Every Year of the Twentieth Century, Lampooned by the Onion
October 25, 2012 4:32 PM   Subscribe

The Onion's great for a witty skewering of current events. But its historical editions, as collected in the book Our Dumb Century, are a gem all their own, full of razor-sharp satire, trenchant social commentary, period-accurate advertisements, running gags, historical irony, photoshoppery, and even some editorial cartoons for every year of the twentieth century. Luckily for history (and humor) buffs, nearly the whole run of the series is available piecemeal on their website. Click inside for an organized timeline of links to all the front pages from this brilliant work (plus a bonus!).

1900-1929: A NATION TURNS ITS CRANK
1900: A NEW CENTURY DAWNS!
McKinley Ushers in New 'Coal Age'
1901: MCKINLEY ATTACKED BY WILD BOAR!

1902: CONGRESS REDUCES WORK-WEEK TO 135 HOURS
Captains of Industry Scarlet with Rage
1903: ZULUS ATTACK LONDON!
King Held at Spearpoint
1903: SCIENCE CONQUERS SKY WITH WRIGHT BROS. FLYING MACHINE
Heaven Expedition Slated for Next Year
1904: SKELETON OF SATAN DISCOVERED!

1905: THE MACHINE:
Will It Replace the China-Man?
1906: EARTH-QUAKE MARKS LEAST GAY DAY IN SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY
Garment District Still Flaming
1907: PURE FOOD AND DRUG ACT WILL LIMIT HUMAN-THUMB LEVELS PERMITTED IN MEATS

1910: UNITED STATES LEADS WORLD IN INDUSTRY
Thaks, Orphans!' Grateful Americans Say
1912: WORLD'S LARGEST METAPHOR HITS ICE-BERG
Did Jazz Sink the Great Ship?
1913: ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND OF AUSTRIA BOASTS:
No Man Can Stop Me'
1914: WAR DECLARED BY ALL
Ottoman Empire Almost Declares War on Itself
1914: BRITISH CROQUET MALLETS PROVE USELESS AT FRONT

1915: 600,000 KILLED IN 4-INCH ADVANCE ON FRONT
Heroic Soldiers Pay Ultimate Price to Make Patch of Mud Safe for Democracy
1916: BRITISH NAVY CONDEMNS GERMAN U-BOATS AS 'NOT VERY SPORTING'

1918: CORPSE-EATING RATS NOW LARGEST MILITARY FORCE IN EUROPE

1919: GANGSTERS PASS 18TH AMENDMENT

1919: PRESIDENT WILSON CALLS FOR CREATION OF USELESS WORLD GOVERNING BODY
European Cartographers Commit Mass Suicide
1920: WOMEN GET VOTE, REST ROOMS

1920: FIXED WORLD SERIES HERALDS FIRST-EVER MOMENT OF EXCITEMENT IN BASEBALL

1922: INDIA'S NATIONALIST LEADER PUMMELED SENSELESS BY PRACTITIONERS OF BRITISH 'VIOLENCE' MOVEMENT

1924: LENIN DEAD FROM MASSIVE 'STROKE OF THE PEOPLE'
Glorious Lack of Oxygen Distributed Equally Through Brain
1925: Scopes Monkey Trial Raises Troubling Question:
IS SCIENCE BEING TAUGHT IN OUR SCHOOLS?
1926: Man Ventures Outside Hatless

1927: Lindbergh Signs Unprecedented $300 'Endorsement' Contract

1927: BILLIONAIRES BUY U.S. FROM MILLIONAIRES
Future of Nation in Yet Wealthier Hands
1929: STOCK MARKET INVINCIBLE
Buy, Buy, Buy!' Experts Advise
1929-1946: DUST, DESPAIR, AND DEATH... THOSE WERE THE DAYS
1931: Al Capone's Reign of Tax-Evading Terror Finally Brought to End
Banks to Close Early Today; Will Reopen in 1936
1932: APPLE SOLD
Shiny Nickel Put into Circulation
1932: Cute Little Mouse Crushed to Death by Petting

