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What do you think of the Onion's editorial cartoons?

Editorial Cartoon - November 15, 2006 | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Yes, this is from The Onion. Is it supposed to be a joke? because it's so close to a republican cartoon that is indistinguishable from one, if it is.

Here is what Wikipedia says:

A deliberately inane, preachy and melodramatic editorial cartoon, which began running on October 5, 2006 and is updated once a week. The cartoon is drawn by "Kelly", who draws himself at the bottom right corner of each strip, spouting a small extra comment to add to the conservative message of each cartoon.

Hmm. Not really very helpful there, Mr. Wiki.

I'm turning on Comments, please let us know what you think of this.

* Thanks to Emma for the tip *

Comments

is it ironic and unfunny, or genuinely conservative and hateful? Click through above to check out the rest of the cartoons, too.

I'd put it down to an attempt at "objectivity", which for lazy journalists and writers entails finding a right-wing jackoff to balance out your left-wing jackoff. Rather than eliminating the jackoffs entirely and making good stories, or good funny. The cartoon itself is runny shit.

-A-

I'm pretty sure this cartoon is actually conservative, since there is no hint of irony that I can find. I think it's very offensive, but worse than that, it's not funny at all.

Huh. The Onion's editorial cartoon is actually one of my favorite bits in the paper. I always thought they were satirizing conservative editorial cartoonists like Chuck Asay from the Colorado Springs Gazette [representative sample link below, link to gallery at Slate-- bewarned! his work is stomach-turningly conservative -- and sincere].

Inasmuch as The Onion has been on course this year to make itself look more like a real newspaper [online readers miss out on the (kick-ass) event listings, cartoon page, classifieds and sudoku!], the addition of an editoral cartoon isn't out of line, and what other take could they have on it than to come up with an outrageously offensive bit every week? Maybe it was a little more obvious to me because i live in a city where i read The Onion in paper form, but I think their editorial cartoon is just an outsized conservative view, in keeping with other The Onion headlines "Bush Urges Expanded Drilling Of Alaskan Wildlife" or "I Should Not Be Allowed To Say The Following Things About America"

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/crcas/2006/crcas061113.gif

http://cartoonbox.slate.com/chuckasay/

interesting point, travis, but i'm going to have to say you're hella wrong. the difference between the conservative things that make it into the headlines on the front page and this comic is that the headlines are funny. to each his own, i know, but based on many conversations i've had about this topic (total radness to you, poormojo, for making me and my friends feel like allstars when we saw you were also debating this), i think you may be in the minority (which is not neccessarily a bad thing, but i would caution you against this status as you may soon end up the butt of an unfunny joke in a usually great paper). i've tried to look at it from a sarcastic point of view, and i am hard pressed to see how these cartoons can function as such. i also am able to read the onion in print form (because milwaukee is awe-some!), and i can not, no matter how hard i try, find the humor in this offensive dither. and i guess that's the part that hurts the most - offensive material can be used to make a person think, and it can be hilariously on point. this, on the other hand, is just painful. i think it's serious, and that makes me sad.

Only americans would not be able to see through the obvious irony in the cartoons and laugh at it :) Maybe it's because you have so much experiance with real cartoonists that are just as idiotic (if possible) as Kelly is pretending to be.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/55263

Rumsfeld given a "Hero's Exit" on one cartoon with the statue of liberty weeping and saluting on the background... it's so funny it makes me want to pull out my hair and slap myself in the face!!

Maybe I'm taking too simplistic a view of the situation, but it seems to me most papers are serious with funny cartoons for contrast, so what would a funny, liberal cartoon add to a funny,liberal paper? An unfunny conservative cartoon adds contrast and about 12% more je ne c'est quois to the mix, by my calculations.

I'm just happy to see someone else wondering about this. The above comments make some good points, but what it boils down to for me is this - It's the onion, so it's likely very dry sarcasm... but I just don't really get it. That's not to say it's not funny or poignant, but I feel like if it's over my head it's probably over most peoples... I don't mean to sound like a jerk, just saying I usually understand the rest of the Onion stuff. The cartoon kind of mystifies me...

