June 23, 2019
EP. 297 — The Weirdest Ways America Tried To Win The Cold War
Thought experiment: you’re a large country locked in a 20th century geopolitical death struggle. Any wrong move could irradiate the planet. Any right move gets you a marginal victory over your opponent without ending the larger conflict. In that scenario, do you ease the root tensions driving the world insane? Or do you maximize those tensions, dig your heels in, and remake your entire society just to piss off the Rooskies? (Spoiler: you do the second thing and it becomes this podcast episode.)
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedian Chloe Radcliffe, comedian & podcaster John Moe, University of Minnesota historian Elaine Tyler May, and an amazing LIVE audience at Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul MN. They team up to explore the strangest, oddest, most bizarre ways America tried to win the Cold War — everything from social engineering to suburban sprawl to a bomb shelter for non-human Americans — and examine how those intentional societal shifts stick with us today.
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.