Looking for someone not laughing at Demetri Martin’s Family Weekend show was, like “looking for a snail’s asshole,” hard to find.
Martin’s Saturday night stand-up comedy show comes on the heels of his spring “Point Your Face at This” tour, which promoted his recent picture book of the same name. During Martin’s one-hour set, he showed a few drawings and graphs on his iconic large pad. The illustrations included a proposed new logo for MTV — a steaming turd — and a bar graph with two bars of even height, depicting humans and praying mantises as “things that pray.”
Martin, casually wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt, poked fun at Binghamton University during his set. He pointed out the absence of banners in the Events Center and questioned the veracity of the school mascot.
“I asked one of the ladies who works at your events staff what your mascot is,” Martin said. “She said, ‘It’s a bearcat, they exist.’”
The show sold about 2,000 tickets. Martin said he was surprised that so many family members spent money on a college show.
“Haven’t you guys spent enough already?” he said.
The show began when Martin, from behind the stage, introduced his opening act, Levi MacDougall, who performed for a half hour.
“We just wanted to show you what happens when you’re not raised by a family,” MacDougall said. “You become comics.”
MacDougall, who frequently joked about his Canadian origins (“I grew up in Celsius air”), wrote for Martin’s former Comedy Central show, “Important Things with Demetri Martin.”
Throughout Martin’s set, he intermittently asked for and answered questions from the crowd. He told an audience member that he wanted “Important Things” to be canceled.
“To be honest, what I want to do is tour around in shitty rental cars and go to different colleges,” Martin said.
Toward the end of the show, Martin brought MacDougall back onstage and performed a bit with him. They had conversations that exemplified potentially useful phrases for conversation, like “a snail’s asshole,” “dusting a bowling ball” (appreciated but unnecessary), “all tweets” (all flash and no substance) and “the cat’s lingerie” (even better than the cat’s pajamas).
Martin mentioned that he was a history major at Yale University and that Halloween was his favorite holiday.
“You don’t have to celebrate that one with your family,” Martin said.
Mariana Moriello, vice president of programming for the Student Association, brought Martin for Family Weekend because he isn’t as raunchy as other comedians, like Lewis Black, who came for Family Weekend last year.
“I’m glad it was good for all ages,” said Moriello, a senior majoring in psychology.
In addition to his pad, Martin deviated from the traditional monologue style of stand-up by simultaneously playing a harmonica and a guitar. And between harmonica notes, he threw in one-liners about his own life.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m being watched, and then I remember that my show got canceled three years ago,” he said.