Ah the cartoons are meant to be ironic, but they're just too clumsy to work. Reminds me of amateur cartoons that show up in college newspapers, usually by some campus communist that believes him/herself to be so clever, but in reality produces dreadful cartoons that spit, sputter, and fall way short of their mark. In short these cartoons are hammy, unimaginative dribble for pinheads with delusions of being clever.

Sorry, but are you people serious? You're actually wondering if the Onion's "Kelly" cartoons are sincerely right-wing hate-doodles? I'll have to look around on Poormojo.org to find the threads where you debate how someone as stupid and stoned as faux-columnist Jim Anchower could possibly get such a high profile job at the Onion.

I mean, really. The entire publication is, and always has been, a piss take on mainstream media. The Kelly cartoons have executed this idea more effectively than any other method offered by the paper in years.

And thanks to the person above who used the Rumsfeld cartoon as a case in point. The OJ Simpson one should also be noted, although really, all of them are pretty damn obvious in terms of poking fun at mainstream right-wing political cartoons. (If anyone knows the name of the political cartoonist who actually does draw himself in the bottom corner, please post... I can't remember his name or the paper he draws for.)

I'm not really sure what they're satirizing. I doubt it's really aimed at actual, right-wing editorial cartoonists. It's too over the top, uncharactaristically so for the Onion. Granted, there are probably cartoonists who are every bit as hateful, jingoistic and artless as this guy, but they'd make too easy a target.

Mainly I think this is just the Onion making fun of itself. Remember Herman T. Zweibel? Featuring an ignorant, reactionary cartoonist is the same sort of humour as casting a nutty old crank as their editor.

Brett:

> (If anyone knows the name of the political cartoonist who actually does draw himself in the bottom corner, please post... I can't remember his name or the paper he draws for.)

I think you're thinking of Pat Oliphant in the NYT.

http://www.uclick.com/client/nyt/po/

Holy smoke - I googled "kelly editorial cartoon onion" just to uncover this very mystery. I read the online version and I am constantly tempted to throw my computer under a truck whenever I read that editorial cartoon. I am really glad other people are as confused (or certain it's a satire) as myself. The irony, if there is any, isn't as obvious as "The Colbert Report", and isn't nearly as humorous as it is hideous. I'd love to chalk it up to a burried irony and in-your-face taboos a la Andy Kaufman, but because the medium is just a box (whereas the articles in the Onion have more of a runway for their punchlines), and because the "cartoons" are actual conservative viewpoints and not takes on them or caricatures of ideals... they are technically the real deal. I mean, what's the difference if the Onion published an editorial cartoon from a conservative paper point blank and the one it actually publishes now? How is the frame of being in the Onion supposed to purport irony? After all, there are real advertisements on the website and in the paper version. Format context doesn't always trickle down into essence.

My god, do people actually think this comic is seriously conservative? I mean...it's the onion...it's a JOKE! Anybody who understands irony on the MOST BASIC LEVEL would realize Kelly is satirizing conservative condisention. Thanks, G for pointing that out

Alan, you said exactly what I was thinking, I just googled almost exactly the same string you did and ended up here because those editorial cartoons confused me (and almost angered me). I guess from the discussion they're supposed to be something akin to the "play within a play" in Hamlet, but rather a parody within a parody. The only problem is that if you don't get the context you don't get the joke. They should put a link to the real editorial cartoon they're parodying because I'm just too dumb to get it.

are you people kidding? the comic is one of the funniest parts of the onion. the whole point is not that the jokes themselves are "funny," obviously, but to make fun of conservaitve comics like that. it's really surprising to me that many people don't get it...

I'm not sure. I'd love to believe it's tongue in cheek, but there' no "wink" to let the viewer know that it's ironic. Or maybe The Onion just found some nutjob cartoonist and decided he was such a freakshow that he was a parody of himself.

Like many of those posting above, I was on the fence about whether these cartoons were real or a joke. Or rather, I was unsure about what kind of joke they were supposed to be. I did a google search and found this page.

Before today, I always believed the "Kelly" cartoons were sincerely ultra-conservative right-wing rants. Only when I noticed the words "c. 2006 Onion Syndicate" did I begin to wonder.

