AQUA: Always Question Unvalidated Authority – at least that’s what Arj Barker says. And what he really means… well, I’ll leave you to find that out when you join the 1200 strong crowd at the Melbourne Town over the next few weeks. What I will share with you however, is that the 60 minutes of your life that you do invest in choosing to see Arj perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival does include: a journey around the world from extra terrestrial inter galactic spaces to the streets of Melbourne and everything in between. Essential lessons in life range from the positive effects of certain very small cats, expanding your options in the hotel bathroom as well as unravelling the mysterious effects of BEC parties ( especially outside California) which are just some of the many highlights of the evening.
On Friday night Arj certainly was on top of his game and the ‘tingles’ he was experiencing for opening weekend must have been of the better variety because despite a few flat moments there was nothing that a very enthusiastic audience weren’t willing to forgive.
After nearly seven years of visiting Australia and sharing his humour with a rapidly growing local following Arj comes ready to give the ‘sharp’ established Melbourne comedy audiences something more than just a recycled joke from Seinfeld. Or if he does, it promises to be bigger, better, invariably longer and all the more memorable for those very reasons. With the crowd filling the Melbourne Town Hall to near full capacity the audience quickly settled down to indulge in some acoustic threatening belly rumbling. This was despite the fact that on more than one occasion Arj had reason to wonder if certain demographics of the audience (or just the audience in general) were actually getting the punchline. Or was his joke in fact really all that funny.
But Barker fans will declare the hero of comedy was in tip-top condition and there were plenty of punters ready to raise the roof for their favourite parody and pun maker. This included numerous members of the audiences who were in a perpetual state of giggles for most of the night or laughed every time Arj drew a breath. The latter was occasionally annoying but easily forgivable as it was infectious.
Without giving away too many jokes the night certainly was packed to the brim with some very witty moments, a few obvious jabs at Aussie humour ( but we like that) and blasts from the past presented in a whole new way. Towards the end of the night Arj broke into song and wrapped up his performance with a somewhat harmonious attempt that definitely brought the night to a fittingly apt comedic conclusion.
So get ready for a few explosions from Arj (and your fellow audience members) and enjoy another great night out at Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival this year.