A&E's Biography of Cory!! Strode

We at A&E’s Biography have been getting a lot of questions about how the Weekly News Update is put together. Many people want to know just how many newspapers Cory!! Strode reads, what his sources are, where he gets his ideas, and what is the deal with the fact that he goes on and on about how much he likes redheads? All of these questions and many, many more will be answered in this, the first Weekly News Update Documentary. I’m Charles Nelson Relly, and I am a constant butt of Weekly News Update jokes and respected...um...whatever it is that I do, and I will be taking you through the process tonight on Biography.

Many people think that Cory!! Strode, the creator and head writer of the Weekly News Update is part of the new vanguard of journalism. This is the story of who one man with a modem, too much time on his hands and a mind full of worthless pop culture trivia who has changed the very way news is reported around the world. However, Cory!! has no formal journalism training. He spent his college years the way most of the people of his generation did, drunk, stoned and looking for loose women of low morals. When he found that he would have to pay for at least two of those things, and most of the time three of them, Cory!! picked up a copy of the Campus newspaper. Along with the personals ads, listings of low liquor prices and Saturday morning cartoon listings, there was a positive review of a Chuck Norris movie.

Cory: "It was pretty obvious to me that the movie reviewer was a brain dead idiot, and if they’d hire a melonhead like that, they’d hire any idiot who could put a couple of words together."

How true that was.

Cory!! wrote movie reviews and feature article for the next three years, earning the hatred and enmity of most of his readers. His last year of college, he even had a weekly column that came in third in the Illinois Journalism Awards. Now, part of this was because there were only two people who entered the competition and they didn’t want Cory!! to have the privileges of the runner up, and part of this was because the column submitted was a long, rambling tirade against anyone Cory!! had ever met and he wished for a day when he could talk, or "chat" with people without ever having to meet them. That day is still far on the horizon, but Cory!! left college with his award and a dream. A dream of being bitten by a radioactive bear and a gaining vast superhuman powers.

Cory!! then became immersed in the stuff of life, finding a job, finding an apartment, and trying to create a life for himself,. After five years of being unable to do that, Cory!! sold his soul to the corporate gods and began his life as a cubicle drone. While all this was going on, Cory!! maintained the one thing he had had his whole life. A deep, unnatural obsession with redheads and a knack for making fun of the people in cruel and viscous ways. Now, many people say that if you do what you love, eventually, you’ll make a living at it, but Cory!! learned the hard way that no one is going to pay you for sitting on your ass, drinking single malt scotch whiskey, making fun of what’s on TV. Then, the worst thing in Cory!!’s life happened. No, it was not when his huge breasted girlfriend in college left him for a guy who works at a convenience store so that she could get free cigarettes. No, it wasn’t when he discovered that no one gave a rat’s ass about a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology out in the real world. It wasn’t even when he found out that that nasty taste in his mouth every morning wasn’t morning breath, but a side effect of his habit of drinking orange juice after brushing his teeth. It was the fact that he could no longer see Dennis Miller’s show on cable.

Cory!! had a very rough time of it after the loss of HBO. He didn’t believe it at first, staring at the blank channel on his screen for days at a time, not eating, not sleeping and not thinking about the legs on that redhead at the gym. Then, he called the cable company, pleading with them to restore the channel, but they told them that since they were a monopoly, he would watch The Home and Garden Channel and like it, or they would give him nothing but home shopping networks. Cory!! then tried to get on with his life, but to no avail. Dick Morris, an advisor of President Clinton’s got caught with a prostitute and all he had to laugh at was Jay Leno’s lame foot jokes. Bob Dole’s Presidential hopes collapsed in a fiery ruin that made the Hinderburg look like someone lighting their intestinal gas in Junior High. And still, Cory!! could find no solace.

Then, as he read the Sunday New York Times, he saw that they, as many other news organizations, had gotten their fact wrong. Scientists had reported that they had found a cure for the common cold. They found in their study that if you beat a person to a bloody pulp with a baseball bat set aflame and wrapped in barbed wire that by the time they recover from their wounds, their cold will be gone. They had conducted this study on the surviving members of the Bay City Rollers and were looking to attempt it with the members of KC and the Sunshine Band. Spurred into action Cory!! decided that he would have to make sure that the truth came to light. The people would know what was really going on in the world. He put in almost five minutes worth of research and sent out the first version of The Weekly News Update of October 1st, 1996. And in doing so, started down a path that would change his life....and the world.

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1996 may have been the start of the Weekly News Update, but it would not have an easy start. In the beginning, many of Cory!!’s sources were suspect. Some people even said that it wasn’t news at all, but that Cory!! would make up his stories while sitting in front of the TV, watching Professionals Wrestling and eating Cheerios directly from the box by pouring a half gallon of milk in the plastic liner. Cory was undaunted by this, and decided to actually show the Weekly News Update to people other than himself, to quiet the debate. It was sent out in an e-mail to a small list of co-workers that Cory!! hadn’t completely alienated, and friends who had foolishly given him their e-mail address. The response was mixed, to say the least.

(Shadowed face, identity hidden by request): Cory!! would send out this lame bunch of bad jokes, and then about an hour later, he would ask what we thought, if there was anything he could do to make it better, what worked and what didn’t. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I delete any message I get from him. He creeps me out.

(Female Shadowed Face, identity also hidden by request): I just read it to see if he talks about how much he loves redheads. Being a redhead, I love to see him whine and squirm. He’s such a loser.

