Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CRACKED #160 - Fly, Smythe, Fly!

by Pierre L.

Have a look at that cover! Awesome drawing. The ropes holding Sylvester up are great. But...stop looking there. Look up top. "Super Heroes! Roller Skating! etc..." Now, this is MAD Town. I'm not a fan of this sort of thing. It mars the cover. Severin always does such a great job...Are those blurbs needed? No. Of course not. Sigh. But...let's forget that and hop in.

POSTER: If this spot turns blue, evacuate area immediately. (Can you see where the rest of this poster is going?) Hooray! Pee Yellow backgrounds are back!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Seymour Errs - Here's our pruf rdder. Looks like a decent issue. I think. Let's step to the Lettuce...

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: "Your M*U*S*H was great!" (Can you guess the editor's response to that one?) Next issue - April 24th

SUPED-UPMAN - THE SATIRE: Seven pages! Almost as long as the movie. So...On the Planet Clipton, Klong and Whetola Gai Pan send their baby Moo Goo to Earth for some reason or other. They are plant people but the baby is Asian. But, he grows up to be a super Nerdlinger named Cluck Clone. He goes to the big city to work in a deli where his boss is an Indian named Running Water. (So, Cluck can call him "Chief".) A super villain named The Shoe hides all of the water in Smellville in a closet. Our hero saves the day and some of it is funny but some of it is just odd in the way that Star Wars II was odd back in #147. Sometimes the Cracked writers seems like they came from the planet Clipton.

CRACKED LOOKS AT RACING: Lots of "going really fast" gags. Lots of "really nice car" gags. Things like driving a mini-race car on the bumper car ride at a carnival. Whistling at a nice chassis. Things like that. I've never been a racing fan and this article hasn't changed my mind. Some great illustrations but a bit of a yawner.

A CRACKED EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE NEW FIRST CLASS, REGULAR AND ECONOMY AIRLINE FARES: It's just what it says. Three pages of pretty funny stuff. First Class - Champagne Regular - Soda: Bubbly or flat? ECONOMY - The Stewardess turns on a house and has everyone open their mouths. Restroom facilities? First Class and Regular share a bathroom but...The panel has a man standing outside the door with a stewardess holding a megaphone. She is asking the regular passenger to exit the lavatory as a First Class customer needs to go. "But, I'm not done, ma'am!" "I'm sorry sir! You know the rules!" And the economy? There's an outhouse...on the wing. This ones pretty good. The landing procedure for Economy is great. The stewardess just lifts the bench everyone is sitting on and dumps them out the door in-flight. Great stuff.

AND YET AGAIN STILL MORE FROM THE CRACKED LENS: Two pages of quick photo-filled mirth. Going strong...

CRACKED GUIDE TO ROLLER SKATING: Hey! Racing and now Roller Skating? Get out of here! Oh, it's real. Well, this is OK. Better than the racing. Jokes about buying expensive skates and how to turn around on a roller rink. (Hold out your arm and when someone runs into you - spin.) There is a roller derby joke. There are old people skating. There is all this stuff and I used to love having roller skating parties in school so the nostalgia of this article is better than the article. Can't fault it there. Thanks, CRACKED.

THE CLASSIFIED ADS OF THE FUTURE: Aliens and robots! Psychotherapist for Demented Robots - "Must be able to deal with the following robot ailments - Oilcoholism/ Rustophobia/ Overloaded Brain Circuits/ and so forth" Do you know which mouth of a Jovian you stick the thermometer into? You better if you want to be a registered nurse! And, Klinker's Sells Used Rockets. Not bad. At three pages, it's a breeze.

PHOTOON: Not the best of these one-pager photo gags but not bad.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY: Break Glass! At a barber shop, we have a toupee. At the health food store, we've got junk food. In the Cracked Editorial Office, we've got a book of old jokes. Stuff like that. At two pages, this is a quick scan and a smile.

