Tag Archives: Arj Barker

NZICF 18 | Arj Barker: Organic

Typically terrible Auckland traffic.  Running late for show, unexplained absence of my plus 1 …  All variables that may equate to a possibly unfortunate evening …

Luckily my Saturday night offered me salvation in the form of laid-back, renowned comic genius named Arj Barker and his show from the NZ International Comedy Festival 2018 – ‘Organic’.

An opening with air-craft safety demonstrations, Arj demonstrates his seasoned prowess and farcical technique, with topical comedic artistry.  With popular monikers and references to identifiable cities such as; ‘Boring Brisbane’ and Auckland – ‘The City of Sails’,  he uses his loll Californian drawl to his advantage.  Which is also evident in his relaxed dress, style of comedy, as well as his delivery …

Hilarious comparisons between marriage and murder.  The life-cycle of gluten and the consequential lack of pleasure whilst adopting an anti-wheat lifestyle, Arj taps into the raw and organic nature of our everyday lives and provides us with astute and observational humour in the process.

“You step in shit, at least you still have one good shoe … ”  Just one of the many amusing slogans/life affirming quotes (which incidentally you are able to purchase in sticker form after the show) that Arj Barker hits us with, throughout his witty and wild ramblings.

To me, his strength lies in his ability to coerce the audience in visualizing a specific (and sometimes ludicrous) scenario, albeit without props, but through pure wit and imagination.  His comparisons between death and marriage, through the medium of music; a’la Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” and Chopin’s ironically titled “Funeral March”, were admittedly on-point and certainly hit the funny frontal-cortex of many an audiences brain.

Concluding with an inspiring musical composition that ties together the theme of the show; organic living, produce and of course the soul of the apple …  All in tune with his signature Californian rhyming,

Arj Barker knocks the last organic apple off the tree and leaves us all wanting more!

 

*** Arj Barker: Organic is now playing for 2 more nights Friday 19th -Saturday 20th May

NZICF 16 | Jono And Ben – Live Recording

Jono and Ben hosted a lively show, to kick-start the New Zealand International Comedy Festival 2016. Guy Williams featured, along many other guests to give a taster of what’s to come for this years NZICF.

They brought their grass-roots, (and often) juvenile humour for what turned out to be an entertaining evening. Included in the show were the usual segments from ‘Jono and Ben’ (Man Vs Child, Next Actor), which proved to be the highlights in between breaks and cuts. During some cuts, Jono, Ben and Guy Williams interacted with the audience in a very honest and friendly way, really engaging with the audience when they had the chance.

A terrible yet hilarious comedic ‘live band’ featured, comprised of other comedians who are performing during the comedy festival. The band provided entertainment, as well as unsynchronized ‘music’ at the sometimes-correct moments, joking with the audience and creating a light-hearted atmosphere.

Guy Williams was a very prominent feature, working in tandem with Pryor. Boyce lapsed into obscurity a tad, lacking in presence and providing very little impact and very little to remember him by. It seemed like the paring was more Jono and Guy, with Ben as a background existence, unfortunately.

Arj Barker (Flight of the Conchords), Laura Daniels (from Funny Girls and Jono and Ben), Rhys Darby and Grant Lobban and guested with their unique styles, giving teasers of what to expect from their shows during the festival. Barker was a highlight, his relaxed, well-timed humour successfully building anticipation for his upcoming show. Rhys Darby (who’s hosting the Comedy Gala) and Grant Lobban closed the night with a snippet from ‘Rhysently Granted’, their somewhat confused performance-based show, with musical/sketch elements.

By the end I was left with the impression that Jono and Ben (although Jono especially) are genuine, friendly guys, and showed real enthusiasm toward the audience and their guests. I’ll still be watching the show on TV3, without the time in-between cuts.

heard | Our top picks for the NZ International Comedy Fest 2013

The New Zealand International Comedy Festival is back from Friday 26 April to Sunday 19 May in both Auckland and Wellington.  Like previous years, the festival promises a line-up of both local and international comedy super-stars.  With so many to choose from, you might not know where to begin.  To help, we’ve put together our list of top picks (in alphabetical order) for you to have a look at:

For more information, tickets and a bunch of other stuff, check out the Comedy Festival website.

