November 13, 2007

MAB books Daily Show comedian

Stand-up comedian Demetri Martin will perform at Mandel Hall on November 16, the Major Activities Board (MAB) announced Friday. Martin will replace indie-rock band the Decemberists, who canceled their fall tour due to a band member’s illness.

Martin is known for his deadpan one-liners, visual aids, and appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

After the Decemberists canceled their show in early November, MAB moved Martin from the scheduled winter concert to the fall. According to MAB members, it was easier to find a comedian on such short notice. “There was the idea of looking for another musical act, but they’re much more difficult to plan for and they take more time,” said third-year Joann Chen, a talent buyer for MAB.

Martin had been selected for the winter show from a group of nine comedians through a poll on MAB’s website. Other choices had included Zach Galifianakis, Dave Attell, and Russell Peters. From approximately 300 responses, Martin received over 20 percent of the votes, making him the top choice. MAB was able to confirm Martin’s move to the fall by November 5 and finalized the paperwork by November 9.

The show will be closed to the public, but University students with identification can buy tickets in the Reynolds Club for $8; tickets for staff cost $10.

Prices for the Decemberists concert were almost twice as much, with tickets costing $15 for students and $20 for staff. According to Justin Fleming, fourth-year MAB chairman, this is due to a combination of production costs and marketing. “Comedians have lower tech costs than musical acts, because they have less equipment,” he said “And we looked at how well we’d be able to get the word out and reset ticket prices accordingly…Now prices are low enough to have people come to check him out.”

Not all students were enthusiastic about the choice of talent, however. “I don’t think he’s especially funny,” said third-year Will Milton. “I chuckle [when I listen to him], but I never laugh.”

Fleming admitted that not everyone was happy with the choice. “It’s always tough to gauge what comedians are popular,” he said, “but some of the responses we’ve received have been very positive.”

Anya Thetford, a second-year, was one of those who liked MAB’s choice of Martin. “I think it will be more interesting than the Decemberists,” she said.