The Onion has a history of printing syndicated comics by outside cartoonists which are clearly not meant to be read in the way the artists intended. If I am not mistaken, the Onion ran the children's comic "Slylock Fox," although children who would enjoy this cartoon sincerely rather than ironically are not likely reading the Onion. I believe for a while, the Onion ran "Cathy." I can only imagine that the editors included this most painful and unfunny of all comic strips simply to lampoon the idea that any newspaper would present it as "humor." I thought the Kelly cartoons were included in the same way (the first one I read, about the birth of the 300 millionth American baby, seems plausible as a straight, conservative cartoon--although nonetheless hilariously absurd).

The posts and comments above, particularly those that observe how little satire can be detected in the strips, nearly persuaded me that my initial reading of the strip was correct. I was a faithful Onion reader for years (even before it went online), but these days I don't catch it every week, and I'd only read a few of these comics by "Kelly."

However, having just read the whole run of the Kelly comics on the Onion's website, it's clear that they are meant to be read as satire--both by the artist and the Onion. Most of them are much more over-the-top than that one about the 300 millionth American. The ones about congressional pages, stem cells, and O.J. are obviously spoofing what a ridiculously conservative cartoonist might draw. But if you've only caught a couple of them, and if you remember "Cathy" in the Onion, I understand why you'd think it wasn't a joke (to the author, anyway).

I too was on the fence when the new format came out, but since then there have been enough completely outrageous panels (http://www.theonion.com/content/node/55538) that even the staunchest serious conservative wouldn't come up with.

Now it's honestly one of my favorite features, maybe because it succeeds in being offensively right-wing in places I had never considered before.

I hope the Onion (or someone) runs an interview with the artist. Plus, I'm sure the staff of the Onion is loving the hate mail they are surely receiving these days.

Btw, Cathy is MUCH funnier in Spanish. (No, I'm not fluent.)

I have to admit that I thought the comic was for real and was very surprised that the onion were publishing it.

However, the statue of liberty can only cry so many times before you stop taking it seriously.

I think the Kelly cartoon is supposed to be like one of those jokes from a Coen Brothers movie -- where the funny thing is not the joke itself, but rather the fact that the person telling it was stupid enough to actually think it was funny.

In that sense, I think the Kelly cartoons are freakin hilarious.

These comments show that even readers of The Onion can completely miss the point of satire, even when it's slapping you in the face with an engorged phallus. I blame The Onion becoming mainstream and the overexposure of Borat.

I have to agree with the OP on this one. I found this site after looking for Kelly's name. His comics are insulting and idiotic and show a partisan leaning so far right that he's going in circles. People like him keep America backwards and stifle progress. Thank you, Onion, for allowing this asswad to continue poisoning the minds of your readers.

Glad to see this discussion. I was confused and pretty offended, too, at first. I think a couple of the cartoons are beyond satirizing, like Baker and Hamilton each in a noose hanging next to Saddam, or the one posted at the top of this page. My guess is they're supposed to be ironic, but even if they are I still they're too clumsy to do a good job of it. I agree with whomever said they're like college kids trying to be clever and failing. Incidentally, I emailed the Onion to see if I could get any more word, though I doubt they'll write back (and even if they do, who knows if they're response will be serious). I promise to come back here and post whatever response I get, though.

"...still they're too clumsy to do a good job".

For heaven's sake. That's the point. It's supposed to be blatant, over-the-top inflammatory, and jingoistic to the extreme. And it makes it super ironic. You guys sound like a bunch of Southrons responding to Borat.

I also came across this site wondering what everyone else's take on the Onion comics were.
Looking at one of the more recent ones:
http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/mar-07-2007
It's so honestly conservative that it's hard to see where the satire kicks in (where's the *wink*?).
That being said, after reading all the comments and looking through all the strips again, I think it's fair to say that it must be satire.
A few of the strips give it away:
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/55538
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/54367
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/54125

In hindsight, it's an obvious lampooning of the comics and viewpoints the extreme conservatives have on a lot of the issues. We're meant to look at the comic, realize just how absurd it is, and laugh.
I think the fact that the artist does such a great job of mimicking conservative strips makes it harder for it to be funny, mainly because *we* take it too seriously.

I got the satire right away. To me it just looks like he's doing an over-the-top homage to any editorial cartoon that you would see in The Washington Times.

I think he's trying to be "Sean Hannity's Cartoonist." You also notice absurdly jingoistic consistencies, like the fact that Statue of Liberty is always crying somewhere in the background.

I think the guy is brilliant.