THE LAYMAN'S GUIDE TO HOT AND COLD WEATHER: Hot on one side. Cold on the other...just like a McDLT. I love the art on this one but the jokes are so old..except the Abominable Snowman doubling as Santa because it's so cold. I feel like I've seen the "Cold" version of this in one issue and the "Hot" in another. Another quick read. This one is drawn with love but joked with less aplomb.

CRACKED PRESENTS SUPERHEROS OF THE FUTURE: Love it! Sideways...tilt! Fun. Five new goofy superheroes for folks to enjoy. They are:

1) Souperman - He's a guy whose body is a can of soup. He fights a giant can opener!

2) The Miraculous Mosquito Man - He looks a lot like Spider-Man except he's a mosquito fighting a giant can of RAID!

3) AUTO MAN! - He's a car. He fights crime. Ricardo Montalban loves him!

4) SUBMARINE MAN! - He's a man with the body of a sandwich! Two Italian peppers dance and sing "I'm a Pepper! You're a Pepper!"

5) THE BULK - Something about burping.

Funny Junk.

ONE AFTERNOON AT A STOP LIGHT - Not a bad one-pager but they've done better.

LYIN' BEAT: All your teen heatrthrobs and some Osmonds load this one up. It's loaded with gags and photos and lies and has a great fourth page...Peter Criss-related? You bet your ass!...This article's fine but it feels a bit too thick and a bit too predictable. The jokes don't really grab me. They've done things like this before (but I don't remember when) and it's been done better. Let's keep on movin' on...

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE I.Q. KING: It's a real smart, snotty kid. Nanny brings her nephew Dickie and he's real stupid. Jokes about how the kid was really smart from the day he was born mix with Dickie's awful puns and Nanny doesn't really do much of anything. I'm not sure why they brought her along. Oh, the kid gropes her on the final page. That must be it.


1 - Rat!
2 - Fat!
3 - Rat-a-tat-tat!

Total: It's Shut-Uperrific!

BACK COVER: Great Moments in Sports - A convict pole vaults over the prison walls. Is this comedy?

Not a bad issue. The hit and miss ratio is pretty solid. A fun read for a cold evening with a mug of cocoa. Oh, extra points for using "Clone!" as an insult, like "Nerd!". Merry Christmas everyone! CRACKED loves you!

Next issue: I don't remember. Something funny, no doubt.

Friday, December 19, 2008

CRACKED #159 - Space! Oh, that place.

May 1979
by Pierre L.

Folks, I apologize. It's been so long. I've been reading and I've been loving but I ain't been writing. I'm sorry. I will try to put up a few before the end of the year. Starting here...

Oh boy! Battlestar Galactica! Take it down! Great Cover! It has a real epic feel but Sylvester brings it all right down to the special place, the CRACKED place.

Let's step in...

CRACKED POSTER: "We're Experiencing Technical Difficulties. Do Not Adjust This Poster" And, the words are all wobbly. Nice. And...the background is black! What happened to the Pee Yellow we're so used to?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Luke N. Cee - pruf rdr" Can there be more love here? Awesome. Looks like a good line up although it's always tough to gauge from here. I think it will be fun...fun...fun.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: March 13th - Next issue! Pretty straight forward lettuce. I'm anxious to hop in to the fun. Let's go...

BATTLETSTAR GARLCTICA: Awesome title! You got it, guys! I always used to wonder about their breath on that ship! Nice! This is a swift 6-pager. With a lot of jokes about how they repeat the premise of the show a lot and how cheap the effects were (but they weren't...which is odd) and how they ripped off so many things. My favorite bit: The main guys crash on an unknown planet and it turns out to be...the Planet of the Apes! When one of the guys thinks this is going a bit far, the other says "When your show has the sets and effects of Star Wars, the plots of Star Trek and the intelligence of Lost in Space, no one's gonna notice one more little steal." He's right. I never liked this show but this parody is fun. Read on!

CRACKED MODERNIZES SONGS OF CHILDHOOD: MAD Ahoy! Oh man...Little illustrations alongside modernized versions of poems dealing with the Olympics, broken down cars, overspending wives, lazy farmers and Lawrence Welk...And more, of course...Here's one:

Ride Our White Ford
("Ride a White Cock to Banbury Cross")

Ride our white ford to Banbury Cross,
To buy jewelry, lipstick and cranberry sauce,
Plus panty hose, and dresses with bows--
My wife can spend money wherever she goes.

