Hahahahaha. That's the title of my boss's talk at the Seattle Interactive Conference on Monday at 10:10 am. Tim Keck founded The Onion back in the late '80s with some other jerks. They made it on rented personal computers and laid out like a real newspaper, inventing that fake-news snark that everyone does now. How did Tim find writers, editors, and artists for his fake newspaper? What were the five formulas for Onion stories? How did Tim go from starting The Onion to starting The Stranger? Wish I could tell you. Every time I ask about The Onion, Tim goes, "Oh, it got a lot funnier after I left, I can't take credit—holy shit, look over there! There's a naked man dressed as an onion ring!" And then by the time I've turned back around he's gone.
Tim Keck, cofounder of The Onion, will give a speech that many at the conference won’t find as funny they expect. Early in the speech, Mr. Keck will get a few courtesy laughs, but as he explains how the paper came into existence—frankly not that interesting—some audience members will start checking their phones. When Mr. Keck begins to share his sophomoric “media theories,” also not that interesting, at least half the audience will quietly slip out the door.
The Q&A portion will be particularly painful as Onion fans ask about their favorite headlines, most of which postdate Mr. Keck's brief involvement with The Onion.
I will be skipping out on work Monday morning to be there.