"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain
"Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
Ne dominant, at least.
But, for a certainty, back then,
We loved so many, yet hated so much,
We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...
Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
Whilst our laughter echoed,
Under cerulean skies...
Yes, a lot of his humor involves Ne in the classic Jungian sense: expanding the current context to push ideas to new levels, or haphazardly juxtaposing concepts in surprising ways for humorous effect (which is typical for most intellectual humor, anyway). The latter is harmonious with socionics Ne, but not sure about the former. So anyway, because of this, I have temporarily considered ENTp for him before, among a few other types ... but I'd like to get others' input on him, just to see.Originally Posted by Jimbean
"Anyone else with a comment?"
((And, would any previous responders care to elaborate?))
uhhh... he's funny? one of the comics I can actually watch (which is saying quite a bit since I don't generally like stand-up comics)
I feel the same way.Originally Posted by Bionicgoat
Thanks for your input, btw. :wink:
he's very obviously enfp.
I agree, ScarlettLux, that he seems like a very mellow person, IMO. Not easily shaken. (Nor stirred, heh. )Originally Posted by ScarlettLux
Why?Originally Posted by heath
(How can the following text be enclosed in a div or something with a fixed height and a vertical scrollbar? (This might be a dual-seeking question. ))
Demetri Martin's mind is constantly at work. Whether he's producing palindromes, doing drawings, making music, or crafting some of the most economic, elegant, and hilarious jokes, the man seems to be in an unwavering state of production that only sleep can interrupt. Martin has even admitted to often falling asleep while playing guitar or with a pen in his hand. This accelerated existence has led to a stint as a writer at "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," a "Comedy Centeral Presents" special, a Perrier prize in 2003 and celebrity status in the UK, and most recently a spot as "The Daily Show's" new trendspotter. For tour dates and more information, visit his website. To view his segments for "The Daily Show," click here. The following interview was conducted in January of 2006.
What was it like going from the structured environment of law school to comedy?
That was a big thing because I went to law school right out of college. I had never not been in a structured environment, in that way. I think I had geared myself towards the results that being in school yields; just going for GPA, and test scores, and all that kind of stuff. And finally I was able to walk away from all that. I was worried that I would end up sitting around watching TV or something, because I didn't know that I could do it at all without structure. It turned out to be the opposite. I was much busier and really more involved with what I was trying to do. I think mostly because I created my own structures, and made games out of things. At some point I created a point system, like breaking my life down into categories, and then in each category trying to achieve certain things in a week's time. Every Sunday night I would tally up what I had achieved, for a total possible of 35 points. It was mind, body, career, personal management/relationship contribution. It was pretty funny. It was really ambitious in retrospect. The stuff I set out to do each week was pretty much impossible. I kept track of it for 27 weeks. I had a binder in which I actually was consistent for half a year. Every week I'd carry it around with me. I never got 35 points. I never even got close. Years later I found it, and I was like, “Oh my god, this is crazy.” 4 points was my lowest week, and I think 24 was my highest. When I made the system I figured I'd be topping out in the 30s, and once I'm close to my maximum, I'll just bump up each category, I'll just make the goals a little harder. And then that way I can develop a balanced set with the different things that I'm trying to learn how to do. I averaged 11 points out of my own system. So I failed kind of miserably. But the cool thing is that ever since then I haven't really ever been bored. I haven't watched TV since then, and I just never really feel like there isn't something to do. That changed my perspective. So it's like, draw a picture if you're sitting somewhere, or write something down, or write a palindrome. It's just about all the different opportunities in one moment. It changed my perspective on time and creating things.
I wanted to talk to you about time, because as a professional comedian you're accountable for the time in your set, but aside from that, your day is free.
