A published novelist, Peter Farrelly merged his very particular comic sensibilities with younger brother Bobby Farrelly and became one of the premiere auteurs of gross-out comedy. Raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Farrelly received a master's degree in creative writing from Columbia University. While he and Bobby attempted to break into Hollywood as screenwriters, Peter also published his first novel, Outside Providence, in 1988. The Farrellys managed to sell two Seinfeld episodes and several screenplays before one, Dumb and Dumber (1994), finally got made.
Peter's directorial debut, Dumb and Dumber showcased not only rising star Jim Carrey's manic talents, but also the Farrellys' taste for combining grotesquely-hilarious physical exploits with an affectionate love story -- it became a blockbuster hit. While their Amish bowling comedy Kingpin (1996) failed to match its predecessor's success, the pair's third effort, There's Something About Mary (1998) became a critically-lauded sleeper hit. Described by one critic as "the Wuthering Heights of gross-out comedy," There's Something About Mary's unabashed political incorrectness and outrageous bodily humor neatly punctuated the central romance between Cameron Diaz's bewitching Mary and slightly-obsessive regular guy Ben Stiller. Along with the New York Film Critics' Best Actress prize, There's Something About Mary won several MTV Movie Awards -- and spawned numerous imitators. Taking a step away from their signature tastelessness, Peter published his second novel, The Comedy Writer (1998), and the Farrellys co-scripted and produced Peter's coming-of-age story Outside Providence (1999) for director Michael Corrente. The Farrellys returned to form when they resurrected an old script and retooled it into another Jim Carrey vehicle, Me, Myself & Irene (2000).