Important Things with Demetri Martin: Season One

Observational humorist Demetri Martin is one of the most promising talents on the circuit today, but like most stand-up comedians who are given their own TV series, “Important Things with Demetri Martin” is but a shell of his real potential. Produced by “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, “Important Things” blends Martin’s unique stand-up routine with the more generic stylings of sketch comedy, and the end result is about as hit and miss as you’d expect. While the stand-up portions are solid thanks to the variety of his delivery (from deadpan one-liners to silly songs like “You vs. Me”), the sketches aren’t quite as good. In fact, with the exception of just about every sketch featuring Jon Benjamin (including a great bit where two guys fight over a parking spot and another involving an Olympic sport called the Passive Aggressive 800m), most of them are downright dull. Nevertheless, fans of the comic will still enjoy hearing some of his new material, and for those that feel cheated by the short season, Paramount has included a nice collection of bonus features like deleted sketches, a look at an early concept for the show, and audio commentaries by Demetri and friends.

Click to buy “Important Things with Demetri Martin: Season One”

  

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An “Important” Clip with Demetri Martin

Remember how I recently praised Demetri Martin’s upcoming new Comedy Central series, “Important Things with Demetri Martin”? Well, now’s your chance to see that I wasn’t bluffing about its hilarity…

  

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Bullz-Eye’s TCA 2009 Winter Press Tour Recap

Wait, didn’t I just go to one of these press tours…?

Actually, that was back in July, when the networks were busy pimping their new fall schedules; this time, they were presenting us with an idea of what we can expect to see on our favorite broadcast and cable channels from now until they premiere their next fall schedule.

Going out to L.A. in January was a new thing for me, though. It was my first winter tour since becoming a member of the Television Critics Association in 2007 – last year’s was canceled due to the writers’ strike – and, if the rumblings throughout the ballrooms at the Universal Hilton were any indication, it may well prove to be my last January tour. I’m hopeful that this presumption turns out to be inaccurate, but given the current economic climate and an increasing tendency for newspapers and publications to only send their TV critics out for one tour per year, there’s every reason to suspect that the networks will join suit and only be willing to pamper those critics once per year.

Sorry, did I say “pamper”? Of course, I meant, “Treat with the utmost respect.”

It feels a bit odd to be doing a wrap-up of my experiences at the tour before I’ve even had a chance to write up all of the panels I attended while I was out there, but, hey, when you get a good spot on the calendar, you make it work however you can. So still keep your eyes open for my ongoing pieces on the various shows you can expect to find on the broadcast networks during the next few months, but in the meantime, here’s a look at some of the best and worst bits from the January ’09 tour as a whole.

Most enjoyable panel by a cable network: “Rescue Me,” FX.

I’ve been a big Denis Leary fan every since No Cure for Cancer, so I knew the guy was inevitably going to go off on a profanity-filled rant before the end of the panel. What I didn’t expect, however, was that Peter Tolan – who co-created the show with Leary – would start the proceedings by telling Leary to watch his mouth, adding, “If you were going to say ‘cunt,’ don’t.”

From there, the two of them seemingly battled each other in an attempt to offer up the most memorable line. Leary complained about his salary. (“I had a crazy idea of getting paid, like, $250,000 an episode. They put limits on that, let me tell you. That’s Kiefer Sutherland money right there.”) Then Tolan claimed that he was at fault for the show’s fourth-season slump, blaming it on a drug problem and that “I was heavy into a kazillion hookers that year.” Then Leary bitched about how Michael J. Fox was going to guest on “Rescue Me” and get the Emmy that Leary himself has yet to earn. (“Five fucking episodes, he comes in. God damn, $700 million from ‘Spin City.’ He never asked me to do the show. He’s going to walk away with the fucking Emmy. That son of a bitch.”) Then Tolan started mocking Hugh Laurie’s American accent by talking about how he could do a British accent. (“Aye, pip, pip, mate, aye! ‘Allo, Mary Poppins!”) And…well, as you can see, there was really no contest: this may well have been the greatest panel ever.

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TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: “Important Things with Demetri Martin”

If you watch “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on a regular basis, then you’ve probably seen Demetri Martin doing his recurring feature, “Trendspotting,” or possibly “Professional Important News with Demetri Martin.” Maybe you’ve seen his Comedy Central stand-up special. Perhaps you remember him as the keytar player in the first-season finale of “Flight of the Conchords,” or from his role as a music video producer in “The Rocker.” If your local cable company provides you with a network that actually shows music videos, then perhaps you spotted him in the video for Fountains of Wayne’s “Someone to Love.”

Or if you’re a Britpop fan, then perhaps you caught him in the video for Travis’s “Selfish Jean.”

Recognize him now…? If so, then you’ve probably just had a flashback to some routine or other and had a good laugh (as if the videos themselves aren’t worth a chortle or two themselves), but you should go ahead and prepare yourself for a lot more laughter when Martin’s new Comedy Central sketch comedy series, “Important Things with Demetri Martin,” premieres on February 25th.

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