Overview: A Look Back at a Cultural Phenomenon

Looking for a trip down memory lane? Get ready to dive into the wild and imaginative world of the Weekly World News! This beloved and enduring institution in the world of journalism was known for its absurd and surreal headlines and wild stories, often involving pop culture, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal. From Elvis being alive and living in Kalamazoo to the lost continent of Atlantis being found near Buffalo, the Weekly World News captured the imagination of its readers and became a cultural phenomenon. Although it is no longer in print, the legacy of the Weekly World News lives on in the hearts of its devoted readers and in the organizations that have been inspired by its wild and imaginative stories. Come take a journey into the wacky world of the Weekly World News and see why this newspaper will always be remembered as a source of endless entertainment and inspiration.

Introduction

The Weekly World News was a tabloid newspaper known for its bizarre and absurd headlines, many of which have become cultural touchstones. From Elvis being alive and living in Kalamazoo to Hillary Clinton having a love affair with an alien, the Weekly World News captured the imagination of its readers with its wild and fantastical stories, often involving pop culture, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

Despite the lack of factual accuracy in its articles, the Weekly World News became a beloved and enduring institution in the world of journalism and popular culture, with a circulation of over a million readers per week at its peak. In this article, we’ll take a look back at the history of the Weekly World News, its notable stories and headlines, and the legacy it has left behind.

So come join us as we journey into the wacky world of the Weekly World News and see why this newspaper will always be remembered as a source of endless entertainment and inspiration.

History of the Weekly World News

The Weekly World News was a tabloid newspaper that gained a devoted following in the late 1980s for its wild and fantastical stories, often involving pop culture, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the bizarre.

Despite never winning a Pulitzer Prize due to the lack of factual accuracy in its articles, the Weekly World News captivated its readers with headlines that were as imaginative as they were absurd, such as “DEAD ROCK STARS RETURN ON GHOST PLANE!” and “12 U.S. SENATORS ARE SPACE ALIENS!”.

Founded in 1979 by Generoso Pope, the former owner of the National Enquirer, the Weekly World News was initially intended to be a sort of budget version of the popular tabloid, running celebrity gossip and UFO sightings that didn’t quite make the cut for the Enquirer. However, the Weekly World News quickly gained a reputation for its bizarre and surreal stories, often involving supernatural or paranormal events.

Some of the most memorable articles from the Weekly World News included the claim that Elvis Presley was alive and living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis near Buffalo, and the revelation that Hillary Clinton was having an affair with an alien named P’lod.

Despite its lack of factual accuracy, the Weekly World News was beloved by its readers and even admired by journalists from mainstream newspapers, who often dreamed of ditching their mundane assignments and writing about swamp monsters or giant grasshoppers for the tabloid. Many of the writers for the Weekly World News were actually former journalists from reputable publications like the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, who found the creative freedom and absurdist humor of the Weekly World News to be a refreshing change from the strictures of traditional journalism.

In its heyday, the Weekly World News had a circulation of over a million readers per week, and its unique brand of fake news became a cultural phenomenon. The newspaper was known for its outrageous headlines and wild stories, which often poked fun at current events or satirized popular culture. However, despite its popularity, the Weekly World News faced criticism for its lack of factual accuracy and its reliance on sensationalism to sell copies.

Despite this criticism, the Weekly World News remained a beloved institution among its devoted readers, who eagerly awaited each new issue to see what wild and absurd headlines the newspaper would come up with next. In addition to its wacky articles, the Weekly World News also featured regular columns from writers like Ed Anger, a perpetually enraged right-wing nut job who always began his columns by announcing exactly how angry he was. Anger’s columns were a fan favorite for their over-the-top rants and humorous insults.

As the 1990s progressed, however, the Weekly World News began to face declining circulation, as more and more people turned to the internet for their news and entertainment. In an effort to keep up with the changing media landscape, the Weekly World News began to focus more on celebrity gossip and less on its signature surreal stories, but this shift in focus failed to stem the tide of declining readership.

In 2001, the Weekly World News was acquired by American Media, Inc., a publishing company that also owns the National Enquirer. Under American Media’s ownership, the Weekly World News underwent a number of changes, including a redesign of its layout and an increase in the use of color photographs. These changes were intended to make the newspaper more appealing to a modern audience, but despite these efforts, circulation continued to decline.

In 2007, American Media announced that the August 27th issue of the Weekly World News would be the last, and the beloved tabloid newspaper was no more. The death of the Weekly World News marked the end of an era for fans of absurdist and satirical journalism, and the tabloid will always be remembered for its creative and hilarious headlines, even if they were not always based in reality.

The legacy of the Weekly World News lives on in the hearts of those who were entertained and inspired by its unique brand of fake news. Despite its lack of factual accuracy, the Weekly World News was a pioneer in the world of absurdist and satirical journalism, and its influence can still be seen in modern publications that embrace a similar style.

