Q&A: Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin is a laid back kind of guy. Well, besides the fact that he’s regularly seen on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” As the host of the Comedy Central show’s segment “Trendspotting,” Martin

Demetri Martin is a laid back kind of guy. Well, besides the fact that he’s regularly seen on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” As the host of the Comedy Central show’s segment “Trendspotting,” Martin humorously presents what’s hot and what’s not in trends popular with young adults.

Microsoft recently capitalized on Martin’s rising fame by using his personality as the face behind it’s new operating system Windows Vista. He plugs the Vista program on a series of video advertisements called Clearification that are more about his entertainment than the product itself.

Martin recently spoke with “The Temple News” on topics like how lawyers make great comedians, his advice to college students, and why despite being a television comedian, he hasn’t watched the boob tube in seven years — all while driving the streets of Sunny Los Angeles. “If you like the inside of cars, you’ll like LA,” he said.

How about North Philly?

The Temple News: You left NYU Law School with one year left to go. What’s your advice for college kids?

Demetri Martin: Life is incremental and a series of days or whatever, and focus on the daily routine. Each day ends up being like a little chunk, which translates into the bigger stuff. This is still kind of a work in progress, what activities do I enjoy doing? This makes things much simpler.

TTN: How did people respond when you decided to leave law school?

DM: My girlfriend at the time was supportive, but everyone else was saying that I only had a year left, and I should finish. Everyone has an opinion, and we’re just people and we’re all gonna die. It was just a speck in the big scheme of things.

TTN: Ddo you have any advice for those planning on going into the entertainment industry?

DM: I guess I have advice. It seems like it’s just really a journey to become one’s self, and see what you can have to offer, how to be authentic, and how to use that to make money. See what matches, and something that doesn’t get boring too soon. If you focus too much on what other people will be impressed by, it might end up misguiding you.

TTN: It’s been said that more people watch the “Daily Show” within a certain demographic (college kids) than any other
“news” show. What is the Show doing that grabs this age group’s attention that the other networks aren’t?

DM: I don’t have any TV channels, and I haven’t watched TV regularly for about seven years, so I’m not sure what the other channels are doing. [From what I have seen] it looks like there’s a lot of graphics and selling a lot of things … it seems like the human brain could do so many other things. [The Daily Show] seems like a voice of reason. Even though it’s sarcasm and humor, it’s someone speaking your language.

TTN: I heard you like to come up with palindromes. What’s one that you’ve come up with?

DM: Snub no man, nice cinnamon buns.

TTN: How’d you get to do the Clearification
ads for Microsoft?

DM: Somebody e-mailed me last spring, and said that they wanted me to do a web campaign.

Tommy directed the films, and just said “say some stuff.” I just kept going for an hour and a half.

TTN: What do you think of the movement toward advertisements like this, which are web-based?

DM: It seems like people want content in whatever realm they are in, whether they have food in a diner, or want thicker pizzas, or songs they can download, it seems like an era of more and more things.

TTN: you have any other philosophies, like how you don’t drink coffee because you “don’t like to need anything?”

DM: I don’t drink coffee or smoke cigarettes.

Sometimes I drink alcohol though. I don’t like to need anything too much. If I need anything too much, doing too much stuff, it always makes me feel like I’m limiting my degrees of freedom. Maybe that’s why I don’t have the best relationship with a girl right now.

Lauren Hard can be reached at lauren.hard@temple.edu.

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