Demetri Martin Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto ON, September 30

Demetri Martin Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto ON, September 30
9
Full of new jokes and totally on his game, Demetri Martin barely went 20 seconds between receiving huge laughs for his clever, observational one-liners. It was a masterful, unrelenting display — every premise was layered in the residual reaction to the last bit, and basically every single one of them played well.
 
Martin's an ace at just getting right to his absurd payoffs. "Soap scum's a very harsh term. I think we overreacted a little bit," he said drily. "It's just like dried soap. No, this is scum. It used to help me clean, now it's something I have to clean up? That shit betrayed me. It's the lowest form of soap there is; it's scum."
 
While his ideas are mostly disconnected, non-sequiturs, he will occasionally dwell on an umbrella concept for a series of jokes. These runs are overwhelmingly funny, such as his extended riff on pets, as animals we just don't find delicious and then basically treat like hostages in our homes ("Did he get out?! Don't let him out!!"). It seems like simple enough stuff but one of the Martin's real gifts is taking a routine, black and white shared experience and making it pop with his colourful imagination.
 
Known for just a little bit of visual prop stuff, Martin shared some amusing sketches he'd made, as illustrated fodder for jokes he'd written and, later, using the same flip chart, indulged us in an uproarious game of "Good, Bad, Interesting," that destroyed beyond belief. And, in one of his trademark moves, he ended the night telling jokes in a kind of song, strumming three open guitar chords and playing harmonica.
 
Like some of our best, most idiosyncratic voices, Demetri Martin simply oozes comedy and, particularly when you're in the room with him, it's awe-inspiring to see his mind at work and play.