|Founded||August 29, 1988
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Ceased publication||2013 (print)|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
|David Schafer (Chairman), Mike McAvoy (President & CEO), Kurt Mueller (COO)|
|Products||The Onion newspaper, radio, video, books; The A.V. Club; ClickHole|
|Owner||Fusion Media Group (40%)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Univision Communications |
The Onion is an American digital media company and news satire organization that publishes articles on international, national, and local news. Based in Chicago, the company originated as a weekly print publication on August 29, 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin. In the spring of 1996 The Onion began publishing online. In 2007, the organization began publishing satirical news audio and video online, as the Onion News Network. In 2013, The Onion ceased publishing its print edition and launched Onion Labs, an advertising agency.
The Onion's articles cover current events, both real and fictional, satirizing the tone and format of traditional news organizations with stories, editorials, op-ed pieces, and man-in-the-street interviews using a traditional news website layout and an editorial voice modeled after that of the Associated Press. The publication's humor often depends on presenting mundane, everyday events as newsworthy, surreal or alarming. In 1999, comedian Bob Odenkirk praised the publication stating, "It's the best comedy writing in the country, and it has been since it started."
The Onion also runs The A.V. Club and ClickHole. Initially created in 1993 as a supplement to the parent publication, The A.V. Club is an entertainment and pop culture publication that contains interviews and reviews of newly released media and other weekly features. ClickHole is a satirical website from The Onion founded in 2014 that parodies clickbait websites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy.
- 1 History
- 2 Regular features
- 3 Editors and writers
- 4 Books, video, film and audio
- 5 The Onion's influence on the real world
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Reportedly, it was co-founder Chris Johnson's uncle—Nells Johnson—who came up with the idea to name the paper The Onion. "People always ask questions about where the name The Onion came from", said former President Sean Mills in an interview with Wikinews; "and, when I recently asked (co-founder) Tim Keck, who was one of the founders, he told me...literally that his uncle said he should call it The Onion when he saw him and Chris Johnson eating an onion sandwich. They had literally just cut up the onion and put it on bread." According to former editorial manager, Chet Clem, their food budget was so low when they started the paper that they were down to white bread and onions. This account was recently disputed by an editor of The Onion, Cole Bolton, during an event at the University of Chicago. Bolton called Mills's account "the dumbest explanation" and asserted that it is likely wrong. According to Bolton, the most plausible explanation is that The Onion was mocking a campus newsletter called The Union.
The Onion was founded in 1988 in Madison, Wisconsin by Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson, students at the University of Wisconsin. In 1988 Scott Dikkers—The Onion's longest-serving editor-in-chief (1988–1999, 2005–2008)—joined the two-person staff to draw comic strips. "By issue three, I was de facto editor." In 1989, Keck and Johnson sold it to Dikkers and advertising sales manager Peter Haise for less than $20,000, although also quoted as $16,000 in The Washington Post, and $19,000 in a 2003 Business 2.0 article. After the sale, founders Keck and Johnson became publishers of other, similar alternative weeklies: Keck of the Seattle weekly The Stranger and Johnson of the Albuquerque Weekly Alibi.
In its earlier years The Onion was successful in a number of university locations (e.g. Madison, Wisconsin, Champaign–Urbana, Illinois). Originally the bottom three inches of the newspaper could be cut off for coupons to local establishments, such as inexpensive student-centered eateries and video rental stores. For a time The Onion was primarily a hodgepodge of Dikkers's cartoons, Spy magazine-like satire and short fiction.
The June 16, 1993 issue of The Daily Iowan ran a profile of Dikkers, in which it stated that "Dikkers still lives in Madison, spending about five hours a week on Jim's Journal and the rest of the time as co-owner of a satirical newspaper called The Onion."
In the November/December 1994 issue of U. The National College Magazine, Dikkers discussed The Comedy Castaways, The Onion's sketch comedy show, which the publication hoped to pitch to NBC, Fox, and HBO. "I think what sets us apart is we've intentionally formed a tightly knit group of funny performers", said Dikkers of the show and the two pilot episodes the publication had produced.
In the spring of 1996, Ben Karlin and Dikkers collaborated with Robert Smigel and Dana Carvey to create four short news segments for The Dana Carvey Show. "Bob Odenkirk had showed me The Onion about a year earlier, and it jumped out at me as something completely original and great, and I really wanted to use it on the show", said Smigel. While four fake news segments were recorded—with Stephen Colbert performing as anchor—only one of the segments actually aired. One of the missing segments was to prominently feature The Onion headline, "Mr. T To Pity Fool."
In 1996, the widely popular—and unattributed—dissemination of a December 1995 pre-Web article written by Robert D. Siegel titled "Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia" helped spur the creation of The Onion's website (www.theonion.com). The website allowed The Onion to properly claim credit for that article—and others—that were being passed around in an unattributed form online in various forums, Usenet posts and mailing lists and the publication received expanded global recognition as a result. In a 2002 interview, Siegel described the difference between online/website readership and the print publication, "If you look at the breakdown of people who read The Onion online, it's like Microsoft, Dell Computers, the Department of Justice and then, like, University of Wisconsin. So it's a combination of students and pretty impressive people. I get the feeling that the print version is read by people hanging out in bars."
In the fall of 1996, Karlin—who had been a writer/editor for the publication since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1993—moved to Los Angeles and joined other former Onion staffers to create a news parody television pilot titled Deadline: Now for the Fox Network. While the 15-minute pilot—which was completed in 1997—was never picked up as a series for production, its creation lead to steady writing work for Karlin and other former Onion staffers, such as writing some episodes of Space Ghost Coast to Coast on the Cartoon Network. In the wake of Karlin's departure, long time staff writer Robert Siegel assumed the publication's duties as editor of the publication.
Sometime after The Onion appeared online in 1996, the publication was threatened with a lawsuit from Janet Jackson because of the article "Dying Boy Gets Wish: To Pork Janet Jackson." "We were very nearly sued out of existence by Janet Jackson", said Siegel, adding that in the past he was forbidden to talk about the legal matter and the celebrity involved.
On January 27, 1998, MTV premiered Virtual Bill, a collaboration between writers of The Onion and 3-D character studio Protozoa. The titular "Virtual Bill" character was a quasi-realistic CGI version of Bill Clinton created by studio Protozoa who introduced music videos and told jokes written by the staff of The Onion. The voice of Virtual Bill was provided by then editor Dikkers. After the initial premiere, Virtual Bill returned to MTV on December 17, 1998 with another TV special and an interactive web special produced by Pulse that ported the 3D data into a web compatible format using Pulse's proprietary plug-in.
