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Adios, Diamond Joe: How The Onion has lovingly crafted its Joe Biden character

(Photo: The Onion)

Grab your Kleenex and Corvette wax, because it’s the last day of Joe Biden’s Vice Presidency. While our country will probably suffer politically as the upstanding longtime senator steps back into private life, it will definitely suffer comedically, considering Biden’s role as the current administration’s wacky uncle—a reputation that’s probably not entirely deserved. A new piece from The Washington Post examines Biden’s comedic legacy both through an interview with Jason Sudeikis, who played Biden on Saturday Night Live, and with The Onion’s own Chad Nackers, who has spent the past eight years quietly crafting our sister site’s shit-starting “Diamond Joe” character.

Making Biden comedically bigger than life, The Post notes, mainly requires satirists to “look within.” Sudeikis, for instance, tells the paper that, to channel Biden, he just had to draw on “the outgoingness and gregariousness of [his] father,” while Nackers says his muscle car-loving Biden “was a kind of young guy I grew up around in Appleton, Wis., with jean jackets and Def Leppard shirts.”


Nackers also tells the Post that much of The Onion’s Biden-related success came from world-building, something that’s evident merely by taking a quick glance through the site’s comprehensive look at its Biden coverage that’s up right now.

If you’re interested in Biden, the character—or Biden, the politician, really—the whole piece is well worth a read, if only for this quote from Nackers: “I wasn’t researching Biden to create this character. I was more researching different kinds of rims.”

[Note: The Onion, like The A.V. Club, is owned by Univision Communications.]


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