Predictions For 2009 From 'The Onion' Not much happened in 2008, says Onion editor Joe Randazzo, but one event did prove popular enough that his satirical news publication predicts we'll see it reprised this year.
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Predictions For 2009 From 'The Onion'

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Predictions For 2009 From 'The Onion'

Predictions For 2009 From 'The Onion'

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

Peel an onion and you'll most likely cry. Peel back the pages of The Onion newspaper and you'll probably laugh so hard you'll cry. The newspaper gives a refreshing perspective on current news events, most of which are satirical. So to predict which news stories are probably not going to make NPR headlines or for that matter CNN, Fox, or Al Jazeera in 2009, the editor of The Onion, Joe Randazzo, joins us from our New York bureau. Welcome and happy new year.

Mr. JOE RANDAZZO (Editor, The Onion): Happy new year to you, Liane.

HANSEN: OK, 2008, big headlines, pirates, the election, the global economic and food crisis - what was your top story of 2008?

Mr. RANDAZZO: Well, we actually found 2008 to be a pretty uneventful year. The one thing that did seem to capture some of the nation's attention was there was an election for president of the United States. And that was actually so successful for MBC in particular that we're predicting that in 2009, they're actually going to re-release a new election.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. RANDAZZO: Just because the ratings were so high and it was so engaging, you know. They really only intended the series of the election to be two and a half seasons long. But it was so popular that I think they're going to bring it back. A couple of different things they could do is maybe have flashbacks with John McCain and Barack Obama when they were younger, sort of to see what made them into the people that they are. Maybe bring in some new characters in 2009, the first Asian-American president for instance or a first female president.

So I think, you know, maybe if they can work in a cliffhanger, some sort of twist ending or something like that, they might have a very successful series, you know, this year, as well, with another presidential election. It was just too popular to pass up.

HANSEN: Well, you know, Jay Leno will have that spot in primetime. So, you know, they're going to have to fill it, right?

Mr. RANDAZZO: Yeah, I thought that was very interesting that he retired to 10:00 p.m. So I guess people are going to bed earlier?

HANSEN: Maybe so. We don't have enough money to stay up any later.

Mr. RANDAZZO: That's true. I'm not sure exactly how the logic of that works, but I'm sure that that's the case.

(Soundbite of laughter)

HANSEN: In 2008 we learned, among other things, the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull. What lessons do you think we should brace ourselves for in 2009?

Mr. RANDAZZO: Well, I think an important lesson that I'm going to be carrying into 2009 is stock up on kerosene and learn to wield a spear. Because I do think that one of the hot new trends we're going to see in the coming year is roving bands of kerosene pirates, you know, who are just kind of scavenging around trying to survive. And I think it's something that is going to appeal to children. They're going to be able to get outdoors and fight for their own food and survival. The elderly may not fair as well in 2009 if the economy, you know, continues to go the way it's going. But at least people will get out and get a good amount of exercise and really learn kind of what, you know, what it means to be living in a post-economic apocalyptic world.

HANSEN: I'm making my list: kerosene, spears.

Mr. RANDAZZO: You can fashion your own spears from objects that you have just lying around the house. And if you do kill a bear, which you will probably need to do for sustenance, I would also recommend using the fur to kind of keep you warm during those cold winter months.

HANSEN: OK. And let's talk about some people making headlines. I mean, of course, we had that election and the new American president-elect, Barack Obama. But there are other people - I mean, he's putting his team together. And one of the people during the campaign that put out a great video, very compelling, was Paris Hilton. Do you think that she might be picked for, I don't know, say, the president-elect's energy team?

Mr. RANDAZZO: I think she would actually make a very good secretary of state. She has managed to win over the hearts and minds of the American public at large. And if she were to, you know, stroll into the Senate chamber with that adorable Chihuahua of hers and just that certain joie de vivre and sophistication that she possesses, she might be able to win over the Senate and sort of wedge her way in there. If not that, I think energy secretary is a good guess, as good as any.

HANSEN: Speaking of diplomatic affairs and foreign policy. Do you think Brangelina will adopt a small country?

Mr. RANDAZZO: What we're predicting for 2009 is that Brad Pitt will actually become pregnant...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. RANDAZZO: With quadruplets. It's the only way to top, I think, what they've already been up to.

HANSEN: Well, they did have a - there was a pregnant man in 2008.

Mr. RANDAZZO: Right. Although, I did a little research on that. And it's not - he's not actually a man. So it's a kind of a complex issue that might be hard for people to understand. But he's not totally a man. He does have a womb. It's not like Arnold in that movie where he had - you know, he had a baby. I think there's something a little fishy here.

HANSEN: OK. What about music? I mean, do you think in 2009 we'll hear some notable music? I mean after all, Britney is back in the game.

Mr. RANDAZZO: Britney is back in the game. We're expecting classical music to make a huge resurgence. You know, Gregorian chants have not been popular for quite some time. And I think with the all the new downloadability in mp3s and stuff like that, people in 2009 with the economy and the sort of dour pall that's been cast over the nation, I think they're going to want something a little more somber, and Gregorian chants seem to fit that niche.

HANSEN: So sitting next to my kerosene heater holding my spear, a chant will be what I want to listen to.

Mr. RANDAZZO: Yeah. You want to be listening to some Gregorian chants to lift your spirits.

(Soundbite of a Gregorian chant)

HANSEN: Joe Randazzo is editor of The Onion, could you tell? And he joined us from our New York bureau. To share your predictions on what next year's headlines are going to be, go to npr.org/soapbox. Joe, thanks a lot, and happy new year to you.

Mr. RANDAZZO: Happy new year to you. It's my pleasure.

(Soundbite of a Gregorian chant)

HANSEN: This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Liane Hansen.

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