Yeah, that's true. It's like, you go to a town and you don't talk to anybody all day. And then all of a sudden you go into this room and you talk to 200 or 300 people all at once. It's pretty strange. It's very imbalanced. It's like Thoreau said, at some point, I think he said that you just become this giant eye. You're walking through the forest and you're seeing things. In a way you get to do that, which is really nice. The last couple years not having the pressure of having a day job, and having enough money to do standup as a job, enables me to just take in things, just think about things, observe, and figure out what my point is, if I have one. And then later you get to share that aloud with people to see if private thoughts are something that is publicly palatable to people. In that sense, the free time becomes work time, but it just becomes a very internalized, thought based work, at least for me. I feel that a lot of it is about shifting your focus, and learning how to hone your focus and loosen it, so that you can use your own mind to make stuff.
Were you surprised that comedy allowed you to do that?
Yeah, definitely. Especially because in the beginning, before I was a comedian, I'd talk to people and they'd say they wanted to be a comedian since they were a kid. Not me. Probably after being in law school for a couple months, that's when I realized that a. I don't want to be a lawyer, b. I don't know what I want to do, and then later came c., which was, I guess I want to do something with comedy. I'd like to do standup, or at least try it to see if I can do it. So my first idea was, “Can I get a laugh that's premeditated?” Because I think the laughs I got were just hanging out with my friends, and making up something at the dinner table, or at a party or something. But then the idea of premeditating seemed like a completely different thing. To see if that would work was kind of more the feeling. Forget about getting paid for it, it was just to see if I could do it. Especially when I started in the city, in New York, and even now, people don't really get anything from doing standup. The club owners just take everything. But you become accustomed to doing standup for nothing. In fact, in the beginning I had to pay to get on stage. A lot of the open mics you had to put 3 dollars in a pot to get your name thrown into a hat or whatever. I can't remember what the object was, but it held a piece of paper. They'd pull your name out of a hat, and that was the order you got to go up in. So we all just paid for the room, so that we can perform, for each other. And then years later to get to flown somewhere to do it and get paid, it's funny. It's a good thing to remember when I get too cranky about that stuff.
What did you think of the comedy community when you first started?
When I first started it was the first time I was not in a structured environment. I wasn't with my friend or anything like that. There was no routine or community that I felt a part of. And I didn't know anybody. I would just show up at the clubs, the open mics. It was very solitary. And I think up until that point in my life I had hardly ever eaten dinner alone. I always had my family, my roommates, my girlfriend, who later became my fiancé—I don't know, I just never felt like I did things alone. And then you do standup and just kind of show up. People are like, “Who the hell are you?” Some of the comics are clique-y and they have their friends, and their little scene. A lot of the people would kind of have a partner. Even if they weren't a comedy team, they'd have their best friend in comedy with them, and they'd do stuff together. So I just felt very alone for the first time. But it was a really good opportunity to observe while I think, and better understand what I was about, without having any little comfort in that way. The cool thing was is you get the most honest lens on people when you're really at the beginning of what you're doing, because I think nobody really feels like they can get anything from you. There's usually a second agenda in any interaction. Like I interned at “The Daily Show” when Craig Kilborn was there. And that was the same time I started doing standup. So I can kind of see and remember now who in the clubs were kind of dick-y, or were jerks, and who was really cool without needing to be cool, if there is such a thing. They were just straight up in their interaction. You end up really appreciating that, and later on when you get a chance or opportunity to get a show and involve people, you go, “That guy was cool.” Like Lizz Winstead, she was the head writer of “The Daily Show” when I was there, she was really cool. She treated me, an intern, as she would a producer. It was just like being a real person. It went such a long way. Brian Unger [“Daily Show” correspondent] was a great guy that way. I mean, he was on the air and I was just a kid trying to figure out the business. And then there's a field producer or a PA, and they just shit on you. It's like, “What is this?” There's a comedian named DC Benny and he was such a classy guy. He would treat people like a person, like a comedian too. It would make me feel so validated. Little things like that go a long way to make a person feel ok, or they're not crazy for doing what they're doing. A lot of comics, you do a set, and they're there and they see you, and they'll ignore you and treat you like a kid. And then you do a good set and you kill, and then now they'll accept you and talk to you. I think the funny thing is when you're friends with someone and then you see them perform, and you don't think they're funny. It's tricky because you never want to lie and say, “Hey, good set,” when you don't mean it, because then your word means nothing. The community I found are people who a. I think are good people and b. I actually think they're funny. So it's just such a bonus, and really cool.
