"Me and my friend Doug were the funny guys in our crews," recalls comedian Arj Barker on how he first met one of his best friends as a seventh-grader in San Francisco. "We had mutual friends that we ran into outside a 7-Eleven, and we had, like, a burn off. Sort of like, 'Yo mama.' I don't remember any of the jokes, but that's how we met and became best friends. He was the one that later encouraged me to do standup." Barker is now a headlining comic who is also known for his role as Dave in Flight of the Conchords. As well known as he is here though, Barker is massive in Australia. "It's going really well over there," he says, "my career is on a different level, I'm not going to lie about that. It's a whole different ball game for me Down Under." Indeed, Australia is Barker's primary residence, but he wouldn't mind replicating that level of success here. "I love performing in the States," he says. "I love Acme, and make a point to get out there when I'm in the States. So thanks to everyone who comes out." He adds with a laugh, "I do want to play theaters in my own country." It's not like it happened overnight in Australia, though. "It was kind of a perfect storm," he says. "When I first went over there, there weren't too many international comics performing. I did the Melbourne Comedy Festival and a few other shows, and then I did a TV spot or two." It wasn't until a few years later that he realized how well his career in Australia was going. "I was sightseeing in the Blue Mountains when a bartender said, 'The beer's on me. I love your stuff on the Comedy Channel,'" Barker remembers. "It's embarrassing to admit, but it was really exciting." 18+.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: July 30. Continues through Aug. 3, 2013