- The A.V. Club
The A.V. Club Type Alt-Weekly Entertainment Newspaper Format Paper (included with The Onion) and Internet Owner The Onion, Inc. Editor Keith Phipps Founded Mid-90s (see History) Headquarters Chicago Official website www.avclub.com
The A.V. Club is an entertainment newspaper and website published by The Onion. Its features include reviews of new films, music, television, books, games and DVDs, as well as interviews and other regular offerings examining both new and classic media and other elements of pop culture. Unlike its parent publication, The A.V. Club is not satirical, though much of its content maintains a similarly humorous tone.
The A.V. Club print edition is bundled with The Onion and distributed as a free publication in Philadelphia, Madison, Milwaukee, New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver/Boulder, Austin, Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, and Toronto, Canada.
In 1993, five years after the founding of The Onion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW student Stephen Thompson launched an entertainment section, later renamed The A.V. Club as part of the newspaper's 1995 redesign. (The name references "The Audio-Visual Club", a common stereotype of a geeky high school organization.) While the section was initially viewed as an afterthought to the publication's flagship fake news stories, Thompson credited it as becoming "very important" in allowing The Onion to expand distribution nationwide, as it was easier to sell advertising next to movie reviews and concert listings than satirical news items.
Both The Onion and The A.V. Club made their Internet debut in 1996, although not all print features were immediately available online. The A.V. Club website was redesigned in 2005 to incorporate blogs and reader comments. In 2006, concurrent with another redesign, the site shifted its model to begin adding content on a daily rather than weekly basis .
According to Onion president Sean Mills, the A.V. Club website received over one million unique visitors for the first time in October 2007. In late 2009, the site was reported as receiving over 1.4 million unique visitors and 75,000 comments per month.
Thompson left his position as editor of The A.V. Club in December 2004. He was replaced by Keith Phipps.
On December 9, 2010, it was discovered that a capsule review for the book Genius, Isolated: The Life And Art Of Alex Toth had been fabricated; the book had not yet been published or even completed by the authors. The offending review was removed from The A.V. Club, and editor Keith Phipps posted an apology on the site.
- Newswire, blog-style reporting of pop culture news items
- Commentary Tracks of the Damned, a feature reviewing DVD audio commentaries of universally panned films
- Films That Time Forgot, an examination of B movies
- Random Rules, an interview asking a celebrity to account for random tracks on his or her personal MP3 player
- Random Roles, an interview focusing on several selected roles from an actor's career
- Inventory, a list of examples from a pop culture-related theme, such as "15 True Comeback Albums" or "24 Great Films Too Painful To Watch Twice"
- The Hater, a column by Amelie Gillette focusing on pop culture and celebrity news, and its offshoot The Tolerability Index. The Hater was put on hiatus in May 2010 as Gillette left The A.V. Club to become a writer for the TV series The Office, but The Tolerability Index is still published weekly.
- My Year of Flops, reviews of box-office bombs by Nathan Rabin
- Taste Test, reports and reviews of unusual foodstuffs
- T.V. Club, episode-by-episode reviews of a wide variety of both current and classic TV shows
- The A.V. Club Blog, a more casual forum for the site's writers to share anecdotes and observations
- A.V. Club Crossword, edited by Ben Tausig
- Savage Love, a syndicated sex advice column by Dan Savage
- Red Meat, a syndicated comic strip by Max Cannon
- Then That's What They Called Music, a series by Nathan Rabin chronicling pop music's evolution through the CD series Now That's What I Call Music!
- Whatever Happened to Alternative Nation?, Steven Hyden's personal retrospective on alternative music in the 1990s.
- The New Cult Canon, a series by Scott Tobias examining movies from the '90s and the '00s that have attained cult status.
- Scenic Routes, Mike D'Angelo looks at key movie scenes, explaining their meaning and importance.
- A.V. Undercover, a video series featuring bands covering songs in the A.V. Club office.
- My Favorite Music Year, a series where various writers try to answer the question: What year in music means the most to you?
- Pop Pilgrims, Dan Telfer and Brian Berrebbi's video series of their travels to famous film, TV, and literary locations.
- Comics Panel, bi-weekly reviews of comic books.
- Sawbuck Gamer, a column highlighting inexpensive games.
The eight print editions of The A.V. Club include subsections containing local content such as event previews and dining guides. They also include additional comics such as Postage Stamp Comics by Shannon Wheeler and Wondermark by David Malki. Not all print editions include Savage Love and Red Meat, generally due to other syndication arrangements in those cities.
In 2002, The A.V. Club released a collection of 68 interviews that had been featured in previous issues, entitled The Tenacity Of The Cockroach: Conversations With Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (2002, ISBN 1-4000-4724-2).
On October 13, 2009, the second A.V. Club book, Inventory: 16 Films Featuring Manic Pixie Dream Girls, 10 Great Songs Nearly Ruined by Saxophone, and 100 More Obsessively Specific Pop-Culture Lists (2009, ISBN 1-4165-9473-6) was released, featuring a combination of never-before-published lists and material already available on the AV Club website.
The A.V. Club released My Year of Flops: The A.V. Club Presents One Man's Journey Deep into the Heart of Cinematic Failure (2010, ISBN 1-4391-5312-4) on October 19, 2010. The book consists of entries taken from the site's recurring My Year of Flops column along with new material not previously available. It is A.V. Clubs first release credited to a single author, Nathan Rabin.
- ^ "About The A.V. Club"". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/about. Retrieved October 25, 2011..
- ^ a b Steve Johnson (October 27,2009). "Onion’s A.V. Club is building up its brand". The Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-1027-onion-av-cluboct27,0,313036,full.column. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
- ^ David Shankbone (November 24, 2007). "An interview with 'America's Finest News Source'", Wikinews
- ^ "The Most Amazing Review of the Year". Comics Comics. http://comicscomicsmag.com/2010/12/most-amazing-review-of-the-year.html. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
- ^ "An apology from The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/an-apology-from-the-av-club,48888/. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
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