Thursday, September 24, 2009
by Pierre L.
They are back. Is this their...fourth cover or fifth? I forget. It has been some time, though. And, the show goes on...This issue came out around August 11th, 1981. Season Nine would have been starting soon. Boy, that show was on for a while. I wonder what new things they have to parody.
Oh, what about that big blue box behind them? Classy!
INSIDE FRONT COVER: "Everyone Here Brings Happiness...some by coming in, others by leaving." Have truer words ever been spoken? Not here, Jack.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Dick Shunary - I think he's been our proof reader before. Hey! JR again! I like JR? Hey, he's the man you love to hate! I wonder if people who he's wronged say that. "Well, he blackmailed me with a prostitute and ruined my career and caused me to go insane...I can't help but love the guy."
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: There is a letter from a man in Australia. It is printed upside down. The comedy is all there, stretched out before you. Next issue - September 22nd. I was beginning 3rd grade. The height of my time with CRACKED had begun!
MASHED: (I didn't include the stars. I got Pierre-sized lazy.) Turns out they have nothing more to say. This one kind of stumbles from vague re-heated joke to vague re-heated joke (Col. Blake makes another reappearance) and then ends. The panels are very large, which leads me to believe that "Popular Demand" wanted them back but the writer's were dry. Klinger tries to start another war and we get shots of the Doctors in the Revolutionary War and helping The Three "Moosketeers". It's innocuous and I had to make sure I didn't miss something when I wad done because it's very light. As light as it is, it's not bad. It just doesn't start things with a kick.
DULL VS. EXCITING: You know that this isn't the kick I was looking for. Dull on one side. Exciting on the other. Reading Material - The Autobiography of Morris the Cat DULL! CRACKED EXCITING! It goes like that for three pages. (They still can't find anything exciting about TV, circa 1981. Doctor Who was pretty interesting then. Go British!)
Did I really enjoy articles like this when I was 8-11 or 12? I can't imagine so because I find them so bland now. I would imagine I did this:
Grab the issue of the magazine rack of Wegmans or Bell's.
Buy it with allowance or begging.
Slowly flip through the issue. Looking at everything, smiling.
Read all the bits I'm interested in (MASH, for example).
Then, go back and read all the bits that didn't grab me the first time.
I would wring all 90 cents worth of value out of it.
But, I think these sorts of articles wouldn't have grabbed me.
Maybe I'll note "DULL" or "EXCITING" on the articles from now on as a gauge to whether or not I would have liked it as a child. Good idea.
ONE EVENING IN A POSH MIDWESTERN RESTAURANT: Funny one pager. EXCITING
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) Part VII: EXCITING!, just like your mamma. A good round of the LENS. As readers know, I've always loved this bit. This one doesn't have an all-time favor tie in it but it's good for some yuks.
CRACK UPS! FEATURING SAGEBRUSH: EXCITING! Why not love Sagebrush?
NEW PRODUCTS TO MAKE KIDS FEEL EVEN MORE LIKE ADULTS: DUCITING! I don't think I'd now on this one. There are some amusing bits...The Custody Doll that is given to two girls at once. The Barbie Dream Home that has a mortgage. It's fun stuff and I love the art. But, I don't know if it would have grabbed me a kid. Possibly at three pages I would have breezed through and moved on.
CRACK UPS! FEATURING: THE PSYCHIATRISTS: EXCITING! I always liked the one-panel gags.
THE 15 WARNING SIGNALS OF HYPOCHONDRIA: DULL! Sorry. 15 panels. 15 things. I'm looking at it and can't get my eyes to read anything here. I'm pretty sure, as a kid, this would have sent me to Snooze Town. Hey! That one lady doesn't breath while visiting her sick friend. And someone else does something that I've forgotten but relates to the theme... Oh well.
CRACKED WORD PLAY: EXCITING! GARAGE SALE! I love it. This is a fun bit. Someone is actually working to get this bit done and I applaud them.
THE ZIGGY STARDOPPLE HANDBOOK TO TENNIS: Umm..DULL! It tries. Ziggy is a rotten Tennis Player who somehow gets to write a book. And, although the last part of that sentence describes the modern day world of publishing, I would have just shrugged at this far too busy and not very funny article. It's not quite a CRACKED guide and it's not quite something new and exciting.
YE HANG UPS: EXCITING! Some yuks. That's all I ask for.
HOW MODERN INVENTIONS WOULD HAVE CHANGED HISTORY: I don't know. It's two pages and it's done by that artist who makes things funny. But, it's just a series of short jokes about typewriters and food processors and sewing machines and things like that getting in the way of historical events. Not always in a good way. I think I would have read it and enjoyed it and hoped that the next article wasn't a parody of a rotten sitcom.
ALUCE: Crap. DULL show. EXCITING to read. It's just jokes about Aluce, Smell and Smeara. The food is lousy. Aluce is sassy. Smeara is stupid. Aluce's son shows up and does nothing. A guy condemns the diner. All in a day's work. I don't like the show but I like this parody. I guess that's the point. My God! This show was on for 9 seasons and had 202 episodes! The hell! Who watched this?
THE J.R. GIFT CATALOGUE FOR THE SUPER RICH: EXCITING - now and then but for different reasons. Then, I would have loved the gadgets. An Instant Vaporizer. A Life-Sized Monopoly Game. A huge "Camping Complex" for roughing it. It would have sparked my mind and made me smile. Now - it's JR. It's Dallas. It's awesome. Loved it!
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE GREETING CARD KING: DULL! Yeah, unfortunately. I would have struggled then and I struggle now. I used to love Nanny so much but my verve has faded with time. She chats with a guy named ACE who makes greeting cards. There are funny cards, insulting cards and a card that ships you to your friend. It's OK. I was always disappointed that they ended issues like this. I guess I still am.
SHUT - UPS:
1 - Desert
2 - Fat Lady
EXCITING! Please, of course it is.
IRON-ON (incl. on back cover): Sylvester painting CRACKED on your shirt! I guess this is OK. No real joke. More of a CRACKED ad.
A decent issue. Half DULL, Half EXCITING. I guess that's what we should expect from here on in.
Next issue: That's a lot of pop culture!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
by Pierre L.
It's not a bad cover but the whole cheapness of these things is getting to me. Where's the background? Why are the three robbers blue? They are not actually filled in. They're just outlines. It's as if no one filled them in. Was it really that expensive to actual fill in the cover? Isn't the cover the selling point of your issue? Why not put some life into it? "Hey Severin, draw Sylvester locking the Greatest American hero into a phone booth so he can't go after some robbers." "OK." "But, don't do anything with the robbers, just outline them." "Huh?" "Yeah. We may or may not color them. t saves ten bucks." "Why not fill the background in with beautiful colors and...?" "Don't say it." "...well, like MAD." "No!!!!"
POSTER: Inside front cover only. It's pink. A chart that shows "Prices", "Quality", "Jobs" and "Pollution". It works. It's comedy. It's alive.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Amy Stake" is back as the prufe reeder. I see Gary Coleman!
Robert C. Sproul, publisher
Bill Sproul, editor
Marion Sproul, associate editor
Joe Catalano, contributing editor
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - August 11th. In general, folks really enjoy the magazine. Thank Goodness. I'm still a bit iffy on it since we entered the 80's. Maybe it has something to do with a Sproul Overload. "Too Many Sprouls Spoil The Broth."
AMERICA'S GREATEST HERO: This is actually about as fun as the show, which I never quite understood. It seems like, premise-wise, this should be the most fun show ever. Why did it stink so bad? And, why is this parody not up to much? I shrug at it and watch the jokes fly at me. Oh CRACKED, can we break the formula!
THE CRACKED BOOK OF HANDY HINTS: Various things you can do to save cash and make a stash! "If you're out of perfume, but still want to drive your date wild, dab a little cocoa behind your ear." "Want a quick way to remove old, icky, unsightly bumper stickers from your car?" Hit it with a sledgehammer! (There is a fat lady here!) If Junior puts a mark on the wall, hang a painting over it. Even if it's real low! The bit has some smiles and some cool drawings. We picked it up!
STILL MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOT: This bit has become like The CRACKED LENS except with a lot more reading. Sid Melton is in one of the pictures. He played Alf Monroe on GREEN ACRES. It's odd...I think that the CRACKED LENS articles are becoming less funny as this article begins to take over.
Am I becoming cynical over CRACKED? Ghumdrop, talk to me! I miss you.
WHAT WE'LL MISS WHEN THE 80's BECOME THE 'GOOD OLD DAYS': People use laserwave dishwashers and read comic books on microfilm and have fifteen digit zip codes and there are a lot of clones and robots do housework. And, aren't these bits from 1958?
THINGS WE CAN DO WITHOUT: Well...
"Being Unable to Examine Something Before Buying It"
"Someone tall sitting in front of you at a movie theatre"
"Parents Making Excuses"
"Always being the one singled out in class"
"Always getting unfair treatment"
"Always being chosen last"
They're right. Let's do without them!
