Arj Barker

Arj Barker

Date of birth: 12-08-1974
Half-Sikh, half-European US comic Arj Barker tried stand-up comedy as a dare, at the age of 19, and was instantly bitten by the bug. He dropped out of college and hit the road, and has rarely stopped since.

As well as his native USA – where he has appeared on all the late-night shows including Letterman, Conan, and the Tonight Show - he regularly appears on the international festival circuit across the UK, Australia and New Zealand and beyond. He appeared in Edinburgh every year from 1997, when he won the Perrier best newcomer prize, to 2000.

He co-wrote an off-Broadway show in 2004 called the The Marijuana-Logues, a parody of The Vagina Monologues about dope-smoking

That same year he landed the lead role in an NBC sitcom, Nearly Nirvana, in 2004. But he was later replaced by the show's creator, Ajay Sahgal, and still the show never aired.

In 2007, he won a recurring supporting role in the HBO hit Flight Of The Conchords, playing Brett and Germain’s friend Dave.

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Carlsberg Cat Laughs 2010 [8]

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Steve Bennett

The prize for the worst audience members in all of Carlsberg Cat Laughs 2010 goes to the four-man stag party ejected from this Sunday-night gig. Damian Clark, the thoroughly entertaining compere of this potential car-crash, reckoned it was a festival first to have anyone thrown out, though I suspect that might have been hyperbole.

The only problem was that it took the bouncers some time to come down from the hotel upstairs to deal with the disruptive, drunken, incomprehensibly shouty neanderthals – so festival debutant Gearoid Farrelly had to cope with them during his set. And although a slight, camp slip of a man, this relative newcomer took their unwelcome grunts in his stride, keeping them as much in their place as was humanly possible.

Aside from twat control, Farrelly proved himself to be a nifty wit, with tales of his bitchy Nana, growing up gay and of rabbit slaughter. His material can be deliciously cruel – he certainly seems to have inherited some traits from his grandmother – yet delivered with such cheeky glee that he more than gets away with it. He’s a real blast of energy, and guiltily enjoyable with it.

Classy Arj Barker brought the house down with his inspired opener about the lads who had just been ejected before he came on stage, before settling into his solidly witty, although only rarely roof-raising, routine.

His shtick is a bewildered incredulity at some aspects life. The persona is of a benign, naive and possible pot-afflicted fool – yet even he sees how ridiculous the world is. From homophobia to pirates, he calmly sets out the situation as he sees it, occasionally offering an unworkable solution to the issue.

He’s cool and collected, never really in much of rush to hit the next punchline, which does affect the laugh rate, although liberally throws in quirky half-jokes, such as comic mispronunciations of a common word, as little placeholders until we get to the main gag. When those jokes come, they tend to be inventive and ‘idiot savant’ smart – and certainly in keeping with his confident, but distinctively semi-detached, character.

The show was brought to a close by the buzzy-but-flawed PJ Gallagher, who we’ve reviewed earlier this festival.

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Published: 10 Jun 2010

Alternative Show

Despite its status as one of the world’s most prestigious…

Tim Allen gala

For Tim Allen, this was hailed as a triumphant return…

Arj Barker

An able and witty comic, American stand-up Baker nonetheless…

Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2000

Arj Barker

Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Arj Barker: Let Me Do The Talking

Melbourne 2005

Arj Barker: Ego No Amigo

Montreal 2004

Tim Allen gala

Montreal 2008

Alternative Show


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