Elon Musk hires Onion writers for project. (Not an Onion headline)

Commentary: What might Musk be doing with these fake news types? Could it be a comedy series called "Flamethrowers"?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

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Elon Musk Presents SpaceX Plans To Colonise Mars

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

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It's sometimes hard to know when Elon Musk is joking and when he isn't.

Personally, I prefer to think he's joking just a little bit all of the time.

Even when he dangled projects such as the Boring Company and flamethrowers -- both of which turned out to be real -- I fancy they started as jokes.

What, though, is one to make of the revelation that Musk is now working with several former staffers of satire site the Onion on some secret enterprise?

First reported by the Daily Beast, the story is that Musk hired departed Onion staffers Cole Bolton and Ben Berkley last year and has since hired four more Onionites. 

This all appears to be true.

According to a person with knowledge of the project, Musk won't act as some sort of editor and and won't be taking on a managerial role either.

"It's pretty obvious that comedy is the next frontier after electric vehicles, space exploration, and brain-computer interfaces," Musk said in a statement. "Don't know how anyone's not seeing this."

Yes, that must be a joke. And maybe not. Just how it should be.

As for Cole and Berkley, they're deadly serious about the whole thing. 

"While our efforts to develop a plant-based fish alternative have failed, we are excited by our project's pivot to comedy," they said in a statement.

The Beast reports that Musk was interested in buying the Onion in 2014. He met with Bolton and Berkley but the talks didn't go very far.

Now, though, one can only speculate as to what might be in the works.

Could it be a new comedy series called "Flamethrowers," which stars two online trolls desperate for stardom?

Might it be a comedy movie that will only ever be seen by those who go up to Mars in the first manned SpaceX rocket? 

After all, Musk said last weekend that there's a good chance that the first Mars explorers will die

What greater opportunity for absurdist comedians than to create a comedy that will only be seen by those flying to their bitter end?