When I said Arj Barker was one of my favorite absurd stand-ups around, I wasn't sure if that was the right way to describe him, so I asked him myself.
Would you consider yourself an absurdist? "Well, yeah, a little bit. Or an idiotist. Idioist? A lot of my humor is derived from me not getting it...People ask me how I can get away with talking about gay marriage and not be offensive. The joke is about me not getting it. Honestly, I don't spend any time analyzing myself unless I'm asked. My goal is just to get laughs and do a good show."
Here's a clip of Arj Barker performing last year at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia. It's a joke about the iPod that you can hear on his great new CD/DVD, LYAO, that shows how Barker's mind works differently from the typical mainstream club comedian. I previously posted two clips from the DVD itself. Roll it!
To hear what Arj has to say about the competitive nature of stand-up comedy and show business, working in Australia and the U.K., Flight of the Conchords (where he was a regular supporting character on their HBO series) and writing funny jokes, keep reading...
Arj Barker is one of my favorite absurdist stand-up comedians, and the debut of his latest stand-up special, LYAO, gets its premiere tonight on Comedy Central (air times: 11 p.m. Eastern, and also 4 a.m. Eastern Sunday) before coming out on CD and DVD next week. I'll have more to share with you then.
Comedy Central is only airing 41 minutes of the 65 minutes you'll get on Arj Barker's CD, so know there's more fun out of this guy. Here are two clips from the first seven minutes, in which Barker takes his Minnesota audience to task for how they define themselves -- both by lakes and as a Twin City -- followed by his trip to Ireland and a debate with the Irish about how to handle a lady. Roll the clips!
In real-life, the New Zealand comedy music duo Flight of the Conchords won a Grammy this year and is up for another one in 2009. In their HBO show, however, Bret and Jermaine are still trying to catch a break as the second season opens. Funny or Die gets to bring us the premiere a month before it airs on HBO, for American audiences only (sorry, not my call), so watch it now, and see what happens. Greg Proops, Andrea Rosen and Andrew Secunda make appearances, as well as season one regulars Kristen Schaal and Arj Barker. There's also a subplot for Crazy Doggs (the competing band from Todd Barry and Demetri Martin).
Watch to the end, and you'll also get a sneak peek at the HBO comedy, East Bound & Down, featuring Danny McBride, Will Ferrell and Andrew Daly. Enjoy!