Hello, 1959! Oh well. Strong start grinds to a halt. I always thought my own personal "Best of Cracked" might be fun but I think you need everything from each issue to really appreciate CRACKED, even the articles that stink.

A CRACKED LOOK AT INDIRECT MESSAGES: You know...a cop in one panel says "Please step out of the car" but he really wants to draw his gun and say "You look suspicious so get out slow or I'll blast you!" Things like that. The way people are indirect and how CRACKED can simplify things. There's one funny one where a beautiful woman asks a man at a party what he does for a living. The direct method has her asking how much he makes so she'll know if she's wasting her time. This one's OK but I have a tough time getting too excited. Maybe it's warm in here and I'm getting logy.

THE CRACKED BOOK OF GAMES AND PUZZLES THAT ANYONE CAN SOLVE: Best article in this issue. One intro page and four sideways pages of puzzles like: Can you find the dog cleverly hidden in this picture? We see a suburban street and several houses. In between two of houses is an enormous dog. There's a crossword puzzle with three up squares and three down squares. DOWN: "If you followed the letter 'L' with an 'E' and a 'G', you would have the word ___" And, there's a game of Blind Man's Bluff where everyone is blindfolded except the person doing the looking. It's funny stuff and deserved to be the centerpiece of this issue. It almost is.

CLONE ADS OF THE FUTURE: Clone yourself so you can cheat on your wife! Clone yourself so you can work multiple jobs and make big bucks! Use the "Clone Coloring Service!" Clone yourself Ebony Black! "Find what it's like not to have to spend money on suntan oil." I like the art. The gags must have seemed 1,000 years old, even in 1979.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE IN A CRACKED HOSPITAL WHEN: Some pretty funny illustrations but the lead-in lines (above the pictures) are pretty blah. "...the crutches have termites." "...the nurses dress in black." "...the doctor starts doing the Hustle while listening to your heart." "...the scalpel is an old pizza cutter." Actually some of the drawings are really funny. But, the article is...ah...not much.

AND YET STILL MORE FROM THE CRACKED LENS: Four pages of charming still gags. These are generally fun and this batch is no different.

THE SCUBA DIVER: Pretty funny one-pager. Read and smile, I won't ruin it.

THE CRACKED HANDBOOK OF ACTING: 4 pages of gags about becoming an actor. Being an extra in a Raisin Bran commercial. (3rd Raisin) Practicing all your emotions. Finding an agent who won't rip you off. Stuff like that. Projecting on stage. (That looks like yelling!)A fun article. maybe a little text-heavy but it surfs along.

CRACKED'S ABSURD ALBUM OF MORE APPROPRIATE ACRONYMS: A pager. A bunch of wonderfully goofball acronyms...such as L.A.T.E. - Legion for Airline Travel Efficiency and J.U.N.K.F.O.O.D. - Just Unhealthy Nibbling Keeps Fatties Off Overdue Diets. There is one for Cracked Magazine but it's lengthy. I'll let you hunt it down.

M*U*S*H - Wow. What is this the 3rd or 4th MASH parody? This one features Winchester and a lot of really corny jokes but it's still fun. Almost like a vaguely reoccurring thing now. Some laughs in here. I may go back to the previous appearances and collate everything into a big ball of comedy...with a K!

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE SATURDAY MORNING CARTOON KING - Joe Banal is interviewed. He's asked why the animation in his shows is so bad and why the stories are so boring. But, he just gets defensive and yells at Nanny. I can't condone that, Jack! Banal, quite bein' a peckerhead! Pretty good interview. It really works if you remember how bad most Saturday Morning cartoons where back in the day.

1 - Tattoo
2 - Old Ladies
3 - Bank Robbers
Tattoo Lady Robbers!

Grade - Fun in your pants!