In January 1999, when Jon Stewart became the host of The Daily Show he tapped former Onion writer/editor Karlin to be head writer of the newly restructured show. "He had heard about this group of Onion people in L.A. and, in a weird way, I was the de facto ringleader of our group in L.A. I came to New York. Jon and I connected. It was kind of like a slightly awkward, but successful, first date. When I got back to Los Angeles, they offered me the head writer job."
From March 3 to March 7, 1999, writers and editors of The Onion attended U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado in part to promote the forthcoming Our Dumb Century anthology and were met with effusive praise for their work from notable comedians such as Conan O'Brien, Dave Foley and Dave Thomas as well as cartoonist Peter Bagge and musician Andy Prieboy.
On March 23, 1999, The Onion's first fully original book, Our Dumb Century was released. The book featured mocked-up newspaper front pages from the entire 20th century, presented under the premise that the publication had been continuously in print since before 1900. In the wake of the book's success, networks such as HBO and NBC were in talks to bring The Onion to TV with a special based on Our Dumb Century. Regardless of the nearly two years of work spent on conceiving and producing Our Dumb Century, the writers only received bonuses of a few thousand dollars, despite the fact that the two-book publishing deal netted The Onion $450,000.
In April 2000, DreamWorks Studios optioned two stories from the satirical newspaper, "Canadian Girlfriend Unsubstantiated"—which was to be written by former Onion editor and writer Rich Dahm—and "Tenth Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell" with an eye towards producing the later as a family comedy. "The story is so dark and hate filled—I was shocked", said head writer Todd Hanson. "It's like an Onion joke. I mean, what are they going to do? Add a sickly-but-adorable moppet?" added editor Robert Siegel. DreamWorks planned for the finished "Tenth Circle Added to Rapidly Growing Hell" to involve animation as well as musical singalongs.
In June 2000, writers and editors of The Onion participated in Comedy Central panel discussion moderated by Jeff Greenfield titled "The State of The Onion" during the "Toyota Comedy Festival 2000."
New York City (2001–2012)
Beginning in the fall of 2000 to early 2001, the company relocated its editorial offices from Madison, Wisconsin to a renovated warehouse in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (New York City) to raise the The Onion's profile, expand the publication from being simply a humor newspaper into a full production company, as well as develop editorial content in other media—including books, television and movies—and engage more directly with Internet companies as far as advertising revenue goes.
In February 2001, Miramax Films head Harvey Weinstein announced they had reached a first look agreement to develop scripts and features with The Onion. "As lifelong New Yorkers, we're proud to welcome The Onion to our city with this first-look deal", said Harvey Weinstein. "With their witty, sophisticated humor, they will undoubtedly soon be the toast of the town." Weinstein added.
On September 27, 2001, The Onion debuted its New York City print edition with an issue focused on the September 11th attacks. The popularity—and critical praise—of the issue resulted in The Onion's website's online traffic nearly doubling in the weeks following the attacks.
In November 2002, a humorous op-ed piece in The Onion that was satirically bylined by filmmaker Michael Bay titled "Those Chechen Rebels Stole My Idea" was removed from the site without explanation. Entertainment industry trade magazine Variety theorized, "It's not clear if Bay—a frequent object of The Onion's satire—requested the move."
In 2003, The Onion was purchased by David Schafer—a businessman who had managed the $2.5 billion investment fund—from previous long time owners Peter Haise and Scott Dikkers. The sale was a process that had been in the works since July 2001 and according to a memo from then owner Haise, "[Schafer] understands our quirky company and knows that we need some time to get to a higher level of operations and sales." In a 2003 CNN profile of The Onion, Schafer stated with regards to the company and the purchase, "The Onion's strong point was never accounting, financial management, or business. Buying it was a bit of a shot in the dark, but we felt we could get a handle on it." Also in 2003, editor Robert Siegel quit his day-to-day role at The Onion to focus on writing screenplays full-time. "After the 14,000th headline I felt the itch to use a different part of my brain", he said. "You can go mad thinking in headline form." In the wake of his departure, long time staff writer Carol Kolb assumed the publication's duties as editor of the publication.
In 2006, The Onion launched a YouTube channel, which was structured as a parody of modern American television news programs. In June 2006, it was also announced that former editor Robert D. Siegel was tapped by Miramax Films to write the screenplay for a comedy titled "Homeland Insecurity" which was slated to be about a pair of Arab-Americans who are mistaken for terrorists while traveling to Texas. Additionally, rumors of a potential sale of The Onion to media conglomerate Viacom began appearing in various news outlets during July 2006 with The New York Times: DealBook expanding on the discussion by stating, "While a source tells DealBook that such a deal has indeed been discussed, it is in very early stages and may never happen."
In 2008 Carol Kolb became the head writer of the Onion News Network with the role of the publication's editor being taken over by writer Joe Randazzo. Randazzo first became a writer for The Onion in 2006 and—in his role as an editor—became the first editor of the publication that had no connection to The Onion during the publication's initial Madison, Wisconsin era.
In November 2009, The Onion released Our Front Pages: 21 Years of Greatness, Virtue, and Moral Rectitude From America's Finest News Source which was notable in not only compiling dozens of front pages from the publication's history as a news parody but also showcasing front pages from the publication's early, more casual campus humor focused era during the 1980s when the publication featured headlines such as, "Depressed? Try Liposuction on that Pesky Head."
In July 2009, various news outlets began reporting rumors of an impending sale of The Onion with further details of the sale to be made on Monday, July 20, 2009. The purported sale was revealed as fictional Publisher Emeritus T. Herman Zweibel stating he'd sold the publication to a Chinese company—Yu Wan Mei Corporation—resulting in a week-long series of Chinese-related articles and features throughout the publication's website and print editions. On Wednesday, July 22, 2009, the publication's editor (Joe Randazzo) clarified the issue on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, stating: "I'm sure there are many Chinese conglomerates out there that would love to buy The Onion. We are, in fact, still a solvent independently owned American company."
In August 2011, The Onion's website began testing a paywall model requiring a $2.95 monthly—or $29.95 annual charge—from non-U.S. visitors who want to read more than about five stories within 30 days."We are testing a meter internationally as readers in those markets are already used to paying directly for some (other) content, particularly in the UK where we have many readers", said the company's CTO Michael Greer.
In September 2011, it was announced that The Onion would move its entire editorial operation to Chicago by the summer of 2012. The news of the move left many of the writers—who moved with the publication from Madison to New York City in 2000—"blindsided", putting them in a position to decide whether to uproot themselves from New York City and follow the publication to Chicago, which was already home to the company's corporate headquarters. At a comedy show on September 27, 2011, then editor Joe Randazzo announced that he would not be joining the staff in Chicago.
