The most important show of the season

Demetri Martin brings his quirk to Comedy Central with “Important Things”

So it begins... Photo courtesy Martin Schoeller (Comedy Central)

Ashley Goetz

So it begins… Photo courtesy Martin Schoeller (Comedy Central)

âÄúImportant Things with Demetri MartinâÄù STARRING: Demetri Martin SHOWING: Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 9:30 p.m. When Dave Chappelle uncomfortably parted ways with Comedy Central in 2005, he left the network in a bit of a pickle. How on earth could they replace the funniest show on television? Company executives, undoubtedly feeling pressure from their clandestine Viacom overlords, decided to fill the void with an exact replication of the âÄúChappelleâÄôs ShowâÄù formula. Enter: the insufferable Carlos Mencia . Mencia followed the routine of racially candid stand-up and zany skits, but his problem was that his show lacked any sort of intelligent thought or tact. Now, after four extraordinarily unfunny seasons of âÄúMind of Mencia,âÄù Comedy Central has taken the hint, handing over the sketch comedy reigns to a comic that is far superior to the reprehensible Mencia in every single way. His name? Demetri Martin. The new show, which airs Feb. 11, is called âÄúImportant Things with Demetri Martin.âÄù It has a similar Chappelle-modeled format, but offers a lot of room for Martin to display his unique brand of comedy. HereâÄôs how it works: Each show has an overall theme [i.e. timing, power] that Martin expounds on via stand-up routines, sketches and brief clips. MartinâÄôs stand-up act is what really sets him apart from his comedic contemporaries. He has an uncanny knack for de-familiarizing everyday life, making for observations that are hilarious but also intelligent. Whereas MenciaâÄôs trademark may be âĦ yelling, Martin sets himself apart by pontificating like a professor borrowing from the deadpan school of Steven Wright. Martin also has the ability to just be plain wacky, spouting off absurdities that will leave viewers rolling. But possibly the most interesting aspect of MartinâÄôs stand-up is his incorporation of drawing and a handful of musical instruments. One episode even has Martin flipping pages of drawings, each of them telling a joke, while simultaneously playing the guitar, harmonica, tambourine and foot chimes. All jokes aside, that is impressive. The first episode finds Martin discussing the concept of timing, which includes everything from an actor with terrible timing to a janitor who repeatedly travels to the past to have sex with famous women. The latter sketch is incredibly funny and perfectly exemplifies MartinâÄôs wit as well as his absurdity. In the âÄúPowerâÄù episode, Martin shows how adding or removing words from sentences can cause incredible power shifts. Martin theorizes that adding DJ to the front of any name can take power away âÄî for example, DJ Abraham Lincoln. MartinâÄôs style is definitely strange and might not be for everyone, but if âÄúImportant ThingsâÄù can maintain its subtle balance of intelligent humor and downright ridiculousness, it is sure to succeed. He definitely has the skills to make the show a hit; hereâÄôs hoping that the bigwigs at Comedy Central know whatâÄôs good for them.