“The easier it is to draw the shape of a state,” says comedian Demetri Martin, “the harder it is to live in.”
Luckily for the 34-year-old, he moved with his parents from Brooklyn to the squiggly confines of New Jersey when his father, a Greek Orthodox priest, was assigned to a local parish. Martin grew up in Toms River, then graduated from Yale in 1995 and enrolled at the NYU School of Law.
“I planned on being a lawyer since age eleven,” he says. “When I finally got there, I realized it was boring.”
He quit law school and began doing stand-up comedy, then in 2003 got a job as a writer for Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Last year he joined The Daily Show as the program’s youth correspondent. He’s now writing a screenplay for DreamWorks, Will, about a man living in a world where scribes in heaven write people’s destinies.
It appears exchanging a JD for a microphone wasn’t such a bad idea.
“It’s like treating life like after-school activities; what things do you really look forward to?” Martin says. “The next question is, how do I get money for that? I think if you can answer those two, then you probably found your career. For me, that happened to be stand-up.”