With the publication's core editorial staff now based in Chicago, in March 2012 Cole Bolton—a Brown University graduate of business economics, former associate economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and research associate at Harvard Business School—was named the new editor-in-chief of The Onion. "I was never in an improv group, never in a sketch group, never wrote for an Onion parody in college", said Bolton in a 2014 interview with comedy publication Splitsider. "It was just sort of a decision that I decided, two years out of college, that I didn’t like where I was going in my life, and I wanted to do something that I cared about more, so I ended up just sending stuff in to The Onion."
Additionally, in March 2012 more insight into the internal issues surrounding the Chicago move—including an attempt made by the writers to find a new owner—are explored by articles in The Atlantic Wire and New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, founding editor Scott Dikkers returned to the publication in light of the Chicago move stating that he hopes to find a "younger and hungrier" pool of talent in Chicago than what was available in New York City. "The Onion is obviously always going to draw talent from wherever it is", Dikkers said. "In Madison, people used to just come in off the street [...] and we'd give them a shot. The Onion has always thrived on the youngest, greenest people."
In August 2012, it was announced that a group of former The Onion writers had teamed up with Adult Swim to create comedy content on a website called Thing X. According to the comedy website Splitsider, "The Onion writers had nothing else going on, and AdultSwim.com wanted to take advantage of that. But only because they smelled a business opportunity. Adult Swim is just looking at it from a business standpoint." In June 2013, it was announced that Thing X would be shutting down with some staff moving over to parent website adultswim.com on June 18, 2013.
In February 2013 The Onion was added to Advertising Age's "Digital A-List 2013" because the publication "...has not just survived, it's thrived..." since the publication's 2012 move to consolidate operations and staff in Chicago.
In November 2013, the publication announced in Crain's Chicago Business that The Onion would move to an all-digital format by December 2013, citing a 30% year-over-year growth in pageviews to the publication's website.
In June 2014, The Onion launched the spinoff website ClickHole, which satirizes and parodies so-called "clickbait" websites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy that capitalize on viral content to drive traffic.
In November 2014, Bloomberg News reported that The Onion had hired a financial adviser for a possible sale. Additionally, in a memo addressing potential sale rumors provided to Walt Mossberg's tech site Re/code Onion CEO Steve Hannah states, "We have had follow-up conversations with numerous parties in recent months. Our advisors will continue to have those conversations and, hopefully, they will lead to the right outcome."
In June 2015 Steve Hannah—the publication's CEO since 2004—announced he would be stepping down from the position with the new CEO role to be passed onto current president of the organization, Mike McAvoy.
In October 2015, CEO Mike McAvoy announced a restructuring of the organization, layoffs as well as a series of management changes. "But even though we’ve done well, we have not been able to keep pace with our ambitious goals for Onion Inc." Kurt Mueller—the company's COO—elaborated on the details stating, "We were overstaffed for the non-media-agency part of the business. We have less demand for a ton of new content for a brand. There's demand, but we just overestimated what the demand is."
In January 2016, CEO Mike McAvoy announced that Univision Communications had purchased a 40% stake in Onion, Inc. “As an independent media company, we’ve always been forced to run a tight financial ship, which has made us smart and lean, but not always ready to invest in the great new ideas that we come up with,” Mr. McAvoy said in a memo to staff. “I’m excited to see what we can do with Univision behind us.”
In January 2017, it was announced that The Onion was partnering with Lionsgate Films and production company Serious Business to develop multiple film projects. “We’ve plotted our takeover of the film industry for some time,” said Kyle Ryan, vice president of Onion Studios, in a wry statement. “With the help of Serious Business and Lionsgate, we’ll make room on our award shelf for some Oscars. To the basement you go, Pulitzers.” Serious Business is a production company run by former UTA Online co-founder Jason U. Nadler, @midnight co-creator Jon Zimelis and writer/producer Alex Blagg.
Print Edition (1988–2013)
During The Onion print edition's 25-year run—from the publication's initial creation in 1988 to the end of the print edition in 2013—it was distributed for free in various cities across the United States and Canada as well as via paid mail order subscription to subscribers around the world. By the time the print edition of The Onion ceased publication in December 2013, it was only available in Chicago, Milwaukee and Providence. At its peak, The Onion had a print circulation of about 500,000 while the publication's websites brought in more than 10 million unique monthly visitors. Below is a list of all of the cities in which The Onion was distributed freely at different points from 1988 to 2013.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Austin, Texas
- Boulder, Colorado
- Champaign–Urbana, Illinois
- Columbus, Ohio
- Denver, Colorado
- Los Angeles
- Madison, Wisconsin
- New York City
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Providence, Rhode Island
- San Francisco
- Santa Fe, New Mexico
- Toronto, Canada
- Washington, D.C.
Regular features of The Onion include:
- "Statshot", an illustrated statistical snapshot which parodies "USA Today Snapshots."
- "Infographics", with a bulleted lists of jokes on a theme.
- Opinion columns, including mock editorials, point-counterpoints, and pieces from regular columnists.
- Bizarre horoscopes.
- Slideshows that parody content aggregation sites like Huffington Post and Buzzfeed usually accompanied by a "click-bait"-style headline.
- "News in Photos" that feature a photograph and caption with no accompanying story.
- "American Voices" (formerly called "What Do You Think?"), a mock vox populi survey on a topical current event. There are three respondents—down from the original six—for each topic, who appear to represent a diverse selection of demographics. Although their names and professions change each time they are used, photos of the same people are almost always used, with one of them often described as a systems analyst.
- An editorial cartoon drawn by "Kelly", a fictional cartoonist. The cartoons are actually the work of artist Ward Sutton and they are a deadpan parody of conservative editorial cartoons, as well as editorial cartoons in general. Many of the cartoons feature the Statue of Liberty, usually shedding a single tear—of joy or anguish—depending on the situation.
- A Person of the Year award, in 2014 honoring Malala Yousafzai and John Cena
Editors and writers
As of June 2016, the current editor of The Onion is Cole Bolton. Past editors and writers have included:
Books, video, film and audio
Since the first publication of Our Dumb Century in 1999, The Onion has produced various books that often compile already produced material into collected volumes. The 2007 publication of Our Dumb World and the 2012 publication of The Onion Book Of Known Knowledge are the only other fully original books content-wise—other than Our Dumb Century—that The Onion has released.
- The Onion (23 March 1999). Our Dumb Century: The Onion Presents 100 Years of Headlines from America's Finest News Source. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0609804612.
- The Onion (4 April 2000). The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0609804636.
- The Onion (4 September 2001). Dispatches from the Tenth Circle: The Best of The Onion. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0609808344.
- The Onion (24 September 2002). The Onion Ad Nauseam: Complete News Archives, Volume 13. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1400047246.
