Keeping up with the news of the day, whether it be local, national, or international, is important. It’s never good to bury your head in the sand, unaware of what is happening around you. However, sometimes the news is too damn depressing, to the point that taking too much of it to heart could potentially leave you with little hope for the future of humanity.
It’s at this point that an injection of humor is needed, preferably straight into your brain. But as doctors are unable to prescribe laughter, despite it being the best medicine, you need to find other sources to get your fix. Amazingly there isn’t even a need to travel far from the news, you just need to choose news websites with less of a handle on reality.
What follows are 8 of the best spoof news websites that should lighten your mood and give you fodder with with which you can catch out your less intelligent friends.
The Onion is the daddy of all fake news sites, and with good reason. It’s always well-written, always topical, and, most importantly, always funny. It works so well mainly because it’s run like a proper news organization, with a front page full of the headlines, sections dedicated to different subjects, and even video clips with high production values. All in all, The Onion is an absolute gem that deserves to be bookmarked by all those who like to laugh.
The Spoof may not be as professional as The Onion but it’s still home to some insanely funny fake news stories. A staggering number of writers have contributed to the site throughout its life, creating topical articles with eye-catching headlines. All of which are completely and utterly made up, obviously.
As well as newspaper-like sections dedicated to different subjects, there are jokes, caption competitions, and celebrity diaries, all of which add to the parody.
The Daily Mash is for Brits or those from sunnier climes with a penchant for all things British. Even the weather. International news is featured, alongside sports and politics to name just a handful of the various topics. But the website is British and so most of the stories included on it have a British bent.
The Daily Mash even has its own dedicated agony aunt, and astrological horoscopes from Psychic Bob. Strangely these are often more accurate than those featured in real newspapers.
The Daily Currant may not be as popular as others on this list, and it also suffers from a serious dearth of articles, but it’s still a must-see fake news website. The content is always topical and often cutting, covering subjects that other, more serious publications, won’t touch for fear of upsetting their readership.
The UnReal Times is the Indian version of The Onion, and is therefore likely to appeal most to those from India and the countries that border it. With over 100,000 people following the site on Facebook it’s clearly a big deal.
The UnReal Times is updated multiple times a day, with major headlines vying for your attention alongside Indian-centric topics such as cricket and Bollywood. There are also columnists and comics, as well as the fantastically named Fikileaks.
The Borowitz Report is a little different than the rest of the entries on this list, being a column for The New Yorker written by comedian and author Andy Borowitz. This means it isn’t updated as often as the likes of The Onion, but the content that does appear is always comedy gold, being exceptionally well-written and researched.
Almost all of the articles are focused on the United States, but anyone interested in current affairs should be able to figure out the source being parodied.
Faux News isn’t Fox News… thankfully. Fox News is, well, Fox News. Without besmirching anyone’s particular political affiliations, Fox News is for people of a certain persuasion, with sensationalist headlines and certain biases. Faux News takes that model but turns it on its head, with spoof news stories presented in a headline-grabbing manner with little substance to back up the “facts.”
A clever feature is the addition of a link to the real news story that prompted the parody.
Derf Magazine offers another spin on the genre, with a weekly format in the style of a lifestyle publication. Derf is based in Cincinatti, so there is lots of local content focused on that city, but most of the articles that appear in print and on the Web will also make sense to the rest of the U.S. and beyond. There are a host of different sections, such as sports, politics, and entertainment, as well as some extremely funny horoscopes and obituaries for pets… even goldfish.
There’s one crucial thing to remember when reading any and all of the spoof news sites listed above… the news isn’t real. I know, it’s pretty obvious to the likes of you and I, but there are some particularly gullible people out there who are willing to show off their stupidity by believing fake news stories to the point they share them on social networking sites. Which is where Literally Unbelievable (the perfect site to read when bored at work) comes in.
Do you have a favorite fake/spoof/satirical news site? Whether it made the list or not please let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments section below. Or you could link to the best fake news story you’ve ever read… just don’t admit it had you fooled, even if it was just for a moment.