September 1, 2019
“What if the Marvel Entertainment Monolith never happened?” That alternate historical premise might sound insane to you if you were born after the turn of the millennium. But here’s two things you Post-9/11 Babies may not know: “Y2K” was a big weird panic that’s funny in hindsight, and Iron Man used to be a niche unknown thing. Within the past 11 years, random comics characters like Captain America and a raccoon with a gun went from minor doodles to global megastars. And on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by two full-on comics experts (Cracked’s own Cyriaque Lamar and comedy’s own Joey Clift) for a look back at how the dominant entertainment property of the 2010s sprang from one low-level Marvel employee and a whole bunch of lucky breaks. Discover the handful of left-field casting decisions, little kid focus groups, and Samuel L. Jackson dogged obsessions that sent billions of dollars flying in whole new directions and changed your past decade of moviegoing.
January 26, 2020
Freedom sucks…and that is why we have to defend it. Because our democracy involves doing a lot of stuff that takes energy, takes time, and lacks that Michael Bay Quality that only a surprise missile launch can provide. So on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.
January 19, 2020
How’s your local shopping mall doing? Have you checked on it lately? Swing by sometime, because its department store might’ve turned into a call center or a hospital or a go-kart track. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!
January 12, 2020
Movies, TV, gaming: three things that are theoretically a waste of time. Oh sure, they deliver value in the art sense, and comfort in the goofing-off sense. But what if they’re more valuable than that? What if consuming shows and playing video games (accidentally) turns people into real-life heroes? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times that exact thing happened. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.