ARJ BARKER

Arj Barker returns! Since his last trip to New Zealand Arj has been touring constantly, both solo and with his old pals, The Flight of the Conchords. According to Arj, his new show Go Time is both “what audiences expect from me, AND the last thing they expect from me, which if my calculations are correct, will make for a great show!”

“Slick, talented & completely in control” Scotland Times

 

BEN HURLEY & STEVE WRIGLEY – More Liv eand More Unleashed

After their hugely successful season at the 2012 Comedy Festival, stars of TV3’s 7 Days Ben Hurley & Steve Wrigley return with another huge hour of comedy. With stand-up, special guests and their unique unscripted banter, this is comedy as it should be. No rules, no censors, just two dudes doing funny.

The show has been picked up by TV3 for screening in 2013, this is sure to be one of the hottest tickets this Festival.

 BITCHIN’ BINGO – Bingo Mistress Viv

Bitchin’ Bingo is New Zealand’s only performance based comedy bingo show.

It’s hosted by the sharp tongued Bingo Mistress Viv, a beehive wearing Woodstock drinking ‘Westie’ from Henderson.

The bingo calls are not the ones your Nana would be used to, e.g. “G47: It’s not cheating if it’s with a lesbian!”

Viv’s original bingo call’s makes this show an R18 one! Be in to win great prizes, like bar tabs, booze, meat packs and more!

CHRIS MARTIN – Spot the Difference

After a popular debut here in 2012, The Classic welcomes back one of the hot young stars on the UK Pro circuit with a brand new show Spot the Difference.

“Destined for greatness. He’s got charm, anecdotes, call backs and a worrying father!” Sunday Times, UK

“Tight, well structured, funny and original” Chortle.co.uk

***** “Pushes every comedy button…sheer genius” Edinburgh Comedy Guide

**** “Fantastic comedy… a rising star” Edinburgh Festival Magazine
Danny Bhoy – Dear Epson
Letters. Funny old things? They can make you laugh, and make you cry. They can make paper aeroplanes. This show features some of the letters you never got round to writing because you thought life was too short. Well, I think life is just about the right length, so plenty of time to write to these arseholes. Crusade is not the right word, but join me on my crusade to effect real change in this broken world. This is a stand-up show with some sitting down.

“Had the audience simultaneously weeping with laughter and nodding in agreement” Herald Sun, AUS

Dave Bloustein – The Social Contract

All comedians make big claims, but how many get asked to prove they’re “funny” in a court of law? Dave did. One of Australia’s top comedy writers makes his NZ debut. Nominated TimeOut Sydney’s Best Comedian (2011).

Originally directed by Alan Brough and produced with a Moosehead Award.

“Intelligent and funny… with the smarts to cover ground few others have trodden” Chortle.co.uk

“Let it be said in print: Dave Bloustien is funny” The Age, AUS

Guy Williams – Guy Williams has won an Award
After five years of easy work Guy Williams is finally getting the respect he has never really deserved. With award in hand Guy can finally fulfill his dream of “nailing shit 24/7” and just generally “feeling the vibes.”

As seen on Jono and Ben at Ten and other things as well.

2012 Billy T Award Winner

Metro Best Comedian (2012)Nick Rado – Funniest Joke in the World
Last year Nick Rado – NZ Comedy Guild Best MC (2011 & 2012) witnessed the funniest joke in the world. The joke has more laughter, tension, mirth and rounds of applause than any other scripted joke ever told. For your laugh-out-loud pleasure, Nick will retell this joke.

PS. It involves a pineapple.

“Had me nearly rolling on the floor with laughter” Theatreview.org.nz
“On-its-toes hilarity and crowd pleasing buffoonery” Three Weeks, Edinburgh
Pax – Pax’s Magic Carpet Ride
Some call him PAX, others call him the Middle Eastern Dr Phil, but you can call him the Grand Poobah of Funny. Join PAX on a riotous journey where he will blow your mind with the truth about the Middle East; and with six months under his belt, he’ll give you all the tips on making marriage ‘work’.

A Billy T Nominee, a finalist at the Raw Comedy Quest 2011, an Ambassador for New Zealand/Middle Eastern Race Relations [unauthorised] and one of NZ’s most exciting up-and-coming comedians [fact].

“I think he might be a racist” His wife

Stephen K Amos is The Spokesman
Returning to New Zealand for a strictly limited season after sell out world wide tours. This new show is a refreshingly honest tale of comedy and life.

