Point your face at Demetri Martin | Comedy Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Point your face at Demetri Martin 

In support of a new book, the observational comic pays a visit—a pad of paper under one arm, an acoustic guitar under the other.

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Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

Martin Schoeller

Flipping through the cartoons, charts, and oddball (if only very slightly disturbing) ruminations in Demetri Martin's newest book, Point Your Face at This, isn't unlike watching the comic's stand-up. Martin often brings with him onstage a series of drawings scrawled out on a large pad of paper. With a blank, almost precious stare, he'll narrate, for example, a sketch of three flagpoles: one with the flag at half-mast ("Someone died"), one with the flag perched at the top ("No one died"), and one with no flag at all ("Flagpole operator died"). And turn the page.

Martin's observational comedy is mostly candid and considerate—he's not one to pack jokes with tension in order to hammer home a punch line. Instead he accompanies himself on acoustic guitar for a portion of his act, strumming along in a comfortable key as he muses on the allure of fog machines and why telemarketers can't ever call in sick ("Hey, it's me, I can't work today" / "Well, you called me"). Even now, having grown in popularity (and with a lead role in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock behind him), Martin gives an onstage performance that retains a feeling of coziness, similar to what it's like to laugh at a friend's astute doodles on coffee shop napkins. Levi MacDougall opens.

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