Adelaide, Adelaide Fringe 2015

Arj Barker, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 20 February 2015

Arj Barker has been on the touring circuit for the past 25 years. He knows what his audience wants and he delivers. Nothing is off limits, not even the well-trodden path of babies crying on planes and the pitfalls of spam email.

After an overstated entrance, he moves through some quick jokes before delving into longer topics. How annoying are children? The selfie generation. The audience titters, as the subject turns dirty. Poo jokes, now this is the Arj we know.

As his comedy has developed, Barker has moved away from frat boy humour. He has become more sincere, personal, family, even. It seems his audience is aging alongside this veteran comic. But Arj isn’t slowing down. His stories remain well timed, his quips are devastating and he keeps the audience on their toes.

But where are his famous weed jokes? Wait – they’re still here. Arj talks about how much stronger weed was ‘back in the day’ while making the obligatory Bob Marley comments.

Impressively, Arj keeps many of his jokes local to appeal to the Adelaide Fringe audience. He points out Adelaide’s burger obsession and congratulates us building the RAH, or as he refers to it an alien hub.

Deep into the show, Arj confesses his success, his life and his wealth. He inspires as he talks about success then cuts as he discusses his fame and your lack of it. But he always manages to end on a high, talking about happiness and fulfilment.

While sometimes Barker descends into dramatically delivered dad jokes, his style is otherwise honed. Punters will get what they paid for: wry observational humour, crude riffs and playful audience interaction. But nothing more.

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This post was written by who has written 1 posts on Buzzcuts.

Katerina Bryant is a writer, editor and law student based in Adelaide. Her work has appeared in journals such as Overland Online and Voiceworks. She spends her time editing for the SA Writers Centre’s Dubnium literary journal and thinking about greyhounds.

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