“This blisteringly funny Brit is at the top of his game” Herald Sun, AUS

Tom Green

You know Tom Green from his anything-goes run as the funniest, most unpredictable personality on MTV, and his unforgettable, deliciously loony roles in uproarious film comedies including Road Trip and Freddy Got Fingered. Tom now brings his unique brand of hilarity to the art of stand-up comedy, he recently headlined at the world renowned Edinburgh Comedy Festival where he performed to sold-out audiences and received rave reviews. Experience one of the great comic minds in the field of entertainment, when Tom Green takes the stage and provides non-stop laughter with his brilliantly cracked view of the world.

Trevor Noah – The Racist

South African comedian Trevor Noah’s explosion onto the world comedy scene has been nothing short of meteoric with huge success in the UK and the US. His sharp wit, intelligent commentary, and unmistakable charm have established him as an extremely popular comedian with undoubted world-class potential. Noah presented his one man show The Racist at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (presented by Eddie Izzard) in sold-out run that created a huge buzz with audiences and critics.

The Wayans Brothers
Shawn and Marlon Wayans, the Dynamic Duo of Comedy an members of Comedy’s “First Family”, are coming to New Zealand for the first time with their hilarious standup show. Best known for collaborating on a string of hilarious flicks, including Don’t Be A Menace, White Chicks and the hugely successful Scary Movie 1 & 2, Shawn and Marlon have left an indelible impression on the world of comedy, both on screen and off.

Wayne Brady – Still Makin’ Sh*t up
He’s been often cited as the ‘nice guy’ of entertainment in the United States, but multi-Emmy award winning comedian Wayne Brady will have you gagging for laughter as he makes a welcome return to the NZ International Comedy Festival.

The star of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Don’t Forget The Lyrics is well known for his improvisational genius, unique musical talents and limitless impersonation skills. Wayne Brady’s show features comedy, improv, singing, and even dancing.

FOTC: It just got BIGGER

Yes, you’re heard it right.  Flight of the Conchords (and Arj Barker) announce their THIRD & FINAL Vector Arena show on Saturday 30th June (that’s next week!).

Talk about ‘Inner City Pressure’!  It’s officially the biggest ever tour by a New Zealand artist and it’s about to get bigger!  Pressure for seats around the country when the tour first announced forced promoters to announce a Vector Arena show, which sold out… then another Vector Arena show… which sold out

The tour started to rave reviews.  The band are being stopped in the street everywhere they go and being asked to add more dates, so they have bowed to inner city pressure and added a third and final show at Vector Arena!

Squeezing in this new Vector Arena show between sold out shows on Friday and Sunday gives out-of-town fans the chance to make a weekend of it, with local hotels already coming to the party with great special rates for visitors to the city.  Traveling from the North or the Naki, this show offers a great chance for unlucky fans that missed out on the initial ticket frenzy.

The home-town Wellington’s TSB Bank Arena was put in to ease the Wellington pressure after three Michael Fowler shows sold out in a week and last week’s ticket release was snapped up.  So, in response to nationwide demand, this Vector Arena show will be the final announcement of the tour – there are simply no dates left to play!

 

13th June         Hawkes Bay Opera House      SOLD OUT

14th June         Hamilton Founders Theatre    SOLD OUT

16th June         Auckland Town Hall                SOLD OUT

17th June         New Plymouth                         SOLD OUT

19th June         Michael Fowler Centre           SOLD OUT

20th June         Michael Fowler Centre           SOLD OUT

21st June         Michael Fowler Centre           SOLD OUT

23rd June        Dunedin Regent Theatre         SOLD OUT

24th June         Queenstown Events Centre    SOLD OUT

26th June         Christchurch CBS Arena          SOLD OUT

27th June         Nelson Trafalgar Centre         SOLD OUT

29th June         Vector Arena                           SOLD OUT

30th June        Vector Arena                         ON SALE / 9AM THURSDAY 21

1st July            Vector Arena                           SOLD OUT

2nd July           Wellington TSB Bank Arena    SOLD OUT

 

Fans and critics alike are clapping and cheering and saying things like…

“Seeing them live proves their comedic and musical genius doesn’t come from successful television editing. Their unique and refreshing low-key, deadpan humour is pitch-perfect. They bounce off each other like Lennon and McCartney and their musical ability isn’t a far cry from them either.” Robyn McLean / www.stuff.co.nz

