Best Fictional Blog: Manka Bros. Studio
When searching online for information about any large Hollywood event or incident, it’s likely that the searcher will stumble on a blog about the topic by Khan Manka, Jr. Whether he’s blogging about attending Chelsea Clinton’s wedding or being the keynote speaker at ComicCon, Manka is apparently present at some of the country’s most exclusive events. His coverage of Herbert Allen’s annual (and very private) Sun Valley retreat features accounts of famous executives behaving in ridiculous manners, including drinking heavily and arguing over trivial matters. Now if you’re thinking that these claims seem a little unlikely and wondering exactly who this Manka guy is, you’re not alone.
Real coverage of these events never mention his name; he exists only in the blogosphere as the fictional chairman of the “world’s largest media company,” Manka Bros. Studio. According to its website, the studio specializes in theatre, music, television, publishing, etc, but all of the projects seem destined for horrible failure, such as “Haunted Alligators: A Manka Classic Movie.” In reality, Manka is a fictional media baron, son of Bulgarian immigrants, and the creation of John Perry, an executive at Warner Bros. Started in 1991, the blog may be one of the longest running inside-jokes, as Manka still posts almost daily and gets a few thousand visitors a month, mostly from Hollywood insiders.
The blog often pokes fun at bad decisions made in the media industry, as well as the media moguls who make said decisions, with a precision that only comes from witnessing them firsthand. The site details the operations of a company that is humorously similar to how a real media company is structured, with divisions for movies, TV, publishing, music, theater, religion, theme parks and children. Like any respectable media conglomerate, Manka Bros. has a plethora of projects in the works. It plans to launch an awards show where Manka productions are expected to secure several wins, despite the current upheaval as they fight off a hostile takeover by a larger rival.
Runner Up: Fake Steve Jobs
Fake Steve Jobs was originally an anonymously written parody blog, until then-Forbes editor Daniel Lyons was outed by the media. The blog was written in first person and caricatured the Apple CEO, painting him as caustic and arrogant. Lyons was able to maintain anonymity for just under a year, despite rampant speculation about the writer’s identity. The blog gained widespread popularity partially because it filled a vacuum, as the real Steve Jobs avoided unscripted conversations with the press as a rule.