Arj Barker is perhaps most recognizable as Dave from HBO's Flight of the Conchords, but the thirtysomething Indian American has been a top name in standup for more than a decade, after breaking onto the scene at a relatively young age. Barker quit school at 19 to pursue a career in comedy, a decision he describes as "not that big of a leap." He notes, "I was going to community college. I was never student of the year, I'll tell you that. Back then I didn't have any thoughts of, 'What if this doesn't work out?' When you're 20, 21, you don't really worry about much." He found early success, taping his own Comedy Central half-hour special just as he hit the quarter-century mark. His standup tours now take him not just across the country but also around the globe. He was also one of the creators and original performers in the hit off-Broadway show the Marijuana-Logues, which he worked on with Super High Me's Doug Benson. "Part of the reason that show came about was because we were all stoners to varying degrees at that time. I'm really not anymore—I know you think I'm just saying that." But Barker says that as much as he loved the show, he tired of sticking to a scripted performance every night for six months. "Standup rarely gets boring. It can be difficult and at times it can be a struggle, but overall it doesn't get boring. I've been working at places I enjoy. Coming out to Acme next week, that's just flat-out one of the best clubs in the country, without a doubt." 18+. (photo by Paul Schiraldi)
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: July 21. Continues through July 25, 2009
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