The onion would never do editorial cartoons of any sort straight up, without a twist. Everything they do is parody and satire.

They would never merely employ a cartoonist simply to make witty observations, like other papers do.

Therfore they print purposely bad right wing cartoons, just close enough to actual bad right wing cartoons to leave people scratching their heads.

It's difficult to do satire on a subject that's satirical. But that's what it is. It's like double level satire.

More like Colbert's cartoonist.

I was 99% in agreement that Kelly's comic is satirical, but then there's this one:

http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/feb-14-2007

Now, to be sure, I'm pretty far left-leaning. However, not only did I not see this strip as a caricature of conservative thought--I kind of felt the same way!

So- is Kelly's comic a satire... except when it's not? Or is the satire solely on the Onion's part for choosing to show this whack-job's art? (Or, am I simply more conservative than I realized for feeling the way I do about pop culture's treatment of women?)

The only cartoon of his that I can find absolutely no sense of irony in is the James Brown cartoon where Brown is shown in hell singing "I Feel Bad" and the little guy in the corner is crossing his arms and saying something about paybacks. Just don't see the irony there. Anyone??

The strip is definitely satire, and it's my favorite part of The Onion.

In some cases, the general stance of Kelly is somewhat similar to a viewpoint you might see in a real conservative comic, except done more crudely and offensively. But other strips, such as the one on the Mark Foley page scandal, the Hawaiian earthquake, and OJ Simpson's book are quite far from the normal conservative viewpoint.

As someone mentioned above, the joke is not the "jokes" in the comic themselves. The joke is the very concept of a cartoonist who would make such wrong-headed and ham-fisted jokes. Time and again, the Kelly strips manage to take the worst possible stance on an issue, and to portray it in the most jingoistic, mean-spirited, and un-nuanced way possible.

And in the same way that The Onion makes fun of the form of newspaper articles, their editorial cartoon makes fun of the form editorial cartoons. Hence the repeated use of all the most inane parts of editorial cartoons, such as cliched icons (the crying statue of liberty, the grim reaper), awkward allegorical labels written directly on things, and the little drawing of the cartoonist redundantly restating his thesis each time.

I agree wholeheartedly with Aaron above.

This is pretty mind-boggling to me... I didn't think there were people in the world who would actually take those editorial cartoons seriously, I have to admit. If you've ever spent any time reading actual, unironic editorial cartoons, these things are comedy gold.

Kelly is realized by Ward Sutton, who also creates the leftist cartoon called Schlock and Rock for the Village Voice.

There was a good article discussing the seeming ambiguity of Kelly cartoons in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-cavanaugh29mar29,0,1927201.story?coll=la-opinion-center

When you have to think this hard about a cartoon it's not funny. Even if unintentional - or if intentionally a parody of the right wing Kelly's cartoons are often offensive and the Onion should drop them.

Smart people don't have to think hard to recognize the Onion's editorial cartoons as a mockery of current conservative views on hotbutton issues. Duh. And yes, to smart people, this cartoon is outright funny. Sorry to those of you who actually had to angage in a five month-long blogospherical discussion to arrive at that conclusion.

Smarter Than You wrote:

>Sorry to those of you who actually had to angage in a five month-long blogospherical discussion to arrive at that conclusion.

I'd like to "angage" in a blogospherical discussion on the link between intelligence and spelling.

Meanie. :-p

I've been reading the onion for for over 15 years now, and I have to say that I think this is a way to show how crazy the new conservative agenda is. I read these and just laugh.. the cartoonist is so off-base it's funny!

The cartoon is a piece of shit, boring, mind-numbingly stupid, humor-less, simple-minded, ignorant garbage shitfest. I have been scouring the internet for some way of contacting the onion and complaining against this monstruous stain on an otherwise flawless, witty, and amazing newspaper. Please help me find this guy so I can write to him.

I think that The Onion already said everything that needs to be said about political cartoons in this 2004 article:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39320

Apparently, though, they forgot about that article when they decided to make their own entry into political cartooning, a brand of humor which was well established as hit-or-miss by about the mid-1890s.

If there is still any confusion on this issue, I urge you to read the L.A. times link that Darren posted above. The fictional "Kelly" who writes the Onion's cartoons also writes liberal cartoons for "real" newspapers. If you don't get the satire, you don't get the point of The Onion itself. But The Onion still wins because they are getting a reaction out of you.