ONE DAY IN THE TROPICS: Back cover. A decent one-pager although the art is a little funky.

A decent issue. Nothing fantastic. Really has the feeling of coasting along, passing time. But, I think, things will pick up soon. (Trust me.)

Next issue: Super Huh?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

CRACKED 158: Galangasleeves! If you know what I mean...

March 1979
by Pierre L.

Hey! It's Mork! And, he's saying "Nah-No! Nah-No!" I'm afraid I cannot stop my sides from splitting. Look at the color of that cover! It's that yellow color that all the posters shine in! Is that an attractive color? I would have thought something warmer might grab the eye! Bright sun-yellow must have been a 1979 thing.

"If at first you don't succeed...try something easier!" Yellow is the new funny. Thanks for the poster, Cracked!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Mork it up, Mama! This is going to be great. Let's rush in!

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: January 30th - Next issue. Two pages of letters like this: "I don't think you print real letters from readers. I think you make them all up." Hey! That guy's a jerk! You don't talk to CRACKED like that!

MORK & MINDY: So good they didn't even fiddle with the title. If this came out around December 1978, then Mork-mania was at its height. The first season of the show was halfway done and it was in the top five shows. Network fiddling would immediately make the show begin to plummet with the start of the second season. But, for now, the show is the bee's knees. Shickba! On Sunday, I watched an episode that involved Mork racing the Roller Disco Champ of Boulder ("Dueling Skates" from Season Three). I didn't laugh but I did a few times at this CRACKED parody. Way to go, guys! And, is there much about this parody that is actually a parody? It seems to be a straightforward episode of the show. Interesting...So what is it if it's not a parody? I don't know but I smiled so that's worth something.

"I coughnaggled?"
"I'm afraid so."

CRACKED'S GUIDE FOR SPOTTING SELF-LOVERS: Two pages of stuff like "You send yourself telegrams on your birthday" and "Your phone doesn't ring--it applauds!" I'm not sure what this is doing here. CRACKED is not known for stellar pacing of it issues but this is so out of place after M&M that I forgot it was here until I reviewed it now.

AND STILL MORE FROM THE CRACKED LENS: They must have known how lame the last article was after all. Three pages of "gigglers!" There is a still from the 1974 film Deranged in here. Ed Gein and Cracked--A Potent combination!

"The Villain" - Great one-pager with a funny closing panel. Nice...

A CRACKED LOOK AT PHOBIAS: Dr. Ludwig von Ludwig shows us some phobias. Then, he shows us how he cured a woman of allurophobia (cats). This section has a strange panel that I don't quite understand. Normally, there is a joke in every panel, unless it's an obvious set-up. Well, this panel isn't a set-up. Dr. L is showing Mrs. Horsenagel a stuffed cat. "Come one Mrs. Horsenagel...pet Kitty...come on!" "What's her name?" "I just told you-Kitty!" Is that a joke? Is there a joke there? Regardless, it ends with some little known phobias:
Naborphobia - "A fear that Jim Nabors will suddenly appear on your TV screen."
Seedaphobia - "A fear of seeing seeded rye bread."
Those are my favorites.

SPECIAL INTEREST AND DIGEST MAGAZINES: I think that's the way the title's meant to be read. It's a little awkward. Unless...it's not an article from 1979. The art does not look like Severin's drawings from this period. They look like his stuff from the 60's. But, it does mention "Jaws" so I guess I'm wrong. It is humorous. Two pages of fake magazine covers for things like "Toy World" "Shyboy" and "Junk Food Reader's Digest". Worth a read. Why isn't this article listed in the Table of Contents?

CRACKED'S NEW SOON-TO-BE-A-FAD DIETS: Two pages of goofy diets. The Yankee Doodle and Water Diet is a good one. Go in the shower with your clothes on. Put the water on Super Hot. Dance around singing Yankee Doodle. If you get thirsty, drink some water. Do this until you're too tired to eat and need to sleep. They're real silly and fun. The Library and Egg Noodle Diet is another fun one. Make a batch of egg noodles and drain out the water. A friend takes the noodles into the library and hides one noodle each in a page of different books. You run through the library and when you find a noodle you eat it. Good stuff.

