A cerebral comedian from New York City who has gained the cult status normally afforded singer-songwriters with crooked hair, Demetri Martin is like a younger generation's Steven Wright. Whereas that comic had the aura of a hippie philosophy professor, Martin seems the precocious boy wonder with a seemingly bottomless supply of one-liners. He rarely speaks down to his audience — often, Martin places a punch line in advance of a set-up — and is a determined post-modernist averse to cliché. Case in point: Whereas 99 percent of stand-up comedy records begin with an MC introducing the star to hoots and hollers, These Are Jokes starts with Martin's heavily-accented grandmother ("I hope you like this CD he made") and a fuzzy song by Martin himself. "One time I did a show," he sings. "On a stage with a microphone."
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