Shawn, Cisco et al.: You seem to share the safe, Ronald McDonaldist conception of "fun" and shun that difficult genre of "satire" carried by the Onion. May I suggest that you stick with canned-laughter comedy shows in the future so you can always be safe in the knowledge that something is intended as a joke and you're actually permitted to laugh?

Joe, the Onion carrying a faux "editorial cartoon" does not contradict what they are saying about editorial cartooning in that funny and clever piece you are referring to. On the contrary, being a parody of self-serving, overly-obvious (mostly right-wing) editorial cartooning, it demonstrates what is wrong with the simplistic, Manichaean woldview of so many editorial cartoonists and, of course, bloggers.

Sadly, the Onion may have been influenced by Cisco-style hatemail to pull the cartoon parody. Although the cartoons are still online and accessible if you happen to have a direct URL to one of them, they are no longer linked to from the front page, and none have been added recently. You may chalck one up for the Moral Majority, in fond remembrance of the late Jerry Falwell...

Like all of The Onion, these "Kelly" cartoons are a joke. Did I say that clearly enough?... they are satire. Do you read the Onion?

Just a note from the People of Poor Mojo: We understand that the Onion is a satirical newspaper. We understand that these are MEANT to be satirical comics. But Bad Satire of Bad Satire turns in on itself, nautilus-like to a point where we wonder what the point is. I guess the real questions is: Can you satirize satire and still make sense?

Colbert's doing a fine job of it.

I'm not a particularly dimwitted individual, and I have always taken these annoying little cartoons at face value; it never occured to me until reading wiki today that they may be sarcasm rather than some horrid attempt at balance.

I'm still not entirely convinced. If they're satire, it's too close to home & not terribly well done. Yes, it might show what nutjobs the rightwing has become...but aside from OPINIONS of "it's too over the top to be real," how would you tell?

When I initially saw the comic strip I chalked it up to satire, but after reading a few more of them I had trouble seeing the irony. After reading the wiki and considering some of the comments here I thin that the comic strip is just very dry irony and even indistinguishable at times from a regular right wing editorial cartoon. I think the reasoning behind this is that some right wing ideals are so absurd they are a form of self parody and thus don't need to be overly satirized.

Haha these comments are brilliant - that some of the readers above are so obtuse is incredible. These cartoons are obvious parody and to be honest it is very worrying that this is even questioned. The (non-funny) media in the US must be horrible.

HonestObserver: (Or, am I simply more conservative than I realized for feeling the way I do about pop culture's treatment of women?)

DING DING - except it's your bias as a parent more than conservative tendencies that probably pushes you towards absurdity.

I hate to tell you this, but the fact that you don't get it doesn't make it bad satire. It means you don't get it. The Kelly cartoons are satiric in the best tradition of Jonathan Swift.

This whole article and the responses made me weep buckets of tears. I'm a fan of snopes.com, and I've always wondered where they find all these credulous people who'll write in and ask if the story of, I dunno, Proctor and Gamble being Satanists is really true -- stuff that anybody with any common sense could figure out on their own.

Now I know. Jesus. The cartoons are jokes. There is no way that anybody with the faintest ability to perceive irony could miss that fact. This blog is populated largely by root vegetables, mostly parsnips -- that's the only logical explanation.

1) The cartoons appear to be satire, as several of them take stances or depict ideas that nobody in America, conservative or liberal, would espouse. Example: Elation at the "return of O.J. Simpson."

2) Just because they're satire, doesn't mean they're any good. They all sum up to "gosh, conservatives sure are hateful." Sort of a stupid idea to begin with, it's been run into the ground long since.

3) This is more proof that satire loses a lot of it's value as humor and as art when the environment it attempts to lampoon is already completely ridiculous. Far-right-wingers are such complete caricatures of conservativism that nothing you can make up is really any more bizarre than what they already espouse.

It is obviously a joke, when I first was absolutely sure that it was a joke was when they published the cartoon about Mark Foley.

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/54125

I love you guys who tout your high-and-mighty all-seeing intellects. You're all clearly smarter than all the rest of us, and should go promptly get bent.

