I was catching up on some Onion Radio News reports recently and wondered if we’d ever hear a bloopers compilation. Anchor “Doyle Redland” (left) has had to have cracked up while reading stories like “McDonald’s Stock Tumbles As Consumers Turn To Food.”
I asked Redland (aka veteran alt-weekly cartoonist P.S. Mueller) and here’s what he emailed:
I’m sad to say the Onion Radio News bloopers series will never exist because we recorded all of my voiceovers digitally, thereby eliminating the “cutting room floor” altogether. Also, I was more or less downsized out of the Onion nearly two years ago, though every few weeks I do pull Doyle from a musty old trunk and force him to read a few commercials, most recently for Audible.com. Between 1999 and 2009 I did co-write, co-produce and serve as the voice of Mr. Redland, completing somewhere around 2,500 segments.
How did you keep a straight face while reading the reports?
It is true that some of the scripts were damn hard to get through without losing it completely. One of the hardest for me was one we did about Jerry Lewis undergoing “emergency gefloigel surgery.” [Warning: Audio kicks in immediately with most of these links.] It was all that compressed schtick that got to me. I would send you the script for it, but all that stuff, including Doyle, remains the intellectual property of The Onion, Inc. and they would surely have me stalked and maimed.
Some of my favorite Onion Radio News segments from over the years, and there were many, include: Jews To Celebrate Rosh Hashasha Or Something; Civil War Enthusiasts Burn Atlanta To Ground; Microsoft Sold To Crows; Denny’s Introduces ‘Just A Humongous Bucket Of Eggs And Meat’; and “Kim Jong Il Unfolds Into Giant Robot.”
How did the Onion Radio News reports come together?
During our first year Scott Dikkers pulled together text from stories in the Onion’s archive every month and sent me half of them. Separately, we took the pieces and converted them into radio scripts before meeting for all-day marathon editing sessions where we put together anywhere from thirty to fifty final drafts. Then we went into the recording studio, where we tormented Doyle into reading as many twenty to thirty scripts in a single day. Generally, we managed to push those scripts all the way through post-production in a week or so. I think we did over 400 segments that first year in order to fulfill a contract the Onion had signed with Westwood One. Read More