What Is The Onion?

Looking for the best news parody site online? Look no further!

The Onion Logo
Via The Onion.

Website: TheOnion.com
: One of the most popular (and funniest) fake news websites online
Similar Websites: TheDailyShow.com, ColbertNation.com, WeeklyWorldNews.com

What Is The Onion?:

The Onion's slogan, "America's Finest News Source," says it all. The Onion is, indeed, one of America's finest news sources and has been a beloved daily read on the Web for millions of Americans since 1996. It just so happens, though, that the news here is of the fake, comedic variety. The Onion was started by Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson, two University of Wisconsin-Madison students. Initially there was only a print version of the humor publication, but a website was launched in 1996.

Even though the website has been around for over 20 years now, The Onion remains a pillar of comedy online. That's in part because of the twisted and unique world view the Onion writers seem to possess. It's also because, as mentioned above, the site remains dedicated to the raunchy sense of humor it’s had since its underground newspaper days.

Translation: If you're a comedy fan under the age of 18 (or are the parents of one), The Onion might not be for you and, as the saying goes, parental discretion is advised.

There's no other website in existence that can deliver biting satirical takes on the news quite like The Onion. In addition to full-fledged fake news items, the site is filled with other comedy bits, such as satirical horoscopes (sample: "Pisces: In dog years, your border collie will soon turn 50, which explains the suit and tie, the growing stack of Wall Street Journals, and the rather conservative political worldview"), the Onion Sports Network (sample: "Celtics: That was a Reasonable Amount Of Time To Be In The Playoffs"), Stockwatch and American Voices, the fan-favorite fake man-on-the-street segment.

The Onion in its current form is certainly slicker than when it started, but it has managed not only to retain its biting edge from those early days but also expand that same comedic sensibility to its fake video news arm, the Onion News Network, and its nationally syndicated radio show, Onion Radio News.

The Onion Features:

  • The website is designed as a parody of major news websites, such as CNN.com and NYTimes.com
  • The site's original content is comprised of satirical fake-news items delivered every few days
  • The fake-news items are either text-based and mocking print news outlets (much of which also appears in The Onion's weekly print publication) or are part of the video-based, cable TV-mocking Onion News Network
  • The site houses audio streams of its nationally syndicated comedy radio show, Onion Radio News

Why Should I Visit The Onion?:

The Onion is, without a doubt, one of the funniest websites in existence. And that's not just my opinion -- The New Yorker called The Onion "The funniest publication in the United States" and Entertainment Weekly called the site "Indispensable."

The AV Club and The Decider:

The Onion also owns and operates The AV Club, which is not centered around comedy. The AV Club serves up entertainment news and reviews and is definitely worth checking out.

The Onion News Network:

If these numerous hilarious print features weren't enough to convince you to head over to The Onion already, the Onion News Network should do the trick. The ONN could've easily just been a retread of the kind of material you see on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, but that's far from the case. Rather than simply comment on the news of the day, the ONN takes a cue from The Onion's print edition and makes it up. In addition to CNN-style news reports, the Onion News Network has some recurring segments, such as the C-Span parody O-Span and the fake Today Show-style morning show, "Today Now!"

This article was updated on October 27, 2016 by Beverly Jenkins.