- The Onion (23 September 2003). The Onion Ad Nauseam: Complete News Archives, Volume 14. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1400049615.
- The Onion (28 September 2004). Fanfare for the Area Man: The Onion Ad Nauseam Complete News Archives, Vol. 15. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1400054558.
- The Onion (4 October 2005). Embedded in America: The Onion Complete News Archives Volume 16. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1400054565.
- The Onion (31 October 2006). Homeland Insecurity: The Onion Complete News Archives, Volume 17. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0307339843.
- The Onion (30 October 2007). Our Dumb World: The Onion's Atlas of the Planet Earth, 73rd Edition. Little, Brown And Company. ISBN 978-0316018425.
- The Onion (3 November 2009). Our Front Pages: 21 Years of Greatness, Virtue, and Moral Rectitude from America's Finest News Source. Scribner. ISBN 978-1439156926.
- The Onion (11 October 2011). The Ecstasy of Defeat: Sports Reporting at Its Finest by the Editors of the Onion. Hachette Books. ISBN 978-1401310721.
- The Onion (23 October 2012). The Onion Book of Known Knowledge: A Definitive Encyclopaedia Of Existing Information. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0316133265.
Onion News Network
In April 2007, The Onion launched Onion News Network—a daily web video broadcast—with a story about an illegal immigrant taking an executive's $800,000-a-year job for $600,000 a year. The publication reportedly initially invested about $1 million in the production and initially hired 15 new staffers to focus on the production of this video broadcast. On February 3, 2009, The Onion launched a spin-off of the Onion News Network called the Onion Sports Network.
In a Wikinews interview in November 2007, former Onion President Mills said the Onion News Network had been a huge hit. "We get over a million downloads a week, which makes it one of the more successful produced-for-the-Internet videos", said Mills. "If we're not the most successful, we're one of the most.'
In January 2011, The Onion launched two TV shows on cable networks: Onion SportsDome premiered January 11 on Comedy Central. and the Onion News Network premiered January 21 on Independent Film Channel (IFC). Later in the year IFC officially announced the renewal of the Onion News Network for a second season in March 2011 while Comedy Central officially announced the cancellation of Onion SportsDome in June 2011.
In August 2011, the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO, announced the unionization of the Onion News Network writing staff, averting a potential strike which hinged on pay and benefits. It is also not the first time Onion, Inc. has been criticized for the way it treats its employees: In June 2011 A.V. Club Philadelphia city editor Emily Guendelsberger was the victim of an attack and—according to the Philadelphia Daily News—her job did not provide health insurance to cover hospital bills. According to the WGA, Onion News Network was the only scripted, live-action program that had employed non-union writers. "The ONN writers stood together and won real improvements", said WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson. "We welcome them into the WGAE and we look forward to a productive relationship with the company." Peterson noted that more than 70 Guild members from all of the New York-based comedy shows signed a letter supporting the Onion News Network writers, and hundreds of Guild members sent emails to the producers.
In March 2012, IFC officially announced the cancellation of the Onion News Network. After the show's cancellation, a pilot for a new comedy series titled Onion News Empire premiered on Amazon.com in April 2013, which presented as a behind-the-scenes look of The Onion's newsroom. The pilot was one of several candidates for production on Amazon, but was not ultimately selected.
YouTube original programming
In 2012, The Onion launched a series of YouTube videos produced by its Onion Digital Studios division, funded in part by a grant from YouTube and exclusive to the site. Series produced so far:
- Today Now: a parody of a morning talk show
- Onion Film Standard with Peter K. Rosenthal: Movie critic Peter K. Rosenthal (played by Ron E. Rains) presents his views on famous films, both classic and contemporary.
- Sex House: A dark satire of reality show culture and negligent producers.
- Lake Dredge Appraisal: A show centering on the dredged salvage of a lake, appraised of its worth on public access television.
- Trouble Hacking with Drew Cleary: A mock Life Hacking Q and A series.
- Horrifying Planet: A nihilistic parody of nature documentaries.
- Onion Talks: A satire of TED Talks.
- Porkin' Across America with Jim Haggerty: An on-the-road food reality show featuring Jim Haggerty from Today Now.
- America's Best: An American Idol parody.
- Dr. Good: Parody of The Dr. Oz Show.
- Owner's Box: a parody of ESPN and other sports-news programs
- Mothershould with Grace Manning-Devlin: a parody of women's issues YouTube vlogs
- EDGE: a parody of the HBO non-fiction program VICE
The Onion Movie
The Onion Movie is a direct-to-video film written by then-Onion editor Robert D. Siegel and writer Todd Hanson and directed by Tom Kuntz and Mike Maguire. Created in 2003, Fox Searchlight Pictures was on board to release the movie, originally called The Untitled Onion Movie, but at some point in the process, directors Kuntz and Maguire—as well as writer Siegel—walked away from the project. In 2006, New Regency Productions took over the production of the troubled project. After two years of being in limbo, the film was released directly on DVD on June 3, 2008. Upon its release it was credited as being directed under the pseudonym of James Kleiner but is still directed by Kuntz and Maguire.
In the spring of 2014, former president, publisher, and CEO of The Onion Peter Haise filed a lawsuit Palm Beach County court against the publication's current chairman David K. Schafer with regards to a missing "Executive Producer" credit on the failed film. As stated in the lawsuit, "Onion, Inc. has admitted that Haise was involved in and should have been named as an Executive Producer of the Film, and that the omission in the credits listed for the Film was an error."
Onion Radio News
The Onion Radio News was an audio podcast/radio show produced by The Onion from 1999 and 2009. The core voice of the podcast was that of a fictional newsreader named "Doyle Redland" who was voiced by Pete S. Mueller. At its peak Onion Radio News was picked up by the Westwood One radio network as well as Audible.com.
The Onion's influence on the real world
||This section possibly contains original research. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Occasionally, the straight-faced manner in which The Onion reports non-existent events, happenings and ideas has resulted in third parties mistakenly citing The Onion stories as real news.
- "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal": In 1998, Fred Phelps posted The Onion article on his Westboro Baptist Church website as apparent "proof" that homosexuals were indeed actively trying to "recruit" others to be gay.
- "Congress Passes Americans With No Abilities Act": At various times since the article's initial publication in 1998, variants of the "Americans With No Abilities Act" article and theme have been passed around online including a variant in 2009 that changed the stated U.S. President from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama as well as a 2007 variant that changed the country from the United States of America to Australia.
- "Harry Potter Books Spark Rise in Satanism Among Children": Beginning in the year 2000, an article on Harry Potter inciting children to practice witchcraft was the subject of a widely forwarded email which repeated the quotes attributed to children in the article. Columnist Ellen Makkai and others who believe the Harry Potter books "recruit" children to Satanism have also been taken in by the article, using quotes directly from it to support their claims.