1933: New President Assures Nation
The Only Thing We Have to Fear is a Crippling, Decade-Long Depression'
1933: 18th Amendment Repealed
Could Alcohol Cure Nation's Depression?
1933: President Confronts Depression with 'Big Deal' Plan
Big Deal, I'm Rich!' Roosevelt Says
1935: Bumper Crop of '35: Dust

1936: FDR Rummages Through Parents' House to 'See if There's Anything in There America Could Use'

1937: Art Critics Impressed by Saturation Bombing of Guernica

1937: AWESOME!
Nation Wowed by Tremendous Hindenburg Explosion
1937: German Jews Concerned about Hitler's 'Kill All Jews' Proposal
Charitable Oil Baron Donates $1 Billion to His Sons
1938: Chamberlain Returns from Meeting with Hitler
Promising 'London Laid Waste in Our Time'
1939: Enormous Radio Tower Placed Atop Earth
Why Does Our Joyless President Never Dance?
1939: WA-
(headline continued on page 2)
1942: Ladies, Negroes Momentarily Useful
Japanese Heritage Nets Local Boy Fun Camping Trip
1943: Triumph of the Will' Sweeps 1943 Cannes Film Festival
Pure Magic,' Says French Jury
1943: Loose Lip Sinks Ship

1944: War Rationing Board Restricts Nylon Use to Armed Forces, J. Edgar Hoover Only

1945: FDR, STALIN, CHURCHILL MEET FOR MUTTON LUNCHEON, NAP

1945: Japanese Zeroes Held Off by Boy with Dick Tracy Decoder Ring

1945: Nagasaki Bombed 'Just for the Hell of it'
1946-1963: THE SWELL YEARS
1946: Surgeon General Warns Against Smoking Any Brand of Cigarette Other than Chesterfields
A Risk to Your 'T-Zone'
1947: Tele-Vision' Promises Mass Enrichment of Mankind
New Device to Provide High-Minded Alternative to Mindless Drivel Found on Radio
1948: Antlike Conformity Now Affordable

1948: War-Weary Jews Establish Homeland Between Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt

1949: A-Bomb May Have Awakened Gigantic Radioactive Monsters, Experts Say

1949: GIANT POSTER OF MAO SEIZES POWER IN CHINA
Burma-Shave Copywriter Wins Pulitzer
1951: I Hold in My Hand a List of 205 Liquor Stores'

1953: New Medical Report Finds Heavy Petting Linked to Communism

1953: Korean War Ends in Tearful 3-Hour Finale

1954: Caring Father Resolves Extremely Minor Domestic Conflict

1954: GUM IN OUR SCHOOLS!
Officials Call for Tougher Gum-Control Laws
1956: Ronald Reagan Bravely Turns In 78,432 Hollywood Leftists

1956: Supreme Court Upholds Mississippi Law Requiring Negro Voters to Be White
Area Beat Beaten
1956: Supreme Court Rules U.S. Fathers Should Not Be Disturbed During Dinner Hour

1957: Nation's Housewives Agree

1959: Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Bora Bora, Samoa, Philippines, Japan Granted U.S. Statehood
Spread of Democracy Will Keep Newly Acquired Territories Safe from Foreign Imperialism
1960: JOHN F. KENNEDY'S DAD DEFEATS NIXON
Millionaire Ex-Bootlegger's Life Ambition Realized as Son Captures Presidency
1961: Eisenhower Warns of Military-Industrial-Oedipal Complex
Nation Increasingly Jealous of Relationship Between Pentagon, Big Business
1962: Allen Funt Lets President In On Hilarious 'Cuban Missile Crisis' Prank
JFK a Good Sport, Says Host of TV's 'Candid Camera'
1963: SINATRA WARNS RUSSKIES TO KNOCK IT OFF
Calls Soviet Premier a 'World-Class Knucklehead'
1963: KENNEDY SLAIN BY CIA, MAFIA, CASTRO, LBJ, TEAMSTERS, FREEMASONS
President Shot 129 Times from 43 Different Angles
1963-1981: PEACE, LOVE, AND OTHER BULLSHIT
1964: Malcol X: 'I Also Have a Dream'

