Tyler Cowen: Dave Barry on Humor, Writing, and Life as a Florida Man

COWEN: Canadians, on average, seem funnier to me.

BARRY: [laughs] Canada is the funniest country in the world. It just hides it much better than everyone else.

COWEN: That’s correct. But so much British humor, I literally feel I don’t understand it. There’s something about it that’s very flat to me, in a sense, that the British audience or in New Zealand, they’re guffawing. And that word guffaw — I would never use the word guffaw to apply to myself. I might giggle or snort.

BARRY: They don’t actually guffaw out loud a lot of times. They just acknowledge the humor of it in their own British way.

COWEN: That’s right.

BARRY: But yeah, you have to accept, with British humor, that no British person has ever in history ever said what he actually thought about anything. Everything that every British person ever says is meant sarcastically.

COWEN: So it’s because they’re less direct that they have such a different sense of funny.

BARRY: They are way less direct, and they refuse to ever say anything directly, and that’s the wonder of them.