THE JR FAMILY PHOTO ALBUM: I love Dallas. I read this bit, which is mostly about JR being very rich. Makes we want to watch this show. At this moment, Season 11 is out on DVD. Where the hell is Season 12? What about that Season 11 cliffhanger? I won't ruin it but...JR is a jerk...again.
CRACKED WORD PLAY: The first time this has appeared. Two pages of fun word games. The first one? "VISION/VISION" = Double Vision. "ENDSENDS" = Making ends meet. I enjoy these bits although I think the solutions are always a little too close to the puzzles. I always tend to pick ahead.
THE FACTORS OF LIFE: Lots of Gary Coleman appearances. This is like the first appearance of Laverne & Shirley back in #135. The Fonz keeps appearing to boost the parody. Here, Gary Coleman keeps appearing. The Art is awesome in this one but the jokes are kind of "Ahhh". Not so great but it's a more fun read than The Greatest American Hero bit at the beginning. At 7 pages, however, this might go on too long.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) Part VI: Three pages. Some laughs. I am worried that this bit might be running out of steam. I think they replaced the original writer.
THE CRACKED GUIDE TO GOLF: Captions that get punned out by the drawings. "First, you'll need some clubs". We see a guy and his singing and rug collector's club. No... "Ah, let's put it another way. You'll need a set of irons." There is a man with a handful of steam irons. Can you guess what "a bag to hold your clubs?" involves. (See below) In fact, the constant punning on terminology wears me out by the end of Page Three.
JOBS YOU NEVER DREAMED SOMEONE DOES: "Door Knob Designer" "Baseball Seam Stitcher" "Dice Spot Painter" "Manhole Cover Designer". Two pages of quick "yuks yuks" and roll on.
IN THE ELECTRONIC GAME ROOM: A very funny video arcade related one-pager. Good joke.
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE VIDEO KING: A guy who records everything. He doesn't care what it is; he tapes it. And, he has a big wife that dresses exactly like Nanny. it's a little odd. Nanny sort of strolls through this one and asks questions and the guy tapes a lot of things and we move on...
1 - Arrest!
2 - Bus!
3 - Slide!
ABS! Thank you, Cracked!
INSIDE BACK COVER: Your "Money Making" Iron-On!
Do you know what that means? And, if you do, can you tell me why it's funny? There's possibly too much explanation needed to make this fun.
BACK COVER: Great Moments in Entertainment - Bingo invented and made popular by the emperor Ceasarus Saladus. It involves hanging slaves from a giant bingo board. I imagine that will get crowded as we go.
Ahhh...the magazine is going kind of bland on me. God, I wish we'd pick it up!
Next issue: Look who has returned.
*GOLF: There's a picture of an ugly, fat lady holding the clubs
Friday, August 28, 2009
by Pierre L.
No Pop culture stuff here! It's a "Win the 'Mistakes on this Cover' Contest!" It's a somewhat Old Western-type street with mistakes galore! I spot 1...2...3...4! 4 mistakes! Give me my wonderful prizes, please. The prizes are listed on the back (along with the rest of the painting) but they're also listed inside so we'll touch on them then. Hey! There's a background to this painting! Oh my... A Whole New World...
Let's step in...
The poster this month is THE CRACKED PUBLIC SERVICE EYE TEST. It involves saying words like "asparagus" really loud and looking around to see if people heard you. If they heard you and you see them hearing you, then your eyesight is awesome. No...yellow... background...here. Must be the special cover.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Lucus Over, prf rdr" "See Page 19 for contest details!" Feel free to jump ahead to Page 19.
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - July 7th. Someone does mention the little Saboteur guys who were popping up all over the last issue. You know, I have to focus really hard to see them, most of the time. They do a decent job (at least, now they do) of blending them in with the surroundings.
THE INCREDIBLE SHRUNKEN WOMAN: A parody of The Incredibly Shrinking Woman with Lily Tomlin. A movie that was already a comedy so this parody is kind of a bit of a shrug. It's not really that funny and it made me think "I wonder if that movie still holds up?" They do include the ape that she pals around with, so that's a plus. At 7 pages though, I got to give this one a "Thumbs in the middle". It breezes by and I remember reading it as a kid and liking it but now...Ahhh...Let's hop to the next one.
THE CRACKED WORLD OF PETS: A series of several panel comics detailing problems with dogs, turtles and carnivorous fish. I actually really like the art in this one even if the jokes aren't up to much. Some of the reactions of the people (like in the "give away the dog" bit) save them. Not bad. A bit like this can't jumpstart a slow issue but we're holding steady.
WHEN HOLLYWOOD TOTALLY TAKES OVER WASHINGTON: Ronald Reagan hiring Sinatra as a Senator.The national bird has been changed to Tweety. It's more or less what you'd expect. Carter brought in a lot of peanuts. Reagan brings in the Hollywood Glitz. The last panel, however...Ted Kennedy preparing to star in a remake of Saturday Night Fever. Godspeed, Ted. I would have loved to have seen that movie.
PAGE 19: The Contest!
First Prize - Your own personal Video Recorder (Tape MASH! All the time!)
Second prize - Popular Atari Video Games (The fabulous game that you play on your own television!) I don't think it's the system. I think it's just some games.
4th to 25th Prize - One year subscription to CRACKED!
Should be fun. Good luck.
YOU KNOW YOU'RE UNPOPULAR IF...: Two pages about a lot of people allowing you to get hurt because you're unpopular. Enjoy!
CRACKED WAYS OF CONSERVING WATER: Have they done a bit similar to this already? Don't waste water! Shower on Monday but rinse off on Wednesday. Eat all three meals at the same time. Let your dog lick the dishes clean. Make coffee with cream soda. Paint your lawn green. There you go...Several water saving tips from CRACKED. They're amusing but not actually that crazy. Just a little "goof-goof-goofy."
A CRACKED LOOK AT THE WORLD'S WORST 'KNOCK KNOCK' JOKES: Oh dear. Two pages of clutter and bad jokes. I'll just hit you with the intro and the closer. Intro: "Knock Knock." "Who's there?" "The delivery boy." "The delivery boy who?" "The delivery boy who's here to deliver the additional cold cuts you ordered for this inane Knock Knock party. Now, let me in." The whole shebang ends with: "Knock Knock." "Who's there?" "Nobody." "Well, I guess that puts an end to that." And, yes, the Frankenstein Monster is peering in on the top right. Either through a window, a hole in the wall or reflected in a mirror or it's his image in a painting or photo. I can't tell.
CRACKED'S SEQUELS TO CLASSIC MOVIES: A King Kong Sequel where they take him to the hospital. (King Kong Lives). A Wizard of Oz sequel where they take Dorothy to an asylum. (Return to Oz). Those are two quite good ones. There's a Gone With The Wind sequel that could be like Scarlett but I've never read or seen it. And, there's an Airplane! sequel, which is startlingly unfunny. Airplane! is very close in style to CRACKED so you'd think they'd get a joke out of it that's funny...No. No, they don't.
CRACKED'S UNUSUAL GIFT CATALOG PART II: Want a pair of "Ice-o-Metric Pants"? Well, here's your spot. Captain Kangaroo is hawking the new "Repel Wreath" to keep Vampires at bay. Not hot young vampires, I hope? There is a funny one here...A nun with a huge habit on is advertising the "Umbrella Hat". "Adjustable chin strap keeps hat secure even while sleeping!" It's two pages and it's fine.
THE CRACKED WORLD OF MOVING: Another one of these in the same issue. Are we becoming MAD? Four pages of these things with decent drawings and stale, stale jokes. I'm going to leap ahead.
PRESS MISTAKES!: These are OK. "Come in for free alterations on our drastically slashed suits!" A guy is getting fitted in a slashed suit. "Man arrested after being spotted by local artist." You can guess that one. Honestly? That Newspaper headline one from so long ago is much funnier. This is two pages and a breeze but nothing great.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!" Part V: Funny? Yes. But, not quite as funny as usual. I don't know why.
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE COMEDY KING: Henny Hope Carson cracks us up! Nanny and her nephew Dickie head over to his apartment. He has a wacky wife and some wacky kids. You'd think this would be funnier...Am I all out of humor? I don't know. Nanny looks great and the wife has a humorous moment or two but it's not enough. Sorry.
1 - Prison
2 - Clock
3 - Ship In A Bottle
Total - I [Heart] New York
Well...it's not a bad issue. It's just not funny. It has bursts of HUZZAH! but most of it is terminally bland. I hope we can pick it up soon. What's next?
Next issue: Oh, that's next.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
By Pierre L.
The painting itself is fun. But, the cover is so cluttered. The UPC code and arrow in the bottom left-hand corner. The big yellow "INSULT TRADING CARDS" box, The "*Haven't read CRACKED yet!" thing. I kind of wish they would have filled in the background of the painting rather than piling junk on top of it. But, regardless...fun!
POSTER: Big, white UPC code. It's fun! I think. UPC codes have been around for ages now. I'm not sure why they're just bringing it up now. MAD did a UPC joke that was funnier back in April 1978. So, CRACKED is a bit behind here.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Amy Stake, again as proofreader.
