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Demetri Martin talks shirt sizes, gay chili and treehouses at OSU

James Garcia / Lantern photographer

Your college education is no joke. That is, unless you were an Ohio State student who went to see Demetri Martin, the oddball comedian who was featured on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Wednesday in the Ohio Union’s Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in an Ohio Union Activities Board-sponsored event.

Martin said in an interview with The Lantern that he had an entirely new set prepared for a special he will be recording with Comedy Central and was excited to test it out on OSU students.

Martin joked about Michigan and T-shirt sizes to an audience of about 1,200 students.

“(Clothing) sizes are weird. They go small, medium, large, extra large, extra-extra large, extra-extra-extra large,” Martin said. “Something happened at ‘large’ where they gave up on the adjectives. That’s kind of lazy — we can do better than that: Small, medium, large, whoa, easy, slow down, stop it, interesting, American. Do you have this in a Michigan? No? Nailed it.”

Multiple times throughout his set, Martin broke the fourth wall by addressing questions and random shouting of audience members, creating an interactive and informal atmosphere, despite the ballroom being filled almost to capacity.

Between comedic banter with audience members, Martin’s hour-long set was primarily composed of his signature one-liners, analyzing odd patterns in language and taking a different perspective on everyday things.

“A treehouse is really insensitive,” he said. “That’s like killing something and then making one of his friends hold it. Not cool, tree. And a tire swing, that must look terrible to tires. That just looks like a lynching. Messed up.”

Martin has been known to make anagrams, making funny words by rearranging the letters of another, as he did when he constructed an elaborate poem out of all the letters on a bottle of Rolling Rock. One student, Emmily Chang, asked Martin to do an anagram of her name at the event.

“I’d have to think about it. Maybe, ‘gay chili?’ But then I have an ‘m’ left over there. We got gay chili, mm,” Martin said.

OUAB was unable to disclose the cost of bringing Martin to OSU, but Fontine Baptiste, OUAB comedy chair and a fourth-year in marketing, said the event was a success.

“Demetri Martin is an extremely talented comedian. Every quarter, my committee brainstorms different names and he comes up virtually every time,” Baptiste said. “He’s been very successful and we knew the students would love him.”

Martin is on tour promoting his upcoming special with Comedy Central, working on a concept for a television series and writing a screenplay for an upcoming film.

“Sometimes when I want to say ‘for example’ in a different way, I’ll say something such as ‘such as,’ for example,” Martin joked.

Baptiste said the event was successful, based on the “faces of students” and her personal enjoyment of Martin’s performance. She said she “would, without a doubt, ask him back again.”

As the OUAB staff shooed the students out of the ballroom, they recalled Martin’s jokes.

“It was fabulous,” said Dennie Patton, a first-year in physics. “I liked the one about the tree house and the tire swing.”

King Collins, a first-year in psychology, said he also enjoyed the show.

“He had a lot of original content,” he said. “I really enjoyed the show. I was like, ‘I know all your jokes,’ and he’s like, ‘But wait, I have new s—.’ Damn, Demetri, you got me.”

Martin said he hopes to continue growing and moving forward in his career by putting his best foot forward in each show.

“I try to do my best, wherever I’m at in that point in my career, so I hope that going forward things get better and better,” Martin said.

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