I recently applied for a writing position at The Onion. I went in expecting to be rejected, knowing that the website has some of the funniest living writers on staff. And I was, in fact, rejected!
I noticed while I was applying that I couldn’t easily find any other applications online. So I’m posting mine here, with minor edits for typos. If you’d like to work at The Onion, you’ll have to do better than this. (Also, you’ll have to spend more than four hours on your submission. When it comes to finding your dream job, don’t procrastinate.)
Note: The Onion offers the chance to apply to a small group of students every few months. I can’t tell you how to apply. Also, they change the method each time, so I no longer know how to apply.
Update (2023): I looked back at this eight years later and found some of the jokes either slightly offensive or totally bewildering. I’ve removed a few sample headlines out of embarrassment (which isn’t to say the rest of this is good material — my rejection was wholly justified).
Part I. Sample Headlines
Local Grandmother Responds To All Text Messages Within 30 Seconds
Vaccination Drones Darken The Sky As Obamacare Enters Second Year
Local Stoic Wearing Only Light Jacket In 25-Degree Weather
Report: 8% Of American Tongues Now Stuck To Frozen Flagpoles
SNOWPOCALYPSE: 17,000 Killed As Ten-Foot Blizzard Strikes Atlanta
If Morals Aren’t On The Decline, Why Didn’t I Ever Sext Anyone When I Was A Teenager? (By David Brooks)
Local Venture Capitalist Invests $30 In Son’s New Snow Shovel
“Ridiculously Photogenic ISIS Executioner” Acquires Two Millionth Facebook Fan
Nate Silver Declares Brian Scalabrine Greatest Basketball Player Of All Time
NSA Director Michael Rogers Screams At Sight Of Peeping Tom In Tree Outside His Window
Shinzo Abe Becomes Pregnant To Combat Japan’s Fertility Crisis
Local Knitting Club Working On Deradicalization Sweaters For Returning Jihadists
FDA Approves Cigarettes As Effective Treatment For The Torturous Throb Of Existence
Target Forces Occupy Six Walmarts In Preparation For Black Friday
Pit Bull Owner Sues Mother Of Enormous Toddler Who Killed Her Dog
Area Conservative Can’t Remember Whether NATO Is Something She Supports
Errant Drone Strike Wipes Out San Diego Wedding Party
After Three Tense Days, Norway Declared Ebola-Free
Twitter Bans Two-Thirds Of All Users In Online Abuse Crackdown
McCain, Military Officals Vow To Save Controversial B-16 “Ostrich” Flightless Aircraft From Decommission
Everyone Agrees To Ignore E. Coli Found In Chipotle Burrito
Art Museum Curator Killed In Completely Unsymbolic Carjacking
Part II. Turn Three Headlines Into “News In Brief” Pieces
McCain, Military Officals Vow to Save Controversial B-16 “Ostrich” Flightless Aircraft From Decommission
WASHINGTON — An influential group of U.S. veterans, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), pledged on Thursday to thwart the Pentagon’s plans to return the U.S. fleet of B-16 “Ostrich” flightless aircraft.
“We’ll never give up on the Big O,” said McCain, in reference to the heavily armored aircraft, which, while too heavy to fly, can sprint across uneven terrain to peck at foes with its sharp nose cone.
The 35-year-old Ostrich is popular among soldiers, Marines, and the 15% of Air Force officers who suffer from vertigo. “She’s a tough old bird — really saved my hide in the first Gulf War,” said four-star general William Shelton, adding that he could think of “no better way” to spend the $580 million the U.S. now spends each year to maintain 750 B-16s.
Shelton added that he has never felt safe flying through the air “in a big metal tube”.
Everyone Agrees To Ignore E. Coli Found in Chipotle Burrito
HOUSTON, TX — After 23 cases of food poisoning were traced back to E. coli found in a Chipotle Mexican Grill on South Shepherd Drive, health department officials struck a quiet bargain with all paries concerned not to speak any further about the incident.
“I’ve spent the last few hours vomiting, but that’s no reason to let one unfortunate accident spoil the experience for other Chipotle fans,” said Ellen Robertson, who added that she was looking forward to pulling the half-chicken, half-steak trick to get a bigger burrito bowl on her next visit.
“These things always blow over in the end,” explained Stephen Williams, director of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, before biting into a vegetarian burrito with extra guacamole.
At press time, sources confirmed the presence of a line stretched around the block after the restaurant announced a two-for-one deal on all products containing lettuce.
Art Museum Curator Killed in Completely Unsymbolic Carjacking
WICHITA, KS — Police announced Tuesday that no hidden messages had been discovered in the aftermath of the carjacking and murder of Earl Morris, head curator of the Wichita Art Museum.
“We are nearly certain that the killer was only interested in the victim’s 2006 Toyota Camry,” said Shane Keller, a detective on the Wichita police force, adding that the puddle of blood found at the crime scene was totally indistinguishable from puddles of blood made by gunshot wounds in thousands of similar slayings.
“Of course, when we heard about the incident, we immediately started looking around for works of art that may have been connected to Earl’s death,” explained Robin Tate, the museum’s assistant curator, “but none of the connections we could draw seemed even remotely plausible.”
At press time, a local Freemason was seen staring intently at a Norman Rockwell painting of two fishermen, part of the museum’s “American Moderns, 1910-1960” exhibit.