The Onion Predicted ‘Joe The Plumber’ Crap

Yup, a 1993 page from the 1999 Onion book Our Dumb Century with this article and subhed, “Nation Eagerly Awaits Ohio Man’s Profound Insights Into Current Events.” See, everyone, just make up a story — type any random crap in your comments about anything, just try it! — and American capitalism can make it happen. [The Onion via BoingBoing]

About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
What Others Are Reading

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.


  1. Shamey

    This is actually from the Onion book Our Dumb Century. So it was written in like 2000 or something. Awesome. High five everyone.

  2. War Eagle

    “Christians” worshipping a golden calf.

    Humour magazines hitting the nail on prophecy.

    Tha End-o-Days, I tell you!

  3. Neilist

    The Onion.

    The New York Times.

    After Judith Miller and the “Trust Us: Saddam Has Weapons of Mass Destruction!” thingie, is there really THAT much difference?

    Other than The Onion being a more reliable news source.

    (Next: The Sci-Fi Channel or Fox News: One supplies accurate information; the other is a collection of WrightWingNutz!)

  4. Min

    Sarah Palin bites Todd’s head off at campaign event, revealing to everyone that she is actually a praying mantis and therefore in eligible to run for vice-president.

  5. One Yield Regular

    Wait, so stuff in The Onion is just made up? I haven’t been this disappointed since I learned that the Weekly World News story, “I Got AIDS From the Blarney Stone,” was made up too.

  6. SayItWithWookies

    A couple of months ago Wonkette ran a picture of a couple with a “Rednecks for Obama” sign, and I said, “What’s next — Racists for Obama?” And lo and behold, it came true yesterday. Irony just can’t keep up with reality.

  7. rambone

    I predict some crazy, born again, Alaskan, trailer trash bimbo will wink her way into the Whitehouse.

  8. HedonismBot

    Joe the Plumber caught in gay tryst with Larry the Cable Guy. Rosie the Riveter files for divorce.

  9. ManchuCandidate


    “But Al Gore, that cum-sucking pig, steals the shit from me and now he’s the greatest thing since Jesus Christ made a fucking sandwich.”

  10. user-of-owls

    User-of-Owls wins MegaDooperJackpot Lottery prize of $23.5 billion. Pays Congress to enact law authorizing slaughter of first-born children of plumbers, mandatory sterilization of Alaskans and immediate euthanasia for all cats owned by PUMAs.

  11. Simony

    Well, the track “I Was A Maoist Intellectual” by Momus also anticipates Wurzelbacher’s “major record deal [that could deliver] a country album as early as Inauguration Day”—a little more contingency required enough presentiment to lend. (Imprestò.)

  12. Lazy Media

    [re=157115]user-of-owls[/re]: Bullshit, PUMAs don’t own cats. All cat owners are in the tank.

  13. dano

    Satire has become obsolete. How do you satirize people like Sarah Palin and the army of retards that support her? Never in our nation’s history have so many people been so proud to be stupid and uninformed. Critical thinking is now considered to be evil and unpatriotic. I’ve given up. The only thing to do is accelerate my alcohol intake until I’m unable to function and I’m as stupid as everyone else. See you in hell motherfuckers!

  14. OzoneTom

    How bad does it have to get before even John McCain comes out saying that even he cannot vote for the McCain/Palin ticket?

    Before you scoff, recall his immigration bill. And momentary mavericky stand against torture.

  15. slavojzizek

    Beavis and Butthead! It just seems so elevated and cultured compared to anything that’s been on MTV when I’ve flipped on it accidentally in the last ten years.

  16. user-of-owls

    [re=157124]Lazy Media[/re]: User-of-Owls submits an amended bill striking ‘cats’ from the legislation and replacing it with ‘PUMAs’

  17. AlexTrebeksGirl

    [re=157125]dano[/re]: Man. Don’t be bad for everyone here. We’re already in the tank and dangerously depressed and misanthropic.

  18. AlexTrebeksGirl

    On redstate I love the comments that go “I’m so sad I missed Rush today.” It’s like reading a statement “I’m so sad I missed the SS coming to my house and beheading my pets.”

  19. rocktonsammy


    In Madison, not Beloit or Chicago, 2 fitty at the Beloit College Book Store, elitists, socialists.

  20. DustBowlBlues

    A joke in 2000 is truth in 2008. Proof, as if I needed it, that the world is getting stupider and stupider. Our only hope is Hopey. If by some miracle he actually wins this thing in spite of all the voter fraud the Rs will be committing, maybe he can pull us out of our death spiral to the pit of stupid.

  21. tunamelt

    [re=157146]rocktonsammy[/re]: In LA, they are basically everywhere, sandwiched between the weeklies that advertise SEXXX!

    I had no idea they cost money.

  22. tunamelt

    [re=157154]tyrantkitty[/re]: Best quote: “An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.”

  23. Anonymous Office Zombie

    And it still remains free here in Milwaukee and Madison. Our near proximity to Canada must make us more susceptible to anti-American tendencies or something.

