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That was a very helpful lesson; it taught me a lot about empathy and thinking outside of yourself. It teaches you about your own comedic voice, and how to do shows and listen to the audience and pay attention. When I started, I used to just go for walks in New York and daydream and jokes would float into my head and I’d write them in my notebook, and I’d try them at night. I used up a lot of ideas and material.” Now, especially when I’m getting ready for something, I have to sit down and write. The grown-up part is finishing it and selling it and raising money and all that shit.

Demetri Martin (DM): I’m someone—like many people—who came up in New York, spent a lot of time here, then moved to California. What I thought I could contribute to that conversation was looking at both places that many of us know very well, certainly through films and television, through the lens of a guy who’s trying to escape something in his own life. But what I found in life is sometimes a place can really change for you if there’s someone there you care about. There’s something interesting that can happen in that juxtaposition—it’s like a dialogue between them, the action and the little cartoon. I found problem-solving exhausting, and that’s really what kept me up at night. When I actually got to do what I thought the work of directing would be, I found it really stimulating and really fun.which gave the world a face behind his trademark clever-absurd wit, and showcased his talents for guitar strumming and drawing.In the decade since, Martin’s had his own (short-lived) series at Comedy Central, and moved more seriously into acting, taking the lead role in the Ang Lee-directed 2009 comedy follows the titular character (Martin), a cartoonist struggling to meet a deadline for a new book of drawings because he’s far too busy wallowing in a muted state of grief following the death of his mother.Screenwriting is really important to me, because I want to make films. I’m so psyched I got to make a movie, and it got distribution. So many things have to go right for this to even be out there.” But then when you get what you wanted, the answer is just more work—trying to sell the thing. Whatever people think of the movie, I beat the odds, because it exists. That’s one of the things that I find most challenging.

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