He pens witty columns for The New Yorker and Esquire, and his novel, I Love You, Beth Cooper—which chronicles one epic night in a lovesick geek's life—is already a teen-lit sensation (and slated to be a movie penned by Doyle himself). But the real reason we love Larry Doyle? He has written for both The Simpsons and Beavis & Butt-Head. Bow down, people.
What book or film most changed your life?
Without Feathers, by Woody Allen, made me want to write funny things.
Who is your favorite Baltimorean, living or dead?
Edgar Allan Poe, who is reportedly dead.
What is the greatest problem facing Baltimore today?
How to improve the public schools in a city where every person of possible influence sends their kids to private school.
What is your favorite Smalltimore moment?
No matter what Starbucks I go to, the same people are working there.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Hobo porn. [Editor's note: Google it.]
If you could write Baltimore's motto, what would it be?
I endorse a bumper sticker I saw recently, which read: "Baltimore: Not That Bad."
Your novel's hero, Denis Cooverman, isn't your typical book nerd. So is he you?
I was not as smart and marginally less geeky than Denis, but I think a lot of people feel like they were him, even if they weren't.
When you saw [the similarly themed] Superbad this summer did a little part of you think, "Uh oh"?
I didn't, but some people at the studio did. But then they realized it would be coming out nine months from now, or forever, in our cultural memory. The movie is much more about Denis's relationship with Beth than with his best friend, Rich, so I think there won't be that much overlap.
Speaking of movies, as we speak, you're on strike. Your thoughts?
What's the key to unlocking the mind of Homer?
Legendary Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder says he always wrote Homer as a dog who could talk. That's about right.
You also wrote for Beavis & Butt-Head. That's the quintessential model of male friendship, huh?
I never thought of Beavis and Butt-Head as friends. They're fellow travelers, really.
What's your other favorite teen novel?
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.