  24. Speed Ball

    [re=157144]AlexTrebeksGirl[/re]: isn’t consistently listening to Rush is like being in the SS?

  25. AlexTrebeksGirl

    [re=157158]Speed Ball[/re]: Actually part of my job is to monitor Rush and trust me. I want to put a gun to heads usually 3.5 seconds in. The man is neo Nazi for sure. Neo moron too. neo asshole.

  26. user-of-owls

    [re=157125]dano[/re]: Hard as it is to believe, we have been through more than a few cycles of “en ignarus gloria” before. Recall the forebears of (surprise!) the Republican party, the aptly named Know-Nothings.

    Despair not. And Hitchens seems to indicate that inclinations toward intellectualism and binge drinking are not mutually exclusive.

  27. josereyes.theroof

    [re=157157]Anonymous Office Zombie[/re]: Wisconsinites are frugal; ergo, the prevalence of rummage sales.

    … Erm, or that we spend all our money on alcohol, so the news, & eveything else, has to be free.

  28. FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=157165]AlexTrebeksGirl[/re]: Monitor him for what? Bed sores? underage asian hookers? The level of illicit painkillers in his system?

  29. Speed Ball

    [re=157174]FunkyPalmettoBug[/re]: If so, it must be nice to have thriving business and job security.

  30. Barack Like Me

    There’s a corollary to Godwin’s Law that’s going on here that can best be expressed as:

    “The longer reality goes on the probability of it becoming a previously published Onion piece approaches One.”

  31. AnnieGetYourFun

    [re=157154]tyrantkitty[/re]: I forwarded that to a bunch of people who had never seen it before, and they just about fell out of their chairs. When did The Onion become totally clairvoyant?

  32. AlexTrebeksGirl

    [re=157172]Speed Ball[/re]: I blame my stupid job on the economy. But trust me, Rush knows people are monitoring him and that’s good because he’s such a stubborn SOB that it encourages him to say more false and stupid shit. Thank you for the sympathy. I appreciate it. Think of me when you’re making your big godless monies. Not all of us are Meghan McCain.

  33. AlexTrebeksGirl

    oh and if Rush commits suicide on the air, i think it will be after the election when Obama wama wins and Rush has to come on and explain and he will say the N word. I really think he will do it, even after all these years. He hates black people, and people in general for that matter, and I’m sure Obama will take him over the edge. My psychic abilities stop there.

  34. FunkyPalmettoBug

    [re=157181]Speed Ball[/re]: Its depression(and maybe Apocalypse)-proof.

    [re=157204]AlexTrebeksGirl[/re]: I’m guessing something along the lines of Cartman losing it as a Christian rock star.

  35. Speed Ball

    [re=157189]AlexTrebeksGirl[/re]: I was really just making fun of Rush, not your job. By listening to Rush, as my comment went, your employer may be subjecting you to dangerous and/or unhealthy (unsanitary?) conditions.

  36. AlexTrebeksGirl

    [re=157233]Speed Ball[/re]: Oh I know. My boss is the crankiest bastard alive. I plan to rush out of this job as soon as hopey wins. Maybe I can get welfare checks. I’m so hungry for welfare and hope.

  37. Jill Sixpack

    The Onion has been frighteningly prescient for a long time. This article originally appeared in March of 2002, over a year before we invaded Iraq:

    And this item appeared in February of 2004, before the product-marketing trend of razorblade proliferation got completely out of hand:

    I think that is the secret to the Onion’s prescience — many of their writers used to work for an advertising agency in Madison. Nowadays, more and more corporations (and governments) turn over decision-making to their marketing departments, so it takes an ad-man (or ad-woman) to realize what’s coming next.

  38. Anonymous Office Zombie

    … Erm, or that we spend all our money on alcohol, so the news, & eveything else, has to be free.

    Yeah, it’s pretty much an alcohol-centric budget thing. (Note to self, whiskey supplies dangerously low.)

  39. Hutch

    My favorite Onion article was the one about how well-educated men could not yell their admiration for women’s sexual body parts as well as uneducated men. They had lists of words for breasts for comparison. Amazing. I cannot find the link. Too much absinthe for one night!

  40. funkyj

    [re=157154]tyrantkitty[/re]: word. “Nightmare of peace and prosperity” is the richest pathos. I sob between fits of the giggles every time I read it. Mostly I just sob though (93%/17% sob/giggle ratio).

    Somebody needs to get the onion folks to write humorous articles predicting wonderful futures so those will come true instead.

  41. messickc

    [re=157441]funkyj[/re]: That’s 110 percent. If you’re giving the Onion that much attention, you need to get out more! **haha** **snorts** **rolls eyes at himself**

  42. supremecourtjester

    Joe the Plumber did not show up for the morning McCain rally–didn’t appear til the PM one. It just goes to show, even if you’ve got eleven houses, when the plumber says he’ll be there first thing in the morning he still won’t appear until after lunch.

  43. sarahconnor

    [re=157105]Kev-O-Tron[/re]: A Mighty Win. We really did have our chance with Jimmy… he installed effin solar panels in the White House for chrissakes!

Comments are closed.