I remember how Chris feels about the Superfinger comedian and how he things his behavior is kind of shitty. So right now I can really think that you guys really didn’t know about the pilot for “Important Things”.

    Because… you know. All of the jokes in the pilot are Mitch Hedberg’s material. And I remember the feeling of betrayal I got when I watched that episode. I felt weird and didn’t understand. I thought Demetri was this great comic I heard a lot about and I couldn’t understand why he did that. Why? Was it really necessary? Was I maybe even wrong? Was Mitch the one who… err… “lifted” the material from Demetri?

    So long story short: Demetri, on this episode, was clearly ready to talk about that and I was just wondering if you guys did conciously steer away from that or just didn’t know. Because again I remember how Chris feels about Dane Cook and briefly got into the discussion about Dane and Louis C.K.

    Again, I am not angry and I am really not trying to be a dick about this it’s just that I love the stuff Mitch did so much and see Demetri do it made me feel like my mom was f***ing the postman. Maybe this really isn’t important to you guys, maybe it is. I thought I’ll just mention it here once, because I am really not pissed about it anymore. All I know is that I don’t buy or listen to anything Demetri did because of that pilot and maybe I am wrong about him. I only listened to this episode because of Chris, Jonah and Matt, because you are currently on a roll and so extremely funny. We are all fallible so please don’t take this as criticism or me just loving to rain on somebody’s paarade.

    But maybe this was simply a missed opportunity for Demetri at getting a clean slate. Maybe he WANTED to talk about it – to get back on the good side of guys like me who maybe got it all wrong and just don’t understand why he did that and that it’s really ok to let bygones be bygones and get his stanup specials and laugh at them.

    So maybe this would be something you could talk about in case Demetri is back on the podcast some time in the future.

  10. VeryExciting says:

    I missed these Mechanics of Stand-Up type episodes. Very fun, Thanks!

  11. Another quality episode, full of fantastic humor and excellent inside looks into the comedy world and what makes comedians tick. The last bit cracked me up BY FAR the most, though!

    Oh, and I watched Blade Runner just the other day. Funny how this stuff coincides. Wait, Chris, did you get the DVD box set on sale during Black Friday on Amazon like I did? Yeah, you definitely did. That’s the only explanation.

  12. Taryn says:

    Another great episode! Demitri is one of my favorites. I love his stuff because I feel like it really speaks to the way my brain works. To hear somebody take that and make it both funny and thought provoking is comforting somehow. I also love the process talk. It applies to so many situations, just the struggle to retain control over anything you create in life.

  13. @DoctorQuemmento awesome comment as usual! (He also listens to my pod….*squee* Maybe not anymore but he did once.)

    I just wrote a few articles for my own personal blog with few readers. It doesn’t tackle the problem of deep emotion and comedy. But it is a fantastic example of deep emotion without real comic value. (This isn’t the 5 minutes a day I’m suppose to be nice to myself so there! If you’ve read the Nerdist Way, you’ll get that.)

    After I wrote one of my articles the first question to myself was “where is the funny?” I’m in the middle of a deeply introspective identity crisis so who knows what will happen in the long run. Hells bells maybe I’ll write more emo poetry like I did when I was a teen. Look what that did for Stephanie Myers!

  14. Ross says:

    I really enjoyed that discussion; Mr Martin is, unsurprisingly for someone who studied law, refreshingly articulate.
    By the way, I think the term you were all searching for, when trying to describe the ineffable effect of all those outside societal influences, was “zeitgeist”–the spirit of the time in question.
    And, as for the idea that your profession(and how you do that work) leads to an automatic, physically determined slant in how you process information, I give you this(from 1892):

    ‘… It was an ideal spring day, a light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east. The sun was shining very brightly, and yet there was an exhilarating nip in the air, which set an edge to a man’s energy. All over the countryside, away to the rolling hills around Aldershot, the little red and gray roofs of the farm-steadings peeped out from amid the light green of the new foliage.

    “Are they not fresh and beautiful?” I cried with all the enthusiasm of a man fresh from the fogs of Baker Street.

    But Holmes shook his head gravely.

    “Do you know, Watson,” said he, “that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.” ‘
    — Arthur Conan Doyle

    Seems like you are in excellent company in your analysis.

  15. Matt Grandis says:

    Fucking spammers ruining the comment section.

  16. Holy shit. This blew my mind in two different parts.

    One was when Demetri was talking about the balance between being commanding and being vulnerable. I was just posting about Robin Williams on the comment board at the Clinically Inane podcast ( (that’s Curtis’s podcast) (sorry if that was spammy) and how he strikes the perfect balance between deep emotion and comedy and Demetri’s comment expanded upon that in my brain in such a complementary way. Such an AHA moment. I think it’s possible that great art deals with the balance between ideas or tones that seem to conflict with each other.

    The other part that blew my mind was the part where Chris was talking about the guy on the phone who was really funny, but didn’t have any substance, and would you want to, or feel the need to, talk to that guy again. That sums up the Nerdist podcast and Chris’s book, The Nerdist Way, ( (sorry if that was spammy) in such a succinct way. The way that humor helps make an unpalatable, or difficult, idea go down easier. Wow.

    That is all.

  17. Aaron says:

    I was hoping Demetri was going to be on the podcast. Really enjoy his stuff. Great podcast too. Really enjoy when any discussion on the comedy process. In another life time I would have tried comedy so it is always fascinating

  18. Stacy says:

    I would love to see your emotional tits, lol =D Can’t wait for the book. Great interview

  19. Gene says:

    Love the Steven Wright story. That was a real treat.

  20. Gary says:

    The “V” in court cases is used to indicate that one of the people involved are secretly an alien lizard.

  21. Again this podcast is in the wheel of what I’ve been writing about. Nerdist Podcast has been incredibly serendipitous!

    I was going to post how there are female philosophers! But there are female philosophers. I wonder if it would be worth a series of articles? Are people interested?

  22. Curtis says:

    This was really fun. The talk about the things comedians have to go through with their specials is really interesting. Good stuff.