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: June 2nd - Next Issue MUNDOLOCO is CRACKED in Puerto Rico. You can play the "Can You Guess Which Cracked Magazine Are Free?" Game. $9 gets you 12 issues - two of them are free. Which ones? Anyone with Barney Miller on the cover, possibly.
THE DORKS OF HAZZARDOUS: They're by themselves here and it's fun. Bossy Hog and Sheriff Soultrain try to get the deed to the Duke's land because there's oil on it. There are car chases, Bossy Hog dresses up as a woman, Uncle Fussy wears Dizzy's short shorts and Dizzy gets a shower scene with two very large "CENSORED" strips. It's as dumb as the show but shorter. Actually, in the end, I prefer my Colorforms version of the Dukes. I would place it next to my Garfield and KISS colorforms and that...my friends...was an exciting world!
CRACKED'S UNUSUAL GIFT CATALOG: Big beards, glasses with one lens blackened, a steam harp and, my favorite, a toupee holder. Random photos have long text next to them describing the magical items. Example: "CRACKED'S Toupee Holder keeps toupee flat and intact all day long, no matter how active you are! Never again face the humiliation of losing your scalp while tying your shoes! -Comes in 3 attractive colors. - Head straps adjust to fit any head." Pretty fun bit.
HOW TO MAKE BASEBALL MORE INTERESTING: Some very funny bits in here but it's all so crowded. Text is piled on drawings, next to text, near drawings. It's all a bit too much and, although it stays funny until the end, I find myself looking around the room a lot. I like the new obstacles for outfielders section. There's a pit they can fall in. Arms shoot out of the back wall and try to stop him from moving. And, a scary jack-in-the-box head leaps up to scare the fellow. Other things? Steal the baseman with the base. Spin a numbered wheel to see how many balls and strikes you get. And, add a lot more runners to the bases. Good bit.
IT ISN'T AS BAD AS IT SOUNDS:
"The low pressure system from the south will combine with the high from the west creating nimbostratus accumulation..."
"TRANSLATION: It's going tor rain!"
"Looks like panicum sanguinale to me."
"TRANSLATION: Your lawn is full of crabgrass!"
Two pages of that. It's brief and a breeze. Not particularly funny but a breeze.
THE GROWING GARBAGE PROBLEM AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT: I think they did a similar bit like this some time ago but I'm not quite sure. All right, this article rocks. Why? "Fonzie Cut Outs" Love it! One of the ways to cut down in garbage is to send all old fads and burnt out pop culture to Third World countries. And, yes, there is a little girl sitting in the desert reading "Fonzie Cut Outs". It's awesome. So... The first two pages are about how garbage is swallowing us alive. The last two pages are about how to cut down on garbage. Apart from what I just mentioned, they suggest TV dinners where the packaging is edible. (I think that's nabbed from a Bob & Ray bit.) Print newspapers on cloth. When you're done reading, wash them and give them back to the paperboy. In the end, you have to make garbage valuable. That's the only way to make it palatable. God, I love the "Fonzie Cut Outs".
INSTANT EPITAPHS: This is the middle of the issue two-pager and it's OK. Headstones with very appropriate epitaphs. What makes this very interesting are the...
CRACKED INSULT CARDS: Perforated cards that are included within the center pages. And, they're great. They really rip you up. Possibly, because you suck? "If your face is your fortune, you must be broke!" "I'm conducting a survey. Please reply to the following statement by checking the appropriate box. 'I feel the person that handed me this card is the greatest.' Be Honest!" And, there are two boxes. Both marked "Yes" "I'd like to help you out. The door's over there!" Loved it!
POOPEYE: I remember this one from when I was a kid. (The parody, I mean.) And, it really took the movie down a peg. I didn't enjoy it when I was young. And so, CRACKED! Haul off and take it down! I'm grown up now. A year ago, I watched Popeye on DVD and it's pretty great. The songs are fine. The acting is wonderful. And, the design of the town is astounding. It's a fun movie. Not Altman's best but damn fine. So, now, this parody makes me sleepy. Sorry. I agreed with it once but now I think it's just lazy. Sorry. Move on, Elvis!
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really, mean it this time, for sure!) Part IV: Come on and laugh with me! This has two of my favorites. An old couple sits at a table. The lady says "Yes, both John and I use your product--but personally, I think it stinks!" And, a guy sits in a bathtub fully clothes with about 10 guys standing around him. He yells, "Will you guys get outta here and let me take my back?!"
HOW TO READ THOSE TRAVEL ADS: Basically, we see an ad for a vacation spot and a little caption on the bottom detailing what really happens. And, can I be honest, everything sucks. Polluted seas and food poisoning are only two of the bits of wonder here. It's two pages and it's OK.
CRACKED'S PERSONALITY PROFILE COMPARISONS: On the left is the perceived audience for something. On the right is the actual audience. Better Homes & Gardens isn't read by high society dames. It's read by lower class broads. Dallas isn't watched by regular folks. The Ayatollah watches to learn from JR. Time isn't read by high class businessmen but by bums picking it from the trash. Three pages. No waiting!
DANGEROUS BARROOM ENCOUNTERS: I've read it but for some reason it passes over me without feeling. I should really read the opening blurb...Read. It's take-off on the mechanical bull thing in bars. Stuff to add to bars to get a thrill. One is "Drinking Water at a Mexican Resort. They have a water cooler filled with Mexican water. You pay two bucks to be a "Macho Man' and drink. Then, you simulate winters in Buffalo by standing in a freezer.
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE INSURANCE KING: Sy Pringle sells insurance for everything! And, Nanny gets him on it...but she buys insurance in the end...Nanny? What's going on? Oh, I am disillusioned! She fell for the chicanery...hard! Why, Nanny, why? Let's go on to the Shut-Ups.
1 - Bite
2 - My
3 - Crank
Shut Up, would you please?
BACK COVER: Great Moments in Technology - Ooga Booga Almost Invents Fire. But, he doesn't. Presumably, his family dies.
A decent issue. Not mind-blowing but a standard sort of CRACKED uneven thing that's definitely worth your time and money. Why not?
Oh, and this issue features the last name "Horsenagel" in two articles? Why?
Oh, and this issue has the little "Saboteur" guys all over the place. All mixed in amongst the panels causing trouble. They will expand their business soon.
Next issue: Horsenagel!
Monday, August 24, 2009
by Pierre L.
Let's please try to get this back on track. Please.
There's the cover, huge and proud. Isn't it something? I think it's the fourth or fifth time Mr. Coleman has been featured and every time is a joy. I am a bit disappointed in the background...again. Have a look at it. There's Arnold, Sylvester, Willis & Mr. Drummond. There's the rope and the cookie jar...But, look at everything else. The doorway, the counter, the shelf, the mug. They all look vaguely sketched in. Was this cover not finished? Where, in fact, is the rest of the picture? Isn't this kind of ridiculous?
Was Ghumdrop right about the quality of CRACKED?
No! Let's go in!
POSTER: CRACKED Automatic Digital Weather Forecaster - There's a big blue box in the middle. If it's wet, it's raining. If it is moving, it's windy. If it's white, snow. Well, they're not proving much here. I had always thought that this was the Polish Weather Station?
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Willy Erralot - pruffff rdrer" C'mon Mad! You got somethin' like that!?
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Charming, erudite and oh so witty. "Are any of your writers ambidextrous? No, they are mostly Protestant, Jewish & Catholic. Hey HEY! They zinged 'em pretty hot on that one! You see, ambidextrous isn't a religious thing but the editor acted like it was and so we all ended up with gag all over our shoes! "Next issue - April 21st"
DIFF'RENT STROKES: CRACKED is so good...they don't need to fiddle with the title! Mr. Drummond drops his wallet out the window. Conold misinterprets Mr. Drummond saying he's lost all his money as "Dad is out of money!" So, all the kids band together to help him out. Babysitting, dish washing and pinching Conold's cheeks pull in $64.50. Not bad! But, in the end, Conold's gets his ass walloped with a book. And, Mr. D asks why they have the golf clubs out. "[To] practice diff'rent strokes, of course!" Take that, MAD!
MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Is this becoming a regular bit like the CRACKED LENS? It is pretty amusing. My favorite: Two Arabs with coins. One is biting down on the coin. "In Syria during the fourth century AD, Syrians barely had enough money to eat (but they ate it anyway). Another one? A guy on the ground in the middle of the street. He's from a city that is so strict on jaywalking that residents sneak across the street in the middle of the night for excitement. Nice!
WHY IS IT THAT: Certainly, the drawings are funny. But, the observations are "Stand Up Comedian Day Olds". "Why is it that waitresses always ask how the meal was when your mouth is still full?" "Why is it that new and improved always works the same as before, but costs twice the price?" We're going to call a draw here. This bit was never funny in CRACKED or MAD. Move on, Elvis!
