David "Dave" Barry (born July 3, 1947) is a bestselling American author and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who wrote a nationally syndicated humor column for the The Miami Herald from 1983 to 2005. He has also written numerous books of humor and parody, as well as comedic novels.
Barry married his first wife Beth in 1976 and they had one child, Robert, in 1980. The couple divorced in 1993. In 1996, Barry married Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman; they had a daughter, Sophie, in 2000. All are mentioned regularly in Barry's columns, though his divorce was not discussed.
While in the Miami Herald, he created a band with his friends from the Herald, and named it the "Urban Proffesionals", where he was lead guitar. He played at the Tupperware Headquarters in Orlando, Florida, his hit song, "The Tupperware Song".
Nowadays, he plays lead guitar in the band, The Rock Bottom Remainders,whose other members include Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and Mitch Albom.
Around the same time, Barry worked as a general assignment reporter for the West Chester Daily Local News in West Chester, Pennsylvania, located near his collegiate alma mater, Haverford College. A 1981 humorous guest column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, however, attracted the attention of Gene Weingarten, then an editor at Tropic, the Sunday magazine of the Miami Herald in Miami, Florida.
In 1983, Barry was hired by Weingarten as a humor columnist. Barry won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1988, "for his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns.
For a 1992 American Booksellers Association convention, several authors including Barry formed a band for charity: The Rock Bottom Remainders ("remainder" is a publishing term for a book that doesn't sell). The members of the band, which has at various times included Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson, Mitch Albom, Kathi Goldmark, Roy Blount Jr., Barbara Kingsolver and Matt Groening, "are not musically skilled, but they are extremely loud," according to Barry. Several high-profile musicians including Al Kooper, Warren Zevon and Roger McGuinn have performed with the band, and Bruce Springsteen sat in at least once. The band's road tour resulted in the book Mid-Life Confidential: The Rock Bottom Remainders Tour America with Three Chords and an Attitude, which is now out of print.
CBS broadcast the situation comedy Dave's World for four seasons, from 1993 to 1997, based on the books Dave Barry Turns 40 and Dave Barry's Greatest Hits, starring Harry Anderson as Barry, and DeLane Matthews as his wife, Beth. In an early episode, Barry was cast in a cameo role. The program was canceled shortly after being moved from Monday to the Friday night death slot.
Barry's first novel, Big Trouble, was made into a motion picture; directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, it starred Tim Allen, Rene Russo and Dave's World alumnus Patrick Warburton, with a cameo by Barry. The movie was originally due for release in September 2001, but was postponed shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks because the story involved smuggling a nuclear weapon onto an airplane.
Articles written by Barry have appeared in publications such as Boating, Home Office Computing and Reader's Digest, in addition to the Chicken Soup for the Soul inspirational book series. Two of his articles have been included in the Best American Sportswriting series. One of his columns was used as the introduction to the book Pirattitude!: So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here's How! (ISBN 0-451-21649-0), a follow-up of Barry's hand in creating International Talk Like a Pirate Day. His books have frequently appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List.
He has run several mock campaigns to be elected president of the U.S. He has run on a Libertarian platform, being an avid Libertarian. At times, he's written for their National Newsletter.
On October 20, 2004, Dave Barry announced that he would be taking an indefinite leave of absence of at least a year from his weekly humor column with the Herald in order to spend more time with his family. He said that he would continue writing humor and children's books and working on filming the screen adaptation of his book, Dave Barry's Complete Guide to Guys, which was released in 2005; it premiered at several film festivals, and is available on DVD, though a theatrical release seems unlikely. On December 28, 2005, Barry said in an interview with Editor and Publisher that he will not resume his weekly column, although he would continue such features such as his yearly gift guide, year in review, his weblog, as well as an occasional article or column.
When distinguishing fact from hyperbole, Barry frequently asserts: "I am not making this up". Among his favorite topics are exploding or flaming items (cows, whales, vacuum cleaners, toilets, Pop-Tarts, Barbie dolls, etc.), dogs lacking intelligence, live blogging the television series 24 and amusing government studies. He recently led the charge to save the Wikipedia exploding cow page, but other members of the Wikipedia community had that entry deleted. He labels various posts on his blog with long acronyms, such as OIYDWYMTTY(NY)G ("or if you don't want your mom to think you're (not your) gay") and WBAGNFARB ("would be a good name for a rock band"), poking fun at long internet abbreviations.
He also enjoys making fun of South Florida where he resides. In "Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway," he suggested that the solution to a great deal of America's problems could be solved if South Florida were literally sawed off from the mainland and disowned by the United States. He also has made fun of the region in "Dave Barry's Homes and Other Black Holes" as well as other books of his. Even his novels, Big Trouble and Tricky Business capitalize heavily in the absurdities that exist only in South Florida. In Big Trouble, for example, the ridiculous nuances of South Florida are expressed through the experiences of the two hit men, Henry and Leonard. They experience an irritating sports talk show host and a highly incompetent airport security detail before deciding that they never want to return to Florida again. Barry also uses Big Trouble to poke fun at the existence of a Russian arms black market, the corrupt political system (Puggy makes a living off being paid to vote), and the incredibly loose labor laws in the region.
The phrase "would be a good name for a rock band" is an observation Barry often applies to phrases that pop up in his writing, such as "The Moos of Derision" , "Decomposing Tubers" and "Hearty Polyp Chuckles" . In keeping with this, Barry's website contains a fairly sizable list of phrases that would be a good name for a rock band.
In his humor books, Barry often cites a humorous phrase or image, which he then mercilessly repeats throughout. Notable examples include the Hawley-Smoot Tariff in Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States and giant prehistoric zucchini in Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway. He continues to reference these things, occasionally with fake subtlety (e.g., "The H*****-S**** T*****") long after he believes the reader no longer finds them funny.
His novels typically feature numerous initially unrelated subplots, many related to criminal activity which slowly intertwine over the course of the story. Many critics explicitly compare this style to that of Elmore Leonard, though with a more comedic tone.