Here’s a clip which serves as a promo for Arj Barker and his recent DVD release entitled “Balls.”
If you’re in the United States, baring some downloading (of a, um, nefarious nature), this might be all you see of it. The DVD is encoded for “Region 4” and is intended, at least right now, for release only in Australia. And it seems likely to stay that way. Arj Barker’s previous DVD release “Arj Barker Live” is also unavailable in the U.S., at least not on common sites like Amazon. Both were put out by ACMEC, an Australian label.
Arj is a big draw down under and it’s an interesting trend - that a stand-up could be bigger someplace else rather than their native land. Often people say that comedy doesn’t travel well, but I think there’s gradually becoming more evidence that this is not necessarily the case. Of course, you may make the argument that Australian, being an English speaking country, isn’t really a case for this.
But here’s a second example: Pablo Francisco has become a huge draw in Sweden. At Montreal’s Just For Laughs, I talked to a staffer at MySpace Comedy who was in awe at the amazing turnout for a Secret Stand-up show they put on there featuring Francsico. Again, it’s another country that has a large amount of English speakers, but it’s not the native tongue.
Which makes me wonder a bit - both Barker and Francisco are well liked comics here - but is there anything inherent in their comedy that makes them perhaps more appealing overseas. Any thoughts?
I wrote A-List Entertainment, the company that handles Arj Barker in Australia, about the possibility of “Balls” reaching the U.S. C.E.O. Artie Laing told me:
Arj Barker’s DVD BALLS will only be released in Australia and N.Z. He wants to produce a DVD specifically for the U.S. when the time is right.
So there you have it.