In what could be the biggest competition for ‘The Daily Show’ yet, and certainly a potentially deep stab at Fox News and the “24-hour, political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator” (as Jon Stewart refers to the news networks), the satirical news site The Onion will now have a showcase on IFC, to be anchored by former Fox News reporter Suzanne Sena.
The Onion News Network will mock the news networks just as The Onion has long mocked newspapers with headlines like “Al-Qaeda Marching Band To Join Macy’s Parade After Incredible Audition” and “World’s Power Brokers Hold Annual Summit Where They Show Each Other Their Penises.” Sena will be playing the character of Brooke Alvarez, the anchor of FactZone, purported to be the “winner of three ‘Swoosh Awards For Most Awesome News Graphics’ since its debut in 2006.” Sena’s presence alone is biting satire, suggesting that the personalities on the news networks are simply manufactured characters rather than actual reporters of any sort.
They’ll also boast parodies of Glenn Beck with “The Cressbeckler Stance with Joad Cressbeckler – Angry political commentator Joad Cressbeckler opines on everything from returning to the gold standard to skinning a raccoon,” as well as Nancy Grace with “Cross Examination with Shelby Cross – Former prosecutor Shelby Cross reports on the latest legal cases, determining who’s guilty without the need for pesky evidence.”
These won’t all be full shows of their own, of course. The ONN will be one show featuring clips of all these other shows as if they were a 24-hour news network themselves. The Onion is capable of some unbelievably great satire, as evidenced in books like ‘Our Dumb Century,’ but will they be able to outdo what ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ have already done so well? There’s no studio audience and there’s no winking, nudging and laughing on ONN’s web shorts, so it’ll be different enough and closer to straight parody, but it may also go places that Comedy Central’s hosts can’t.
Take a look at this preview for Onion News Network, premiering January 21 at 10pm on IFC.