The Daily Gamecock

Onion staff comes to USC

CP hosts members of satirical news publication

Laughs filled the Russell House Ballroom Wednesday night as several hundred students gathered to hear Staff Writer Lang Fisher and Associate Editor Will Tracy dish about The Onion, their widely popular satirical newspaper.

Despite a late start due to technical difficulties with their presentation, Fisher and Tracy walked onstage to applause from the lively crowd.

Instead of a USC-centered PowerPoint, Fisher and Tracy made do with an old UCLA lecture from two years ago.

“Watch us scramble; watch us look awkward,” joked Fisher, making light of the technical situation.

Old presentation aside, the crowd was cracking up within minutes.

“It was kind of rough in the beginning,” second-year English student Zach Anewalt said, referring to the technical problem, “but they still did a lot of fun stuff and it was still fun.”

The Onion jokesters started off by showing a video clip parodying a speech by President Barack Obama, as well as an article titled “1 in 5 Americans Believe Obama is a Cactus,” making fun of the dispute over Obama’s religion.

The quips then targeted Joe Biden, who is somewhat of an obsession with The Onion staff, Fisher said.

“He’s the kind of guy that would live on a houseboat and double-fist beers,” she added.

At The Onion, everything is fair game, from labeling Joe Biden as “that guy,” to jokes about puppy spinal injuries and Iranian stonings.

“I don’t think there is a subject we won’t make fun of, but the key is to work out what our target is,” Tracy said.

The duo also explained day-to-day processes of the publication, including coming up with material and pitching headlines. They also stressed that one must be cut from a special cloth to work at The Onion, which requires an ability to combine comedy with straight news-writing.

That style, said Tracy, is what makes The Onion so funny.

Tracy also admitted that The Onion is one of the only newspapers in the country to be expanding its publication, adding that it might even be coming to Charleston, S.C.

Pushed by audience responses like “Why not Columbia?” Tracy said Columbia is a possibility, too.

This is good news for The Onion fans at USC, like third-year media arts and film major Adam Siler, who subscribes to the publication.

“I really liked the guys from The Onion,” said Siler. “I liked their videos a lot because I make short films.”

For any aspiring movie makers and comedy writers, Tracy and Fisher ended their show with a last piece of advice.

“Don’t make the joke that everyone is making,” said Tracy.


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