December 8, 2019
You know American democracy can’t always have a ‘West Wing’ tone. Mud will be slung! Sexploits will be news! Results will occasionally be fishy! However, there is a cottage industry of people claiming the current negatives of American politics are new. They claim we are a few social changes (and a few purchases of MY NEW BOOK) away from “returning” to a more positive past. A past where noble patriots ran “traditional” campaigns and “did things the right way” and “were not divisive.” But what if everything we just put in quotes is wishful fiction? What if most American elections have been…disapppointing? And what if gaining that historical perspective will make your 2020 a lot more tolerable?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians & satirists Zack Bornstein (The New Yorker, ‘Alternatino’) and Adam Tod Brown (Unpopular Opinion podcast network) for forgotten stories of dumb and embarrassing American elections. They’ll share tales of corruption, lies, fraud, sex stuff, and other crimes dominating 200+ years of Presidential politics. It turns out the gross U.S. elections you do know about (2000, 2016, and maaaaaybe 1876) are the historical norm — and boy will that wisdom do wonders for your 2020 mental health.
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.