In Cory!!’s personal life, things changed at a rapid rate around this time as well. He had been working at a group home, spending his quality time with teen aged criminals and the emotionally disturbed part-time since getting out of college, and had worked at a mind-numbing office job, spending his non quality time with adult criminals and the emotionally disturbed, but all of this changed. The group home closed and he got a different full-time office job, to which he added a part-time job at a group home. OK, so really nothing changed except where he had to drive to go to work, but we’ve got an hour to fill and Cory!! hasn’t done much of anything with his life. You know, I guess we could skip over this part and show a nice cartoon.

(Shows Space Ghost and the Menace of Zorak, Praying Mantis of Doom)

(Commercial break)

By the end of 1997, the Weekly News Update had grown from a small e-mail newsletter sent to a few imagined friends and co-workers to a large e-mail newsletter sent to supposed friends and co-workers too polite to tell Cory!! that they didn’t get any of the jokes. Now the stage was set for the next big leap in popularity. Now, this is normally the time in Biography where we show that the subject of the show went through some deep personal struggle. It was hard for us to find any sort of dramatic point to highlight, since Cory!!’s life consists of him working, reading, watching too damn many movies, playing computer games and going to the gym to look like he’s working out when he’s really watching the TVs bolted to the wall so he can lie to people and say he has a social life. So, we had our crack staff of writers invent a struggle for him to overcome. We hope you enjoy it.

Cory!! broke a story involving corruption at the highest levels of government. It seems that he was able to find out that Bill Clinton had entered into a pact with a number of TV religious leaders whereas Clinton would do things that they could get furious about, and they would, in turn, accuse him of everything the could think of, including murdering Vince Foster. It would work out wonderfully for both sides. Clinton would be able to appear to be under attack, when in actuality he was just a figurehead of a government run by business leaders and military heads, and the TV preachers would be able to sell lots of video tapes and "exclusive reports" The American People would have a circus to watch, now that the OJ Simpson trial had ended, and all would be right with the world. This plan of their was supposed to cumulate in both sides starting a Holy War between Conservative and Liberals that would wipe out most of the population who only paid a passing interest in what was going on in the world around them and leave America for people who either were totally immersed in the trappings of power, and people who weren’t quite sure what decade they were in. Cory!! broke the story, and was immediately arrested. He was charged with libel, espionage and being an annoying rat-bastard.

While in prison, Cory!! wrote a manifesto for all oppressed journalists entitled, "I Hate The Government, I Hate The People, But Most Of All, I Hate You!" which became a huge best seller. With international organizations threatening boycotts if he was not released, the charges against Cory!! and his Weekly News Update were dropped, and when he was released, he spoke to an adoring crowd at New York City’s Shea Stadium.

We hope you enjoyed our little drama for your behalf. The reality is not quite as exciting. The Weekly News Update has slowly grown since its inception, and now boasts a whole lot of readers who get it every week. There was a scare last summer that Cory!! might sell out and provide the WNU to a Public Radio Station in Boston, but they quickly came to their senses, deciding that it was just not what they wanted. Cory!! has since sworn revenge and takes every opportunity to tell friends not to pledge money to NPR until they relent. This has hit NPR hard, and deprived them f upwards of $25 of contributions. Soon afterward, Cory!! was able to trick Scott Gallatin into hosting the Weekly News Update on his website, where it gets ten of hits a year. Cory!! is planning his own website, but let’s remember that he’s also planning to start his own TV network that will consist of reruns of the Brady Bunch Variety Show and Don Johnson movies, so we won’t be getting our hopes up.

When we come back, we’ll take you inside how the Weekly News Update is put together every week.

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Every news source has their own system for gathering information, and the Weekly News Update is no exception. It all starts on Sunday Morning, when Cory!! is hit in the face by the Sunday paper being tossed onto his lawn by a newspaperboy who’s seen just about everything imaginable in that self-same yard. Cory!! then crawls to his front door, carrying the paper in his mouth and trying to remember why there are so many broken bottles and stuffed prairie dogs lying around him. He then opens the door and chases out the groupies, hookers, vagrants, and painted burros from the night before and starts to work.

He logs onto the internet to get the latest information on Former Playboy Playmate Julie McCullough when he tells everyone that he’s checking the latest breaking news from the Associated Press. He then checks out the latest jokes on Jokeland.com while listening to the Sunday morning news talk shows to get his pulse on what important, vital stories America is ignoring. He follows this up by leafing through the Arts and Leisure section to see if any new Parker Posey movies are coming out. If he has time before his mid-afternoon nap, he glances at the headlines and does his best to figure out just who the people are that are in those headlines. For example, after reading the headline, "Starr Plans To Indict Clinton," Cory spent at least three hours doing research to find out just who this "Clinton" guy was.

Then, around 9 p.m. at night, Cory!! realizes that he forgot to put together anything for the Weekly News Update, and slaps together something at the last minute, vowing to spend a little more time and effort in order to be prepared the next week so that he doesn’t have to go through it all again. At 9:15 p.m., Cory!! finishes up the Weekly News Update, and decides to get to bed early to try and make up for the night before, and on Monday, the WNU is sent to tens of waiting fans who invariably say, "You know, it used to be a lot better, back in the day. I think he’s lost it."

We hope you enjoyed tonight’s Biography, the first in our series of pathetic losers with delusions of grandeur. Join us tomorrow as we look into the life of Matt Drudge...and then spend the next 55 minutes playing wiffle ball, making paper dolls, and eating Hostess Cherry Pies and Fish Sticks with the crew on Biography.

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