The reason why I couldn't tell it was a joke at first was because to me it seemed plausable that a real person in this world could actually believe this stuff. Believe me, the vast majority of comics on the site are VERY believeable in terms of the viewpoints they take (violent video games linked to kid violence, the sanctity of stems cells, the troop surge WORKING). I guess I believe there is just enough ignorance in this world for someone to claim that anyone who supports campaign finance reform really just doesn't have any money and is just jealous.

Yes, the OJ Simpson one pretty much seals the deal (and that's what it took for me to believe that this was intended satire), but Christ, I'm sure there are still people who think he is innocent!

That's why I can't find it funny, and had trouble seeing it as satire. Because I see too much truth in it, it's too real for me. I mean, "New Heart Device Allows Cheny To Experience Love"...that's just a ridiculous notion, obviously satire. But I'm sure people exist in this world who think that if we don't build a fence, "Mexicans" will take our jobs (and our monuments).

Wow. I ended up here because I was looking for more Kelly editorial cartoons and this link came up. The onion seems to have quite running them and I miss them. Are so spot on that in their over the top preachy-ness that I nearly wet my pants when I read them. I guess humor comes in many different forms for different people. Or maybe, I could start over analyzing this and think that this whole site is really just another facet of the joke....?

Well, thanks to people not getting the joke, the comic has become more and more apparently fake:

http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/oct-29-2007

I hope you're happy.

from wiki


Ward Sutton
Ward Sutton is an American illustrator and writer born in Minneapolis and based in New York City, whose comic strip, "Sutton Impact" (formerly "Schlock 'n' Roll"), has been published in The Village Voice since 1995.

Sutton also illustrates and writes a bi-weekly cartoon in TV Guide, "That's Entertoonment", and has contributed cartoons and illustrations to the op-ed pages of The New York Times and to Rolling Stone, Time, The Nation, and Entertainment Weekly. He also illustrates and writes a cartoon for "the Onion" under the pseudonym of 'Kelly', depicting the far-fetched Republican and Fundamentalist Christian one-panels of a middle-aged cartoonist.

In addition to his work for print media, Sutton designed the animation for the opening credits of the television show Strangers With Candy, and has created animation for HBO, VH-1, and TV Land. He has also designed silk-screened posters for a variety of musical acts, including Beck, Radiohead, Phish, and Pearl Jam.

Sutton is the brother of writer/musician Mark Sutton.

Stop thinking about what you think they think you're supposed to think, and just accept the goddamn cartoon for the love of GOD.

I can't believe this whole thread full of morons doesn't get the joke. Must be your liberal educations!

I find the comic hilarious, and a bit disturbing. I've actually worked at food production plants which employ high levels of illegal immigrants - and the cartoon is scarily accurate. For example, some of my co-workers would even play "games" - wherein they'd wipe their ass and stick the paper to the bathroom wall - scrawl their initials and the date next to it - and see who's shit stuck to the side of the stall the longest. Very rarely would my co-workers wash their hands after leaving the restroom - and it was a common sight to see nose/ass picking on the line without the removal/changing of gloves. Often gloves wouldn't even come off when leaving the factory floor - and I've seen more than one of my female co-workers come back from the bathroom with speckles of blood on their gloves (menstration, I assume).

Of course, the workers themselves are not totally to blame. Mismanagement and lax USDA supervision lead partially to this problem - but they certainly are not innocent in the matter either. Whereas english speaking workers are expected to read and follow all HACCP guidelines - the non-english speaking immigrant workers are generally given leeway because of their inability to understand. (There was generally two "translators" per shift who understood both English and Spanish, and they simply could not cover all situations/questions)

What are you guys, dense? It's a cartoon on The Onion. This is even open for debate? The comedy - like a good immigrant joke - comes from the idea that anyone would find it amusing to begin with.

I mean... The frigging *Onion*, people.

Wow...

I just read through months of comments and I just have to shake my head.

The cartoonist's real name is Ward Sutton and he's a left-wing cartoonist for The Village Voice.

Sutton (on The Onion) calls his cartoonist alter-ego, "Kelly".

"Kelly" is supposed to be a typical right-wing, conservative cartoonist.

Therefore: Sutton is making fun of right-wing cartoonists.

The cartoon, itself, is a parody of ultra right-wing editorial cartoons you might see in big national papers.