1965: ONE MILLION TEEN-AGE GIRLS STRICKEN IN BEATLENEMIA EPIDEMIC
Screaming, Pulling Own Hair Chief Symptoms of Disease
1967: UC-BERKELEY STUDENTS PROTEST NOT BEING TOLD ABOUT LATEST PROTEST BY FRIENDS
Israeli Soldiers' Sabbath Delayed 35 Minutes by War with Egypt
1967: NATIONAL GUARD MOBILIZED FOR INTEGRATION OF NEGRO INTO SUPREME COURT

1968: JOHNSON DEPLOYS 20,000 BODY BAGS TO VIETNAM

1969: U.S. TROOPS PULL OUT OF VIETNAMESE PEASANT GIRL
Nixon Vetoes Federal Love and Happiness Act
1969: HOLY SHIT
MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON
1969: SHARON TATE, FOUR OTHERS SLAIN IN GRISLY 'PARTRIDGE FAMILY' MURDERS

1972: Puke Orange, Pea Green, Mustard Yellow Adopted as New National Colors

1973: Teens Hold Hilltop Summit to Discuss Purchast of Planetary Soft Drink

1974: FEDS GUN DOWN NIXON OUTSIDE ARIZONA MOTEL
6-Day, 10-State Executive Killing Spree Comes to End; Agnew Still at Large
1975: U.S. LOSES VIETNAM WAR
Ford Urges All Americans to Salute Our Vietcong Rulers
1976: Nation Mourns as President Ford's Pet Rock Dies

1976: NATIONAL MOOD RING GREEN
We Are Sensitive Right Now, Say Ring Experts
1977: President Calls for Calm Following Nipple Sighting on Farah Fawcett Poster

1977: ELVIS DEAD
Is Elvis Alive?
1978: Anthropomorphic Juice Pitcher Among Dead in Jonestown Cult Suicide

1979: Carter Offers Ayatollah 'Helpful Energy-Saving Tips' in Exchange for Hostages

1980: "Let's Talk Better Mileage" vs. "Kill the Bastards"
Which Message Will Resonate with Voters?
1981: Reagan May Have Been Elected, Doesn't Recall
Reagan Promises Less Bureaucratic Shadow Government
1981-2000: A NATION FINDS ITS REMOTE
1981: Texas Instruments Continues Domination of Personal-Computing Field

1983: Nancy Reagan Ends Nation's Drug Problem with Very Special "Diff'rent Strokes" Appearance

1984: Congress Approves Orbiting Homeless Incinerator

1985: VICTORY!
U.S. Wins Vietnam War at Last
1986: Schoolteacher, Kitten, Three Dozen Orphans to Fly on Challenger Tomorrow
Returning Cola War Veterans Treated to Madison Avenue Ticker-Tape Parade
1987: Judge Wapner Hears Oliver North Testimony
Embattled Colonel Testifies Before "People's Court"
1987: Reagan Proclaims 'Late Afternoon in America,' Takes Nap

1988: Surrogate Test-Tube Baboon-Hearted Baby Trapped in Well

1989: Bush Decries Exxon Valdez Spillage of 'Precious, Precious Oil'

1991: CNN Deploys Troops to Iraq

1991: Soviets Vote to Collapse; Threat of Nuclear War Over
Bombs Now Safely In Hands of Countless Tiny, Warring Factions
1992: L.A. Rioters Demand Justice, Tape Decks
Death of 500,000 Somalis Momentarily Distracts Nation From Dream Team Excitement
1993: Uneducated Forklift Driver To Address Nation On Rush Limbaugh Radio Show
Comedians Struggling To Find Angle In Bobbitt Case
1994: Republican Revolution of '94:
Everything's Different Now
1995: Al Gore Caught In Love Trust With Endangered Tree Owl
Nation's Whites Eagerly Await Windows 95 Launch
1995: O.J. Finds Killer
Head Deadhead Dead
1996: Oprah Secedes From U.S., Forms Independent Nation of Cheesecake-Eating Housewives
"Ugogirl is a nurturing, supportive republic with attitude and sass"
1997: Federal Seat Of Power Moves To Mall Of America
Corruption At Highest Level of U.S. Government Bores American Public
1997: 50 Percent of U.S. Population Now Immobile

