Arj Barker – Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala 2018

*applause* Hello everybody! And you know what you might as well keep the applause going because I just got married a couple of months ago, alright! *crowd cheers* Thank you, it’s okay, it’s okay I had a good life. *crowd laughs* And now my life just got like 0.9 times better *crowd laughs* I wish I could tell you that getting married was the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me. But the truth is that my girlfriend and I lived together for just over three years before we got married. And I didn’t know this at the time but I did learn it. Marrying your partner that you already live with, that’s like wrapping up your own bike and giving it to yourself for Christmas. *crowd laughs* Like ohhh what have I gone and done now? Ohhhh it’s my bicycle!!! I really shouldn’t have. *crowd laughs* Of course giving yourself your own bike would never cost fifty-seven thousand dollars. *crowd laughs* Subtle differences. But it wouldn’t be fair to my wife if I didn’t tell you how genuinely happy I am with the decision that we’ve made. Because I had friends that tried to talk me out of it. A few friends I have of my age that are still bachelors, still trying to live the dream. They said don’t do it don’t do it Arj. It’s a ball and chain. It’s a ball and chain. They tried to portray marriage as the ultimate loss of freedom. And I’m so glad I ignored them because I’m not an expert. I haven’t even been married a year yet. But from what I can tell besides being generally wonderful, marriage is easily the most liberating thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m wearing camping pants right now. *crowd laughs* Okay. Do you really think that if I were single I’d be showing up to do the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala in goddamn camping pants. *crowd laughs* I promise you I wouldn’t. But I’m not single. I’m married!! And by law I don’t got to attract a single other person for the rest of my life. *crowd laughs* That’s freedom. When you could walk up to your gig wearing pants that are so comfortable, the material of which is so light, so airy, so amorphous. That if you put a string on them you could probably fly them at the beach. *crowd laughs* That’s freedom. Whenever you spend considerable amount of time in anyone’s company, there’s gonna be things about that person that sh*ts you, that’s a law of the universe. So when you marry someone on one level you have to accept that these things will now sh*t you for the rest of your life. *crowd laughs* So each person has to find a way to come to terms with that. My idea is to learn to love those things. To transmute them into gold if you will, so that I could love my wife even more than I do. But failing that my backup plan is to just let them wash through me, and just over me like I’m a blade of grass in a windstorm. Just going with it. Have you heard this
story about the mighty oak tree? Mightiest oak tree in all the land but when the storm came he got blown right over because he was too stiff He wasn’t flexible at all. But the little blade of grass next to him, no problem at all he just went with it. Let me know when it’s over. And you can imagine when I do this in the middle of a heated argument… *crowd laughs* What a soothing effect that has on my wife. *crowd laughs* Woah, it’s really whipping around in here
tonight! Oh it calms her right down. *crowd laughs* Last time I did it she got so calm, she didn’t speak for three days. *crowd laughs* At least I don’t think so, she was at her sister’s. Thank you very much everybody. That was a lot of fun. Good to see you again.

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