THE CRACKED WORLD OF STAYING SHAPE: MAD, unfortunately, does this one better. Their bits are always filled with hippies and women's libbers. This bit...nothing. The article is a series of random strips of varying lengths all about staying in shape. Hey! Sometimes when folks workout and such they get achy or get hurt! God, I miss that guy from MAD with the glasses and the pipe who always stars in these. You know who I mean? Davis Merkle? Isn't that his name? Oh wait, there is a fat lady in this... Does that qualify it as "Whack-ass" funny? Hmmm...
CRACKED'S LOOK AT SUPERSTITIONS: 13, black cat, umbrellas indoors. CRACKED takes them all and rubs them and rubs them until comedy sprouts! Yes, this is good. The drawings are funny. The jokes about superstitions are hilarious. In fact, they're so hilarious that I'm not going to tell you any of them for fear of comedy rupture! Take that, MAD! Bring on the yuks 'cause we got big-time HA HA! 's happening here!
HOW YOU PICTURE A BUSINESS OPERATES & HOW IT REALLY DOES: At a TV repair shop, trained technicians don't actually fix your stuff. Some guys kick your TV! A stock broker doesn't choose wisely. He closes his eyes and zoink! Stuff like that. We learn and we love. It's all thanks to CRACKED.
CRACKED VISITS A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE SET: It's possible to enjoy the drawing of a large movie set but it's impossible to enjoy the jokes, which all stink. If MAD did this bit, it would stink there, too. Let's go to the second half and confront the comedy.
THE CRACKED MOVIE: Well, there was an actual MAD movie - Up The Academy. Rent the DVD and give it a try. It's surprisingly not-that-good-at-all. The script is about as generic as you can imagine. Maybe they should have hired some National Lampoon writers instead of the two guys who were going to write Top Gun? What do I know? Anyway...Mr. Sproul calls his regulars, Sagebrush, Sylvester, the Talking Blob and the Hang-Up guys to his office. Nanny's been kidnapped! So, they hunt her down through various and assorted fun-fun-funny bits...In the end, the kidnapper? Alfred E. Neuman! He's trying to sabotage their movie so it bombs like Up the Academy did! Well, it doesn't work. Mainly because this isn't a movie. It's an article in a magazine, which no one but me remembers. At least, Up The Academy is on DVD, letterboxed. Oh, CRACKED! This is becoming tragic.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really mean it this time, for sure!" PART III: Ahh...relief. I don't know if MAD had a bit like this and, frankly, please don't tell me if they did. 3 pages of soothing balm. A little break before we return to the reality.
OTHER "NO FRILLS" ITEMS & SERVICES: A No-Frills Doctor lines everyone up with a big multi-thing stethoscope and checks everyone's heart at once. A No-Frills Pet Stores just keeps dogs in barrels. What are they? Who knows? The No-Frills Paperback Book is just a pile of pages. Same with the No-Frills Magazine (that magazine is CRACKED). Well, CRACKED certainly has a "no-frills" policy on its covers. This bit is amusing but not too stimulating.
LITTLE KNOWN BABY PICTURES: Thank Christ for the Fonz! They take baby pictures and put celebrities faces on them. Steve Martin says "Oops, well excuse me!" And, the Fonz talks about how cool the monkeybars are." The Beatles are there and so is Stallone. It's a bit of a disconcerting article but it brought a smile to my face.
Uh oh, I think I'm trying to coast fast to the end. I need to slow down and review and adore and show the CRACKED-haters where they can stick it. C'mon CRACKED! Prove me right!
IF NEWSPAPERS EMPHASIZED GOOD NEWS: A shot at satire and it's pretty amusing. "Chemical Dumping found to be very helpful" No more crabgrass! Of course, there's also no life at all but... Kind of a sad bit but then I guess the best satire is usually pretty sad at its heart. "Boston Firm Allows Employees to bring children to Work" Child labor. -- Well, some of it is kind of sad. "Hometown Girl Makes it Big in Hollywood" That's about a fat lady that celebrities use to empty out their pools at the end of the season. (She jumps in the pool.) That one's just odd because you can swim in a pool all year round in Hollywood...The joke doesn't work if you understand the weather. Satire and silliness...CRACKED's real strengths. Overlong articles & lazy jokes...Their big weakness.
CRACKED INTERVIEW THE VACATION KING: Pretty amusing bit. The guy isn't actually ripping anyone off. He sells budget vacations. You want to go skiing in the Alps. Some folks go to your living room and rig it up like a fake mountain. You want to tour Tokyo. You sit on a fake bus as slides are shown and folks walk by with building mock-ups, like parade floats. You want to go away for a while. Your house becomes your hotel. They even guarantee a day of rain in there. Actually, not a bad idea. If you can't get away for a vacation, why not try this?
1 - Fat
2 - Fat
3 - Meat Loaf
There's wisdom in there somewhere.
BACK COVER: A monk invents the copy machine...and it's wacky!
Well, maybe MAD is better. Maybe that's the point. MAD is sharper and funnier. But, CRACKED is for a younger crowd. It's for a kid to grab and enjoy and get a few smiles from. It's a place where they can visit old friends from TV and movies when they aren't readily watchable. It's a place where they can learn some of the old jokes that their grandparents enjoyed. It's a place...At its best, I love the place where CRACKED is. So there...
Ghumdrop, bring on the stink!
Next issue: CRACKED or MAD? I don't know.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Pierre L. here...
I'm sorry about that last post everyone. I've tried to contact Ghumdrop but his phone is no longer working. And...I can't delete that post! Could someone please help me? I don't know what he did! He said he'd be back. What does that mean? I don't want a MAD review up here. Now, I have to review that issue of CRACKED myself.
Ghumdrop!! You have betrayed me!!
I'm sorry about that last post everyone. I've tried to contact Ghumdrop but his phone is no longer working. And...I can't delete that post! Could someone please help me? I don't know what he did! He said he'd be back. What does that mean? I don't want a MAD review up here. Now, I have to review that issue of CRACKED myself.
Ghumdrop!! You have betrayed me!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Re-imagined by Ghumdrop Vincent Burlington III
Neuman is The One True Man! Look at this cover. Rub it on your congested area and feel the mentholated fumes! This is comedy! This is the Glory! This is MAD...I love it so. And, hey DA!, is that Cannon on the television there? Hey, Cannon!
Will you go in with me, my sweet friends?
INSIDE FRONT COVER: MAD SPECIAL NUMBER TEN I've got three words for you...Blort! Dawk! and Glork! Bite it all others! Don Martin should be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. St. Don Martin. "Down with relevance! Spread the irrelevant word...with...DON MARTIN NONSENSE STICKERS. I do not yet own MAD Special Number Ten. You just hold on, you ugly SOB!
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Tears are the hydraulic force through which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water-power!" - Alfred E. Neuman So true. What do you think would happen if I changed my name to Ghumdrop Vincent Neuman the First?
LETTERS DEPT.: Woah! Hey! "Just the other day I was sayin' to my wife: Those guys at MAD sure get away with murder! Peter Falk as 'Columbo' Hollywood, Calif." We love Falk. Have you ever watched Columbo? You should. (Pierre hates it. He loves Barnaby Jones. What do I have to say? F, Barnaby Jones!) Look at all the MAD Paperback books for sale! They are cooking them out.
The Bedside MAD
Son of MAD
The Organization MAD
The Ides of MAD
The MAD Frontier
MAD in Orbit
The Voodoo MAD
And so many more. And CRAZY thought it was popular. Ha!
TELL-TALE COMIC STRIP BALLOONS: I'm warm here. Very warm. Why? Because Don Edwing and Bob Clarke have brought it around to me... A series of comic strip panels with word balloons that shank up the comedy! Por Ejemplo: Andy Capp says to his pal "You can count on me to be there if you ever need me Ol' Pal!" But, the word balloon is a large knife jabbing into his pal's back. Peanuts: Charlie Brown on stage saying "...which reminds me of another funny story." And, the words are in a bomb! And, the best...Veronica saying to Archie "Archie, I have to talk to you..." Her words are in a stork with a baby in its beak.
Oh...the love and goodness of this opening!
CANNONBALL: It's Cannon! And he's fat and he's always eating. A lady arrives at Cannonball's office saying her husband was murdered and she's under suspicion! So, Cannonball goes after whoever really did it. And, it involves a lot of eating! As always, I will not go deep into it because the comedy must be swum through and absorbed into your nether spots. The simple words I would say to you would not give you an iota of the comedy that Dick De Bartolo is rubbing right into it. God, drop everything and enjoy this! Aren't you a good person? Do you suck?
DISTINCTIVE WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENTS: The list...
From a Liberated Woman
From a Liberated Man
From Loyal Parents
From Proud Parents
From Happy Parents
From Distressed Parents (Announcing a Nude Wedding!)
From Very Distressed Parents (Announcing a Commune Hippie Wedding!)
From Totally Distressed Parents (Charles is marrying Herman!)
From A Future Bride
From a Mafia Chief
From a Delighted Couple
From a Gossip Columnist
From a British Columnist
From a British Nobleman
From a Pro Football Team Owner
From An Espionage Agent
From a Film Star
From a Discount Store Owner
Ahhh, I love these articles so much. The text, the grey pages, the laughs and the loves. Sweet.