- "Congress Threatens To Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol Is Built": On June 7, 2002, Reuters reported that the Beijing Evening News republished and translated portions of the article. The article is a parody of U.S. sports franchises' threats to leave their home city unless new stadiums are built for them. The Beijing Evening News initially stood by the story, demanding proof of its falsehood but later retracted the article, responding that "...some small American newspapers frequently fabricate offbeat news to trick people into noticing them with the aim of making money."
- "Prague's Franz Kafka International Named World's Most Alienating Airport": On the March 24, 2009 broadcast of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Fallon's monologue used the topic of that specific Onion News Network video as a set-up for another joke claiming the report was based on a "study."
- "Conspiracy Theorist Convinces Neil Armstrong Moon Landing Was Faked": In September 2009, two Bangladeshi newspapers—The Daily Manab Zamin and the New Nation—published stories translated from The Onion claiming that astronaut Neil Armstrong had held a news conference claiming the moon landing was an elaborate hoax.
- "Denmark Introduces Harrowing New Tourism Ads Directed By Lars Von Trier": In February 2010, online newspapers such as Il Corriere della Sera (Italy) and Adresseavisen (Norway) repackaged clips from The Onion video piece as legitimate news.
- "Frustrated Obama Sends Nation Rambling 75,000-Word E-Mail": In November 2010, the Fox Nation website presented as fact The Onion article as a genuine report.
- "Congress Takes Group Of Schoolchildren Hostage": In September 2011, United States Capitol Police investigated a series of tweets coming from The Onion's Twitter account claiming that U.S. congressmen were holding twelve children hostage.
- "Obama Openly Asks Nation Why On Earth He Would Want To Serve For Another Term": On January 7, 2012, Lim Hwee Hwa—a former Singaporean MP (member of parliament)—posted the article on her Facebook page.
- "Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex": On February 3, 2012, U.S. Congressman John Fleming (R-Louisiana) posted a link to an article on his Facebook page about an $8 billion "Abortionplex" opened by Planned Parenthood.
- "Gallup Poll: Rural Whites Prefer Ahmadinejad to Obama": On September 28, 2012 Iran's Fars News Agency copied The Onion story verbatim on their website. The Onion updated the original story with the note: "For more on this story: Please visit our Iranian subsidiary organization, Fars", linking to a screenshot of Fars's coverage of the story.
- "Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive For 2012": On November 27, 2012, the online version of the Chinese Communist Party newspaper The People's Daily ran a story on Kim Jong-Un, citing The Onion's article as a source and even included a 55-page photo gallery with the article in tribute to the North Korean leader.
- "Fred Phelps, Man Who Forever Stopped March Of Gay Rights, Dead At 84": In March 2014, Ed Farrell—the Vice Mayor of Maricopa, Arizona—apologized for inadvertently and enthusiastically praising Fred Phelps via a post of the satirical obituary on his Facebook page. In an interview about his Facebook post Farrell apologized for doing it, stating "I had no clue about this guy; he's an idiot. I can't believe that I posted what I posted [...] shame on me."
- "FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States": In May 2015, the former FIFA vice president Jack Warner—who was arrested on corruption charges that same month—drew attention to The Onion article in a video posted on Facebook.
As a political actor
Several commentators have characterized The Onion as being more overtly political—with a specifically liberal bent—since the move to Chicago. Noreen Malone characterized the publication as having a left-leaning outlook by stating:
The best op-eds in the country are written by the staff of The Onion, though they're often published as news articles. The satirical paper [...] still does plenty of hilarious articles on the mundane [...] but its writing on current events has become increasingly biting.
Malone—like other pundits—specifically noted the publication's sharp take on the Syrian Civil War, with David Weigel characterizing the publication's stance as effectively being "…advocacy for intervention in Syria." Weigel attributed the trend toward more news satire—including political news satire—as being a byproduct of the publication's shorter turnaround times after the Internet edition became the main outlet for the publication's voice, endangering The Onion of becoming a "…hivemind version of Andy Borowitz, telling liberals that what they already think is not only true but oh-so-arch." Slate's Farhad Manjoo similarly attributed the publication's "…faster, bigger, more strident, and, to me, a little inconsistent…" vibe to the exigencies of the Internet.
Conversely, conservative political pundit website Breitbart has long condemned the publication's political stance with writer Christian Toto attributing the publication's approach to Barack Obama as a part of "…the left's inability to mock one of their own."
Emmett Rensin claimed The Onion is an important if unintentional fomenter of Marxist thought in America:
But only one is breathing new life into a far-left movement mostly vanished since FDR dropped dead. It isn't The Socialist Worker. It's not The Militant, either. And it isn't Monthly Review, Political Affairs, World Socialist Website, or Worker's Vanguard. Rather, the vanguard of revolution—the paper most dedicated to the overthrowing capitalism in the United States today—is none other than The Onion.
According to Rensin, examples of indictments of false consciousness, commodity fetishization and valorization of the invisible hand also abound. Rensin attributes the material to the humorists' need to work from "obvious, intuitive truth—the kind necessary for any kind of broadly appealing humor" rather than a conscious decision to promote Marxism.
U.S. Presidential Seal dispute
In September 2005, the assistant counsel to President George W. Bush, Grant M. Dixton, wrote a cease-and-desist letter to The Onion, asking the publication to stop using the presidential seal, which it used in an online parody of Bush.
By executive order, President Richard Nixon had enumerated the allowed uses of the seal (Executive Order 11649), which are more restrictive than the federal statute, but which allows for exceptions to be granted upon formal request.
The Onion responded with a formal request to use the seal in accordance with the executive order, while maintaining that its use was legitimate. The letter stated, "It is inconceivable that anyone would think that, by using the seal, The Onion intends to 'convey... sponsorship or approval' by the president", but then went on to ask that the letter be considered a formal application requesting permission to use the seal.
85th Academy Awards controversy
During the 85th Academy Awards, a post on The Onion's Twitter account called 9-year-old Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis "a cunt". The post was deleted within an hour, but not before hundreds of angry responses. CEO Steve Hannah issued an apology to Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, calling the remarks "crude and offensive" and "No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire." Scott Dikkers—who was Vice President Creative Development for the publication at the time—said in an interview with NBC 5 Chicago that the publication had sent an apology note to Quvenzhané and her family but also stated, "She's a big star now. I think she can take it." The publication's public apology was denounced by some two former Onion writers, with one stating, "It wasn't a great joke, but big deal."
- List of satirical magazines
- List of satirical news websites
- List of satirical television news programs
- Marino, Nick (22 July 2009). "Six Insights From an Editor at The Onion". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 24 July 2016.
