Demetri Martin’s Slate Diary

A weeklong journal from the comedian and writer.

Demetri Martin’s new TV show, Important Things With Demetri Martin, debuted on Comedy Central on Feb. 11. The half-hour variety shows mixes Martin’s idiosyncratic stand-up (complete with charts, drawings, and musical instruments) with original sketches centered on a common theme. The first show’s theme was “timing.”*

Back in 2004, when Martin was writing sketches for Late Night With Conan O’Brien and working on his stand-up, he wrote a weeklong diary for Slate. Martin discussed the benefits and drawbacks of living in a six-floor walk-up, recounted an ongoing music war with a neighbor, and talked about the time he tried to grow a mustache: “I look like a supporting actor in a gay porno about diner busboys. (Possible title: Sugar Packets or Sweet & Low.)”

Over the course of the week, Martin reported on his comedic successes and failures. While taping a sketch for Conan before a live audience, he flubbed one of his lines, leaving him “sweaty and desperate” as he watched the playback on a monitor. Later in the week, during a stand-up routine, he scored a hit with the deadpan observation: “There is a store in my neighborhood called Futon World. To me, that sounds like a magical place that becomes less comfortable over time.”

Martin’s diary also included photographs and a poem he once wrote by rearranging the words on a Rolling Rock bottle.

The full diary entries can be read here.

Correction, Feb. 18, 2009: The article mistakenly stated that the theme of the first episode of Important Things With Demetri Martin was “power.” The theme of that episode was “timing.” ( Return to the corrected sentence.)