ONE DAY IN THE NORTH WOODS: Don Martin! One page with a HA HA! at the end. He never disappoints.
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF LEISURE TIME: Dave Berg is everything good and nice in MAD. He teaches me so much about the way we spend out Leisure Time. For examples: Two ladies talking. 1ST: It says here that never before in history has there been a civilization with more leisure time, and the means to enjoy it! 2ND: Is that what it says? Let me see...on Monday, I have my Painting Class! Tuesday is my Mah Jongg game! Wednesday is golf! Thursday is P.T.A. Meeting! Friday is theater night...and on the week-ends, we're at the house on Candlewood Lake...WITH ALL THAT TO DO...WHO'S GOT TIME FOR LEISURE?!" Does that sum it up for you? Yes, there are hippies and Women Libbers so everyone is covered.
A MAD LOOK AT SHEET MUSIC: "Almost Like Being In Love" With Jackie O. and Aristotle Onasis on the cover. "The Best Things In Life Are Free" showing people looting a store. "The Sidewalks of New York" show a dog dumping a fat load. "What's It All About, Alfie?" is our man...sweet Alfred. I love and laugh at this again and again.
SPY VS. SPY: Comedy vs. non-Comedy! Comedy wins!
MAD'S CORPORATE ECOLOGIST OF THE YEAR: Arthur Godly interviews Mr. Gregory Garble about what corporations are doing for the environment and to stop pollution. Actually, if I may be Frank rather than Ghumdrop, he doesn't seem to be doing very much. There's a garbage and smog and mess everywhere. In fact, they're doing more to sell pollution. God, I love pollution! I smell like crap!
A HIGH SCHOOL YEAR BOOK THAT TELLS IT LIKE IT REALLY IS: Rolling Stones High School - 1973 'Roller Yearbook The Principal is there through graft. The most Popular Teacher has apparently had sex with a lot of the students. They play sports, they do this...or even that. This looks a lot like my high school year book. I liked it so much it made me feel like a man...a man who remembered things about a high school year book! Feel free to own and enjoy the magical good time...God, I'm so drunk right now.
You guys want to go out maybe, after the review?
A MAD LOOK AT WEDDINGS: Sergio is petty cynical about marriage. From the Jewish wedding where the groom crushes the wine glass and has to get medical treatment to the people who care more about the buffet than the wedding, he squeezes it and I receive the fruits!
ONE DAY WITH A WISHBONE: A lot of people dying in Don Martin's work today. And I say, good riddance! Kill 'em all! Thank you, Don.
GOING THY WAY/ GOING WAY OUT: Old-style religious film with Bing Crosby. New-style religious film with Donald Sutherland as a hippie-esque priest. Oh MAD, you make my heart weep when you take on the Hollywood establishment like this! Take me on next! Please!
MAD FOLD-IN: Which of Nature's Ravages Continue to Defy Modern Technology? You've been Jaffee'd!? Great stuff.
BACK COVER: "Keep America Beautiful" Oh no, someone put graffiti all over Mount Rushmore!
What an issue! What a wonderful magazine! My sides have split from the hilarity. Sometimes I wish this was CRACKED because
CRACKED Blows Hard!
Pierre L Sucks! I'm outta here. Read a better magazine, you nerds!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
(How the heck did we get to May 1981 already? We stop at July 1985...Can we only have four years left?)
by Pierre L.
A great cover. And, like I said, a perfect use of the white void. This is not some location that we all know and love. It is the spot in the Comedy (Komedy? Khomedy?) World where MAD and CRACKED intersect. And, the cover is wonderfully rich for being in this space. The gray spot where the "A" was. Alfred E. Nueman walking towards the M-D sheet on the easel. Sylvester changing. I don't think MAD would have ever done this, mainly because they wouldn't have needed to, but it's cool that CRACKED did. I wonder what the MAD sales figures were like at this time? I guess I get a 1981 issue and look for one of those "Statement of Sales" things in the letters page. And, a "Free Hypnotism Poster" Holy Sh*t, you crazy SOB! This is awesome.
POSTER: Yellow is the official "Hypnotism" color! "Stare at this Spot for 3 minutes...Congratulations, you have just hypnotized this poster!!" I just got Zonked...by Sproul and Company!
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "6...40...19...36...35...26...29...11...43...22...20...32" That's the order things are listed at here. It's fun! "Luke N. Cee, prfffuredeer" "Sorry Sylvester! It's all a BIG mistake!! We'll never take away your CRACKED Magazine again! Now just relax and calm down. Don't get MAD...at anyone!"
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Someone mentions CRACKED GIANT #27. Gosh, I wish I had CRACKED GIANT #27...hint, hint. This one has letters from Nicholas Coiro, Allen Rosenfeld, Foster Barnes and the Katie Albright. Next issue - March 10th.
THE INCREDIBLE HUNK: Starring Mr. Divit Danner...Physician, Scientist & Hockey Player. A bit of an odd satire, this one. Divit doesn't become a big hulking guy. He becomes whatever is needed for the scene. In a smoky room, he becomes a fire extinguisher. An exterminator bothers him so becomes a giant rat. He becomes a magnet and pulls in some robbers dressed in knight's armor. When some nosy folks show up, he becomes a giant... It's certainly amusing and it's fun to see what he will turn into next. But, I didn't get the point of this. I felt like I was missing something the whole time I read it. Then, I thought about the way CRACKED writes some of these things and I realized...I didn't miss something. They did. What? I don't quite know. Regardless, it's a fun read.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS FROM PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY: It's a series of figurines of presidents. The best one? "Millard Fillmore 3 weeks after his inauguration trying to gain public support." Millard is holding a sign saying "No kidding! I really am your president! Teddy Roosevelt is being chased by a rhino. Jimmy Carter is shoving a yam in Billy's mouth. Abe Lincoln standing with the car named after him. Dick Nixon enjoying some "special" tapes. If you know what we mean... And, Gerald Ford falling down some steps. Pretty funny bit. I don't know if they're still available but the address to send cash to is "Leonard Limestone, Box of Cereal, Say Cheese, Wisconsin 00000" That may not be a real address.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!" Part II: What can I say? Four pages of yuks. Always good, no difference here. Please, read and enjoy. The dancers in the locker room are really funny. The guys in the Police line-up bring geniality to my face. Actually, they're pretty much all great. If I ever decide to review a CRACKED LENS special edition, ignore it. It'll be dull.
DUMB QUESTIONS THAT DON'T DESERVE AN ANSWER: One pager, Pretty funny but rather familiar looking...Hmmm...Have I seen this one before? This almost feels like something that could have been on the back of an issue. I particularly enjoy the two old guys looking at the theater marquee. "Which one do you want to see, Larry?" Their choices? "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and "10". Nice.
NEVER RENT THE APARTMENT IF...: Obvious but humorous. "...the bathtub drain doubles as the ninth hole for a nearby miniature golf course!" "...the only direction the elevator runs is 'down'!" "...you need a dime to use our bathroom!" Two pages and run!
HOW TO INTERPRET ALL THOSE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL ADS: Example: The first ad is for the "Vidal Sassoon Beauty Parlor Training School"* "We've been in the same spot for over 50 years." We see a man and a woman. MAN: Of course for 49 of those years we were a butcher shop." WOMAN: "Why'd you close the store?" 'We were caught short-weighing the meat and selling fat as filet mingon." Ad reads: "This is a rigorous course and not everyone is accepted..." MAN: You have the $6000 tuition?" ANOTHER MAN: No. MAN: Sorry, we can't accept you." Ad: "...in fact, a grueling entrance exam is given on your first day." MAN: Do you know how to open a door and walk in? WOMAN: Yes. MAN: Terrific. You just passed the entrance exam." Ad: But, once you're in you'll really look up to your instructors." WOMAN: That's because they're all 7' 2". Ad: "Need more details? Write for a free no obligation brochure." A WOMAN is in bed on the phone. PHONE: Yesterday, you sent for a free not-affiliated with Vidal Sassoon Beauty School brochure and we want to know when you'll be starting?" WOMAN: It's 4 in the morning and this is the 9th time you've called. I told you, I don't want to enroll. Now, please leave me alone."
Pretty good bit. Very detailed for CRACKED.
*That's the "Not-affiliated-at-all" with Vidal Sassoon Beauty Parlor Training School.
IF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS WERE PLAYED THE SAME WAY AS WHEN WE WERE KIDS: Funny bit. Football with a car driving over the field and everyone stopping play to let it pass. Two boxers being broken up by a schoolteacher. A hockey game breaking up because a guy got called home for dinner. A little smarter than the average CRACKED bit.
HOW TO GET A JOB: Possibly a little too cluttered. It has detailed ways to fill out your resume. Different ways to lie about "Previous Experience". Did you mow baseball diamonds? "I was a diamond cutter!" "I owned my own business!" If that was a lemonade stand... One of the jobs is a "line-place-saver" at the movies. They've done that one a lot, haven't they? The first page of this is too loaded and the other two kind of fade a bit. I guess this article is just OK. Nothing spectacular but worth a smile.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT: Some funny (or phunny) photos and captions...The best? A group of kids in a lot holding their arms at their chests and staring down. "To determine he average rate of growth of East Pakistan children, 50 students have been standing still for the last 5 years while careful measurements are taken daily. BELIEVE IT OR NOT" A charming three pages.