CRACKED TAKES A LOOK AT THE BIG CATS OF THE BIG TOP: Two pages of jokes about lions, tigers and lion tamers. And, holy crap, some of them are funny! Have they got new writers in for this issue? My favorite jokes? Thanks for asking. The tiger who lights his cigar on the flaming hoop. The lion who jumps through the hoop. It turns out he's two guys in a lion suit and the bottom half gets left behind. The lion who fights the lion tamer with the whip and the chair. The lion grabs the chair and has a seat.

We are cooking along here.

TESTIMONIAL ADS THE WAY THEY SHOULD BE: Reminds me too much of the magazine shtick from earlier and it's not as funny. Bookies on the phone. Mechanics ripping people off. Stuff like that. Let's move on.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO HORSEBACK RACING: Some funny bits here. I'm looking at it, trying to pick out some great bits but it's stuff like "Buy your horse new shoes". And, you see a horse in sneakers. "Put them in horse shows." We see two horses doing Romeo & Juliet. Stuff like that. You know how it works. I'd really been enjoying the short articles and swift verve of much of this issue. This article would be perfect at two or three pages but four is too typical.

YOUR DENTIST IS YOUR FRIEND: Dr. Gingivae tells us all to go to the dentist. Everything he does is related to teeth (reading Jaws, visiting the home of the man who invented dentures, a dentist chair in his living room) and he smiles a lot. In the end, it turns out...[SPOILER AHEAD]...He hasn't been to the dentist in two years! The punchline isn't great but it's a smiling two-pager.

PHONE SERVICES OF THE FUTURE: "Dial-An-Insult" "Dial-a-Patsy" "Dial-a-Proposal" We read the description and then see it acted out. The man proposing by phone to his girlfriend who is sitting right in front of him. The man holding up the phone to insult his wife. Henny Youngman, CRACKED has your gags! They're storing them in Issue #158! Only two pages, though.

NIC BAD NEWS RAZOR: A very funny one page ad with an actual person in it. It's an ad parodying the new disposable razors that came out around this time. Apparently, they weren't that great. "If you blow into the handle of the New Nic Bad News Disposable Razor, it Whistles!"

LUE GRUNT: Oh well, let's wind down. We're back in normal CRACKED land now. I've never seen Lou Grant so I had a bit of a tough time paying attention. It's all about Lou trying to get a big story. There's a fat lady making pasta that's pretty funny but apart from that it's standard parody. A few smiles and a bunch of groaners. It's not bad. It's just not as funny as the Mork & Mindy article.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE HEALTH NUT KING: Nanny isn't really exposing anything here. She is just hanging out with Mr. Al Phalfa whose entire family is involved in every health fad around. He does try to charge Nanny for a seaweed shake in the end (because they're so busy being healthy that they don't have jobs) but he's not a shyster. They are trying to stay healthy; they're just a bit goofy about it. 8 hours of jogging everyday. They take 47 vitamins a day. They put filters up their noses for fresh breaths. Stuff like that. It's not really that funny because not everyone can have Nanny's figure so I'm slightly confused here. It's not hard hitting journalism. What is it?

1 - A Man
2 - A Mustache
3 - The hope for a better Tomorrow

Total - Sherlock Holmes is in this one!

BACK COVER: Something about a cannibal eating his neighbors. It's fun.

Apart from the slips back into "Regular" cracked style articles, this is a great issue. Filled with all sorts of little bits that are pretty darn charming. Well done, Cracked. Let's keep this up.

Next time: To outer space...again!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

#157 - The Covers are normally so inviting

January 1979
by Pierre L.

Well, the cover is "Heaven Can Wait". There's Warren Beatty. There's Sylvester. I gotta say that I'm really not that thrilled when Cracked covers remind me of Mad. I know they were basically a ripoff but I don't really like Mad. There are things Cracked does that are pure Cracked. That's what I like. When they put popular movies from the time on the cover that folks could really care less about now (or that haven't entered the popular culture), I get tired. Let's see if the insides are more delightful.

