Gig of the Week: He’s a hit in Timor


Aussie funnyman Carl Barron must be laughing all the way to the bank after shifting almost 500,000 copies of his hilarious live DVDs across the ditch.

His self-titled debut effort is the highest-selling stand-up disc in Australian history, outstripping international superstars like Billy Connolly and Robin Williams.

But the sharp-as comedian is hoping to play to more than the usual crew of diehard ex-pats when he breaks out the wisecracks at the Memorial Hall tomorrow night.

“I don’t want to go overseas and just play to Aussies all my life,” Sydney-based Barron says. “I did a season in London a few years ago and every night the venue was full of them.

“The other day, my manager asked if I wanted to go back to England but I told him I didn’t see the point of flying to the other side of the world to play to a pack of yobbos from Wagga Wagga.”

Barron says his observational style of comedy is beginning to catch on in New Zealand.

“The first time I came to NZ I tried out some material on a few taxi drivers first, just to make sure some of my expressions would translate okay,” he explains. “I had to change one or two things, but otherwise the humour is pretty similar.

“But hey, I once played at a festival in East Timor for about 3000 people who didn’t speak English and didn’t understand a word I said.

“I just went out there and did impersonations of dogs, rolled about on the ground and dragged my arse around on the grass.

“I made them laugh and I still regard it as one of my greatest achievements.”

Barron says at his Queenstown show he’ll mainly be telling gags from his just-released third DVD Walking Down The Street.

And he’s expecting a more civilised reception than he usually gets across the Tasman.

“There’s a sound that Aussie yobbos make that Kiwis don’t seem to do,” he says. “When you go out at night in Australia there’s always some bloke in the back of the pub shouting ‘yeeaughhhh’ for no reason whatsoever.

“It sounds like someone is strangling them and they make the very same noises at my gigs. I just don’t hear that in NZ.”

Catch Carl Barron at the Memorial Hall tomorrow from 8pm