Comedy: Arj Barker

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The Independent Culture
The American stand-up Arj Barker, last year's winner of the Perrier Best Newcomer Award, homes in on that old saw about Britain and the US being two nations divided by a common language. Like any good comedian, though, he can also fire out one-liners with the best of them. "I'm in love with a philosopher, and she doesn't even know I exist," he moans. "What's worse, she can prove it." Later he muses that he's thinking of asking his doctor for a prescription for some medicinal marijuana: "I set my car-keys down, and five minutes later I know exactly where they are."

Bound & Gagged, Tufnell Park, London N7 (0171-483 3456) tonight. Bearcat, Twickenham, Middlesex (0181-891 1852) Mon