June 16, 2019
A “fire in the belly”: it’s a metaphor for motivation that sounds like terrible medical trouble. Our culture tells us a little bit of anger — a little bit of that ulcerative-sounding “fire in the belly” — helps us accomplish a little bit more. But what if that phenomenon can go farther? What if righteous anger led to some of the most impressive architecture, music, cartoons, and other great achievements of the past couple centuries? And what if the backstories there are hilarious every time?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians Billy Wayne Davis and Rivers Langley for a look at the most incredible things ever done purely out of spite. They’ll dig into tales of 1800s tycoons, 2010s Vermonters, and other noted maniacs re-shaping our cities. They’ll explore how several of your favorite musicians made whole chunks of their catalog just to piss off the label. And in a final look at human motivation itself, they’ll put a microscope on the thin, blurry line between desire and fury.
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.