Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Demetri Martin: WTF/HMM/LOL/HUH

In Innovation on February 12, 2009 at 9:41 am
Hey, weren't you in a Wes Anderson film?

Hey, weren't you in a Wes Anderson film?

I caught the premiere of Comedy Central’s new late-ish night entry last night, Important Things with Demetri Martin. If I were forced to write a three-letter review I would go with WTF. There were one or two moments of LOL, but not enough for that to be my three-letter review. I’m not sure that he was going for LOL though, and in fact, WTF may have been his goal. Or perhaps huh. Or hmm.

If you didn’t catch the show, Demetri Martin, titular ringmaster, has created something that’s certainly different. No band, no sidekick, no imposing desk and, at least last night, no guests plugging mediocre their movies/albums/freak show lives. What’s left to do, you ask? Well, how about some jokes, a couple pre-taped video segments, some flip charts, maybe a song (w/ harmonica, guitar and bells all played by Martin – while using a flip chart).

A lot of the bits fell flat, but that’s always going to happen, especially on a first show. But what intrigued me, and here’s the part I think is important for marketers to remember, is that I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. Yes, part of that was because it was the first episode, but I have a feeling that episode number 10 or 100 might have that same feeling.  When you can’t fall back on the cliches of the genre – banter with the band leader, chit chat with the guest – you’ve got to try new things.  New things usually lead to…failure. Ah, but once in a while, it also leads to something new and fresh and, well, dangerous.  When was the last time Jay or Dave did something that was dangerous?

I really hope the suits at Comedy Central leave this guy alone. Just like I hope your boss leaves you alone when you suggest an idea that is a little bit dangerous.

  1. I’ve watched Demetri Martin’s stand-up acts before, so this wasn’t too offbeat to me. He’s funny in an understated way; often in a “Why didn’t I think of that?” format.

    I figured his program would be an extension of his stand-up acts, so this was about what I expected. I like that it’s offbeat and filled with WTF-ery, for many of the same reasons you mention.

    And I’m REALLY glad that it didn’t turn into a Daily Show spin-off (Martin played “correspondent” on the show last year), much like the Colbert Report. While I (heart) both those programs, I don’t want Comedy Central’s programming to become formulaic in the sense that late night=funny news-type program.

  2. Lorena,

    “WTF-ery” is my new favorite way to describe something.

  3. […] white guy behind a desk, celebrity guests, a music act, you know the drill. That’s why I was so excited for the Demetri Martin show, Important Things with Demetri Martin, on Comedy Central. Still a white […]

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