CALIFORNIAN comedian Arj Barker is a master manipulator of human emotion in his new show Organic.
The honorary Aussie ventured east of the city on Thursday to put Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre on the map in the WA leg of his 2018 tour.
His sidekick Steven Gates, on a break from the comedy trio Tripod, delivered a polished warm-up and within minutes of arriving on stage, Barker had the audience on side.
There were chuckles as he made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the ‘fresh smoky air’ as he drove up the hill to ‘Kalawonda’ or was it ‘Kalmunga’.
What followed was an achingly funny take on Barker’s life, from Uber taxis giveaways to the social dilemma of loose talk about TV spoiler alerts in public.
He boldly shared his views on married life and dryly confided after living with his partner for 12 months, why he understood how someone could contemplate murder.
His recipe for a harmonious partnership centred on compliance in matters relating to healthy eating, hence his venture into the world of gluten-free and vegan-friendly
“Gluten is what you put in food to make it edible,” he jibed and “people in Kalamunda like their apples smoked.”
Barker lands his jokes with impeccable timing and uses pathos as a seduction technique to set the tone for the next sequence of his routine.
He closed the show with guitar in hand and a comical ballad about a lost soul in search of freedom, who crashes back to reality after abandoning his mobile phone.
The musical wind up primed the audience for perhaps an overly long plug for his merchandise, which he softened with a handful of audience giveaways.