YE HANG-UPS: Four one-panel gags. The best is the new guy saying "I can hardly wait to see how I look in a beard."
HOW TO MEET THE OPPOSITE SEX: Well, this one's a little too much, too. Five steps: "Attire", "Locating the Opposite Sex", "Opening Lines", "The First Date" and "If All Else Fails!" Some pretty funny moments but a little too much reading for too little return. Sorry. I think there are a few too many text-heavy bits here. I'm getting sleepy.
THOSE LITTLE THINGS THAT DO GO RIGHT: Three pages of good things that happen. My favorite? "Nursing a sick bird back to health...and setting it free...and having it fly right back to you!" Quite nice for CRACKED. Although there is a Three Mile Island gag in here, so it's not all sweetness and light. Oh, and there is a real fat lady. Not funny but nice.
MY BUDDYGUARD: I never saw "My Bodyguard" and my commitment to this blog doesn't stretch to watching it for this entry. There's a kid who gets beat up by bullies. there's a "buddyguard". There's some fighting and, in the last panel, the Incredible Hulk. I like it when i say it like that but I just feel like I should have seen the film. I laughed occasionally but...If you've seen the movie, I'll bet you'll love this.
1- Your Mama!
2 - Watch it!
3 - You're Goin' Down, Mr. Honky Pants!
I do, in fact, own honky pants.
BACK COVER: "Great Moments In Dining...Oct. 1953 Oakbrook, ILL. Donald Mack almost invents the fast food restaurant." Pretty nice one. He's trying to serve people quick while his chefs and waitresses chase around chickens and pigs and cows. Good capper for this issue.
I enjoyed this issue. As always, they seem to struggle to reach the full quota of pages but doing a humor magazine like this can't be easy. Or can it? I'm not sure.
Next issue: A guest review from CRACKED expert, Ghumdrop Vincent Burlignton III! Enjoy!
Friday, August 07, 2009
by Pierre L.
I'd no idea. But, I looked it up and, yes indeed, Barney Miller would have been in its penultimate season (Number 7) at this time. Well, good for Barney Miller. I was never a fan of the show. As I've mentioned, it has one of those opening theme tunes that dares you to keep watching, like Welcome Back Kotter or One Day At A Time. The 70's may have had "groundbreaking" comedies but their theme tunes blew. I believe that Barney Miller fits better into the 70's issues. Here it feels out of place. But, the actual cover is fine.
POSTER: Something about the words getting bigger because the wall is closing in on you. Oh Lord, that pee yellow is very bright on this one. Was this color really the cheapest one available? And, something just occurred to me...When I used to buy this magazine, I would never have removed the cover so I could hang the poster. And yet, presumably, kids did. Why? Why? Why? The cover is oftentimes the best part of the issue. Why would you tear it off of the magazine and then put it against the wall so the poster can stand out? Could you imagine the kid's room that was plastered with these? So much great art facing the wall, so much bright yellow facing out. Were these posters some sort of early solar power? If you covered the walls and let the sun in, would the energy power a car for 18 days? I guess the kid would never have to turn on a light. He just uses the glow off of his CRACKED posters. Now with more radium!!
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Anita Glasses - prffffff rdddr" I see a drawing of Nixon...Oh boy, this should be great.
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: "Dear CRACKED, When I heard that a new CRACKED was out featuring my favorite TV show, I stopped eating my hash in a flash, made a dash and paid my cash to read your MASH which was a smash." Have they got the writers submitting letters? This issue has one of those "Statements of Ownership, Circulation...etc." Average no of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 756,598. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 855,918. Next issue - January 27th
BLARNEY MILLER: Blarney's office is going to be annexed by the Tricky Licky Laundry unless they can cut $50,000 in costs. They goof around for a while and then...they save the precinct! They get the money. How? Well, you can email me and I'll give you the answer. Let's leave some surprise. There are some nice moments here mixed in with all the regular terrible, terrible puns and plays on words. I haven't seen Barney Miller in ages but was it a pun-heavy cop show? I don't remember it being that but...if it was... You know what, this article farts along with a few smiles and giggles. It's a charming opening to the issue but really could have covered any TV show. It only rarely seems to go near the show its supposed to parodying. But, it's fine. A nice opening.
CRACKED'S FIRST (AND PROBABLY LAST) ANNUAL SOAP OPERA AWARDS: Awards given tonight are..."Best Disease Contracted By a Leading Actor or Actress" & "Longest Drawn Out Sequence In a Main Plot" & "Best Kept Secret by Either and Actor or Actress" & "Longest Suffering Hero or Heroine". Yes Ladies, Biff Hunk from "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Smith" is nominated! Belinda Lynn-Ann Stengelheimer is also up there. The Dead, the Dying and the Severely Boo Booed gets a win so that's awesome. This article is wonderfully goofy and a nice parody of the excesses and conventions of soap operas. All the sorts of things that your average 10-year-old boy would know perfectly.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really, mean it this time, for sure!): Oh the joy these bring me! 5 pages of laughs. My favorite here? Tough to say...Possibly the two guys looking at the lady who is wearing a flowery hat. "Why don't you ever wash your hair mom?! You've got flowers growing out of it!" Funny but...don't yell at your mother.
THE CRACKED HANDBOOK ON PERSONAL GROOMING: "Too Sloppy" and "Too Neat" columns alternating across three pages. Some fun drawings here but not too high on the Gag Chart! Dirty houses, stenciling graffiti, not knowing that an earthquake hit your house, typing vacation postcards...They like the things that are like that, my friends. It's three pages. It's a breeze.
MORBAD NEWS: A fake newspaper with some funny articles and only a few photos. I'm not a big fan of their text-heavy stuff but I enjoyed this. "Population Explosion Hits City of Solch" is about farmers exploding. They catch a bubblegum thief. Dinosaur hunting season begins. There's a Bigfoot bit and a vampire bit. At five pages, this may be a bit much but it's less pun-filled than most bits so I enjoyed it.
CRACKED'S HOROSCOPES FOR '81: Each sign gets a little blurb. Here's a sample: "Aries March 21-April 19 Aries have an inventive mind and healthy imagination. Unfortunately this seems to work against them because many Arieans believe they are under surveillance by either the FBI, CIA or MGM. Complaints about dentists implanting tiny transmitters in their back teeth instead of silver fillings are common." Leo's like to stand on stilts a lot so people look up to them. It ends with an Astrological Dictionary that sends me into Pun Overdrive.
YOU KNOW YOU'RE WATCHING TOO MUCH TV WHEN: Oh, the jokery! Exercise is a sweatsuit and Celebrity Bowling. Your wedding is scheduled around TV shows. You go camping with a small TV. No one eats while you watch Julia Child. Ahh...at two pages, it's harmless.
HOW MAGAZINES WILL ATTRACT NEW SUBSCRIBERS IN THE FUTURE: Best bit here? Business for Neanderthal Weekly advertises on Diff'rent Strokes. Mr. Drummond whomps Arnold's behind with a copy of their year-end issue and a special book that comes with the subscriptions. Loved it! Pretty entertaining bit. Free magazines in cereal boxes and milk jugs. Teachers will advertise magazines in class. Richard Nixon shilling for Humpty Dumpty Magazine. In the end, the magazines send all their subscribers to Tahiti. Great article. I enjoyed this, my sweet friend.
THE GREAT CHICAGO HEIST: A parody of 30's gangster films. Three goons steal all the glasses from speakeasies so no one can drink. But, they get put away in prison. But, they've stashed some glasses away...if they can make it seven years, they'll get out and the glasses will be theirs!
It's a charming bit. There are several text-heavy narrated panels but most of it is a breeze. Some funny drawings and some smiles. This is a good bit. I was, however, disappointed that The Talking Blob didn't show up.
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE BOOK PUBLISHING KING: Here's a surprise...he's a shyster! Most of his books are junk. He'll buy whatever the latest big thing is and try to sell it again and again. He has the taste of a man who has eaten nothing but Big Macs for the past 20 years. Even Nanny is disgusted by the end...I've dealt with book publishers before and this brought back memories...memories where I think about kicking them. Let's move on...
1 - Slap
2 - My
3 - A**!
Love the S-Us!
BACK COVER: Something about horses and photo finishes...Dwell on it. You'll get the gag.
This was a pretty darn fine issue. The occasional misstep is to be expected...but they really kept up a nice roll on this one. Please, please, let this continue.
Next Issue: Pierre Get Mad!
Sunday, August 02, 2009
by Pierre L.
M*A*S*H is back! The cover isn't as great as the "jeep into the tree" one but it's fun. That white background glares at me, though. I do recognize this cover from my childhood. Either I bought this issue or my Cousin Kenny had it and I read it over and over again. We have now entered the era when I actually read the magazine. This issue came out in November of 1980. I was seven-and-a-half living the beautiful life of a French Canadian boy. In a year or so, CRACKED and You Can't Do That on Television would be my touchstones for comedy. Benny Hill wouldn't be far behind.