You skateboard right?
These days I just long-board. When I was younger I was obsessed with skateboarding. I feel it was my first passion, maybe tied with break-dancing. In fifth grade I was really into break-dancing. Right around that time I got my first Variflex. It had a checkerboard thing on it. I loved it. I always wanted to be a street skater, but I started building half-pipes. I had 3 half-pipes over the years in my backyard. I think there was a 4', 3', and 6'. I spent so many hours skateboarding, I can't even tell you.
Me too. I used to do it all the time, and I noticed that in skateboarding you come across people that you would never meet otherwise. You're brought together because of your common interest in skateboarding. And it seems like the comedy scene is much the same way.
I totally agree with you. It's a perfect analogy because there is a community, in as much as people come together often to skate. When I was a kid doing it, they used to have skate jams at the Jersey shore and stuff. It's very compartmentalized. Each person is really on their own track, and their own stage of development. It's like, “Cool, I can do double kick-flips now, or I just learned how to do a 360 shove-it.” That's where I am, and it's my own thing. No one can do that for me. It's my own little journey. But at the same time it's shared with other people. When I skated, inverts were a big deal; just street plants and hand plants and stuff. Ho-hos were a big deal. You get up on one hand and you put your other hand down, and you walk on your hands with the skateboard on your feet. I remember when I first did a ho-ho, my friend was like, “Demetri!” We were in a parking lot skating for three hours, and I just kept trying it over and over. I remember that moment when I finally got it. The sense of accomplishment was my own, but there was also this shared feeling because we both knew what ho-hos were. It would be the same thing as seeing a friend get a new bit to work. It's like, “You did it man. You cracked it. That bit totally worked. You have that now.” You're happy for another person. It's theirs, but you still feel like you're involved in it. And also skating, it's annoying if you don't know skating, but even if you do, it gets annoying to hear kids not landing stuff over and over and over. It's like, “Alright man, just fucking land it.” But then you realize it's also what makes it awesome. There's such a persistence. It's all about trial and error, and hopefully you can skate smart and learn from what you're doing. And just learn the nuances of kicking your foot one way that way or another. Especially now skateboarding seems so technical. When I skated it seemed more about broad strokes. I will say that for me, one of the biggest influences was Rodney Mullen. I think he is a genius. The man invented movements. He's like a choreographer or something. I had the Bones Brigade video, it's before Future Primitive, and he's doing impossibles, and all this amazing stuff in 1984 or something. I remember rewinding stuff as a kid, watching it, like, “How is this stuff possible?” And then years later—now I just cruise around on a big deck, I don't even ollie or anything—but years later I remember seeing Rodney vs. Daewon, and it was just amazing to see how he had evolved. It was really interesting. Sorry, I don't mean to talk about skating.
No, that's totally cool. I was just thinking about how driven Rodney Mullen was. I don't want to put you and Rodney Mullen on the same level, but I think there's something there.
Yeah. I think I am driven. It's just the joy of investigating things and seeing what you come up with. I like making things, but it's more that I like discovering components, and then just combining and recombining. One time I did a poem where I took a bottle of Rolling Rock beer and I rearranged the words from the bottle. I noticed that there weren't that many proper nouns on the bottle, so you could rearrange the whole thing and then use it as an anagram by word, rather than by letter. And it worked. It ended up being a poem, more or less. That was interesting to me. It was a good metaphor for how you could create, or look at creating; which is just that it's permutations and combinations of small elements. So that the idea is more to understand, identify, and isolate elements, rather than larger pieces. And then through combination, they become larger things. But they're also detachable and reshapable. So often my standup set is just a combination of jokes. It's really just a collection of jokes. The set is one entity, of course it's broken down into smaller elements. The cool thing is that the jokes are of course just broken down into words, and the words are just letters, so it becomes this weird fractal where you're building from very simple things, but at certain stages meanings are attached to them. I don't know, I just drew this thing the other day, because I like drawing a lot, and it was the alphabet. I just drew the alphabet 7 times next to itself. So it was like “aaaaaaa, bbbbbbb, etc.” I wanted to see which strings of letters have meaning. So all A's I put an arrow next to it and said, “What you would say at the dentist.” And all O's are what you would say when you're surprised, and all X's is like one week, because you put X's on a calendar. All Z's are sleeping, and S's are what a snake sounds like. It's kind of funny.