1997: Clinton, Paula Jones Square Off On 'Jerry Springer'
Seven Percent of World's Resources Still Unconsumed
BONUS: A full-length edition of the Onion from the year 2056.
posted by Rhaomi (52 comments total) 97 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's missing 47 pages from the full book, but all the more reason to buy it! It's totally worth it.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:33 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Great post! I remember getting this when it came out, when The Onion was just breaking big. And it's not just funny as hell, it's impressive how they mimicked the writing style, layout, fonts, etc, of the different decades. A lot of good work went into this book. Subsequent Onion books...not so much.
posted by zardoz at 4:54 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The editors of the Onion did an AMA on reddit today.

Great post!
posted by triggerfinger at 4:58 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yup, I am a proud owner of the book, Our Dumb Century, and it is indeed very, very funny stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:01 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've got it too, and it's great.
posted by sfred at 5:03 PM on October 25, 2012


As a history geek I basically memorized this book.
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


cause it's not just funny, it's EXHAUSTIVELY RESEARCHED FUNNY.
posted by The Whelk at 5:05 PM on October 25, 2012 [14 favorites]


When Neil Armstrong passed away, all I could think of was MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:15 PM on October 25, 2012 [17 favorites]


The Onion proves that even the Holocaust can be funny.
posted by John Cohen at 5:17 PM on October 25, 2012


I feel like this and Dave Barry Slept Here make for a more or less perfect reason to study American history: to get the jokes.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:20 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Cause it's not just the content, it's how the content is delivered, the moralizing screeds of each decade are so specific and tied to their era right down to the particular syntax of newspapers from each period, it's one of the finest comedy novels to ever exist, ever.
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on October 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


This book is, without doubt, the greatest bathroom reading in the history of our species.
posted by COBRA! at 5:26 PM on October 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


SINATRA WARNS RUSSKIES TO KNOCK IT OFF

"Drop this Commie bunk or it's ring-a-ding-ding for you bozos!" For some reason that still makes me giggle years later.
posted by gimonca at 5:28 PM on October 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


Not included-- their perfect headline for Pearl Harbor... "Dastardly Japs Attack Colonially Occupied U.S. Non-State"

Funny cos it's true
posted by jcruelty at 5:28 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


My all-time favorite Onion headline is "War on Drugs Over; Drugs Win."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:29 PM on October 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Ladies,Negroes Momentarily Useful" is the funniest not funny four words ever.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:31 PM on October 25, 2012


A fantastic book. "Man Walks on Fucking Moon" is the pinnacle. Just brilliant.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:33 PM on October 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


"BELGRADE–Serbian president Vojislav Kostunica deployed more than 30,000 peacekeeping troops to the U.S. Monday, pledging full support to the troubled North American nation as it struggles to establish democracy."
posted by ovvl at 5:35 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cause it's not just the content, it's how the content is delivered, the moralizing screeds of each decade are so specific and tied to their era right down to the particular syntax of newspapers from each period, it's one of the finest comedy novels to ever exist, ever.

And the twentieth is not the only century whose characteristic prose style they can nail:

"We should Choose, To travel to the MOON, Not because it is Easy, but because I am Drunk, and I say it will not be that Hard," exclaim'd the tottering Adams, speaking from the White House, a Disreputable TAVERN on the South Side of Philadelphia, upon the Roof of which Adams had seen fit to be in his cups Esconced, and without his Pantaloons withall.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:38 PM on October 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


The week of Nixon escaping and going on the run after Watergate are three of my favorite pages ever.

...and its time for me to perform my yearly exercise of "Which shelf is Our Dumb Century on again?"

