The Onion To Launch Weekly TEDTalks Competitor On YouTube: “No Mind Will Be Left Unchanged”

By Rip Empson, TechCrunchOctober 11, 2012 at 05:30PM

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Early last year, fabled satirical news source The Onion launched a sports TV show called “Onion SportsDome” that aimed to parody SportsCenter, ESPN’s long-running daily news show about all-things sports. Unfortunately, the show was short-lived. But now The Onion is turning its satirical gaze to TED and its TEDTalks, with a new show called “Onion Talks.” And it’s gonna blow your mind.

The Onion Digital Studios tweeted the news this morning, linking to a preview of the new show, which is set to air next Wednesday, October 17.

Onion Talks: the most important ideas from greatest thinkers on the planet.

— OnionDigitalStudios (@OnionDigStudios) October 10, 2012

The TED Conferences have been around for two decades now, originally getting their start in Silicon Valley. Today, the conferences take place in multiple locations all over the world, featuring keynote presentations by the best and brightest in their fields. But the conference (and talks) really hit the tipping point beginning in 2006, when they began posting videos of the talks on YouTube.

Since then, more than 1,000 videos have been posted, which have collectively attracted hundreds of millions of views. Now even your grandmother sends you TEDTalks. This year, Netflix began offering streaming TEDTalks as well, which just goes to show you.

So, with TED having reached the tipping point, and with some having accused it of being stuffy and succeeding in turning scientists, philosophers and thinkers into “low-level entertainers,” clearly there will be plenty of fodder for The Onion to satirize.

To confirm The Onion’s subversive plans, we spoke with Sam West (if that’s his real name), the head writer for Onion Digital Studios, which consists of a group of Onion writers assembled to create supafly content for the brand’s YouTube channel, as part of YT’s original content initiative. Sam confirmed that “Onion Talks” is indeed a real series and that the team will in fact be releasing a new video every Wednesday, beginning on the 17th. So far, they’ve got “about a dozen” all lined up and ready to touch your mind in weird and unwholesome ways.

For now, the show will live exclusively on YouTube, but who knows what will happen if no mind is left unchanged. “There’s no telling what will come next,” the head writer said. Personally, I’m hoping they launch a newspaper next.

TEDTalks, you’ve just been put on notice.