In August of 1988, two college juniors named Tim Keck and Christopher Johnson founded a satirical newspaper. They called their creation The Onion, published it for about a year, then sold it for $16,000 – likely never dreaming that it would grow into one of the comedy world’s most venerable institutions.
25 years later, the paper has become a national juggernaut – one that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. “There’s always a slight looming terror of running out of jokes because we’ve done so many jokes, and we have this manic insistence on never repeating a joke that we’ve done,” current editor-in-chief Will Tracy told NPR’s Renee Montagne earlier today. “But then, we’re able to remind ourselves that, oh no, there’s still awful people doing awful things every day, so that’ll give us more material in reality to draw from.”
Of course, awful people doing awful things aren’t the only subjects of Onion headlines. The satirical giant has spent the past quarter century making fun of everyone and everything – and while trying to name the paper’s 25 greatest heds is a little like trying to choose between your own demented children, there are certainly several that stand the test of time. Check out a list of favorites below – and don’t let this story stop you from citing more greatest hits in the comments.
7. A classic from Our Dumb Century: New President Feels Nation’s Pain, Breasts
8. One more from that collection: WA- (Headline Continued On Page 2)
17. The Onion’s take on World War I: Austria Declares War on Serbia Declares War on Germany Declares War on France Declares War on Turkey Declares War on Russia Declares War on Bulgaria Declares War on Britain: Ottoman Empire Almost Declares War on Itself
22. Yet another gem from Our Dumb Century: Holy Sh–! Man Walks on F—ing Moon
25. And just because I can’t resist ending on a note of self-awareness: Pop Culture Expert Surprisingly Not Ashamed of Self