NEW YORK, NY — Shortly after explaining the art of made-up journalism in a video interview with Big Think, Joseph “Joe” Randazzo, lead editor of The Onion, died on Wednesday of a previously undiagnosed case of smallpox. He was 93.
During his hour-long interview, an apparently pox-free Randazzo described the process by which The Onion’s headlines and articles are carefully fabricated for maximum comedic impact. Complaining of sudden dizziness, he then staggered out of the studio, checked into the nearest hospital, and succumbed to a newly emergent strain of Variola major, a disease thought by scientists to have been eradicated.
“I’m shocked,” said friend and fellow comedian John Belushi in an impromptu press conference on the White House lawn. “Frankly, I’m surprised to hear about his age, too. I always thought I was a little older than Joe.”
Randazzo is survived by his family, his Onion colleagues, and his pet dinosaur Cassandra.