- "Contact The Onion". The Onion. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
- Steel, Emily (19 January 2016). "Univision Buying Large Stake in The Onion". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- "Onion Labs". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- Manjoo, Farhad (5 September 2013). "A Disturbance in the Force". Slate. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
- Dionne, Alexandria (8 January 1999). "The Onion moves to the Internet". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Layers of the Onion". The Spectator. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- An interview with The Onion, David Shankbone, Wikinews, November 24, 2007.
- "IOP-Mocking the Man: How Satire Helps Deepen Our Understanding of the World Featuring Cole Bolton". YouTube. University of Chicago Institute of Politics. 20 April 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "Onion co-founder extols the virtues of humor". Yale Daily News. 7 December 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Cyber Elite – 43 – Scott Dikkers". Time Magazine. 30 May 2009. Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Tower, Wells (16 November 2008). "Onion Nation: A Look Inside the Offices of The Onion". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Keighley, Geoff (29 August 2003). "The Onion: Funny site is no joke". Business 2.0. CNN. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
- Hiaasen, Rob (6 June 1999). "All the news that's fit to parody". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Brownfield, Paul (23 January 2000). "Not Necessarily the News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- Wolk, Douglas (January 1997). "Multi-Media: The Onion". CMJ New Music Monthly. p. 52. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Jim's Journal. It's a Comic Strip." (PDF). The Daily Iowan. 16 June 1993. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- McDonald, Glenn (1 December 1994). "Waka! Waka! Waka! The Business of Comedy is No Laughing Matter" (PDF). U. The National College Magazine. p. 12. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Heisler, Steve (15 June 2009). "Dana Carvey and Robert Smigel". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- The Onion (4 April 2000). The Onion's Finest News Reporting, Volume 1. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0609804636.
- "Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia". The Onion. December 1995. Archived from the original on June 11, 2000. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Clinton Deploys Vowels to Bosnia". Reece Hart's Humor Page. 9 May 1996. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Schillinger, Liesl (March 1999). "Award-Winning Local Journalists Reflect Own Self-Hatred Back on Nightmarish World". Wired. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Tortorello, Michael (19 March 1997). "Peeling the Onion". City Pages. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Tanner, Mike (13 November 1997). "A Funny Thing Didn't Happen on the Way to the Web". Wired. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Genshaft, Jodi (13 May 2002). "Onion Q & A: Robert Siegel". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "Contact Us". The Onion. 19 October 2001. Archived from the original on October 19, 2002. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Alesia, Tom (8 March 2008). "Q&A Ben Karlin: Ex-Onion Editor Reflects On 'Daily Show,' His Book". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Malone, Michael (30 September 2005). "Onion Guy Makes Good". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Finn, Robin (3 March 2006). "From the Onion to Comedy Central to the Oscars". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Malone, Michael (24 March 2006). "Wisconsin Wise Guys Plot TV Takeover". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Gordon, Devin (12 February 2006). "Turning Fake News Into Real Careers". Newsweek. Archived from the original on February 7, 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Stevens, Dana (28 September 2005). "9 Short Films Take Aim at the Yucks". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Kalk Derby, Samara (12 April 2005). "Janet Jackson almost killed "The Onion", editor reveals". The Capital Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Beato, Greg (6 November 1998). "Is The Onion America's Most Intelligent Newspaper?". Reason Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Johnson, Richard (17 April 2005). "Onion Survives". New York Post. Archived from the original on April 20, 2005. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Brown, Janelle (22 January 1998). "More Headroom: MTV Debuts a Digital Bill". Wired. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Evenson, Laura (26 January 1998). "Move Over Beavis, Here's Virtual Bill". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Alesia, Tom (27 January 1998). "Onion to Air 'Bill' Spoof Tonight". The Capital Times. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "MTV to lampoon Clinton with 'Virtual Bill'". Hurriyet Daily News. Reuters. 25 January 1998. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Brown, Janelle (17 December 1998). "Clinton satire in 3-D". Salon. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Harrod, Tim (29 October 1999). "Tim's Aspen Diary". Archived from the original on March 5, 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Slaton, Joyce (19 March 1999). "Digital Darlings Bask at Webbys". Wired. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "The Onion – 1999 People's Voice / Webby Award Winner". The Webby Awards. 18 March 1999. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Cruz, Clarissa (30 April 1999). "Our Dumb Century". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Zweibel, T. Herman (1 April 1999). "First Chapters: Dumb and Dumber: Our Dumb Century by the editors of The Onion". CNN. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Beach, Erik (7 May 1999). "Our Surprisingly Spammy Century". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Fierman, Daniel (13 October 2000). "Funny Farm: 'The Onion'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Leigh, Danny (22 November 2000). "Read 'em and weep". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Goodridge, Mike (1 October 2001). "Know your Onions". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Itzkoff, Dave (26 November 2008). "From Fake Newspaper to Real Serious". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "ComedyCentral.com Presents: The State of The Onion Webcast Archive". Comedy Central. June 2000. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "8th Annual – June 1-10, 2000". Toyota Comedy Festival. June 2000. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- Hoffman, Barbara (12 April 2000). "Yuk-Fest to Peel Into Big Apple". New York Post. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- O'Haire, Patricia (13 April 2000). "News Beat: Supercharged laugh fest". New York Daily News. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "America's Most Wanted: Robert Siegel". People Magazine. 10 July 2000. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- Wenner, Kathryn S. (September 2002). "Peeling the Onion". American Journalism Review. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Kilgannon, Corey (22 January 2001). "The Onion Makes Its New Home in an Old Target". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Berkowitz, Amy (19 February 2001). "Onion Weeps For Shoshanna". The New York Observer. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Sacks, Mike (24 June 2014). Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0143123781. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Sacks, Mike (8 July 2009). And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft. Writers Digest. ISBN 978-1582975054. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Leith, Sam (6 September 2001). "Shock discovery: American satire is funny". The Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Goodridge, Mike (15 February 2001). "Miramax Has Tears of Joy, Cutting First-Look Deal With The Onion". PR Newswire. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Bing, Jonathan (15 February 2001). "Miramax, Onion ink first-look deal". Variety. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Miramax Films (15 February 2001). "Miramax signs development deal with The Onion". Screen Daily. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Newsweek Staff (21 October 2001). "Fast Chat: The Onion". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Haise, Peter (2001). "Memo to TheOnion.com employees". FuckedCompany.com. Archived from the original on May 29, 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Those Chechen Rebels Stole My Idea". The Onion. 13 November 2002. Archived from the original on November 14, 2002. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Bing, Jonathan (19 November 2002). "New wave of humor is no laughing matter". The Onion. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- McCullagh, Declan (21 November 2002). "More on The Onion deletes parody article about Chechen rebels". Declan McCullagh's Politech. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Maddox, Don (24 November 2002). "The joke thread continued…". Armchair General and HistoryNet. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Louie, Elaine (20 June 2004). "Weddings/Celebrations: Vows – Jen Cohn and Robert Siegel". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- Louie, Elaine (18 June 2010). "No Better Script for Marriage". The New York Times. p. ST15. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
- "Contact Us". The Onion. 17 January 2004. Archived from the original on January 17, 2004. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Tatge, Mark (31 January 2005). "A Funny Thing". Forbes. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Adair, Bill (12 April 2005). "Floridian: Peeling the Onion". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2 October 2010.