I wanted to ask about your world view. I don't mean this in a pejorative sense, but you strike me as having a child-like view of the world. More so that you have an interest in the world around you that I think a lot of adults don't have anymore, mainly because they're adults now.
Yeah, I think that's a good point. I think I've always tried to get back to the simplest thing and assume the least, and still try to find meaning. I started drawing because I like making shapes to see where they would lead, and actually would mean, if it means anything. It was always the fewest lines I could do, or the fewest words. I remember one time I saw an interview with Steven Wright, who is a total hero of mine, and it was a very similar question, about being like a child. I had never thought of it that way, but I was like, “Yeah!” He just doesn't take that much for granted, and what I love about Steven Wright is that he makes me feel more possibility, just in his approach to the world. It's almost like deconstruction with reconstruction. He's broken things down into something very simple, but then rebuilt them. It's more simple, but also more logical. There's a great quote I heard by John Cleese, which was, “If you're telling a story or a movie, all of your characters can live in a garbage can, but everyone has to live in a garbage can.” I thought that was a really good point. To me, the point is you can create whatever world you want to, but just make sure it makes sense within that world. That's where you really have to understand logic and relationships. But you can create anything, there's total freedom. There's a lack of structure. The only structure is shared human experience, and understanding of basic interaction and things like that. So that in the same way once a child understands the rules, so do adults. There are certain baseline understandings and the trick is not to take too much for granted when you get beyond the baseline stuff. I don't now, I've never analyzed it that much, but I think that's the way to articulate that kind of stuff.
Do you feel that you have to work at that at all, or that's just how you see the world?
I think maybe in the beginning. It's like when I joke around with people, I always tried to understand why I liked joking around with people prior to doing standup. I mean, what is actually funny about the things that I say? It was really hard to analyze myself that way, and try to break it down. But I started to understand certain things like that, preserving certain things, and just picking out little scenes that yield a larger visual within a person's head. And so at first maybe it was an effort to say, “Ok, I'm going to think of jokes now, I'm not just going to regularly think. I'm going to think specifically here.” But then after awhile everything just kind of merged, and it was like I opened up something in my little head, and I said, “Ok, it's all the same. That would be my internal dialogue anyway, so why don't I just keep it open and when stuff floats up, just grab something.” I like to do exercises with weird things just to get my mind going, like reading the dictionary, or writing things backward; just weird stuff that doesn't have a real point necessarily, like writing palindromes, but it yields something very useful and productive. And just the activity itself seems to be worthwhile.
Have you ever had any interest in teaching? It seems a lot of these activities would be fun to do with other people.
I taught Princeton review when I dropped out of law school. I taught SAT math. That was surprisingly really enjoyable for me because I never thought I'd want to be a teacher or anything. I was thinking back the other day about some of the sample sentences I was making for word problems, and how they were basically jokes. Those students ended up enjoying a lot of what I was doing, but it was more about the performance, rather than the content of what I was teaching.
In a way it seems that you're constantly trying to figure out the world around you, and I'm curious if that's led you to other, larger questions, like religion?
