October 14, 2018
EP. 261 — LeVar Burton On Reading & Sci-Fi & Where We’re Headed Next
Books: they’re almost definitely supposed to do something besides decorate wall space. After all, there’s a whole class about them every year in school. Also various scientific studies say our brains get concrete benefits from reading the written word. But what do we gain when that word is read to us? What do we gain when we let a writer’s meaning reach us like never before? And what happens to society itself when literature takes on the role of prototyping our future?
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with the one and only LeVar Burton, host of the incredible ‘LeVar Burton Reads’ podcast. If you’ve watched TV in the last 40 years, LeVar’s gotten you excited about books directly (‘Reading Rainbow’), indirectly (the original ‘Roots’ TV adaptation), and science fictionally (decades of ‘Star Trek’ acting and directing). Today he and Alex explore how the world’s reacted to LeVar’s unique literary mission. They’ll also walk through a history of science fiction prototyping, the near future of ‘Trek’ storytelling, and what literacy can do for all our futures if we let it.
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.