Demetri Martin has accomplished a great deal in the world of comedy. He won the coveted Perrier Award at the 2003 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he was a contributor on “The Daily Show” and he has four well-received comedy specials, including his latest for Netflix entitled, “The Overthinker.”

But the truth is, Martin wasn’t always on this career track. Always a top student, he graduated from Yale University and was accepted into Harvard Law School, but pivoted to NYU’s law school instead. In his final year there, he decided that law wasn’t something he wanted to do, and decided to pursue comedy. 

“When I started, the idea that I could be a comic and make a living from being a standup comedian was definitely a fantasy and a dream,” he said. “But it was a newer dream. I had thought I’d be a lawyer from the time I was in seventh grade. I’m grateful because I was able to do what I wanted.”

He quickly became one of America’s top standup acts and was soon touring in theatres performing his shows and appearing on TV regularly. 

“When I’m on that stage, I find joy,” Martin said. “But the problem is, I didn’t think ahead. No one tells you if you get what you want as a comic, you become a traveling salesman. The stage is the easiest part. I don’t have to prove myself in a lineup. People come to see me and they know what they’re getting. I feel such a connection with the crowd and I enjoy that part.”

But as a father of two, it’s the being on the road part that often gets to him. That’s led Martin to look to other avenues of comedy, including TV, film and writing books—all of which he has found success with. 

During the pandemic, Martin was able to stay at home with his family and he realized that he was getting burned out by touring so much.

“I was surprised it took almost nine months until I missed doing standup,” he said. “I thought I’d be getting antsy, but I was pretty burned out and didn’t realize how much until I had the forced break.”

Still, his desire to perform eventually kicked into high gear and all that pent up energy had him going a bit stir crazy. Since March of 2020, he’s only done a handful of live performances, though he’s getting set to go on the road for 2022.

Martin will bring his I Feel Funny tour to the Capital One Hall in Tysons Jan. 14 as one of his first stops. 

“Eventually, I started writing jokes again and I have about two hours worth, so I am coming out of this with a lot of new material,” he said. 

But don’t expect Martin to spend his time joking about the pandemic; in his opinion, people are tired of hearing about it—especially with us still living through all the challenges of Omicron. Besides, that’s not what he’s known for. Martin’s act typically covers mundane topics and observations.

For instance, a favorite of fans is the joke, “I like when good things happen to me, but I wait two weeks to tell anyone because I like to use the word ‘fortnight.’” Or another gem is, “I used to play sports. Then I realized you can buy trophies. Now I’m good at everything.”

“I’ve been joking on stage that I had this time at home where I could reflect on this unprecedented time in global history and I found nothing, just more jokes about my dog and stuff,” Martin said. “For better and worse, what attracted me to comedy and what I have to offer is this weird sort of day dream. Even in the best of times, there’s something very escapist about what I like about comedy.”

This year, Martin hopes to film a new special, utilizing all that new material, and he is under contract to finish a book of short stories, a project he just can’t convince himself to finish. He’s also sitting on hundreds of drawings he’s done over the years—mostly single-panel cartoons, and he’d like to publish those. 

But he’s excited about doing shows again and invites those in the area to come out for a fun night.

“Live comedy is really such a treat. If you can brave it, there’s something still really vital about it,” Martin said. “The shows have been warm and positive experiences and I am looking forward to seeing people out there.”

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