Anyone who has worked in or around TV can tell you that news parodies are incredibly easy to cook up and absurdly difficult to get just right. Right now The Onion News Network—which is making its cable debut on IFC next week—is looking very promising.
As of this writing, more than a few clips are already up on the Onion website. Highlights include “Girl Raised From Birth by Wolf Blitzer Taken Into Protective Custody,” “Police Seize More Than $50 in Wire From Nation’s Wealthiest Crystal Meth Dealer,” and a hard-hitting report that’s headlined “Do Glass Pipes, Incense Prove Teens Are Practicing Shamanism?” The writing’s sharp and incisive, the production values are high, and the subjects are surprisingly close to the kind of stuff that passes for actual news on the actual networks. (So much so that more than a few of these clips might have passed for actual network news reports.) Everything we’ve seen so far is funny, and the show’s in-house pundit—a sort of Appalachian Andy Rooney named Joad Cressbeckler—is downright hilarious.
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