As soon as he was finished with his exam Thursday evening, Richard Lee ran to Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. The Weinberg junior had to be first in line for “An Evening with Demetri Martin.” It didn’t matter that he would have to stand in the pouring rain for nearly two hours, he said.
“I’m quite a fan of Demetri Martin,” Lee said. “I probably would have come earlier if I wasn’t taking an exam. I’m even having my friends bring me dinner.”
An hour later, nearly 300 students had lined up outside Pick-Staiger with umbrellas and rain boots in tow. At 7 p.m., doors finally opened, and many students, including Lee, ran inside to catch a front-row seat.
Comedian Martin spoke and performed for a sold-out audience of nearly 1,000 as A&O Productions’ winter speaker. Martin alternated between his trademark one-liners, songs and visual comedy throughout the night.
“It’s a nice day, ” Martin joked as he walked out on stage. “This is perfect weather if I was a murderous horseman.”
The comedian spent the first 10 minutes examining the stage and asking the audience about Northwestern.
“I saw the venue’s name on my itinerary, and it has Pick in it, right?” he asked. “That’s really persuasive.”
Communication sophomore Tyler Feder spent Monday night with her friends making shirts with Martin’s jokes on them.
“We thought that it was something unusual that would make the performer notice you,” Feder said. “I think he had the right kind of humor for NU. It’s quirky and smart.”
Martin’s hour-and-a-half show included stand-up about everything from piñatas to sheep to the environment.
“A tree house is really insensitive,” he said. “That’s like killing something and making one of its friends hold it.”
He then played the piano, ukulele and guitar while reciting ways to end awkward silences and making a list of things he would rather do than wait in line for a nightclub.
Finally, Martin presented his “Large Pad” with drawings, like a curve graph of how entertaining karaoke performers are in relation to how bad they are. The worse they are, the more entertaining it is to watch, he said.
Martin wrapped up his performance with older jokes from past comedy specials, many of which elicited the most laughter of the night.
“Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies,” he joked, saying that everyone knows glitter sticks everywhere when used.
A&O leaders said they were satisfied with the performance.
“It was a great show, and the crowd really seemed to enjoy it,” said Weinberg junior Adam Pumm, A&O’s director of speakers. “I don’t think there is anything we could have done better.”
Martin ended the night by asking audience members if they had any questions for him.
The audience was mostly quiet until one student yelled out, “So how old are you really?”
Students yelled out guesses until he answered with “35.”
Students like Lee said they loved the show and that Martin included new material.
“I liked hearing new stuff mostly because I’ve heard his CD so many times,” Lee said. “But I wish I had asked to take a picture with him.”