Now, if you seriously need me or anybody else to help you connect the dots, I seriously worry about the education and retention levels of this country.

I cannot believe how many people are really this confused.

Some people wouldn't know humor if it snuck up on them and hit them in the face with a pie.

They would sit there and debate endlessly whether the pie was offensive and then have it pulled from store shelves.

Kelly, The Onion's cartoonist, seems way out of whack with the otherwise hilarious tone of a fine satirical publication.

His cartoons are invariably ultra-right-wing diatribes. They are not funny, they are not clever, and they always grind the axe of Republican ultraconservatives.

Surely The Onion can find a cartoonist who knows the difference between ideology and humor. And one who can stick pins in both red and blue balloons.

This entire thread could be featured on the onion or possibly condensed into the point of view of a cliché ignorant American. Do you not pay attention to political discourse in this country? How can you not see this obvious and hilarious representation of mainstream "conservatism" and the bizarre perspective that they take. The comic above is riffing on the brilliant people who think that this is how it happens and the people willing to blame everything on migrant and immigrant workers. Wow... unbelievable.

"But I'm sure people exist in this world who think that if we don't build a fence, "Mexicans" will take our jobs (and our monuments)."

Oh my God, Paul-- that's the point! There ARE people who think that way and those people are the target of the joke! Satire isn't satire if it targets people who don't exist. Did you know that Swift didn't *really* think that we should eat Irish babies?

I've never laughed at this comic strip. I understand that it's a satirical strip, but it's just not very funny. It's just the same joke over and over again. This week he took a shot at Denny's for Christ sake. Who the hell cares about Denny's senior specials?

Mafme,

Apparently we both understand each other.

For the same reason you see this as funny, I see it as not funny.

The fact that people think the way Ward/Kelly illustrates in his cartoons isn't hilarious, it is an epidemic, and it is down right disturbing.

My only point was that it was not intially perceived as satire for me, because it was so real, because you could probably find very similar comics on a conservative website followed by hordes of approving comments. And because xenophobia towards immigrants, ESPECIALLY from Mexico, is a wide-spread problem in this country to me it would be akin to making a joke about how abortion is wrong. It is such a widely contested issue, it comes off as legitimately partisan, and therefore no different than a Fox News segment rather than a Sunday comic strip.

Whether you can sit back and laugh at this reality from your ivory tower is your own perrogative. I shake my head and wonder when people are going to get it, when they will turn off their TVs and research the facts for themselves rather then letting paranoia, hyper-nationalism / xenophobia, and political extremism taint their thought-processes.

You wanna know what is funny? I find that the author's view point is perpetuaed in a lot of the comments here as well.

The essence of Ward / Kelly's message is one of arrogant intolerance for any dissenting voices. He clearly only presents one point of view..."his"...the "right one".

Thus, sarcasm in responses, belittling of posters, messages of disgust do not contribute to an answer to any question. They silence conversation, heighten animosity. What happened to an intellectual discussion about a legitimate topic? Why should it have been SO OBVIOUS that this was satire? And if it is obvious to you, then why point it out as if you were taunting? Why not say your piece, and leave?

The reason it's so obvious that the Kelly cartoons are satire (in fact, parody) of conservative editorial cartoons in general is the techniques used. He uses stereotypes that are so blatant and in your face that the only way you wouldn't see them is that some part of you either A) agrees with them or B) can't wait to tell others how offensive you find the stereotype so you can take the moral high ground. The stereotypes themselves aren't the joke. The joke is how conservatives use disgraceful stereotpyes to push an agenda that insults minority groups, ethnic groups, and counter culture types (at least in the Kelly cartoons), and that they are so freakin' oblivious to their own condascending attitude that it's (almost) funny. The Onion just takes this to the next level by commenting on it USING a cartoon. This is the nature of parody.

Some of the responses on this board are so mind-numbingly clueless that I have to wonder if some of you aren't also having a bit of fun with people's cluelessness when it comes to detecting sarcasm. Who could ever take ANYTHING published by The Onion seriously??!! And even if that wasn't the case and you just don't find the Kelly cartoons funny, why bother making the content the issue? Sometimes the jokes might fall flat, but that has nothing to do with whether or not it is satire.

