Escaping problems at Perth Comedy Festival with Arj Barker’s Organic


Arj Barker.
Arj Barker.

ARJ Barker reckons he’s racked up about 30 visits to Perth over his lengthy three-decade career.

The San Fran funny man enjoyed running ‘the bridges’ around our city on one visit.

“It was pretty bloody long – that took it out of me,” he said.

“I don’t run much these days; I use the elliptical as it’s a little more gentle at my age (43).”

Recently married and continuing to divide his time between the US and Australia, Barker is back in town next month for new show, Organic.

You may see him at one of our beaches he can’t remember the name of.

Or maybe at the Cat Haven in Shenton Park: he recently shared a post from the society, urging people to adopt a cat.

“When I saw those cats I felt sorry for them and I wanted them to go to good homes, so I just tried to help out,” Barker said.

“I don’t want them to be put down.”

Barker said Organic was a solid show from beginning to end and an escape from people’s problems.

Expect talk about relationships and trying to eat healthy versus trying to be happy, but don’t expect any Trump jabs.

“My favourite thing is universal comedy – things people relate to and which make them more connected to each other,” Barker said.

“I like to talk as if I’m addressing the whole human tribe. My ideas are: ‘what can make the world better and what are we doing wrong’ and I make comedy out of that.

“Political jokes don’t last very long; things change and suddenly the joke isn’t relevant. Universal issues don’t change.”

Barker has enjoyed an extended spell in the spotlight and maintains a solid reputation, especially Down Under, but the material doesn’t come easily.

“The hardest part of the job now is trying to come up with a new show,” he said.

“When I’m working hard at it I tend to turn off my phone and even cover up clocks in the room and just try to sit there and let ideas come as they will.

“For years I would write by hand but now I know how to type – I just ramble with whatever comes out.

“Initially an idea isn’t very good but then I can springboard into another idea.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Arj Barker Organic

Where and when: Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, May 1, tickets www.manpac.com.au

Regal Theatre, Subiaco, May 3-5, tickets www.ticketek.com.au

Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre, May 10, tickets www.trybooking.com