As the next few years of CRACKED progress, I will recognize more and more things. I'll keep you posted.
As the headline above reads, I'm doing the review a little different this time. I'm going to include the blurb before each article so we can get a full-on squeeze of humor from the Boys. Then, I'll throw out a little opinion on each. But, I thought I'd let their blurbs speak for themselves, unless there's no blurb.
POSTER: It's got a big, pink background. There's a thermometer with the temperature at 72 degrees. "To Conserve Energy...The temperature of this poster has been permanently set at 72 degrees." I just got my funny bone yanked!
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "It looks like Sylvester has all the attention he ever wanted. We guarantee he'll pass your inspection too!!"
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: "Next issue - December 16th" "Dear CRACKED, You really CLICKED with THE CRACKED LENS last issue. You've DEVELOPED a great feature that deserves to be PRINTED. -John Forrer, Atlanta, Georgia" "Dear John, Thanks. We hate NEGATIVE comments about our PHOTO articles."
M.U.S.H.: "We've watched this show for the last nine years and noticed that the cast is different with the arrival of every new TV season. It goes without saying that this gives your viewers cause fr concern (so why did I say it). We are mindful of the fact that actors desire to change their roles as well as their clothes (it must be awful to wear the same army fatigues for so long) and therefore, understand the need for replacements. So, with regard to any future cast changes, we'd like to see our suggestions given some consideration as we present the latest version of..."
Big blurb. Basically, Archie Bunker, Mork, Latka, the Fonz (Hooray!), Jennifer from WKRP and Deitarch [sic} from Barney Miller are all brought in as replacements amidst the yuks and laughs. In the end, Sylvester comes in for Eagleye. And, comedy reigns supreme.
The CRACKED "INSTANT STATUS" MAIL ORDER CATALOG: "There are three kinds of people in the world today - the rich, the poor and the poor who pretend to live like the rich. Yes, for some reason, there's a whole class of people in America who are in debt up to their Gucci sunglasses trying to show people next door that they're just as good as they are )when, in fact, the people next door are in debt trying to prove the same thing). Well, we don't approve of this, but as long as "Keeping Up With The Joneses" exists, then you might as well do it in a way you can afford it, America. Mainly, by acquiring your 'Look what I won' items from..."
Stuff you can buy to look richer. Empty appliance boxes, designer garbage, iron-on designer names for your clothes and stuff like that. It's fun but obvious. Very obvious.
IF OUR CURRENCY TRULY REFLECTED OUR ECONOMY: "Time was when our currency's conservative design accurately reflected our nation's conservative fiscal policy. Since this is no loner the case, it got us thinking what our dollars might look like today..."
George upside-down, really thin, underwater and getting marked up to five bucks. Three pages and it cooks along all right.
YE HANG UPS: A one-pager, four panel gag. With a "Diff'rent Strokes" joke in it! Nice.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really mean it this time, for sure!): 6 pages of great gags. This article continues to make its own sauce...Comedy Sauce!
CRACKED HEADLINES: "EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT! Do these words sound vaguely familiar? However, we keep getting letters from people who say they're such great fans of CRACKED that they don't read anything else. The truth of the mater is they don't know how to read anything else, but we promise not to let a word of this out. So, we've decided to keep readers informed by starting our own newspaper. To give you an idea of what types of stories we will be covering, take a look at these zany..."
They're not that zany, actually.
"Reporter Uncovers a Dirty Scandal in Laundromat"
"Man Refuses to give up biting dog"
"Courts to wrap up Tennis Racket Case Today"
"Dentist Guilty - Tries to Pull a fast One"
Hardly worth it, really. I couldn't even keep the capitalization going.
EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING: "How many times has something really rotten happened to you - something like losing your right glove from the tenth pair you've bought in one winter or forgetting your bathing suit the first time you visit your uncle who's just had a brand new pool installed in his backyard. Well, these things could depress you if it weren't for the fact that usually when something bad happens, it's because something better is in the wings to take its place. It's the CRACKED philosophy that bad things happen because..."
"The Cloud" on the left. "The Silver Lining" on the left.
You get a flat tire on the freeway. An earthquake hits and the freeway in front of you collapses.
You come up short at the supermarket so leave an item behind. That item makes everyone sick.
PROFILE OF A COWARD: "There are two types of people in this world - the brave and the cowardly. Most of us are familiar with the first type because Hollywood is forever making heroes out of them. Our national anthem even has the phrase 'land of the free and the home of the brave' in it. On the other hand, cowards are a difficult breed to identify since they rarely go outside and when they do, they hide. We here at CRACKED have decided that the public should be able to recognize this 'jellyfish' and so now give you our..."
Oh, those cowards! They get beat up a lot and scared by everything. Boy, the problem with reading these blurbs is they drain all the energy out of the article. Unless that article is absolutely stellar. This last one...not so stellar.
WHEN THE U.S. ADOPTS THE METRIC SYSTEM: No blurb. A pretty funny bit. I remember that St. Margaret Mary's school, where I went from 1-6 grade, taught us metrics. Then, I went to Christ The King for 7-8 grade. They taught the other way. The way most folks know. And, I was a fool. I didn't know gallons, quarts, hogsheads, miles or any of that. I failed several math tests because I had been taught differently. Oddly enough, the teacher must have thought I was joking because she never helped me learn the system she used. She just looked at me with confusion and then let me fail. Awesome!
"The Steelers have the ball, it's first down and...and...and I think 9.144 meters to go!!"
"Inspector Lester of Scotland Yard" ---.9 meters Yard
Gregory peck needs to change his name to Gregory 8.8 Liters.
"Give a Russki 2.54 centimeters and he'll take 1.6 kilometers all the time!"
HOW THE POLITICIANS KEPT THEIR ELECTION PROMISES: "America is the land of promise...Especially at election time. Now that the elections are over CRACKED takes a look at..."
All right, I'll give you one and you can make your choice.
"Congressman Godfrey Goober promised 'Re-elect me and I will help curb inflation!'...Goober kept his promise! He named his new dog 'Inflation' and curbs him every day."
Another guy gives tax relief by sending aspirins with every tax form.
Sylvester fights inflation!
PARENTS! WE CAN TURN YOUR PROBLEM CHILD INTO AN IDEAL KID.: One pager showing how you can turn your slacker kid into a good kid. I'm not 100% sure what the joke here is. It's for parents whose kids don't agree with them or does stuff they don't like. I'd say this page is 20 years old but...I don't know. What's the point of this one?
HOW TO BE A SALESMAN: At the very end, they point out that the best part of being a salesman is counting the profits at the end of the day. We see a guy in "The Prophet Museum". He's counting the statues. "Moses is 23, Mohammed is 24, and Buddha makes 25!" There are some fun illustrations here but the article has so many groaners. I'm hurting my gut thinking about them. Sorry. Maybe this blurb idea was a rotten one.
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE TIME SAVING KING: "Today, speed is everything. Wherever they can, people try to lop minutes, even seconds off the things they do. For example, we had lots more to say in this fact-informed introduction, but we know people won't read it. In fact, if the government had a secret they wanted to keep from the Russians, the best place to leave it wouldn't be in a Pentagon safe, but rather in the contents of the introduction. Why? Because people have allocated only a few minutes to read this piece and, in order not to run over that limit, they'll simply skip this great intro. So why bother writing one! However, since people do pause to look at the title, we have made an effort to come up with a great one, which in this case is..."
Well, at least they know what's up here. The article is standard Nanny stuff. She interviews a man named Sa who runs the Evelyn Wooden Speed Institute. His real name is Salvatore Angelo Kreplach. Everything everywhere is shortened, except the introduction. Nanny kick that guy's ass and let's go on to the Shut-Ups.
1 - War!
2 - Cowboys!
3 - Bathing!
I don't even know now. My brain fried itself on the blurbs.
BACK COVER: Great Moments in Sports. A cop hangs some surfers. "Hang Ten!"
The issue is thoroughly average. The blurbs aren't that great. This was a bad idea. Next issue, we go back to the regular style of reviewing. I think everyone will be better off.
Next Issue: Are you kidding? Was this show still on the air?
Sunday, July 26, 2009
by Pierre L.
The cover certainly nails it. The Empire Strikes back made over $200 million in 1980. The closest films were 9 to 5 and Stir Crazy in the 104 million range. Well done, Darth and friends! It's a fun cover that, like the last one, is worth a good long look. But, I wonder why the background had to vanish. I wonder if they were standing in front of something great?
"This room has been affected by the Energy Crisis!...I don't have the energy to Clean it!!" Hey pal, in this heat, we're in the same boat. The poster has yellow lettering with a black background. Hmmm... Or is it a yellow backround with a black foreground that has letters cut out of it?
