The Onion’s editor discusses new encyclopedia

Today the Onion released “The Onion Book of Known Knowledge,” a “definitive encyclopedia of existing information” condensed into 244 pages. Salon talked with the Onion’s editor Will Tracy via email about the release of the book, why comedy is hard and how the Onion has changed over the years. The interview has been abridged and edited. How did you decide what to include?Choosing entries for the book, and brainstorming “takes” for these entries was a two-year process that, like the paper, was very much a war of attrition. We had a master list of entries we knew we had to have: God, Music, Literature, War, Abraham Lincoln, etc. The biggies. Everyone on staff, as well as some freelance contributors, poured in dozens, sometimes hundreds, of ideas for takes, and may the best idea win. Once we had a take idea nailed down for an entry topic, that entry would be assigned to a writer.Continue Reading…


The Onion’s editor discusses new encyclopedia

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