Lately for the first time I've started thinking about religion more. My father was a Greek Orthodox priest. I went to church all the time, Sunday school, everything. I was an altar boy until I left for college. My father wasn't very doctrinal. He wasn't always quoting scripture, or heavy-handed about anything. It was more that he was a community leader and was good at motivating people, and was a good speaker. He usually spoke extemporaneously. From behind the altar I could see the pulpit, and he'd have a little envelope with some words scratched on it, and he'd talk for 20 minutes or half an hour. He was always very humanistic. I never really thought that much about the theory of it, or the doctrine behind it, you know? But the bigger questions, like the existence of God, are what I always wondered about in college. Like, where do you go? Is there an afterlife? It's so hard to understand that stuff. I do know that when I think about physics and design, and I guess coincidence, causation, all that, it leads me to believe; maybe just because I want to have some sort of hope. I don't know if it's a being, but it can be something, or some kind of intention behind things. I was just talking to someone the other day, and I had a moment where I felt like I understood how chaos, order, and I think hope, all related. I tend to dichotomize things, so it's always like if you can look at things on different scales it can help you find your place on it. So like chaos and order is one simple dichotomy. Some people say that life is essentially random, it's just chaos, and that we just put meaning onto things. We manufacture order to have meaning, which to me seems like an interesting idea. I don't know if things are random, but there's definitely a chaos to nature. It seems if you just accepted that everything was completely random and there was no order, then that would lead to despair, because without some order it seems that you wouldn't have meaning, or purpose. The other day it was really succinct. It came to me in a way that I could understand things, and then it kind of left me. But for a second there I was like, “Oh, that's why people want structure, or have to have so many goals, or believe that things are a certain way. Or even when people oversimplify things just because they want certainty, to have comfort.” I think it relates to comfort because there's an unrest that comes with accepting too much chaos. But at the same time if you're trying to create things, it's almost that you have to respect and acknowledge a certain randomness and chaos, because that seems to be the very soup that you can pull really nice bits from. I don't really know. I asked my mom probably a month ago if she believed in God. And she said, “I don't know, I don't think so, no.” I never thought to ask my mom that. She was like, “Isn't that funny? I was married to a priest.” I don't think that she secretly didn't believe in God the whole time, but it was a way of going about things, not really asking directly to one self. I think belief is a fascinating area because I don't really understand how you acquire belief. Belief seems to be the thing that people kill each other over, and become so angry about, and it's so hard to change. I've always been so interested in belief acquisition. I feel like you can acquire what you think, because it becomes very empirical, or rational, or it's just logical, based on experience. Maybe that's how you come to believe things, but the unshakable belief in a certain doctrine—I just can't get a handle on that. I don't ever feel that. When I see people freaking out over a sports team, I never feel like I'm that excited about anything in life. I feel generally happy and excited about things, but I never feel like I'm going to go crazy for anything. There's nothing that I really want to paint my face for, or stand in the cold for. Like some guys running around with a ball. But maybe that's the same kernel that belief springs from. I don't want to say that I don't believe in things, I just don't know what I do believe in. I believe in certain principles I guess.
But don't you think that if you see the same results come up every time in relation to something, that that could lead to belief?
I guess so. However that's set when you're a child, or certain genetic propensities, your number of trials emerges, which would lead to a belief. I remember reading a quote somewhere that said, “Religion begins where science ends.” It was a succinct way to look back at history and see when that point in time was. Somebody told me a crazy stat about the percentage of Americans who no longer believe in evolution. It was startlingly high.
I find “intelligent design” to be an ironic phrase because I associate intelligence with science. But I guess for religious people, they associate it with God.
I read a great book when I was in college called “The Variety of Religious Experience” by William James. I've read it 2 or 3 more times since then. James was a pragmatist. He was a real proponent of pragmatic theory, which I think was considered one of the first truly American theories. The book is really well written, it's really cogent. The basic idea I got from the book was, “The question is not whether there is a God. Let's not worry about that. The question is what does belief in a God yield?” It's almost like the end backwards. It's very applicable and immediate. It's just so readable. I read it a few times and remember feeling very comforted by it, and inspired.
Let's switch over to “The Daily Show.” Can you talk about how you got involved with that?
