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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 August, 2003, 00:03 GMT 01:03 UK
Yale man Martin creates buzz
Demetri Martin
Demetri Martin is a Yale drop out
Demetri Martin has won the Perrier prize on his first attempt and first visit to the UK but his success is not entirely unexpected.

Martin was the comedian above all who generated the all-important festival "buzz".

He may have been a newcomer to Edinburgh but he had already established himself on the notoriously difficult US comedy circuit.

An online regular on website Comedy Central he has also enjoyed high profile appearances on the David Letterman show and Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

I guess I liked joking around with my friends in the dining hall and stuff like that
Demeti Martin
He also won the jury award for best show at the US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado and is reported to have a sitcom in development with NBC, home of Friends and Frasier.

Martin's Edinburgh show is peppered with charts and diagrams as he talks about his life - Daily Telegraph critic Mark Monahan called him "funny, hypnotic and entirely original".

The influential review in the Scotsman said: "This show is a stunningly clever symbiosis of intellect and humour, nurtured along with some traditional educated American neuroticism and charm."

Writing in the Guardian about his first appearance at Edinburgh, Martin said: "A year ago I didn't know what the fringe festival was. I did know what Perrier was: if you got sauce on your shirt it would help get it out pretty quickly."

A Yale graduate he is said to have spent his junior year composing a palindrome called Dammit, I'm Mad, the longest, non-computer generated, sense making palindrome in English, during his class in Fractals.

He started comedy after attending New York university law school.

'Joking'

He told the Yale Herald: "I went right to NYU Law School after college, and when I got there I figured I'd have to do stand up at least once, give it a shot.

"I guess I liked joking around with my friends in the dining hall and stuff like that.

"And NYU Law School is right across from a comedy club, and I was passing it every day, and it was calling me every time."

Martin dropped out of law school after winning an internship with the TV network Comedy Central.

After getting his first taste of stand up he knew he had found his career.

"That first night I got off stage and had this high, like I had found something that really fit," he said.


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