CONTACT: TOM SNEE
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Aug. 28, 2002
Snooty East Coast Humor Magazine Editor Deigns To Speak
Robert Siegel, editor in chief of the satirical magazine The Onion, will
discuss whatever drivel he manages to jot down on the back of the barf bag
during his flight from New York when he kicks off the University of Iowa's
2002-03 Lecture Committee series on Monday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. in the second
floor ballroom in the Iowa Memorial Union.
"Remember to remind everyone that they get what they pay for,"
he said. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Actually, Siegel will discuss the people and processes that lead to the
creation of America's funniest magazine in his lecture, "The Minds Behind
The Onion." Siegel will look back at the origins and history of the magazine
as it went from a Madison, Wis.-based alternative weekly to a national forum
for satire and parody. He will also provide a behind-the-scenes look at the
day-to-day routine at the magazine, as well as discuss his favorite articles
and how they were written.
Siegel joined The Onion's staff in 1994 and has been editor since 1996.
He failed at a variety of other jobs before joining the magazine, including
stand-up comedian, substitute teacher, museum docent and office temp. He was
also named one of People magazine's 100 most eligible bachelors in 2000.
With a half-million readers online (www.theonion.com), more than 350,000
readers of the print edition, and millions of listeners to "The Onion
Radio News" (broadcast on 72 stations nationwide), The Onion has been
called "the most popular humor periodical in world history" by The
New Yorker. The paper recently made headlines when a satirical story it published
about U.S. Congressional representatives demanding a new Capitol to replace
the current aging building was mistakenly reported as legitimate news by a
The newspaper has also published three best-selling books, "Our Dumb
Century," "Dispatches from the Tenth Circle," and "The
Onion's Finest News Reporting," which won the 1999 Thurber Prize for
The UI Lecture Committee enhances the learning environment with a series
of lectures by prominent guest speakers for the university's diverse community.
Speakers deliver presentations in a forum that facilitates audience participation
and encourages an exchange of ideas and opinions. All of the committee's lectures
are free and open to the public.