Before social media and smartphones, The Onion ruled satire

You know and love The Onion, with its smart, funny satire that skewers the real world while creating a brilliant universe of “Area Man” stories.

But a lot’s changed since The Onion became big in the 1990s. The Onion predates the modern internet, social media and smartphones. For many years, The Onion was a print newspaper that barely had a website.

In the 2020s, it’s about two decades since The Onion was at the height of its powers. So are we doing here? Each week, we look at The Onion from exactly 20 years ago.

So much can change in a single generation with humor or society. We’ll also discover what hasn’t changed and what parts of The Onion still shine today.

Sign up for a free Sunday email that shows what The Onion was doing 20 years ago.* Want a preview? Here’s the 9/11 issue.

Kick back on the weekend with The Onion: 20 Years Later. It’s free and direct to your inbox.

*We publish most Sundays, except when The Onion itself took time off. I’ll tell you when that’s happening. Also, I’m not affiliated with The Onion. This is just for fun.

Subscribe to The Onion: 20 Years Later

A weekly review of The Onion from exactly 20 years ago to laugh, see what holds up and revisit pop culture references we forgot about.


Each week, I re-review The Onion from exactly 20 years ago. My day job is as a B2B content marketer and freelance editor. Former longtime managing editor of SmartBrief on Leadership, started in newspapers what feels like 100 years ago.