As someone else put it, how many times does the Statue of Liberty have to cry before people 'get it'?

i dont know what the point is but its never funny and 12/8/08's "DUI" one was probably the worst. I'd like them to stop already. Some people are too stupid and probably go "yeah! Damn cops and their power trips! Im just over the limit, big deal!"
I dont think trivializing drinking and driving, even in jest, is appropriate anymore. Its become a rampant problem that hurts a lot of people.

You're acting stupid. You probably are an asperger because you can't detect sarcasm. Stop blogging.

I don't give a f#*k about the satire. The Onion makes me laugh and laugh each week, and as soon as I get to the comic in question, it makes me cringe. Even if that's the point of the comic, it's NEVER funny. (Racism isn't humorous to me, nor is whomever the "innocent" Americans are supposed to represent.) The artist is an embarrassment for even THINKING of these "jokes", satire or not.

It seems to me that the Onion is taking a Colbert-esque approach to making fun of conservative pundits (or in this case, cartoonists) by acting like them in such an over-the-top fashion as to show their ridiculousness. I don't find the editorial cartoons particularly funny because they echo what they satirize so convincingly (ugh...Mallard Fillmore...), but I get what the Onion's trying to do.

When I first started reading the Kelly comics, I too was a little confused. I never assumed, having seen interviews of the writers, that they where trying to make conservative comics for the sake of doing so.

But it's also a mistake to think that they are just trying to make fun of conservative political cartoons-because many of you are right, the irony doesn't come across, when looked at from that standpoint.

Here's my theory, and my guide to "getting" (if one can "get" one of these comics which is one of my points) a kelly comic.

Firstly, accept it's a parody of ALL political cartooning. a small part of The joke is that political cartoons simply aren't funny. This is akin to the onion publishing a comic like cathy.

You first need to read a ton of them, to see the running gags from one strip to the next, especially the crying statue of liberty, the stink lines on some characters, and other visual techniques used.

Then understand that Kelly is a CHARACTER. Another part of the joke is that he isn't funny, but he is given this job. Kelly is another one of the cast of characters of the onion, including the owner, zweibel, and the syndicated columnist. When you read the onion, you have to accept it isn't JUST satire. The writers are putting on a show, akin to a play, really, and they take on roles. Notice how no real writers are ever credited for the articles.

The final, and most important part to realize, is as someones mentioned here, the onion is probably invoking andy kaufman. The joke here is on the reader. We may be offended reading Kelly, because there is no wink that we as readers don't have to provide all on our own. We are reminded to look for the joke because it is the onion-but are hard pressed to find it. As such the cartoons make a statement about how we always distinguish between categories. Cartoons, we feel, must always be funny and comfortable. Kelly cartoons are neither, and that is the joke, a joke played on the reader, for the enjoyment of the writers.

For the reasons above, the Kelly cartoon is one of my favorite parts of the onion, and i encourage you to look deeper into them, as they are as close to real art that the onion achieves.

I'm glad to see that more and more people are getting the joke... I grew up seeing these wimpy little right-wing cartoonists' work in my local paper, complete with the little drawings of themselves hammering their dumb points home in the corner, in case the text on the people wasn't clear enough. "Kelly" skewers not only a dumb right-wing idea of humor where the outrage is misdirected
http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/jun-09-2008
but also the petty mentality of the dumb aging conservative who feels out-of-touch with the times
http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/jun-22-2009
is insecure about his lack of education
http://www.theonion.com/content/cartoon/jun-02-2008
and represses part of his sexuality so deeply he doesn't realize it
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/54125

The Kelly cartoons are a lot funnier when you think of the Kelly cartoonist character who 'writes' them: an aging mediocrity with a failed marriage, probably impotent and dreaming of a yesteryear when he missed out on the 60s due to his conservatism, idolizing a 50s idea of the American husband, yet continuing on in his life: mushy-minded, backward-looking, with sad little pleasures, holding on to the only strength he has, which is the sweet hatred he gets from his ill-thought-out conservative view of the world.

Oh Ye of little gray matter..
It's hard to believe that there are so many people who don't get the satire, especially since it's the onion and the onion is just
a bit more left leaning than right. Just a bit. Having said that, as a conservative who can laugh at the foibles of both Conservatives and Librals,
it's fun that I often agree
with the ideas expressed, even though they are expressed in such a way to anger librals