Also this is probably the thread I will run into the favorites cap on.
posted by thecaddy at 5:40 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


One of my favorites. I certainly felt bad for poor Lady Liberty.
posted by michaelh at 5:42 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another great thing about these Onion links (as well as the funny) is you don't have to hit 'Esc' before the page fully loads.
posted by Flashman at 5:44 PM on October 25, 2012


The editors of the Onion did an AMA on reddit today.

When I shot over there, every newest message (of the top 5) were Redditors trying to convince them they were hireable for (some "funny" reason).

I've never been so glad to be not-twenty-something.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:58 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I accidentally learned so much about history from that book.
posted by Turkey Glue at 5:58 PM on October 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


1953: Korean War Ends in Tearful 3-Hour Finale

we've all got our idiosyncratic faves. this is mine. To confuse the awful, awful, awful finale of MASH (the TV show) with the war itself, to suggest that the TV show in all its early promise but final abysmal sentimentality and sloppy drama was the war itself (because, of course, for most TV watchers, it was far more real than the war) -- there's a word for that. Starts with "g".
posted by philip-random at 6:05 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite of all of this, which I believe came from the online version's "first edition" issue a few years back, set around the time of the American Revolution, was a real ad for Jamesons, done in the style of the time, proclaiming the whiskey to be "from loathe-ful Ireland."
posted by Navelgazer at 6:12 PM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't get to it right now, but I've got a list left over of the missing pages (and a copy of the book) and can share some of the better headlines not in the post later on tonight.

(Also: "Love Trust"? I should have spel chekt betur.)
posted by Rhaomi at 6:37 PM on October 25, 2012


It's possible that I thought "WA- (headline continued on page 2)" was so funny that I tried to sneak the same joke past my editors a couple of times when I worked at a newspaper.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:51 PM on October 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


I was just going to mention that one, Eyebrows. So I'll tip my cap to the Titanic headline instead.

One of the funniest books I have ever read. It's so densely packed with jokes that I kept finding more on each subsequent read. And yes, the typography and design is so good. Just break down and buy it!
posted by pmurray63 at 7:07 PM on October 25, 2012


I have that book too! It's damn near the funniest thing I've read. Great post!
posted by JHarris at 7:09 PM on October 25, 2012


Didn't see it in the pages above, and my copy is buried somewhere out in my storage shed, but one of my favorites was something like "Marijuana usage up 30% amongst Louis Armstrong."
posted by hwyengr at 7:13 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never get tired of this book. Just browsing the links here without even following them has me laughing aloud. Serious genius.
posted by theatro at 7:18 PM on October 25, 2012


I've read WA- and HOLY SHIT MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON probably a hundred times each, and both still make me laugh out loud every single time.

Those are hands-down the two funniest thing humans have ever produced.

Thanks for a truly fantastic post, Rhaomi!
posted by graphnerd at 7:19 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amazon has copies for less than $1 (3.99 shipping).

Mine is on its way so i too can laugh.
posted by sio42 at 7:30 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


This should be the primary textbook for high school American History.
posted by kozad at 7:43 PM on October 25, 2012


The Onion proves that even the Holocaust can be funny.

Not what I'd expect to read from a man named Cohen.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:44 PM on October 25, 2012


Japan Forms Alliance With White Supremacists in Well-Thought-Out Scheme
posted by homunculus at 7:54 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now this, kids, is what you can do with your history degree. And some whisky.
posted by heurtebise at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Best story not linked here: Whites Invent "Rock and Roll" -- New Caucasian-Based Teen Craze Sweeps Nation -- Authorities Assure Public that Negroes Had Nothing to Do With Popular Music Form
posted by Rangeboy at 8:00 PM on October 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite article tease is in the 1929 edition: "Astoria, Queens Couple's La Salle Runs Great"

I also love that the Onion's editorial cartoons by Kelly continue the tradition of weeping Lady Liberty.
posted by Spatch at 8:04 PM on October 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


1980: "Let's Talk Better Mileage" vs. "Kill the Bastards"

