Ninja Parade in California

by Clayton Yuetter

The Modesto Country Ninja Parade never happened. Nonetheless, The Onion, an American satire news satire organization, created an Internet phenomenon by reporting a story about the 30th annual ninja parade in Modesto in 2007. The Onion stated that although large crowds gather every year, a ninja has never actually been seen, since they can only be recognized by other ninjas.

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An Empty Parade

The parody suggests that a record crowd of 3,000 people came out for the ninja parade, but stood idly as the group of ninjas passed by undetected. Although no one had every seen a ninja in the parade's 30 year history, it didn't stopped onlookers from being enthusiastic. "We were probably right where the ninjas were," a woman says excitedly to the camera. The Onion reported that an "arrow scroll was delivered straight into the heart of the city clerk" to announce the event.

Ninja Spottings at Parade

The satire news report stated that only once in the Modesto County Ninja Parade's history was evidence of a ninja ever captured on film. The news cuts to a picture of an unidentifiable image that appears to be jumping through the air. A little boy who is interviewed emptied his pockets of candy and said that the ninja must have come up behind him very quickly and slipped the candy in there.

The Satire Style

The Ninja Parade clip is an example of satire-style comedy that is common in the media produced by The Onion, along with many other clips, movies and television shows. One example of a popular satire show is The Office, which uses workplace idiosyncrasies and dry parody. The Ninja Parade clip is also similar to the mockumentary style made popular by Rob Reiner and movies such as "This is Spinal Tap."

About The Onion

The Onion is one of the most highly recognized satire groups in America, presenting both real and fictitious news events in a humorous manner and passing them off as fact. The Onion's website attracts 7.5 million unique visitors per month. The brand has grown over the years to include a television show on the Independent Film Channel and ComedyCentral. "The Onion Movie" was released in 2008, but fell short of expectations. The parody group claims it is no longer associated with the film.