Five questions for Dave Barry

barry-groening-ltla.jpgDave Barry's new book, "Insane City," is his first solo adult novel in more than 10 years. He will talk about it in conversation with Matt Groening at a Live Talks LA event on Thursday night at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Barry and Groening are founding members of the Rock Bottom Remainders, the authorly band that played its final public performance last year here in SoCal. And since the longtime manager of the Remainders, Ted Habte-Gabr, is also the force behind Live Talks LA, it seemed right to have him put five questions to his friend.

THG: What was it like doing a solo novel, after 10 years of collaborating with Ridley Pearson and Alan Zweibel?

DB: It was kind of lonely. I missed having somebody to bounce ideas off. And when I say "bounce ideas off," I mean "call an idiot." I was sometimes reduced to calling myself an idiot.

2 - What is similar about LA and Miami, and what is different?

They're both pretty weird. One difference is that in Los Angeles, the comedians work in the movie and TV industries, whereas in Miami they get elected to political office. Also in Los Angeles people generally follow the traffic laws of California, whereas in Miami people continue to drive according to the laws of their country or planet of origin.

3 - You have written columns, novels, non fiction books, and for the Oscars. Is there any other type of writing you'd like to do that you haven't? If you were asked to write the first couple of lines for President Obamas State of the Union address, what might that be?

My fellow Americans, the union basically continues to suck. This is NOT my fault. Thank you.

4 - If you were still doing a column, we imagine you'd write about attending the Justin Bieber concert with your daughter. Any observations you want share?

WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU BECAUSE MY EARDRUMS WERE RUPTURED BY SHRIEKING 12-YEAR-OLDS.

4b - Speaking of writing about musicians, how many letters did you gate after your Neil Diamond column? What did you say that upset the Diamond fans. If there was to be a moment of closure to let the healing begin what would that be?

I got MANY letters from the Neil Diamond people. There will never be closure until I change my identity and enter the Federal Neil Diamond Fan Protection Program. [No really: He got a lot of mail.-ed.]

5 - Any advice for the Los Angeles Lakers?

They need some older players.


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