- Barrodale, Amie (26 January 2015). "Letter from New York, 2005: Adventures in tastelessness at The Onion". The Paris Review. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Mooney, Jake (29 January 2006). "An Onion Uprooted, Without Tears". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- The Onion. "The Onion – YouTube". Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Former Onion editor Siegel writing terrorism screenplay for Miramax". Media Life Magazine. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Goldsmith, Jill (17 July 2006). "Viacom sniffs out Onion". Variety. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Sklar, Rachel (17 July 2006). "Viacom To Buy The Onion?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Viacom and The Onion: Parody or Deal?". The New York Times. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Fine, Jon (18 July 2006). "Viacom and The Onion: Parody or Deal?". Bloomberg: BusinessWeek. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Gillette, Felix; Shaw, Lucas (1 July 2015). "Viacom Is Having A Midlife Crisis". Bloomberg: Business. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
- Schechner, Sam (23 March 2007). "Press 'Play' for Satire". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Newman, Andy (21 November 2008). "Irony Is Dead. Again. Yeah, Right.". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Glass, Ira (8 February 2008). "Tough Room". This American Life. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- on YouTube
- Lopate, Leonard (13 February 2008). "Write Your Own Headline for The Onion". TWNYC: The Leonard Lopate Show. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "Onion News Network". The Peabody Awards. April 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- LaVallee, Andrew (1 April 2009). "The Onion Wins a Peabody Without Even Trying". Digits – The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Konigsberg, Eric (2 November 2009). "Collecting Headlines Funnier Than This". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
- Sandoval, Greg (15 July 2009). "No Joke: Report says The Onion discussing sale". news.cnet.com. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Tate, Ryan (17 July 2009). "Onion Sale Announcement Monday?". Gawker.com. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Zweibel, T. Herman (20 July 2009). "Well, I've Sold The Paper To The Chinese". The Onion. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Tate, Ryan (20 July 2009). "Chopped Onion Makes Us Cry". Gawker.com. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Siegel, Robert (22 July 2009). "A New Owner For 'The Onion'?". NPR: All Things Considered. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Andrews, Robert (5 August 2011). "The Onion Testing A Metered Paid Model". paidContent:UK. Archived from the original on March 25, 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Phelps, Andrew (8 August 2011). "The Onion's CTO: Our paywall experiment is just that". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- O'Neal, Sean (8 August 2011). "About The Onion's new paid content system...". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Herrmann, Lynn (22 September 2011). "The Onion moving to Chicago, leaves writers 'blindsided'". Digital Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Hartsell, Carol (21 September 2011). "The Onion Could Move To Chicago, Forcing NYC Writers To Relocate Or Leave". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- O'Shea, Chris (22 September 2011). "The Onion is Leaving New York". FishbowNY. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Guy, Sandra (22 September 2011). "The Onion to move editorial staff to Chicago". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on February 10, 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Romenesko, Jim (22 September 2011). "The Onion editorial staff to move from New York to Chicago". Poynter.org. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Hartsell, Carol (29 September 2011). "The Onion Editor Joe Randazzo To Leave Ahead Of Chicago Move". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Popkin, Jeremy (2 March 2014). "Talking to 'The Onion's New Editor, Cole Bolton". Splitsider. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- da Costa, Pedro Nicolaci (5 May 2014). "Funny Money: From Fed Economist to Editor of The Onion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- "Washington Ideas Forum 2014: Interview: Cole Bolton, Editor-in-Chief, The Onion". FORA.tv. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
- Hudson, John (22 March 2012). "The Onion's Bumpy Ride to Chicago". The Wire (The Atlantic). Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Coscarelli, Joe (22 March 2012). "Writers at The Onion Refusing to Leave New York for Chicago". New York Magazine. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Channick, Robert (31 March 2012). "Nothing Fake About The Onion's Move". New York Magazine. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Dries, Kate (5 April 2012). "Can Chicago create a sustainable professional comedy industry to rival the coasts?". WBEZ: The BEZ. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Frucci, Adam (13 August 2012). "Adult Swim and Former 'Onion' Writers Are Teaming Up to Produce Comedy Videos, Maybe". Splitsider. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- McMillan, Graeme (17 October 2012). "Adult Swim launches Thing X to compete for Internet comedy supremacy". Digital Trends. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Evans, Bradford (12 June 2013). "Thing X Is Shutting Down and Moving to AdultSwim.com". Splitsider. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Randazzo, Joe (13 June 2013). "Thing X is Becoming Adultswim.com". Thing X. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Creamer, Matthew (25 February 2013). "Built for Newsprint, The Onion Finds New Life In Social, Video". Advertising Age. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Marek, Lynne (8 November 2013). "Area men agree print is dead". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Oremus, Will (19 June 2014). "Area Humor Site Discovers Clickbait". Slate. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Shaw, Lucas; Sherman, Alex (13 November 2014). "Satirist Onion Inc. Said to Hire Adviser for Sale". BloombergBusiness. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Morgan, Richard (13 November 2014). "High price tags for humor sites are a big joke". New York Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Kafka, Peter (14 November 2014). "Onion CEO: Sure, We're for Sale. But Mostly We Just Want Money, So Make an Offer. (Memo)". Re/code. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Marek, Lynne (6 June 2015). "Area man to become CEO of the Onion". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Channick, Robert (8 June 2015). "Steve Hannah stepping down as CEO of The Onion". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Welcome The A.V. Club's new sister site, StarWipe". avclub.com. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
- "Goodbye StarWipe, Se Hardly Knew You". avclub.com. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
- Moses, Lucia (12 October 2015). "Branded-content growing pains: The Onion goes 'back to basics,' restructures Onion Labs". Digiday. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- Folkenflik, David (19 January 2016). "Area Satirical Publication The Onion Sold To Univision (Seriously)". NPR. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
- Hayden, Erik (9 January 2017). "The Onion Inks Three-Film Development Deal With Lionsgate (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Gilmer, Marcus (27 May 2009). "The A.V. Club comes to Omaha and Santa Fe". The Onion A.V. Club. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
- "'Onion' coming to Columbus under deal with Dispatch". Columbus Business First. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
- "Not a joke: The Onion will end its final print circulations". PBS: Newshour. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
- Cavanaugh, Tim (29 March 2007). "Hackwork hacked". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- "The Onion's Person of the Year 2014". The Onion.
