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Tales from the barkside

You're a legend Dave.

by Amily » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:05 pm

Tales from the barkside
Jesse Kuch
Thursday, November 5, 2009
© The Cairns Post

Hilarious American comedian Arj Barker will have Cairns audiences in stitches this Sunday, writes Jesse Kuch

Whether you know him from his stand-up, his role as Dave in hit TV series Flight of the Conchords or maybe just from his hilarious animated adventures Arj and Poopy, there is no denying that Arj Barker is one of the funniest men in show business.

With well over 10 years on the international circuit, he has become one of the most recognised and sought after comedians in the world today and is an almost adopted Australian headlining many of the country’s biggest events, such as the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival and Sydney’s Comedy Island.

Heading to town this weekend on his latest national tour, timeOUT caught up with Arj to find out about his roots, the touring comedy scene and what he thinks of our wide brown land.

Arj says he fell into the world of comedy almost by accident.

"I didn’t really think about stand-up until I tried it, it kind of happened on a whim," he says.

"A friend asked me to do it and I said yes, at the time I didn’t think much of it. I’ve always been a bit of a goof but I didn’t think it would become my career at first. I just sort of kept at it, there were breaks but there wasn’t really one big one. I made my way up by doing the hard work and I’m still making my way up really." Arj says he loves the fact he’s been totally embraced by Australian audiences and thinks that we have a very strong comedy scene compared to the rest of the world.

"Initially, I enjoyed it as a pleasant, lovely place to visit with a friendly audience," he says.

"After all, what’s not to like about it? It became more and more like a second home as I was embraced by the public here. It’s always good to come out here, it’s very rewarding. I think stand-up is really popular in Australia, the general public are really excited about it.

"The US went through that in the ’80s, it was everywhere and it became over-saturated on TV and the bottom fell out of it a bit.

"Of course, there is a percentage of the population who always want to see stand-up and it’s by no means gone but the fat got skimmed away a little, while here in Australia it’s still within the boom."

Arj says his much-loved role as the uber-cynical Dave in Flight of the Conchords, with New Zealand comedians Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, is another exciting aspect of his career he’d like to explore further.

“I’ve got a lot more experience as a stand-up, but the being in the show has been really good. I’d definitely like to do more acting if the roles come my way,” he says.

>> Arj Barker performs at the Cairns Civic Theatre this Sunday from 8pm. Tickets range between $34.90 and $39.90, available now from www.ticketlink.com.au or by calling 1300 855 835.

Source: http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2009/11/05/73725_entertainment.html
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