POSTER: 1-pager "Due to lack of interest, next week has been indefinitely postponed." I'm not sure where you would hang this. Did 13-year-old boys have their own work cubicles in November 1978? That yellow background really distracts.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: I see Jimmy Carter and a man with a plunger. That's promising.* Imogene E. Uss - Guess what member of the staff that is?

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - December 19 There's a letter here where a guy says he liked their parody of High Noon from a few issues back. He asks if they'll do more. They tell him to flip to page 39. I've always wondered... How long does a letter like this sit around before they use it? "Hey, we're gonna do another Western-type spoof. You still have that letter from that one guy." "Sure. Put it in there. It'll make it seem like we take the reader's requests." "Excellent, Mr. S!"

HEAVEN'LL WAIT: A thoroughly average parody of a tremendously average remake of a decent film. I remember this film being one of the first times I had heard how absolutely great a film was and then, when I finally saw it, I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. I rarely laughed. I was kind of bored. The whole thing was somewhat underwhelming. And I was, like, 10 or 11 years old. Part of me thinks I was too young. Part of me knows I was right: This movie was overrated. I can't draw up much strength to read a parody. It just reminds me of boredom and disappointment. Next!

FAMILY TREE PEDIGREE: Genealogy Bop! It starts at a party where folks joke about their family trees. It then proceeds to in-depth reporting on how people find out about their ancestors. There are jokes about old people getting drafted and families accused of being witches. There's a funny page on different coats-of-arms. The jokes feel old although they aren't really. All right, this is Cracked. This is the Cracked we know and love. I'm not laughing but I'm smiling.

CRACKED EXAMINES TELEPHONE ANSWERING MACHINES: Did you know that the answering machine was invented over 100 hundred years before the telephone? Did you know that people screen their calls through the machines? Did you know...so many wonderful things? This article's all right. It's all about the way folks use their answering machines to make themselves seem more interesting or important. Laughs? One or two. A quick, breezy read.

BRINGING NILE STYLE TO THE POTOMAC: Make everything in Washington D.C. into Egyptian stuff. Jimmy Carter gets a tomb shaped like a giant peanut! Use a system of bartering! It might involve back issues of Cracked! Spend some time under the Tax Shelter Pyramid! All these things and more are ours in this rather half-baked article that never quite takes off! Oh well...

SNAPPY INSULTS TO STUPID STATEMENTS: I'll take one example and you can judge from there:

A guy is yawning and stretching in the foreground. Our "Snappy Insult Man" (I call him Mortimer) is in the background.

Yawner: "I'm not lazy."
Mortimer: "You love work - you could sit and watch it all day."
"The only exercise you get is by watching horror movies and letting your skin crawl."
"You stick your nose outside so the wind can blow it."

This is why CRACKED is the best around, best in town.

THE BOOK-A-MONTH CLUB: Very cool two-pager. It looks exactly like a "Book of the Month Club" ad. "Heidi Gets a Hernia" & "Charo's Guide to Speaking Gooder English" are my favorite titles. It has all the elaborate rules that made people end up buying tons of books they didn't want. This is a good article. Where'd it come from? It's higher quality than the stuff around it (although that stuff has it's charms). Did they rent this out from someone else?

YOU LIKE TO LIVE DANGEROUSLY WHEN: You print an article that looks like it may be a reprint from 1962. One page. Harmless. "...you ask the boss who that ugly broad is in the picture on his desk." "...you practice juggling with your Mother's best china."

STILL MORE FROM THE CRACKED LENS: It's three pages. It's got some laughs. If you like The Cracked Lens (and what fan of Cracked dislikes it, I wonder?), then this will keep you happy for a while. One of the frames is from "The New Treasure Hunt" game show. I remember that one with fondness and love.

