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Finding the Fun in Politics
Tips From Humorist Dave Barry
Interview by Ethan Ozelius, 11
Scholastic Student Reporter


Scholastic Student Reporter Ethan Ozelius interviews Dave Barry. Click on the picture to read more about Ethan. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)
Miami Herald humor columnist Dave Barry sat on the sidelines at a hockey game in Manchester, New Hampshire, in January. The charity hockey game featured actor and comedian Dennis Leary and Democratic candidate for President John Kerry, who played with Olympic heroes and Boston Bruin legends. While players were warming up on the ice, Barry took a minute to talk to the Scholastic Kids Press Corps about humor and politics.

SN: Why are you covering this event?
Dave Barry: I'm a big hockey fan.

SN: Really? I'm a big hockey fan, too!
Dave Barry: Actually, I'm not. I'm covering the New Hampshire primaries and I'm not sure why we're here at a hockey event, but apparently it has something to do with the New Hampshire campaign.

SN: Do you have any advice for me on being a reporter?
Dave Barry: Start early and work for your school paper. Get as much experience actually doing stuff as you can. Read a lot of newspapers and uh, always wear a red shirt. That's very important. (Scholastic News Student Reporters wear red shirts to events. Remember, Barry is a humorist.)

SN: What's the most fun event you've ever been to in your career?
Dave Barry: The Olympics. I go to them every four years. Those are fun. I'd say that's the best. These are pretty fun too, events like this.

SN: Have you covered other political races too?
Dave Barry: Yeah, I've been here [New Hampshire] every year since 1984.

SN: What's the most interesting election you've covered?
Dave Barry: Probably Clinton/Bush in 1992, because there was so much going on.

SN: How is it coming to a cold climate after you've been in Miami?
Dave Barry: It takes four years to warm up and then I'm back here again!

SN: How do you find humor in politics?
Dave Barry: How do you not find humor in politics? I don't understand how anybody finds anything serious in politics.

SN: Anything you would tell kids?
Dave Barry: You'll find out soon enough. The key to humor is, say what actually happens and people think it's funny.

SN: Is there a lot of pressure to be funny?
Dave Barry: I'm not a standup comic. There can be pressure if people don't know me, but they get over it.