“For almost two hours of stop-start, awkwardly funny, chaotic entertainment, FOTC ensured there was never really a dull moment.” Michelle Robinson / www.aucklandnow.co.nz

“….a performance that lived up to every expectation.” Russell Baillie / NZ Herald

“Catch this unmissable tour if you can, but don’t let your enthusiasm get the better of you. Those goldfish are terribly difficult to remove.”   Guy Somerset / the Listener

“I thought the show was bloody brilliant! Loved the new songs and of course all the ones we know and love ….an absolutely wonderful night, definitely was worth postponing my wedding for!”  Tiffany Elouise McKee / A fan from Mt Albert, Auckland

 

This is now (unofficially) the most successfully attended tour by any New Zealand born folk duo this decade and will see Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement back performing with their American buddy Arj Barker as support. 

“What are you waiting for?  An extra show in your living room?” says Arj.  “Don’t be a dick! Get your ticket today.”

If you live outside of Auckland and missed seeing Flight of the Conchords live in your home town, now’s your chance to book a fantastic weekend away –

 

Saturday 30 June

Vector Arena – AUCKLAND

On Sale TOMORROW 9am Thursday 21 June

Ticketmaster.co.nz / 0800-111-999

www.flightoftheconchords.co.nz / www.arjbarker.com

Flight of the Conchords – Arena Spectacular

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that one of this country’s best ‘exports’, Flight of the Conchords are heading back home to do an extensive tour of the New Zealand.

Following the success of their self-titled HBO hit TV series; Flight of the Conchords have sold out tours across the United States and Europe performing at landmark venues like the Hollywood Bowl, New York’s Radio City Music Hall and London’s Wembley Arena and now they’re selling out venues across New Zealand!

Due to this unprecedented demand, the Conchords have just announced additional shows at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre on Thursday 21 June and Auckland’s Vector Arena on Sunday 1st July.

TICKETS for the Arena Show:
Tickets are available (limit two per person) by application in person at the Vector Arena box office* from 9am on Saturday 31st March, or from 1pm at ticketmaster.co.nz.

For Ticketmaster subscribers and Visa members there will also be a Visa pre-sale at 9am on Thursday 29th March and a Ticketmaster pre-sale at 9am on Friday 30th March – with all sales limited to four tickets per person.

TICKETS for the additional Wellington Show:
Tickets to the capital’s show at the Michael Fowler Centre on Thursday 21 June are priced from $55.00 to $79.00 and available on Visa pre-sale from 9am Thursday 29 March (see visaentertainment.co.nz).

The public on-sale will commence at 9am Saturday 31 March with minimum 300 prime tickets available by application in person only at the venue box office* – limited to two tickets per person.  Internet and phone sales will be available from 1pm.

CHRISTCHURCH:
Christchurch fans, you haven’t been forgotten.  The Conchords will perform at the CBS Canterbury Arena on Tuesday 26 June.  All tickets are $50 and all proceeds from ticket sales (after costs) will be donated to a Christchurch charity.  Initially tickets will be available by application in person at the venue box office* from 9am on Saturday 31 March – limited to four tickets per person.  If any tickets remain, internet and phone sales will be from 1pm.

Also just announced, American stand-up comedian Arj Barker, Bret and Jemaine’s indifferent friend Dave Mohumbhai – the pawn shop guy who gives them advice on dealing with American women and culture in their HBO TV sitcom will be joining the boys on their New Zealand tour.

“It’s going to be great to play New Zealand again. I can’t wait to perform where people can understand our accents” said McKenzie.

“We’re looking forward to our very first New Zealand national tour. This will be by far the most convenient tour we’ve ever done.” enthused Clement.

This June is Business Time.  Be sure you get in quick to join Bret, Jermaine (and Arj), as they Rock the Party at a venue near you.

For more information – click here.

THE STORY:
And just in case you don’t know their infamous story; TVNZ turned them down and HBO picked them up. Since then they’ve been nominated for Emmy Awards, they’ve won a Grammy Award, they’ve been on The Simpsons and they’ve met David Bowie (in a dream).

 

*minimum 1000 prime seats are available from 9am Saturday 31st March by application and in person only at the Vector Arena box office.  There’s been a great deal of concern over ticket scalping in recent weeks. We really want to get tickets in local people’s hands at face value, so it’s back to where you personally queue up at the box office!   Be very early, bring your warm clothes, and grab a couple of the best tickets.