Satire magazine The Syrup Trap pokes fun with new national edition

Canada’s answer to The Onion was started by UBC students, and has now gone national-wide with a print edition

Canada’s answer to The Onion started at UBC, now available in a print edition

The Syrup Trap, which started as a satirical university campus magazine, is now expanding throughout Canada. (Gavin Fisher/CBC)

It started with a few UBC students lampooning their campus, but now fake news site The Syrup Trap is taking its brand of satire Canada-wide.

The Syrup Trap, which calls itself 'Canada's favourite humour magazine,' has gained a following beyond Vancouver with headlines such as "TransLink unveils tiny bus program" and stories that include rapper Drake and author Margaret Atwood facing off against an army made up of clones of CBC host Peter Mansbridge.

The Syrup Trap's work has appeared in the National Post and now their very first print edition is available inside the summer 2015 edition of Geist magazine.

Founder and editor Nick Zarzycki told On the Coast host Stephen Quinn that he is constantly thinking of new headlines.

He said he started the satire site for UBC two years ago because he was a big fan of college humour magazines in the United States, such as The Harvard Lampoon. Since then it has broadened out with more articles focusing on Vancouver and on Canada as a whole.

"We follow the same model that The Onion does which is throughout the week we write down headline ideas and then we bring all of them together to a pitch meeting and then we read out the headline ideas, and  whichever idea gets the most laughs we develop into an article."

A screenshot of The Syrup Trap's homepage.
Everyone tends to take themselves a little bit too seriously and that's why satire is so enjoyable sometimes.

Zarzycki said the team has tried to create their own brand, but added that they still have to learn about their new national audience.

"We're very wary of the fact that we're basically just copying the Onion model in Canada," Zarzycki said. "We're all beginners at this so I think it's a good place to start to imitate what you like.

"One way we've tried to develop our own style is to do what we like, which is silly jokes ... jokes that are little bit more absurd, a little bit sillier than you would find made on The Onion and on The Daily Show for example.

Here are some of The Syrup Trap's fun headlines:

  • Vancouver commuter thrown off bus for making eye contact
  • Study: More than 86% of Canadians forget to say 'Thank you' after stepping out of elevator
  • Vancouver ranked the most city in the world
  • BlackBerry announces that it still exists
  • Coyote $21,000 in debt after wandering through university campus
  • Justin Trudeau announces 2008 Green Party platform
  • Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson to be torn down, replaced with condos

To hear the full interview click on the audio labelled: Canada's answer to The Onion: Syrup Trap


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