That was cool. Years ago I interned there. I went for tickets one day and said, “Do you guys need any interns?” And they said yeah. I think to this day I was the only law school intern. That was a good introduction to the TV biz, and how political it can be. I would run errands three days a week, picking up video tapes, riding the train all over the city to get things. And then I left there because I learned quickly that you don't move up the way I thought you did, like you start as an intern and then become a writer. I think it happens, but it's much rarer than I realized. So I became a temp and did all my other stuff. Then years later I got a call last summer, and Jon Stewart and Ben Karlin wanted me to come in to talk to them. So I went in there and they said, “Hey, we want to see if you can do stuff for our show. We like your stuff and want to see if this would be a good fit.” And I just thought, “Yeah, great.” So they said, “Take a week and give us some ideas.” So I gave them 6 ideas a week later and they picked one, which was kind of a hybrid of two of them, and that became the trendspotter. After that they said that it was brand new, and it's something you can figure out the structure, and what kind of beats you want to put into it. “We're not trying to make you a correspondent, like a news guy, we want you to do your thing and see if it works with the show.” That was such an exciting opportunity. I went home and started drawing, and then I did research. The first one I did was based on the marketing of wine to young people, how lately there's a trend to market wine to a younger demographic that usually drinks beer. Then we went and found people to interview, and I got to do my little drawings with it, and then I got to score it, and play music underneath things. I wrote it, so it was great. I worked with this guy Rory Albanese, who is a field producer, and we've become a team. I really enjoy working with him. It's really fun. They let me do what I want. The coolest thing is that Jon and Ben are very hands-on. They're very involved with everything on the show. They really care about the quality of every word that's going into every episode. They give us a lot of autonomy in the field. We shoot it and edit it, then we screen it for them and they say, “Ok, we like this, maybe move this around, take this out.” It's really cool. I remember when I had to hand in my script and it felt like I was handing in a college paper, like my professor is Jon Stewart. I remember him reading it, “You'll get a laugh there, good, good, ok, this is good.” I think it's going to be a once a month thing, as long as I can keep coming up with trends to talk about.
In your comedy set there aren't really any political jokes. How do you feel about being involved with a show that's so political?
Yeah, I thought that was a funny thing. I thought the only way I'd fit into that show is if I did something that was very apolitical, something very local and focused. I don't watch television, unless I'm maybe on the road and need to fall asleep in a hotel or something. I try not to read newspapers, which is kind of irresponsible I guess. But I've found that for my head, I'm a lot happier and more productive if I don't fill it with that kind of stuff. It seems to me that most of our culture is based on missing out on something, like the fear of missing out on something is a great commodity that's plied to get people to watch things, do things, and buy things. Once you actually start missing out and realize that you're fine, and even better off, it's so liberating. Like the Super Bowl, I don't care about the Super Bowl. I want to miss the Super Bowl. It's like “Season finale,” and I'm like, “Well fuck the season. Just leave me alone. I want to read a book or draw.” I told them when I first went in, “I don't know if I'm going to be right because I don't really focus on the news. I don't really watch TV.” But it's great because I can just pick and choose, and find stuff to talk about.
I've noticed your segments are probably the most idiosyncratic. You do the music, the graphics, you even composed your own theme song.
I know. I was surprised how cool they were with that, and even wanted it. With the opening, the first time we were in editing, before we screened a piece for Ben and Jon, we needed an opening. So I told the editor to turn on a mic and I just did a little drum beat. Then he stopped it and I did the scratching sound. He laid one over the other and they kind of matched up. When we played it for those guys it was just supposed to be a placeholder, but they laughed at it, so we kept it. It was one take and that was my trendspotting theme music. It was cool that they wanted a certain aesthetic along with it, which is just the lo-fi line drawing, the music to the best of my ability, and even performance to the best of my ability. It seems to work so far, and they're definitely happy with it. I've gotten good feedback from it. People have emailed me saying they like it and want to see more stuff.
It seems a lot of the humor in a typical "Daily Show" segment comes from interviews where the interviewee doesn't quite know what's going on. In your two segments you don't really do that.
