Chapter 9: Dave Barry on snappy satire, secret societies, and singing with Stephen King

Hanging out at the Coral Gables, Florida location of  Books&Books  with Dave Barry.

Hanging out at the Coral Gables, Florida location of Books&Books with Dave Barry.

Do you remember the comedy dry zone?

I’m talking about the barren, hardscrabble times when getting a free laugh from the comfort of your toilet wasn’t easy. Before Internet memes, before parody Twitter themes, before viral SNL skits, before ShowerThoughts subreddits, before LOLCats and even before giant email chats…

… there was one man.

Clearly Dave’s hyperbole knows no bounds

Clearly Dave’s hyperbole knows no bounds

The inimitable, indomitable, indefatigable Dave Barry.

Beginning in 1983 and running for over twenty years, Dave Barry sent his syndicated humor column out to over 500 newspapers from his home base at The Miami Herald.

Every single week his columns offered guaranteed laughs and a fresh, head-tilting way of seeing the world.

Dave Barry poured perspective on political conventions, kicked socialites off soapboxes, cajoled critics into colonoscopies, and even popularized International Talk Like A Pirate Day.



Together with MAD Magazines and Calvin and Hobbes cartoons, Dave Barry columns gave me and millions of others a drink … in the dry zone.

I was beyond nervous to fly down to Miami and meet up with Dave at Books&Books in Coral Gables, Florida where he shared a fresh dose of his head-tilting way of looking at the world as only he sees it.

Please enjoy my conversation with screenwriter, novelist, performing musician, Pulitzer Prize winner, and New York Times bestselling author of over thirty books…

Dave Barry.


Listen to Chapter 9:

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What You'll Learn:

  • How is comedy changing these days?

  • What is the "cue card" approach to developing a story?

  • What are some key guidelines for giving introductions or appearing on a TV show?

  • In Dave's view, who has the most unique voice in modern American comedy writing?

  • How should every stand-up comedian end their performances?

  • How do we balance ambition with contentment ... and feeling like you have “enough?”

  • What’s the one thing anyone can do to improve their writing?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

"A good standup comedian—much of what they do is timing. The same exact sentences can be funny or not funny depending on how they’re being said." @rayadverb #3bookspodcast

"If you think that you can, in one hour, create ten funny jokes, you’re an idiot. … The amount of time it takes to get one joke done that’s acceptable is usually underestimated badly by people who want to get into that field." @rayadverb #3bookspodcast

"There is no comparable mental activity like being really into a book." @rayadverb #3bookspodcast

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