1. You remember this guy, right? The incessantly cheerful and unconditionally loving purple dinosaur, Barney?
As a little kid, you watched him before school, or your parents popped in one of those VHS specials to shut you up for an afternoon.
2. He sang this song…
Really, doesn’t this dude have standards? He seriously loves EVERYONE. (Or he’s just drunk. But I digress…)
3. As a child, you never thought twice about Barney’s true identity. But then, one day, as a grown-up, you briefly wondered…
And then it began eating away at your soul. MUST FIND BARNEY.
4. Well, dear friends, this is the man who played Barney as you knew him. His name is David Joyner.
5. And although several people have played Barney, David Joyner was the main man inside the suit between 1992 and 2000.
6. Funny fact: Before becoming Barney, David worked for Texas Instruments. As in, the people who make your favorite TI-83 calculators.
(Did I just date myself? Are the kids still using TI-83s? Or are they on to like TI-59s now? Or is there some special app? Or do they have robot brains?)
But the story of how David landed Barney role is truly incredible. Apparently, Barney had been around in a few videos before the series. So David watches them before his audition:
So I get these videos, and every time I tried to watch the video…I’d fall asleep…I’m like, “This is boring!” Barney’s like barely moving, he’s waddling, and the voice is like [in deep, slow motion voice],”Whoo-hoo-hoo, hello boys and girls.”
But then he has this dream the night before the audtion:
…in this dream, Barney passes out and I give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. So I wake up the next morning and I’m like, “Okay, what was that about?” I’m on my way to the audition, true story, on my way to the audition, I stop at a stop light and I look up and I see this billboard and it says, “Breathe life into your vacation. Southwest Airlines.” It just caught my attention, no big deal. So I pull into the parking lot where the audition is, close to the airport, and I look up and I see the same billboard. I’m like, “Why am I looking at this billboard?” It dawned on me as I’m walking across the parking lot, “That’s why I couldn’t watch Barney; he’s dead. I’ve got to breathe life into this character!”