Meet Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel discussing Lunatics

Books & Books, Coral Gables. Jan 15, 2012. 2:00 p.m.

The authors’ alter egos are Jeffrey Peckerman and Philip Horkman, two suburban schlubs from New Jersey who through their own astonishing stupidity become legendary international criminals. Somehow Horkman, the owner of a pet store called The Wine Shop, and Peckerman, a forensic plumber (don’t ask), manage to turn a disputed call in a girls’ soccer game into global pandemonium.

Peckerman and Horkman are charged with, among other things, committing acts of terrorism in New York City, endangering zoo animals, hijacking a clothing-optional cruise ship, extorting hundreds of millions of dollars, and seriously damaging a valuable flamenco guitar belonging to the singer Charo. Yet through an uncanny ability to show up in critical world hotspots at exactly the right moment, perform some seemingly impossible feat, then vanish, they improbably become the most famous and adored human beings on the planet.

The New York Times has called Dave Barry “the funniest man in America.” From 1983 to 2004, he wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor column for the Miami Herald.  He is the author of some thirty books, including the nonfiction bestsellers I’ll Mature When I’m Dead and Dave Barry’s History of the Millennium (So Far),as well as the novels Big Trouble and Tricky Business and five young adult Peter Pan novels (with Ridley Pearson).  Two of his books – Big Trouble and Dave Barry’s Guide to Guys – have been turned into movies. For a while, his life was even a television series, Dave’s World, but then it was canceled.  The series. Not the life. He lives in Coral Gables, Florida, with his wife, Michelle, a sportswriter.

Not to be outdone, Alan Zweibel has also been praised by The New York Times, which said he has “earned his place in the pantheon of American pop culture.” He is the author of six previous books, including the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor-winning novel The Other Shulman. Starting with his stint on Saturday Night Live, he has won numerous Emmys and Writers Guild of America awards for his television work. On Broadway, he has collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award-winning play 700 Sundays, and with Martin Short on Fame Becomes Me. In 2010, the Writers Guild of America presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Zweibel is currently working with Billy Crystal on the screenplay for the feature film version of 700 Sundays, a pilot for HBO, executive-producing (with Steve Carell and David Steinberg) a new series called “Inside Comedy” that premieres on Showtime in January, and recently appeared in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, with his wife, Robin, a designer.

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