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Bigfoot Saves Baby From Flaming Camper
-a typical Weekly World News headline
Tragically defunct (as of August 2007) American absurdist/parody supermarket tabloid. Published deeply weird, tongue-in-cheek 'news' about bizarre 'science', astrology, Atlantis, Big Foot, aliens, Elvis, vampires, the Loch Ness Monster etc. Famous for recurring stories about 'Bat Boy', a pop cultural icon that inspired a hit off-Broadway musical.
Weekly World News defiantly remained focused on its own brand of weirdness when most of its competitors had switched to mindless celebrity drivel, which sadly might account for its decline in popularity and eventual disappearance from the shelves. Another possible contributor to its demise would be the direction the paper was taken after the 2007 buyout, when its sales really went in the toilet.
A huge online collection of old Weekly World News issues can be found at Google Books
Trivia note: After the National Enquirer switched to color, its publisher started the Weekly World News as a way to keep using their old black-and-white presses.
The Weekly World News provides examples of:
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Self-explanatory.
- Big Foot
- Dan Browned: Of course, it's all part of the parody.
- Elvis Lives
- Executive Meddling: The exec who took over didn't even like being associated with it.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink
- Harmless Freezing: In one issue a lifeboat full of survivors of the sinking of the Titanic was found frozen in a block of Atlantic ice. When unfrozen the survivors of course came back to life.
- Hurricane of Puns: Particularly after the Executive Meddling.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: One issue headlined an article about President Clinton and Senator Edward Kennedy caught soliciting a Bigfoot prostitute. Its title? "Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure".
- Kayfabe: They never, ever, ever broke character. Ever.
- Multiple Demographic Appeal: Two target audiences - people who actually believed it, and the larger group of people who thought it was funny.
- Page Three Stunna: Page 5 usually had a girl in a swimsuit.
- Planet Eris - Provides the page picture.
- Poe's Law: Especially in it's website incarnation. For example, when it declared that Facebook was going to be shut down, a lot of people who found the article via a web search and didn't know anything about Weekly World News thought it was real and panicked.
- Roger Rabbit Effect: They once ran a story about a construction worker who watched too many cartoons. Over time he developed Four-Fingered Hands and started to astonishingly follow Toon Physics, resulting in much Construction Zone Calamity on the job.
- Shout-Out / Ascended Meme: Some media specializing in the strange, including Supernatural and Men in Black, cite WWN as being a reputable, informative news source.
- Sophisticated As Hell
- Strawman Political: Ed Anger's extremely right-wing editorial page "My America" veered into this territory. Ed Anger himself may have been a Stealth Parody.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler
- Take That: Several. Notably, the ones toward the Bush Administration disappeared after the Meddling.