Pretty much the story of American politics for the last four decades.
posted by stargell at 8:38 PM on October 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Greatest Hits from the missing pages:
1908: New 'Literate' Vote Turns Out For Taft

1917: U.S. ENTERS WAR
Wilson Vows To 'Make World Safe For Corporate Oligarchy'
1917: PRENTENTIOUS, GOATEED COFFEEHOUSE TYPES SEIZE POWER IN RUSSIA
'Over There' Replaces 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' as Nation's Only Song
1918: WAR OVER AS FRANZ FERDINAND FOUND ALIVE
'How Fares Europe?' Asks Presumed-Dead Archduke
1923: Irving Berlin Publishes 1,000th Annoying, Clamorous Ditty
Reaches Milestone with 'Don't Wail For Me, Pansybelle'
1923: Listerine Company Invents, Cures Halitosis

1926: Einstein Proposes Theory of 'Sell-a-Tivity'

1928: HEELS KICKED UP ACROSS NATION
President Calls For Calm
1928: CLARA BOW TO APPEAR SLEEVELESS IN OCTOBER COLLIER'S
'Besleeve Yourself, Strumpet!' Clergy Urge
[From the issue one week after the Oct. 22nd, 1929 "Stock Market Invincible!" edition:]

1929: PENCILS FOR SALE
Stock Market Crashes; Debacles Linked to Jews, Negroes, Catholics, Anarchists, Foreigners, Women Voters
Wall Street Fat Cats Blameless, Say Financial Experts
1932: CRUST OF BREAD FOUND
Hoover's 'Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago?' Campaign Fails to Gain Momentum
1934: THE '34 RAGS ARE IN!

1938: THOUSANDS DEAD AFTER RADIO'S CHARLIE MCCARTHY CALLS FOR MASS SUICIDE

1939: Hitler Neutralizes Polish Menace
Japan Forms Alliance with White Supremacists in Well-Thought-Out Scheme
1941: DASTARDLY JAPS ATTACK COLONIALLY OCCUPIED U.S. NON-STATE
FDR: 'We Conquered the Hawaiians First'
French Surrender
1945: WAR OVER! 50 YEARS OF NUCLEAR PARANOIA BEGIN TODAY
Returning GIs Vow to Spawn Whiniest Generation Ever
1946: Family Unit Gazes Happily Into Glorious, Shining Future
U.S. Army Finds Last Place on Earth Untouched by War, Blows it to Hell
1950: Mickey Spillane Treats Wise Guy to a Little Chin Music

1952: Boy-Girl Malt-Sharing at All-Time High
Flint, Michigan, Enters Golden Age of Unending Prosperity
1953: Pentagon Develops A-Bomb-Resistant Desk

1955: Rosa Parks to Take Cab

1955: Whites Invent 'Rock and Roll'
New Caucasian-Based Craze Sweeps America
1957: EVERYTHING'S NIFTY
Swellness in America at All-Time High; All Americans Pleased as Punch
1957: BLEEPING TWO-FOOT TIN BALL THREATENS FREE WORLD
President Promises to 'Put a Tiny Metal Thing in Orbit' by 1960
1961: OUTER SPACE FALLS TO COMMUNISTS
Alarmed Legislators Slash Education Budget to Fund Space Race
1963: Martin Luther King: 'I Had a Really Weird Dream Last Night'

1966: DEMOCRACY FLOWERS AROUND GLOBE AFTER BOMBING OF VIETNAMESE VILLAGE
Female Orgasm Discovered
1967: NATION'S NEGROES MARCH ON HANOI

1968: Hippies, NASA Race for Moon

1969: APOLLO 13 ASTRONAUTS DROWN AS TED KENNEDY FLEES SPLASHDOWN SITE

1974: U.S SEVERS TIES WITH SYMBIONIA FOLLOWING PATTY HEARST KIDNAPPING

1974: NIXON ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH WATERGATE BREAK-IN

1974: NIXON ESCAPES
President Kills Two, Wounds Six in Stunning Jailbreak
[Followed by the "Feds Gun Down Nixon" issue]