- on YouTube
- on YouTube
- Locker, Melissa (23 March 2011). "Coming Soon: IFC Renews The Onion News Network Plus So Much More". IFC Fix. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Goldberg, Lesley (20 June 2011). "'Sports Show With Norm Macdonald,' 'Onion SportsDome' Canceled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Luippold, Ross (29 July 2011). "'The Onion' Strike Possible: TV Show Embattled In Writers Guild Of America Standoff". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Luippold, Ross (2 August 2011). "'Onion' Strike Averted: 'Onion News Network' TV Writers Join Writers Guild Of America". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Onion News Network Writers Join Writers Guild Of America, East". Writers Guild of America East. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (2 August 2011). "This Just In: WGA East Unionizes Onion News Network". Deadline. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Onion News Network Writers Join WGA East Fold". Reuters. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Hall, Mike (2 August 2011). "Onion News Network Writers Join WGAE". AFL-CIO. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Luippold, Ross (21 March 2012). "Onion News Network Canceled: IFC Spokesperson". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Evans, Bradford (29 May 2013). "Amazon Officially Picks Up 'Beta House' and 'Alphas' and Not 'Onion News Empire' and 'Those Who Can't'". Splitsider. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
- McGlynn, Katla (24 April 2013). "'Onion News Empire' Trailer: Amazon Video Pilot Stars Jeffrey Tambor (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
- Tepper, Rachel (October 11, 2012). "The Onion Debuts Fake Food Show 'Porkin' Across America'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 18, 2015.
- The Onion Movie at the Internet Movie Database
- Mathis-Lilley, Ben (27 February 2006). "What Ever Happened to that Sketchy Onion Film: Area Satirists Stay in the Picture". New York Magazine: Intelligencer. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Swenson, Kyle (30 June 2014). "The Onion Founders Locked in Hilarious Palm Beach County Lawsuit". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Romenesko, Jim (25 November 2011). "Onion Radio News Anchor Doyle Redland Reinvents Himself". jimromenesko.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Siegel, Robert (31 January 2006). "Fake News Podcasts from 'The Onion'". NPR: All Things Considered. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "The Voice Behind Onion Radio News". NPR: Talk of the Nation. 2 February 2006. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "'98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal". The Onion. 29 July 1998. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Mikkelson, Barbara (15 November 2014). "Americans with No Abilities Act". Snopes.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Mikkelson, Barbara (26 November 2001). "Harry Potter Satanism". Snopes.com. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Makkai, Ellen (27 November 2001). "Harry the Wiz is the Wrong Biz". Creators.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Congress Threatens To Leave D.C. Unless New Capitol Is Built". The Onion. 29 May 2002. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
- Chu, Henry (8 June 2002). "U.S. satire tricks Beijing paper / Satire fools Chinese paper / Daily steals, prints Onion article on plan for new Capitol". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Chu, Henry (13 June 2002). "Beijing Newspaper Retreats, Apologizes for Capitol Gaffe". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- Lawson, Richard (26 March 2009). "Jimmy Fallon's Set-Ups Now Funnier Than His Punchlines". Gawker.com. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "One giant slip in Bangladesh news". BBC News. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "The Onion: 1000 – Corriere della Sera: 0". noiseFromAmeriKa. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Lars Von Trier med kontroversiell Danmark-reklame". adressa.no. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2015.[dead link]
- Bershad, Jon (26 November 2010). "FoxNation.com Reposts Anti-Obama Article From The Onion, Doesn't Mention It's A Joke". Mediaite. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- Preston, Jennifer (29 September 2011). "The Onion's Twitter Posts Draw Scrutiny". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- "Former MP Lim Hwee Hua posts up fake news on Facebook page". New Nation. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
- "John Fleming skinned by The Onion". Politico. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
- Keating, Joshua (28 September 2012). "Iranian news agency falls for Onion story, plagiarizes it". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Mackey, Robert (28 September 2012). "Iranian News Agency Plagiarizes The Onion". New York Times. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
- Qian, Zhang (27 November 2012). "North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012". The People's Daily. Archived from the original on 27 November 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Oops! China's Communist Party paper hails NKorea's Kim being named The Onion's 'sexiest man'". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Hafiz, Yasmine (28 March 2014). "Ed Farrell, Arizona Vice Mayor, Shamed For Praising Fred Phelps After Being Confused By Satirical Article". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
- Webber, Katherine (29 March 2014). "Ariz. Vice Mayor Apologizes After Mistakenly Praising Westboro's Fred Phelps on Facebook: 'Shame on Me'". The Christian Post. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Ruf, Sarah (25 March 2014). "Farrell apologizes for pro-Westboro Facebook post". Maricopa Monitor: News. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- "Ex-Fifa vice president Jack Warner swallows Onion spoof". The Guardian. May 31, 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Malone, Noreen (30 August 2013). "The Onion Is The Country's Best Op-Ed Page. Seriously.". New Republic. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Weigel, David (3 September 2013). "The Onion: Not Funny. (A #SlatePitches Special Report.)". Slate. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Gray, Rosie (28 August 2013). "The Onion Denies Taking A Serious Line On Syria". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- "Cowardly 'Onion' Ignores Obama, Ridicules Reagan's Alzheimers". Breitbart. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Toto, Christian (29 September 2009). "Obama Loses The Onion on Benghazi-Gate". Breitbart. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
- Rensin, Emmett (5 February 2014). "The Onion Has Become America's Finest Marxist News Source". New Republic. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
- Nixon, Richard (16 February 1972). "Richard Nixon: Executive Order 11649 – Regulations Governing the Seals of the President and the Vice President of the United States". American Presidency Project. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Seelye, Katharine Q. (24 October 2005). "Protecting the Presidential Seal. No Joke.". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Evans, Morgan (3 May 2010). "The Onion: Obama Attends The White House Maintenance Staff Annual Dinner (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
- Terdiman, Daniel (24 February 2013). "The Onion deletes offensive tweet about child Oscar nominee". CNET. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Lopez, Korina (25 February 2013). "'The Onion' issues apology for tasteless Twitter remark". USA Today. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- "The Onion Apologizes For Offensive Actress Tweet". NBC Chicago. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
- Lotz, CJ (25 February 2013). "Former Onion Staffers Denounce CEO's Apology For Quvenzhané Wallis Tweet". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 26 February 2013.