November 17, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Thea Mercouffer, Publicist
POPULAR LOS ANGELES SATIRE SITE
SEEKS PUBLISHER, INVESTORS
LOS ANGELES, November 17, 2003
–— The LALA Times (www.lalatimes.com), dubbed "The
Onion for L.A." by The Los Angeles Times, now seeks a bona
fide publisher and investors to guide and support it through its
upcoming expansion as the site’s one-year anniversary draws
With significantly increasing
traffic to the site (10,000 unique readers per month), The LALA
Times has gained considerable notoriety since its quiet launch in
2002. KPFK radio recently featured LALA Times' Founder George Wolfe
on a series of shows, and media as distant as Swiss Public Radio
have selected Wolfe as one of California’s most notable satirists.
"At a time when the
news media can be relied on to make the meaningful meaningless and
the meaningless all-important, The LALA Times provides much-needed
satiric insight into contemporary events," reported Babara
Osborn, host of Deadline L.A., concluding, "Each new story
uses the deadpan delivery of conventional news to spoof social phenomena.
The LALA Times is to Web grazers what The Daily Show is to late-night
When the war in Iraq began, the
LALA Times enjoyed its first significant spike in readership, Wolfe
said, "With readers seeking respite from serious news at a
time of national crisis." The site’s traffic increased
steadily thereafter, but then leveled off around August. "A
week after I wrote the piece about heavy-metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne
running for governor, recall-mania hit and everyone jumped on board.
The real news was so ludicrous it was difficult to top," Wolfe
commented, adding, "Many of our satiric, over-the-top predictions
were coming true, and Californians were saturated with the absurdity
of it all, leaving less of a need for additional satire in the weeks
leading up to the vote. Personally, I'm relieved the regular news
has returned to normal – if there is such a thing in this
state. We’re again having great fun on the site, and everyone
is getting involved." Wolfe reports that readers are back in
full force, with the LALA Times experiencing its all-time highest
levels of readership.
Keep checking back. Feel free to submit additions. The LALA Dictionary is a work in progress.
May 1, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
MAY 1, 2003George R. Wolfe
LOS ANGELES-BASED NEWS SATIRE SITE HITS CRITICAL MASS ACHIEVES TENFOLD INCREASE IN WEB TRAFFIC
LOS ANGELES —— The
LALA Times (www.lalatimes.com), an online satirical news publication
for the Los Angeles area, has seen a sharp increase in traffic through
the first few months of 2003. The fledgling site, quietly launched
in November 2002, has seen a tenfold increase in traffic since inception
—— fast making it L.A.'s premiere source of comprehensive
The monthly publication's readership
has developed mostly through word of mouth and also by its selection
as a Featured Hot Link of @LA, which lists it as "the local
answer to The Onion." The LALA Times provides lighthearted,
on-the-mark content that resonates with locals and allows them to
see themselves and their city anew through a satirical lense.
World events may also have played a role in the traffic spike, in
terms of the need to vent. Allen Klein (author of The Courage to
Laugh, and The Healing Power of Humor) is a believer in the power
of humor during times of stress. Klein notes that "Sometimes,
it's the only way we can deal with what we encounter every day.
Otherwise, we would crack up, so I suppose instead we crack up with
laughter." At a time when comedies are breaking box-office
records, it's no wonder The LALA Times has become a popular site
"Regardless of the
cause, we're very pleased with how it's been received," says
writer/editor/co-founder, George Wolfe. "It's not what I planned
to do when I moved here. This started off simply as a place to put
my impressions of this wonderfully strange new home that is Southern
California. As I encounter things here I convert them into stories.
So in that sense, I guess it's a diary of sorts… albeit an
The monthly articles cover an
assortment of topics, including general news ("Wall Street
Crooks Bound for Posh Malibu Correctional Facility"), transportation
("Man Spends Entire Life on Freeway"), law ("California
Outlaws Alcohol in Bars"), sports ("Lakers Stick it to
Opponents — With Voodoo Dolls"), environment ("Tree-sitter
Refuses to Let Go of Christmas Tree"), business ("Surfers
Buy Waves Online"), politics ("Nude Peace Protest Ends
In Watery Fiasco") and entertainment ("Studio Exec Has
Idea Based on a Real Thought"). The April issue treats timely
international events with a local spin ("Inland Empire Launches
Attack on Los Angeles").
Thea Mercouffer, an actress who
coined the site's name and does its graphic design, is the other
co-founder. Says Mercouffer, "Naturally, we'd like for The
LALA Times to become a household name in the Los Angles area, just
as The Onion has become in the U.S. Right now, as we continue to
build readership, we're searching for either some advertisers that
are a good match for our content or an angel/investor with a sense
of humor and an interest in keeping this thing up and going for
years to come."
"What sets us apart,"
says Wolfe, "is that we're focused on this region, warts and
all: the wackiness of it, the horrors of it — you name it.
Charlie Chaplin once said, 'Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up,
but a comedy in long shot.' I'm interested in that broader perspective.
One thing's for sure: There's enough satirical fodder in and around
greater Los Angeles to spoof it indefinitely. It's a perfectly absurd
Author, Allen Klein, may be reached through his web site at www.allenklein.com.