The Weekly World News may be gone, but its memorable headlines and wild stories will never be forgotten. Whether you were a fan of the newspaper’s absurdist humor or simply enjoyed reading its outrageous headlines in the checkout line at the grocery store, there’s no denying the impact that the Weekly World News had on the world of journalism and popular culture.

So the next time you see a headline that seems too good (or too strange) to be true, take a moment to appreciate the legacy of the Weekly World News and all the bizarre and absurd stories that it brought into the world.

The Weekly World News was initially intended to be a sort of budget version of the popular tabloid, running celebrity gossip and UFO sightings that didn’t quite make the cut for the Enquirer. However, the Weekly World News quickly gained a reputation for its bizarre and surreal stories, often involving supernatural or paranormal events. 

Some of the most memorable articles from the Weekly World News included the claim that Elvis Presley was alive and living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the discovery of the lost continent of Atlantis near Buffalo, and the revelation that Hillary Clinton was having an affair with an alien named P’lod.

Notable Stories and Headlines from the Weekly World News

The Weekly World News was a tabloid newspaper known for its bizarre and absurd headlines, many of which have become cultural touchstones. Despite the lack of factual accuracy in its articles, the Weekly World News captured the imagination of its readers with its wild and fantastical stories, often involving pop culture, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

Some of the most notable stories and headlines from the Weekly World News include:

  1. Elvis Presley is alive and living in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
    • This was perhaps the most famous and enduring story from the Weekly World News, and it claimed that the legendary rock and roll singer had faked his own death and was living in obscurity in the small Michigan town. The story was so popular that it spawned a number of books, movies, and television shows, and it remains a fixture of popular culture to this day.
  2. The lost continent of Atlantis is found near Buffalo.
    • This headline from the Weekly World News claimed that the mythical lost continent had been discovered in the depths of Lake Erie, near the city of Buffalo. The story was accompanied by a series of dramatic photographs purporting to show the underwater ruins of Atlantis, and it captivated the imagination of readers who were fascinated by the possibility of uncovering a lost civilization.
  3. Hillary Clinton is having a love affair with an alien named P’lod.
    • This headline claimed that the former First Lady and Secretary of State was involved in a romantic relationship with an extraterrestrial creature with a foot-long tongue. The story was accompanied by a series of photos showing Clinton and P’lod together, and it caused a stir among readers who were both amused and skeptical of the tabloid’s claims.
  4. The Batboy is found living in a cave.
    • This writer from the tabloid claimed that a half-human, half-bat creature had been discovered living in a cave in West Virginia. The story was accompanied by a series of photos showing the Batboy in his natural habitat, and it quickly became one of the most popular and enduring stories from the magazine.
  5. The Pope is an alien.
    • This headline from the Weekly World News claimed that the leader of the Catholic Church was actually an extraterrestrial being in disguise. The story was accompanied by a series of photos showing the Pope with unusual physical features that were alleged to be proof of his alien origin.
  6. Bigfoot is found living in a cabin in the woods.
    • This headline from the tabloid claimed that the legendary creature known as Bigfoot had been discovered living in a remote cabin in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. The story was accompanied by a series of photos showing Bigfoot in his cabin, and it captured the imagination of readers who were fascinated by the possibility of discovering a real-life monster.
  7. The Loch Ness Monster is found living in a lake in New Jersey.
    • This article claimed that the mythical Scottish creature had been discovered living in a lake in New Jersey, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the Monster in its new habitat. The story was a hit with readers who were interested in the possibility of discovering a real-life monster in their own backyard.
  8. The Chupacabra is found living in a swamp in Florida.
    • This story from the Weekly World News claimed that the mythical creature known as the Chupacabra had been discovered living in a swamp in Florida, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the creature in its natural habitat. The story was popular with readers who were interested in the possibility of discovering a real-life monster in the United States.
  9. “JFK JR. FOUND ALIVE ON A DESERT ISLAND!”
    • This account from the Weekly World News stated that the late John F. Kennedy Jr. had been found alive and well on a deserted island, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the supposedly resurrected JFK Jr. in his new home.
  10. “JESUS APPEARS TO A MAN IN NEW JERSEY!”
    • The Weekly World News claimed that Jesus had appeared to a man in New Jersey, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the supposed encounter.
  11. “ALIENS ABDUCT BUSH AND KERRY!”
    • This headline claimed that aliens had abducted both George W. Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the supposed abduction.
  12. “BARBARA WALTERS IS A MAN!”
    • This headline from the tabloid claimed that the popular television journalist was actually a man in disguise, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing Walters with traditionally masculine physical features.
  13. “ALIEN BABY BORN IN ARIZONA!”
    • The tabloid claimed that an alien baby had been born in Arizona, and it was accompanied by a series of photos showing the supposedly extraterrestrial child.

These are just a few examples of the memorable stories and headlines that made the Weekly World News such a beloved and enduring source of smiles.