CRACKED'S I'M O.K. Test: Stuff like "Are you reluctant to meet new people?" being asked as a man is shoved into a cell with tough looking characters inside. "Do you ever get the feeling that you're being followed?" is asked as a robber is being chased by a gang of cops. The basic joke layout is obvious. Contradictory drawings and questions. But, the "O.K." angle makes it a little odd. You calculate everything and learn whether or not you're "O.K." I'm a little confused on the whole concept. The article has some nice moments but, like the Nile Style article from earlier, it feels like one person had an idea and someone else finished it. But, the second person didn't quite understand what the first person was getting at.

PHOTOON: These are always fun. A one pager. A joy.

-Built-In TV Repairman Lie Detector
-Micro-Mini Set (behind your eyelids for sleeping)
-Fan Participation Set (ejects a football when your team scores so you can spike it)
-TV Brain Stimulator (jolts your brain to keep it alive during TV day)
-TV-News-Show Picture reducer (makes the news really small)
-TV Editor Set (edits all objectionable material out of shows)
-Magnetic Set (a magnet attaches to your ass so the TV follows you around)
-Audio Canned Response (adds applause and laughs to politicians speeches)
-Obnoxious Personality Eliminator (blacks out audio and video for people you hate)
-Automatic Distorted Picture Corrector (a big boot that kicks reception back in)
-360 Degrees Screen (Run around The Fonz)
-Video Message Flasher (Better than yelling at your kids)
-Program Standby Device (You stop the show when you have other things to do!)
-Video-Disco Simulator (This may have limited use.)

THE ADVENTURES OF THE MASKED BANDITO: It's got really fun art and it's six pages long. I don't know if I laughed but I enjoyed it. It's Zorro-esque with Tonto included. It's not as great as the Beach Party parody but it's got its charms. Actually, I may be overpraising it. It's a good read but nothing spectacular. There---I may be under praising it. Or, maybe, I don't know what I'm talking about.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE APARTMENT KING: Mr. Len Lease=shady. Nanny=pulling down the shade! Nanny does it. She goes in with her chest out and exposes the chicanery. He has small apartments. He recycles washing machine water from load to load. He is a load. $300 fine for walking on the grass! But, there is nothing but grass! Love it! Sometimes Nanny really makes me smile.

1 - Skunk it!
2 - Choke it!
3 - Rope it!
Total: Brownian Motion

There is an iron-on. "Who's Perfect?" Sylvester has two sets of eyes! I wonder how many boys got beaten senseless with this on their shirt in 1979.

Oh Lord!

Happy-Daze Shut-Ups
The Fonz, Potsie, Joanie, Mr. C and Ralph. My my, this is how you end an issue.

No ratings, just awesome.

A decent issue. It has its moments but is missing a bit of that "crack" that I love to see from "Cracked". It is worth it, though, for the Book of the Month club and the back cover. Joy!

Next issue: Now, this is how you do a cover...apart from the background color.

* I wrote it but I don't know if it's meant sarcastically.

Friday, January 18, 2008

CRACKED #156: I think he got confused because the word has two meanings

by Pierre L.
December 1978

Come on, Travolta! Great cover. Sylvester seems to be hurting the stars of Grease on purpose. I've wiped my feet. I'm stepping inside. Join me.

POSTER: "Danger! Radioactivity!" And, on the bottom, "Do not enter. I am listening to the radio!" Not bad. Definitely yellow. Bright, bright yellow.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: "GREASE is the word! But Sylvester is taking it too literally!" I still think he looks like he's having fun doing it.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: November 7 - Next issue. Finally, there are two pages here. I'll try to scan them so you can wallow in it.

GREASED!: 7-pages of parodies with various Happy Days characters making cameo appearances. There a whole mess of songs, with my favorite being:

"33 - 33
That's the age of the cast!
33 - 33
Man, our youth is long past!"

A great tune about how no one here is a teenager. The parody moves very methodically through the entire movie. I've seen the movie. Saw it in the theater. It's fun. This parody made me relive it. To be honest, there are other things I would have preferred to relive. Regardless, it's a decent parody to start us off...