Yeah, I don't think I'm that good at the other thing. I don't naturally gravitate towards that. I've learned to just naturally respect what my kinds of areas are. I'd rather not make things more difficult than they need to be for myself. I figured if the way I'm doing it isn't right, then I'm just not the right fit, and that's fine. I'd rather do it that way than think, “Oh God, I gotta be more like this. I've gotta do this so I can be on the show.” I remember somebody asking me once, “Do you get nervous before you go onstage?” And I was like, “No. Think of how terrible my job would be if I got nervous every time I had to do it. That's a place I like to be.” It's the same with the show. I'm doing segments that I feel comfortable doing; finding the bits in the interview that aren't necessarily about taking people down. Granted, I'm not doing investigative reporting. I'm usually not involved with stories that have two sides, so there's a certain degree of conflict that's immediately removed. It makes it easier for me to be less confrontational, or less snarky than in other segments. In that way it's a nice fit. The real key to me is that those guys seem to understand the way I do my comedy, and wanted to see if it would fit. It's such a golden opportunity. I'm forever grateful, even if those are the only two segments I do. It was really fun to get to make something that exists, because completion is hard. Finishing things is a big problem I have.
You did do some events for Kerry prior to the election, and I was wondering if you ever feel the need to combine politics and comedy?
I guess to me it's about finding the natural fit for a person. For example I've thought of dirty jokes before that I thought were genuinely funny. Every now and then I'd try one and it does not work. People do not want to hear that from me. They're few and far between. In a way I guess they're right, it's not really my thing. So politically it's kind of similar. I saw Chris Rock and thought, “Oh, that's so brilliant, this guy is saying something.” But I think for me to spend my time trying to make something because of the ends it achieves is too result-oriented for me. I'm going back to what I did when I was younger, which is focusing on making stuff in general, and then seeing how it comes out. It's even part of why I left law school. I went to law school to be a public interest lawyer. I was like, “I want to do community development, or juvenile rights, help poor people.” But what I found was that after a certain point, I really wasn't enjoying it that much. I loved the idea of being a person who does those things, but the honest truth was that I'd rather be writing jokes. It's probably more selfish. That leads back to your question about why not do jokes that affect the system? Maybe at some point I would if I think the jokes are good enough. But the root of all it for me is that I like writing things that are as timeless as possible. And doing something too topical seems like a waste of energy. I like creating something and letting it exist. And then if I feel like talking about it in 3 years, I can still talk about it. Like chairs should probably not change too much, or balloons. I don't like doing jokes that you have to know something beyond basic knowledge in order to get the joke. I don't want to do a joke where you have to know a artist I mentioned, or something about some guy's politics. It's like, “I don't really care about that other guy, and now a prerequisite for my comedy is that you have to know about who Caspar Weinberger is?”
Lastly, could you talk about what it was like to meet Steven Wright?
Oh yeah, that was great. When I worked at Conan he was a guest once. So I went down to meet him with Brian Kiley, who is a comedian and one of the other writers. He's from Boston and he knows Steven Wright pretty well. So he said, “Oh hey Steve, this is Demetri. He's a writer and also a comedian.” And Steven Wright said, “Good to meet you. Oh yeah, do you do a thing with drawings?” And I said, “Yeah, I do.” And he goes, “Oh, it's hilarious.” I guess he had seen my [Comedy Central Presents] special. So we started talking and I said, “Listen, I just wanted to say that I saw you when I was in high school and it was really inspiring, you're a big influence on me. I'd say a good part of the reason why I did comedy in the first place was because of you. I know I'm a derivative of you, and I need to take some time and get more to myself.” And he's like, “Oh yeah, whatever.” It's like this big moment for me. And then he goes, “I don't know about you, but it takes me forever to build up my act because every joke is about 20 seconds long, and a laugh is 5 or 7 seconds.” And I was like, “Yeah, me too.” And he goes, “And it's only like 1 out of every 4 jokes that are funny sometimes.” I was thinking, “Jesus, 1 out of 4, that means I have to write 20,” because I thought the guy was 5 times funnier than me at the time. To me he's a true original. When I saw him when I was young I was like, “Wow. This is completely different.” Every joke seemed so well crafted, and poetic. And often very visual in what it conjured in my head as a listener. I feel that Steven Wright is a really important branch on the tree of standup comedy.
/ done formatting / now can post & then read
I think he looks more ENFp than ENTp (VI-wise).
“Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”
Originally Posted by Gilly
Si's are mellow, no?Originally Posted by ScarlettLux
Are Ne's really mellow? Not so sure about that. I thought they were more high strung.
high strung would be more along the lines of exxj temperment, them being that way can also result as them being a victim of their environment because they are easily excitable and can take things the wrong way, because they are not likely to have doubts about themselves. exxp can appear introverted because their mind is everywhere and their outward appearance don't seem to be everywhere.Originally Posted by astralsilky
I think Si quadra types seem more mellow. They aren't usually callous, or resolute like se quadra types. I'd say Rational types seem more mellow than irrationals. this is based on rationals more consistent emotional state, and not letting the situations around them destroy their internal state. This could definitely make a person seem mellow.
yeas i agree that rationals have a more consistent emotional state, but this is exactly what can destroy them because it might not be what the situation calls for and then ending up with them going to victim mode. it's like black and white, there is no grey area for them to compromise.Originally Posted by heath
I am pretty much like that, actually. (Most of the time, at least.)Originally Posted by posablethumb
“Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”
Originally Posted by Gilly
There are clips out there showing when, at least on one occasion, two of his female relatives came on the stage (Mom and ???). He gives them recognition (in an understated, "aww, shucks," conservative-values type of fashion) during his performance.Originally Posted by hkkmr
Why Ti from the interview?
What type(s) would do this sort of thing? Does anyone HERE do things like this? At first I thought this was Te+Si in focus, but now am seeing other possible ways to interpret this.I was worried that I would end up sitting around watching TV or something, because I didn't know that I could do it at all without structure. It turned out to be the opposite. I was much busier and really more involved with what I was trying to do. I think mostly because I created my own structures, and made games out of things. At some point I created a point system, like breaking my life down into categories, and then in each category trying to achieve certain things in a week's time. Every Sunday night I would tally up what I had achieved, for a total possible of 35 points. It was mind, body, career, personal management/relationship contribution. It was pretty funny. It was really ambitious in retrospect. The stuff I set out to do each week was pretty much impossible. I kept track of it for 27 weeks. I had a binder in which I actually was consistent for half a year. Every week I'd carry it around with me. I never got 35 points. I never even got close. Years later I found it, and I was like, “Oh my god, this is crazy.” 4 points was my lowest week, and I think 24 was my highest. When I made the system I figured I'd be topping out in the 30s, and once I'm close to my maximum, I'll just bump up each category, I'll just make the goals a little harder. And then that way I can develop a balanced set with the different things that I'm trying to learn how to do. I averaged 11 points out of my own system. So I failed kind of miserably. But the cool thing is that ever since then I haven't really ever been bored.
That could be because ixxp temperament try to keep themselves at a peaceful and inactive level. moments where an ixxp temperament feels betrayed could be because of the highstrung emotions/energies they percieved at the time as disruptive to their inner peace (typical of exxj temperament, why ixxp are conflict with exxj, in your case enfj ), because they are very sensitive to the struggle of keeping their innerstate peaceful. there are helpful articles of temperaments of types on wikisocion.orgOriginally Posted by Winterpark
i think it is Si quadra focus. it sounds like something i have done, and would do. In fact,i was going to try and calculate exactly how much money i spend in a day. including shampoo, food, automobile, gas. i have a lot of ideas of exactly how i can figure out the costs. but just for curiosities sake. i would develop the method then hope others would follow.Originally Posted by astralsilky
Thank you for your input so far, everyone.
OK, I've decided that Demetri Martin is indeed some variety of ENTp.
Because I'm in an anal retentive mood right now, I'm getting his name right.
This guy is one of my favorite comedians, and I saw a set of videos from a stand up bit he has done that I thought had some very interesting socionic content.
FWIW, I believe him to be an ENTp. I see a lot of and content in these videos.
What say you?
Except for the fact that I think he's LII. Absolutely everything in that show is in this perfect logical structure.
I mean, yes, his humour is incredibly Ne, but there's a constant backdrop of Ti.
I think I agree with Ashton and his SEI typing.