The Popularity of the Weekly World News

In its heyday, the Weekly World News had a circulation of over a million readers per week, and its unique brand of fake news became a cultural phenomenon. The newspaper was known for its outrageous headlines and wild stories, which often poked fun at current events or satirized popular culture. Many readers eagerly awaited each new issue of the Weekly World News to see what absurd and hilarious headlines the newspaper would come up with next.

The popularity of the tabloid was not limited to its devoted readers, however. The newspaper was also admired by journalists from mainstream publications, who often dreamed of ditching their mundane assignments and writing about swamp monsters or giant grasshoppers for the tabloid.

Many of the writers for the magazine were actually former journalists from reputable publications like the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, who found the creative freedom and absurdist humor of the magazine to be a refreshing change from the strictures of traditional journalism.

The Weekly World News was also popular with celebrities, many of whom were featured in its wild and absurd stories. Some celebrities even went out of their way to be featured in the newspaper, knowing that the bizarre and surreal headlines would generate a lot of buzz and attention.

Despite its lack of factual accuracy, the Weekly World News was a beloved institution among its devoted readers, who eagerly awaited each new issue to see what wild and absurd headlines the newspaper would come up with next. In addition to its wacky articles, the periodical also featured regular columns from writers like Ed Anger, a perpetually enraged right-wing nut job who always began his columns by announcing exactly how angry he was. Anger’s columns were a fan favorite for their over-the-top rants and humorous insults.

As the 1990s progressed, however, the tabloid began to face declining circulation, as more and more people turned to the internet for their news and entertainment. In an effort to keep up with the changing media landscape, the periodical began to focus more on celebrity gossip and less on its signature surreal stories, but this shift in focus failed to stem the tide of declining circulation.

The Decline and Death of the Weekly World News

The decline of the Weekly World News was also due in part to increased competition from other tabloid newspapers and online media outlets. The rise of the internet and social media platforms made it easier for people to access news and entertainment, and the traditional print newspaper industry struggled to keep up. The newspaper was no exception, and as its circulation continued to decline, it became increasingly difficult for the newspaper to stay afloat.

In 2007, the Weekly World News was acquired by American Media, which eventually decided to cease publication of the newspaper in August of 2007. The Aug. 27 issue of the periodical was the last, and after that, the newspaper was no more.

Legacy of the Weekly World News

After the Weekly World News ceased publication in 2007, its legacy lived on in the hearts of its devoted readers and the wider culture. The newspaper’s wild and imaginative stories continued to capture the imagination of people who were interested in the absurd and surreal, and it remained a beloved and enduring institution in the world of journalism and popular culture.

One organization that has drawn inspiration from the Weekly World News is the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, a group dedicated to investigating paranormal activity in the New York City area. According to Anthony Long, the founder of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, the Weekly World News was a big part of his childhood, and he would spend hours thumbing through the newspaper looking for the latest on the Yeti, BatBoy, and other legendary creatures.

Long said, “I remember the Weekly World News being a big part of my childhood. I would beg for a copy, and spend hours thumbing through looking for the latest news on the Yeti, BatBoy, and the other cast of characters. The periodical was a source of endless entertainment and inspiration for me, and it sparked my interest in the paranormal and the absurd. It’s part of what led me to start the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, and it will always have a special place in my heart.”

The legacy of the tabloid lives on in the hearts of its devoted readers and in organizations like the Brooklyn Paranormal Society, which have been inspired by the newspaper’s wild and imaginative stories. The magazine may no longer be in print, but its impact on the world of journalism and popular culture will never be forgotten.

The newspaper’s absurd and surreal headlines have become cultural touchstones, and its wild and fantastical stories continue to capture the imagination of people who are interested in the absurd and the surreal. Whether you were a fan of the Weekly World News for its wacky articles, its outrageous headlines, or its regular columns from writers like Ed Anger, there’s no denying the impact that the newspaper had on the areas of journalism and popular culture.

In a world where fake news and alternative facts often dominate the headlines, the tabloid serves as a reminder that there is always room for absurdity and humor in the media. While the newspaper may no longer be in print, its legacy will live on in the hearts of its devoted readers and in the organizations that have been inspired by its wild and imaginative stories. So, the legacy of the tabloid will always be remembered and celebrated by its fans and readers.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the Weekly World News was a beloved and enduring institution in the sphere of journalism and popular culture. Despite its lack of factual accuracy, the newspaper captured the imagination of its readers with its wild and fantastical stories, often involving pop culture, urban legends, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

The tabloid was a pioneer in the world of absurdist and satirical journalism, and its unique brand of fake news became a cultural phenomenon. While the newspaper may no longer be in print, its legacy lives on in the hearts of its devoted readers and in the organizations that have been inspired by its wild and imaginative stories.

The Weekly World News will always be remembered as a source of endless entertainment and inspiration, and it will always have a special place in the hearts of its fans and readers.

Anthony LFounder

Anthony Long is the Chief Ectoplasm Officer of the Brooklyn Paranormal Society.

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