FUN CITY OLYMPICS: "Why New York [City] lost the 1984 Summer Olympics" It could have had something to do with the new events they proposed. 1) 100-Meter Mugging 2) Short Person's Jousting 3)Team Looting 4) Two-Mile Run Escape 5) Fencing (You guessed it) 6) Pedestrian bowling. People get hurt. Monsters show up in Central Park. It's all great. So, what exactly was the reason why Los Angeles won the 1984 Summer Olympics? I have a feeling that might be funnier than this.

PHOTOON: This is a great photo-panel one-page gag. It's actually rather complex. What magazine is this? Oh, still CRACKED. Hmm...Where'd this come from?

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO SAILING: Oh yeah, this is CRACKED all right. Problems with wind and sharks and alligators. Sailing around but not accomplishing much. A panel says "...you might want to race your boat." Yes, a man is shown racing a boat. The final panel is a man in an above-ground swimming pool in his sailboat. Matter-of-fact captions followed by goofy drawings. This one isn't doing much for me. I don't know why. Pretty average.

IFFY U.F.O. INFO: A great magazine on U.F.O. culture. There's some real verve here. A great article on how to take photos of things like Frisbees and crop the photo to make it look like a U.F.O. There are ads for official looking badges that you can show aliens when they land. We have "Eyewitness reports" from farmers, hippies and dogs. Stuff like that. Quite charming.

This issue is really mixing up the fun with the blah. There is a CRACKED formula in here somewhere. I will weed it out.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF APPLIANCES: MAD! Check Issue #57! There's going to be a 4-page hole in the center of it. I know where those four pages went. This article is four pages of old jokes about kids playing in refrigerator boxes and wives buying freezers and lots of meat and then going out to eat because everything is frozen. It's nostalgic fun now but would I have thought that when I was 8 or 9 and first reading this? Strangeness.

CRACKED PRODUCTS FOR EVERYDAY USE: Strange products with a touch of CRACKED. "Smoke Away". When you light up, point Smoke Away at your face. It sprays you with water. "Doggy Plasti-Coat" It covers your dog in plastic so it can't get dirty. "ICE-O-BERG" A giant iceberg and a giant ice pick for your evening drink. Stuff like that. it's two pages long and I can't quite figure out the point but it's OK.

ONE AFTERNOON IN THE PARK: An old man feeds pigeons in this one-pager. I liked it.

MORE OF THE CRACKED LENS: Two pages of photos with funny inside! Good stuff. I always enjoy these.

POPULAR SONGS FOR EVERYDAY WORKING PEOPLE: Mad! Come back! There's more. Chemists, babysitters, teachers, chimney sweeps (?) and others get songs about them. The Taxman has one set to "I've Been Working on The Railroad". Never liked these sorts of articles. They are two word-heavy and in order for them to work you have to sing the lyrics. And, the lyrics are all pretty inane. It's too much work for too little comedy reward. And, there's always a song I don't know in here.

THREE'S CRUMMIER: It rightfully points out that Three's Company has a lot of shtick and innuendo in it. Rockford and Hugh Hefner show up for some reason. And, it goes along touching upon all the cliches of the show. You know, I've said this before, I've read it but I can no longer remember it. I think it goes on a bit too long. And, it borders on MAD-overcrowding. Too many people saying too many things in each panel. Not bad but nothing spectacular.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE PSYCHIC KING: The psychic king is actually a woman who looks a lot like Nanny. She seems to be a fake at first. But, then, she looks like a real psychic. The two of them stroll around town and do psychic stuff like finding missing persons. This issue is real MAD-like. Too mad like. It's dragging the issue down.

I'm swimming in a thick stew of CRACKED and I don't like it. Let's get back on track, guys.

1 - Joy
2 - Fear
3 - Magic!

Total - Aren't the Shut-Ups great?

BACK COVER: LANDING ON MARS - A funny one-page no-dialog comic finishes the issue.

This one is not a favorite of mine. There are some great bits: Photoon and the U.F.O. thing. But, much of it is endless. I'm slogging through this one and I wish it was lighter and airy and funnier. What's next? I've forgotten. But, I do think it will be something better.

Next issue: I don't remember!