Let's Hear It For Demetri Martin

  • 3comments

Never heard of Demetri Martin? Neither had we. The baby-faced comedian infiltrated mainstream America a few years ago, but his bizarre brand of comedy still fails to resonate here. Sure, E4 brought him to our shores last autumn but the first season of Important Things was well hidden as is the upcoming second. It's a shame really: his sense of humour seems perfect for a UK audience. He's already proven popular at Edinburgh's Fringe Festival (where he won the Perrier award in 2003) and now he's got a second shot at the main stage, on British TV. Will he make a lasting impression this time?

His ten-part show, Important Things with Demetri Martin, uses sketches, stand-up skits and animations to loosely examine a theme each Thursday (from July 1). First up, the topic of attention. Among the props are a wig-wearing dog, an unfortunate Halloween outfit and a mixture of alternative road signs. Some to great comic effect, others to none at all. Given the effort that's gone into the rest of the show, it's almost a shame to say the simple stand-up sections are the funniest.

Like many comedy series, Important Things is very hit-and-miss, and as a niche comedy it's unlikely to build a mainstream British following. There's still plenty of opportunity for it to gain cult status, however. Martin is random and obscure like Flight of the Conchords' Rhys Darby, and he's not scared to act a little awkward like most of The Mighty Boosh crowd. That said, comparing Important Things with other shows is unfair: this series' abrupt sequences are charmingly unique.

While long-running comedy shows such as Mock the Week and QI submerge the British TV schedule with their old-fashioned panel formats, Important Things offers variety and originality. If only E4 (and E4 HD) hadn't hidden it on Thursday night's 11.20pm slot behind the comedy dregs Accidentally on Purpose and Alan Carr: Chatty Man.

Like TV.com on Facebook