The Onion Cofounder to Speak at U of A

Scott Dikkers, cofounder of satirical newspaper The Onion
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Scott Dikkers, cofounder of satirical newspaper The Onion

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Scott Dikkers’ career trajectory is an unlikely one, from his roots as a Wisconsin farm boy who loved reading Mad Magazine, to cofounder of The Onion, proud standard bearer of fake news and improbable headlines.

Dikkers will share the backstory on taking The Onion from small campus humor rag to international comedy brand at 6:30 p.m. on March 10 in Hillside Auditorium. A public reception is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Honors Student Lounge in Gearhart Hall.

This special evening is the latest event in the Honors College Invites series, in which thinkers and doers share their craft with the campus and community.

The talk is free and open to the public;  please RSVP to attend the reception at

“We are excited to welcome Scott Dikkers, an award-winning humorist with an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit,” said Lynda Coon, dean of the Honors College. “We’re grateful that he is coming to campus to share his experiences as a comedy pioneer.”

The Onion launched in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin. Dikkers came onboard to draw cartoons and by the third issue was editing the publication.

“It [operated] out of somebody’s dorm room for the first couple of months, and then it was in somebody’s house; I don’t think we had an office until year two, and I don’t think we got paid until year three,” he recalled in an Eye to Eye CBS News interview in 2013.

Today is one of the world’s most popular humor websites, with millions of readers and social media followers.

Dikkers is The Onion’s longest-serving editor-in-chief, and co-owned the paper from 1989 to 2003. In 2006 he created The Onion News Network, which has spawned numerous viral videos and three TV series. He’s the best-selling co-author of The Onion’s first two original books, Our Dumb Century and Our Dumb World. His work has won the Thurber Prize for American Humor, a Peabody and over 30 Webby Awards. Dikkers developed and currently oversees The Onion training center at Chicago’s Second City.

About the Honors College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and unites the university’s top undergraduate students and professors in a learning environment characterized by discovery, creativity and service. Each year the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman fellowships that provide $70,000 over four years, and more than $1 million in undergraduate research and study abroad grants. The Honors College is nationally recognized for the high caliber of students it admits and graduates. Honors students enjoy small, in-depth classes, and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students’ academic interests, with interdisciplinary collaborations encouraged. Fifty percent of Honors College graduates have studied abroad – three times the national average – and one hundred percent of Honors College graduates have engaged in mentored research.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Anthony Blake, editor
Honors College

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College


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