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Last updated 11:29PM ET
December 11, 2017
WIUM Local
WIUM Local
Writing for The Onion
(2010-04-01)
Kurt Luchs was the center of attention at the scholarship fundraiser
(wium) - A long-time writer for the satirical newspaper The Onion paid a visit to Macomb - appropriately enough in time for April Fools Day.

Kurt Luchs came to town to speak at a scholarship fundraiser for Western Illinois University. He also gave a free presentation while at WIU.

Luch has written for print, the web, radio and for TV programs. Does he have a preference?

"I prefer getting paid," he says with a laugh. "I've enjoyed them all. I've enjoyed every kind of writing that I've done."

Luchs says he was raised to love humor by his parents, who he says were literate and funny people. But they also argued a lot. Luch says he used humor as a way of escaping from that tense environment.

Luchs says he was first paid to write humor by The Prairie Sun. It was an alternative newspaper in the Midwest edited by Bill Knight, who now teaches journalism at WIU and does weekly commentaries on Tri States Public Radio.

"I was so thrilled. You could have knocked me over with a feather," says Luchs of being paid to write humor.

"The fact that is was only ten dollars a week at that point didn't matter at all," he adds, laughing. "It was going out. It was being seen in five states by by thousands of people. We developed fans."

A few years after The Prairie Sun folded he started writing for The Onion, which had just started offering its on-line version.

"They were the first all original website that was really professionally done and brilliantly done," says Luchs. "They were famous almost immediately."

Luchs contributed to "Our Dumb Century," "Dispatches From The Tenth Circle," and other books from The Onion.

Luchs has also written for TV's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" and "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn." In addition, he's written for The New Yorker and McSweeney's. He is also the author "Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: A Wiseguy's Guide to Business."

Luchs now runs six radio stations in the Pacific Northwest.

Luchs says those who want to write comedy should just do it and be persistent. He says there is a big demand for good comedy writers.

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