Demetri Martin delivers laughs and rhythm at the CFA

Comedian delights, brings humor to UB


Comedian Demetri Martin joked about sex toys, the spelling of Wednesday and that “nearly one-half of all Americans are torsos.” He told all his wise cracks in a calm but non-stop delivery that he’s become known for.

Martin and opener Erin Harkes performed their latest sets to a packed house Saturday evening at the Center for the Arts (CFA). The comedian performed as part of his latest stop on his ongoing “Let’s Get Awkward” tour.

Martin earned his first laugh immediately as he walked onto the CFA stage and improvisationally commented on the venue and the confusing layout of the campus.

Martin’s jokes were crafted to a tee, with the brevity and pace that one-liners require. He earned his biggest laugh when a woman in the audience shouted “cracker!” to indicate she wanted him to tell his “aerodynamic perforated cracker” joke from his 2015 Netflix special “Demetri Martin: Live (at the Time).”

He responded to the heckler’s suggestion, jokingly saying “that’s a little racist.” He then told the requested joke in a half-hearted but good natured way as he set up his microphone stand for his next musical performance.

Many students and their families attended the show together to cap off the Saturday of family weekend with shared laughter. Martin’s comedic styling rarely nears the line of edgy territory - other than a few quietly whispered f-bombs - making the material perfect for the “college student with their parents” crowd.

Dave Rossman, Sam Bancroft and Abe O’Brien traveled from Geneseo to see the show. They are all big fans of Martin, spanning back to his Comedy Central stand-up specials and his television show “Important Things with Demetri Martin.”

Rossman said he’s a “huge fan” of Martin and said that his tendency to solely rely on one-liners, rather than stories and his ability to play music while performing jokes, sets him apart from other comedians.

Rossman, Bancroft and O’Brien agreed that the highlight of the show was when Martin ended his set with a story about him and his wife’s experience at a restaurant when a waiter delivered toast to the couple in an unorthodox method.

Local residents Michael and Nancy Moore attended the show and enjoyed Martin’s jokes. Saturday marked the second time Michael had seen Martin perform live, first seeing him at Niagara University.

“He’s got that not-just outright kind of humor, but thoughtful humor,” Michael Moore said. “Taking a different perspective on things that are probably pretty obvious, but we don’t think about it so it comes across as being funny or humorous.”

Both Michael and Nancy Moore said Erin Harkes, the show’s opener, and Martin have different senses of humor but thought Harkes’ self-deprecating, physical comedy is similarly amusing as Martin’s style.

Corey Cygan, a West Seneca resident, also agreed that Harkes was a solid opener, enjoying her take on comical womanly topics.

“Demetri has a unique sense of humor, very well thought out, whereas other standup comedians might just go an ‘offensive route,’ Demetri relies on weird twists of words,” Cygan said.

Demetri Martin, who recently starred in the film “Dean,” will continue his tour with stops in New York City on Oct. 27 and 28.

Haruka Kosugi is a staff writer and can be reached at