1976: Carter 'Streaks' to Victory

1981: Secret Pac-Man Patterns Fall Into Russian Hands

1982: Grenada-Falklands Superpower Alliance Mobilizes for War
Grenada Rumored to Have More Than 12 Guns
1982: Congress Allocates $300 Billion to Nation's Rich
Nation's Asylums Privatized; Millions of Lunatics Set Free to Fend for Selves
1984: Famine-Wracked Ethiopia Makes Desperate Plea to U2
Union Carbide Announces Plans to Downsize Bhopal, India
1985: Nancy Reagan, Imelda Marcos Meet for Historic Footwear Summit

1988: Tyson Escapes From Ring
Feral Heavyweight Breaks Free of Handlers, Rampages Through Las Vegas
1990: Berlin Wall Destroyed in Doritos-Sponsored Super Bowl Halftime Spectacular

1990: Bottom 10 Percent of Last Year's Graduating Class Ready to Take On Saddam
Iowa Family Blasted for Lack of Diversity
1993: New President Feels Nation's Pain, Breasts
L.A. Gang's 'Increase the Peace' Movement Least Successful Movement Ever
1998: Drugs Win Drug War
Wealthiest One Percent Complete Construction of Private Escape Pod
2000: Christian Right Ascend To Heaven
All Corporations Merge into OmniCorp
posted by Rhaomi at 10:27 PM on October 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Japan Forms Alliance with White Supremacists in Well-Thought-Out Scheme

I laughed out loud when I read that, but also immediately imagined an alternate universe in which the readers of die Zwiebel's fake history book and laughing at the "Soviets Form Alliance with Capitalists in Well-Thought-Out-Scheme" headline.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:38 PM on October 25, 2012 [12 favorites]


I bought that book on the first day it was available. I asked the clerk in the bookstore if he'd read it yet, and how it was. "Cripplingly funny," was his response, and I still think it's the best description of it.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:33 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


With the possible exception of the AV Club's Tenacity of the Cockroach, this is still the best Onion book. Every page contains several laugh-out-loud moments, and since they're presented as reduced newspaper pages the print is small, which allows them to fit more stories into each page. My favorite story is the death notice of a college student named Peter Parker, who died of cancer that seemed to have the proportionate strength and agility of a spider.
posted by JHarris at 7:04 AM on October 26, 2012


Archduke Franz Ferdinand Boasts: No Man Can Stop Me!
posted by COBRA! at 7:06 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most useful post in the history of posts everywhere.
posted by entropos at 7:51 AM on October 26, 2012


MCMikeNamara: "Ladies,Negroes Momentarily Useful" is the funniest not funny four words ever.
Maybe, but 1939's headline is the funniest two letters ever.

(Quibblers: don't start. I know.)
posted by IAmBroom at 8:07 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, Our Dumb Century. For my money, perhaps The Onion's finest work, done during its finest era. I think then, more than now, they were amazing at mining humor from the specifics of the newspaper format, which was always my favorite stuff. It's not punch lines that originally made me love them so much, it's gogglingly great manipulation of format and voice -- like the Sinatra "Russkies" stuff mentioned earlier. They still write funny stuff, but less of it is format humor, and BOY do I love format humor. (Bracket humor in particular. Jokes involving brackets are the absolute best jokes.)

With the possible exception of the AV Club's Tenacity of the Cockroach

Thank you for this, because seriously.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


We loved Our Dumb Century so much I copied some of the advertisements and made them into fridge magnets. We've got "Fisticuffs!" "Female Orgasm Discovered," and the one about the Canadian quintuplets ("see them moan and cry just like real children - exhibited in sterile glass cages!")
posted by werkzeuger at 8:17 AM on October 26, 2012


I still need to get a copy of this - the headline that has stuck with me was on the cover (I think), and went something like "President Eisenhower orders Marlon Brando to gain 50 pounds."
posted by usonian at 8:31 AM on October 26, 2012


'Besleeve Yourself, Strumpet!'

I cannot wait to drop this into casual conversation as often as possible.
posted by elizardbits at 8:57 AM on October 26, 2012


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