The Onion is one of the longest-running satirical news organisations, and remains to this day a continuing source of ridiculous news, subtle comedy and political commentary. Founded in 1988 as a parodic newspaper and successfully making the jump to the current online format, The Onion now enjoys around 8 million unique visits per month.
In addition to well-written content and occasionally being mistaken for a real news source, the website has broadened its satirical horizons and since 2007 has been publishing video and audio content too. The Onion’s YouTube channel is full of references and parodies of online trends, 24/7 rolling news channels and dummy reports which quite literally make up some of the service’s finest content.
If you’ve not explored this side to America’s most popular satirical rag then you’ve been missing out.
Over the last few years a trend for publishing discussions online has emerged in a big way. While organisations like TED have existed for a long time, the popularity of these materials has really taken off and made headlines, from TED itself to Google Tech Talks and whole courses provided by universities. Who better to parody this movement than The Onion?
There have been 12 Onion Talks so far, each poking fun at various traits shown by celebrated speakers. The series kicks off with “Compost-Fueled Cars: Wouldn’t That Be Great?” which mocks ideology without practical basis, and vastly exaggerates the egotism shown by a few speakers.
Also worthy of a mention is the incredible “Ducks Go Quack, Chickens Say Cluck” in which a so-called celebrated animal behaviouralist examines the wildly differing philosophies between two feathered egg-borne species. The deliveries in this one are absolutely spot-on.
Used and abused to the point of ridicule is the term “social media” and this is tackled in the talk entitled “Using Social Media To Cover For Lack Of Original Thought“. Some of the points raised are ridiculous to the extreme yet make complete sense. Scary and very, very clever.
Finally “Quit Whining And Put On A Goddamn Coat: My Journey” is a sweary parodic look at one, quiet woman’s triumphant journey toward raising her body temperature and should serve as an inspiration to anyone else out there feeling a bit chilly.
You can watch the whole playlist of talks by clicking play on the embedded video below.
Trouble Hacking is a series of videos designed to help you conquer everyday problems, and is somewhat of a poke at sites like Lifehacker (and to an extent MakeUseOf) in general. That’s just fine because we should all be able to laugh at ourselves not to mention the ridiculous solutions brought about in these videos below.
First up is a problem affecting many iPhone owners – white mold covering the entirety of their smartphones. Time to hack it!
Sometimes websites offer up solutions to problems that don’t exist, an issue this next video addresses – how to opt out of the unlimited breadstick offer at the Olive Garden chain of restaurants.
Last up here’s a tip for anyone looking to lose weight: have you thought about weigh loss throat worms? Apparently these little critters set up home in your throat, absorbing food before it hits your stomach so you can eat whatever you want without piling on the pounds.
Check out the full playlist of Trouble Hacking videos embedded below.
You know those Planet Earth-type shows that examine the incredible examples of evolution, geography and survival in nature? Horrifying Planet is The Onion’s very well executed take on that, complete with a voiceover that David Attenborough would be proud of.
Did you know that the humble robin, a common and often overlooked garden bird, is a cold blooded killer on a par with war criminals for the atrocities it commits on a daily basis? Find out why in the video below.
The desert, a barren wasteland where little can survive is an easy target for this Horrifying Planet video which takes a good hard look at “nature’s hospice”.
Unlike the aforementioned examples which subscribe to the Horrifying Planet mantra quite nicely, deer apparently break the mould. That is because deer are fine, existing everywhere and doing nothing out of the ordinary.
Once again you can watch this whole series in the embedded player below.
Daytime television is probably the worst kind of television, filled with vox pops, pretend news, awkward subject transitions and topical nonsense. Today Now! is all of those things embodied into a faux morning television show from The Onion, and it’s great.
Here’s some fine Internet satire – the discovery of the ruins of former social networking “civilization” called Friendster. According to the report, the site has been abandoned since 2005.
What would happen if an ill child exploited a loophole in the Make A Wish Foundation’s rules that would allow for unlimited wishes? They’d go bankrupt, of course. Poor taste? Probably. Funny? Definitely.
Imagine if this year’s must-have Christmas gift was Chinese paint. Actually don’t because it’s ridiculous and The Onion already went there.
Check out the full playlist over more than 40 videos below.
Do you have any favourite Onion coverage? Any similarly over the top parodies? Share your thoughts in the comments, below this post.