Michael Swaim

Michael Swaim is a writer, actor, editor, rapper, producer, director, stand-up and sketch comedian, quesadilla eater, enthusiastic if unfocused lovemaker, and Content Manager of Cracked.com, because the higher you ascend up the corporate ladder, the vaguer-sounding your job title becomes. He hopes to one day claw his way to the vaunted position of Executive Person. Michael will be survived by his loving wife and 2.4 children, and his Tennessee bloodhound, Flip.

Guest Appearances

November 23, 2017

John Hughes month continues on Cracked Movie Club! There’s no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than by watching John Hughes’ 1987 film Planes, Train and Automobiles, his first adult-centered feature after a string of teen angst hits. Although not a big hit when it was released, the movie has gone on to be arguably Hughes’ best liked film, as well as one of the best liked films of its two stars, Steve Martin and John Candy (Candy’s terrible mustache notwithstanding).

On this week’s episode, Tom is joined by Cracked’s Michael Swaim and comedian Matt Braunger as they discuss how John Hughes’ classic road trip movie became an unspoken classic, how the film’s stars managed to perform a near 200 page screenplay without committing any major felonies, and whether or not John Candy’s character is actually a vampire.

October 9, 2017

New York. Paris. Tokyo. Miami. Even if you’ve never been to these cities (and sometimes, even if you have) the visions that come rushing to your mind at the mere mention of their names are images from movies. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton on a park bench in front of the Queensboro Bridge, Scarlett Johansson wandering through Shibuya Crossing, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy doing Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy things in a boat on the Seine.

It’s a cliché, but certain world cities become characters in the movies in which they are set. And sometimes, **cough cough Judd Apatow**, movies are just set in the Los Angeles suburbs for no discernible reason other than the actors and director didn’t want to travel very far to get to work.

On this week’s podcast, inspired by and recorded in New York, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked’s Daniel Dockery, Brett Rader and Michael Swaim, as well former Cracked columnist Cher Martinetti, to discuss their 9 favorite movie locales and lay a city-sized crown on the one they think is the best place to set a movie.

Foot notes: https://goo.gl/xyX2qM

September 18, 2017

If you’re a movie fan in 2017, you’re hard pressed to find many original sci-fi films. There are a lot more Alien: Covenants and Blade Runner: 2 0 49s than Ex Machinas. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just sometimes sci-fi fans want to experience something new, something fresh, something that’s not in the Transformers expanded universe.

I mean, it’s 2017. There are new planets and technologies being discovered every day. Surely some of them would make for the basis of a good sci-fi movie.

So on this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt puts together a panel to research as many new and groundbreaking science stories as possible and pitch them as sci-fi movies. He’s joined live in New York at the Now Hear This podcast festival by Cracked’s Brett Rader and Michael Swaim, and comedians Claudia Cogan and Negin Farsad to discuss sense vests, head transplants, robot vines and more.

Links, footnotes and more: https://goo.gl/1NdCEy

This episode is brought to you by Stamps.com (www.stamps.com code: CRACKED) and Casper Mattresses (www.casper.com/cracked).

September 11, 2017

Another summer in the books, another summer of somewhat pleasing comic book movies. Wonder Woman was good! So was Spiderman! Guardians of the Galaxy was…a movie! What’s next? Oh no. Don’t say it. 

Justice League. [cue the sound of failure from The Price is Right]

All we’re saying is there are tons of great indie comics and obscure graphic novels that would make awesome movies that aren’t necessarily about super-powered people. So that’s what we’re talking about on this week’s podcast.

Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked’s resident comic experts Michael Swaim and Randall Maynard to pitch movie versions of 11 of their favorite un-adapted comics, including the Jodorowsky/Moebius collaboration that Luc Besson should’ve made before Valerian, a graphic novel that’s Casper the Friendly Ghost meets Lord of the Rings, and the Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) series that should get a adapted next.


Links, sources and footnotes: https://goo.gl/PvpZHu

July 3, 2017

For many people, filmmaking begins and ends with the director. We call it a director’s medium. It’s their vision that guides the entire production and it’s their name that gets the praise when a movie is good, and gets dragged through the mud when a movie stinks. While that’s somewhat accurate, it’s completely forgetting about the hundreds of artists, technicians, producers and craftsmen who bring equal skill to the table and without whom our favorite movies would be totally different.

Take Tim Burton, for example. His films have a “look,” right? Edward Scissorhands, Pee-Wee’s Great Adventure and Beetlejuice sort of exemplify Burton taking atomic age nostalgia and running it through the prism of Dr. Seuss on acid. Burton gets the credit for it, but all of those films (and a huge swath more) were art designed by the same guy, Rick Heinrichs. Without Heinrich’s input, who knows what those movies would look like or if any of them would be as instantly memorable as they are now.

Alex Schimdt welcomes Michael Swaim and Matt Gourley (Superego, I Was There Too, James Bonding) to talk about people like Heinrichs. Unknown artists who have had as much of a guiding hand in modern cinema as your Spielbergs, Lucases and Scorseses, but who you’ve never heard of. 

And if you’re in Los Angeles in July, make sure to come to our next live podcast taping. On Saturday July 8th at 7:00pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre, former zoo tour guide and current Cracked Podcast host Alex Schmidt will be joined by Cracked’s Daniel O’Brien and Katie Goldin as well as comedians Caitlin Gill, Joey Clift and Matt Kirshen as they discuss snakes, hippos, octopuses and every other animal that could Planet-0f-the-Apes us if they tried. Tickets are only $7 and available here: https://goo.gl/rVhzPC

Also, make sure to subscribe to our new podcast, Cracked Movie Club! Why? Because almost every movie you love is secretly insane. Join co-hosts Tom Reimann and Abe Epperson (plus special guests) for a journey through the secrets, strangeness, and fan theories behind movies you’ll never see the same way again. And every month focuses on one director’s work, building a case for exactly why Hollywood’s greatest minds are weirder than you ever thought possible.

To get the first two episodes when they premiere on July 13th, type in, “Cracked Movie Club” into wherever you get your your podcasts or subscribe here on Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/fQ2o72


Article: Fast Company: How Ben Burtt Designed The Sounds of Star Wars: https://goo.gl/CaLwxe

Article: io9: The Most Unforgettable Creations of HR Giger: https://goo.gl/NXD7Qt

Article: Telegraph: Ken Adam: The Man Who Drew the Cold War: 

Video: Alex McDowell Lecture on Design and Storytelling: https://goo.gl/zn3f2C

Article: Wired: After Pee Wee and ‘Tonight, Tonight,’ Artist Wayne White is Reborn: https://goo.gl/Yz7mTx

Video: Roger Deakins Featurette: https://goo.gl/B3bHHa

Article/Podcast: NPR: The Story Behind the Stunts: Remembering Hal Needham: https://goo.gl/h9iHp1

Article: Vice: Meet The Most Prolific Stuntman of All Time: https://goo.gl/WRVWv1

Article: Vanity Fair: Meet the Most Powerful Woman in Hollywood: https://goo.gl/MYJjMu

Article: Playbill: The Other Chenoweth: Casting Director Gives Stage Actors Their Film Careers: https://goo.gl/Vc3cES

Video: Trailer for ‘Casting By’: https://goo.gl/jscnYK

Article: Wired: Love Classic Star Trek? You Owe A Huge Debt To Gene L. Coon: https://goo.gl/81CEY1

Video: Godley & Creme: Cry: https://goo.gl/yNcQFk

Article: New Yorker: What Kind of A Genius is Max Martin: https://goo.gl/TQj7IU

Article: Vanity Fair: John Barry: The Man Who Knew The Score: https://goo.gl/oV7cQa

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace (www.squarespace.com code: CRACKED) and ZipRecruiter (www.ziprecruiter.com/CRACKED).

June 5, 2017

Serious Talk. It’s Jack’s last episode. After 11 years at Cracked, our intrepid editor-in-chief and podcast host extraordinaire Jack O’Brien is hanging up the cleats to tackle new projects, end world hunger and find the Zodiac killer.

But that doesn’t mean this podcast is going anywhere. Jack is joined this week by NEW Cracked Podcast host Alex Schmidt as they sit down with Michael Swaim, Daniel O’Brien, Soren Bowie and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to reminisce over Jack’s 11 years of service, how they all landed at Cracked and their favorite Cracked Podcast topics from the first 182 episodes.

To keep up with Jack, be sure to follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/jack_obrien

To follow your new Cracked Podcast host, you can find him on Twitter: twitter.com/alexschmidty

And if you need some hot new threads for the summer, be sure to check out our new Cracked Podcast MERCH: https://goo.gl/2J8Nh3

Also, be sure to come see the next live taping of the Cracked Podcast on Saturday, June 10th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theater in Los Angeles. Guests inlcude Daniel O’Brien, Tom Reimann, Jamie Loftus (The Bechdel Cast) and Dave Schilling (Bleacher Report, Grantland, Vice) as the Cracked crew discusses insane behind the scenes stories from movies and tv shows. Tickets are $7 and available here: https://goo.gl/lsCBDm


Video: TED: James Flynn: Why Our IQ Levels Are Higher Than Our Grandparents: https://goo.gl/MMRp4L

Video: Clip from Fractured Flickers: https://goo.gl/UPBhG2

Book: Michael Shermer: Why People Believe Weird Things: https://goo.gl/fXBHp7

Podcast: Cracked: Insane Simpsons Easter Eggs (Explained By Simpsons Writers): https://goo.gl/zhfWQb

Podcast: Cracked: More Simpsons Writer’s Room Stories (From a Simpsons Writer): https://goo.gl/7HVBM6

Book: Daniel O’Brien: How to Fight Presidents: https://goo.gl/yXfDjH

Article: Esquire: Todd Marinovich: The Man Who Never Was: https://goo.gl/C89avK

Podcast: Cracked: Why Class in America Isn’t About Income: https://goo.gl/2tliZx

Article: Siderea: Class (American): https://goo.gl/tlmX4S

Article: Slate Star Codex: Staying Classy: https://goo.gl/2eYdF6

Article: Slate Star Codex: I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup: https://goo.gl/ZrwgcS

This episode is brought to you by Squarespace (www.squarespace.com code: CRACKED) and Harry’s (www.harrys.com/CRACKED).