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Shut-Ups "Ah shut-up and read 'em!" Nice. Oh boy, the Cracked Lens title looks mighty lengthy. Why are the articles all out of order in the table of contents? It's not a very helpful table of contents then, is it? "Amy Stake - rder pruf"
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: "Dear CRACKED, Would you settle an argument my brother and I are having? Which is older -- the Kremlin in Moscow or the jokes used in CRACKED LOOKS AT A BIG CITY OFFICE?" Way to razz 'em, Mitchell & Larry Ritzman." Can I get an Amen?! Next issue - November 4th.
EXPLOITING THE STAR WARS FIGURES TO THEIR FULLEST: Darth Vader and Princess Leia in Gone With the Wind II. It doesn't actually seem to be a parody of Gone With The Wind but it's fun. "Chewbacca as the Godfather". He's pretty funny with his big, hairy face and the fat cheeks. Fun... OB1 Designer Jeans - "...if you find yourself having a rough time getting into them, just use THE FORCE. Luke Skywalker Lima Beans and "Odor De Tawntawn Perfume" and on and on... Yes, they will also be on TV. (Although, I'm pretty sure they did the "Star Wars folks on other shows" bit already.) Darth Vader uses his "choke you" power to convince a lady to pick his product in a taste test. Chewbacca advertises razors. Obi-Wan works for Lou Grant. It's a charming article that, in pure CRACKED fashion, never quite seems to connect with anything. It's a pleasant 6 pages to kickstart the issue. But, honestly, they seem to be out of things to say about the Star Wars folks. The verve from '77 is not here.
A CRACKED LOOK AT DUMB INVESTMENTS: Opening a "soul food" restaurant in Beverly Hills. Classy! It's all mistimed or inappropriate or just plain dumb products that people invest in. I've started this article twice and skimmed over it both times. There is one funny bit: "Investing in a Broadway musical doomed from the start." "The life story of President Millard Filmore set to music!" Two chorus gals dance on stage singing "Hello Millard!" That's funny. But, the rest of it... "Investing in any Farrah Fawcett Movie" with the movie in question being "Kiss Me, Kill me, Pummel Me!" must have been hilarious then...now, not so much. Why do they hate Farrah so much? The rest of it is stuff like "issuing tricentennial merchandise" and buying real estate around 3 Mile Island. The art is fun. The jokes aren't bad. They just never take off. I hope this isn't a theme for the issue.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really mean it this time!): There's a still from Deranged. Gosh, these are fun. Whoever came up with this bit deserves a CRACKED Award for Awesome.
THE CRACKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS GUIDE TO RACQUETBALL: Some funny bits. A few of the "You'll need a ball to play" kind of jokes and you see a man standing in front of a formal ball complaining how expensive this sport is. But, even for gags like that, the drawings are pretty funny. "Players then alternate striking the ball." Yep, there are strikers. But, they're pretty funny looking. The cross-section drawing of the racquetball court is just a pinch better than these things normally are. And, for this being a text heavy article, the text is large and the people always fun looking. I mentioned that before but you've no idea how great it is to just have some very funny things to look at. I thought I'd dislike this but I really enjoyed it.
HOW TO WIN A SCHOOL ELECTION: Ahhh. Lance Excelent [sic] shows us how to bribe who we need to bribe to win. How to tell Lies and be as vague as you need to be to win. In the end, it's a parody on real elections and it's OK. One of those articles that I can't really grasp the point of except for the fact that this would have been right before the 1980 election. There's a good gag at the end that I won't ruin for you. It may be the best part of it.
FUTURE ULTRA REALISTIC ELECTRONIC GAMES: The future! Red Dog Football! Blood spurts out of a hole after tackles. Authentic locker room smells. Cheerleaders with 24 different cheers. It's great! Long Shot! "Now you can simulate the thrill of blowing a wad at the races in your own home...Set comes with a paper shredder that shreds the contents of your wallet!" There's a baseball game, racing game, VEGAS! and a basketball game. They all are like the real things! More or less. I like the layout and look of this one, although the jokes are hit and miss.
YE HANG UPS: 4 one-panel gags. They're fine. Giggle and carry on.
CRACKED'S LITTLE KNOWN BY-LAWS: I really needed a breezy visual piece here. This one has too much text and drawings that are funny but ehh... "Law #4: In Boston, Massachusetts, you are not allowed to place an oral thermometer in boiling water." "Law #9: In the Soviet Union, you can get arrested for saying 'More onions on the pizza, please.'" "Law #12: In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it is against the law to tie an alligator to a fire-hydrant." At two pages, it doesn't wear itself out.
MASTERS OF EVIL: Three pages of monster themed CRACKED LENS gaggery. Some good stills including one from Harold Lloyd's film Why Worry. I see Count Yorga, Trog, The Mad Monster, Young Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. Why'd they put Deranged in the regular CRACKED LENS? That's the most horrific here. Regardless, laughs!
YOU WON'T BE INVITED TO ANOTHER PARTY WHEN AT YOUR LAST PARTY...: Oh boy, gags away! These are some oldies and some CRACKIES!
"...you unwittingly poured cement mix in the cheese dip."
"...you told your friends there were going to be door prizes and you gave away 5 doors."
"...you came dressed as a zebra and it wasn't a costume party."
"...you tried to offset the money you spend on the gift by stuffing your pockets with food."
REAL INCREDIBLE PEOPLE: "Checking out the T.V. ratings the other day, we noticed an interesting fact. Audiences are starting to ignore dumb situation comedies and detective dramas and are instead turning to informational programming. Well, at first, these shows were of high quality like 60 Minutes and 20-20, however, this past spring they've been getting dumber and dumber. In fact, the most moronic of all will probably be the new one they plan to introduce in a couple of weeks entitles...REAL INCREDIBLE PEOPLE" They got a little verbose in this into. This new show will look at tap dancing trout, a man who trains dogs to take their masters out for a walk and a lady barber who cuts client's hair with her teeth. Looks great to me. Sahara Prucell, Jolly Davison and Chairo are the hosts. There first story is with Burny Mihand, the Human Torch. He's a guy who is constantly burning! Then, Otto and Jock Doubleday, Siamese twins. One's fat and one's thin. Then, some other stuff happens and eventually the article peters out. Starts strong (I remember these shows. I was a regular viewer.) and then fades. It goes on one story too long.
"Help Sylvester Fight..." Sure, I know. Six dollars for 9 issues.
CRACKED'S CAREER GUIDE FOR DISC JOCKEYS: "Besides breathing polluted air, eating food which has been sprayed with pesticides, and making fun of uncoordinated people, there is one other thing we Americans have in common and that's...listening to the radio. And because of this, radio has become a big business. Everyday, more and more high paying jobs open up in the broadcasting field. And, because we care about your future, we're now going to tell you how YOU can take advantage of these opportunities as we present..." Sometime soon I am going to do a review that has the introductory blurb for each article written out. We'll check for any connections between longer blurbs and the quality of the articles. This article, by the way...is all right. The best joke is when they remind us that a disc jokey is a broadcaster. You see a man casting off from the shore. Instead of bait, he's casting a large-breasted woman. A broad caster! Get it! Ahhh... A lot of jokes like this. Turns out the Frankenstein's Monster isn't a good disc jockey because he mumbles too much. There's a comedy aptitude test and an application and, this is odd...it's the end of the issue.
1 - Painter!
2 - Tainter!
3 - Howard Cosell!
Total: I love a good Shut-Ups, Asshead!
BACK COVER: The Man and The Beast. A decent one-pager to close of the issue.
I like this issue. It has very little of the stuff that bugs me about CRACKED and much of the stuff I like. And, I love the fact that there isn't a single straightforward TV or Movie parody here, unless you count Real incredible People but that feels different. This is a fun issue. Let's get back on track, guys. I'm enjoying this.
Next issue: One of the very first ones I remember reading.
Monday, July 20, 2009
by Pierre L.
Hey! A background! And one that is really quite wonderful! Do they have to ration the cover backgrounds over at CRACKED? Inflation was that bad in 1980? Regardless, this is one of Severin's best. But, you need to proceed inside to really take it all in.
INSIDE COVER: There it is! The full two-page spread! Just like the Cantina poster from the Star Wars's parody days. This is huge and really wonderful. There's something to see everywhere on this one. The Army of Stormtroopers in the distance. Sylvester's sled trail. C-3PO making snowballs. What a great freakin' poster! This is how they all should be.
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Miss Reed - prffff rfdrer" And, in the little blurb...a strange joke: "So now everyone knows where you went on vacation, Sylvester...the ice planet! Don't stay outside too long; it looks Colth there!" Huh? I know it's the planet Hoth. But, what does this joke mean? Again, I get the distinct feeling that CRACKED saw what was happening in the pop culture world around them but really had no clue. Remember when they spelled Fonz as "Fonze"? Oh boy.
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: There's a letter from a guy praising them on their Six Million Dollar parody. His letter is from March 3, 1970. Ahh... Next issue - September 23rd.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES OUT: Fun art and a nice flow to it. But, my Lord, what's with all the rotten jokes. (They do, like they usually do, mention that their jokes are really, really old. So, why not try to think up some new bits?) Luke mentions his nose is running. The response is "Good! It'll keep your nose in shape!" Sure. Thanks, guys. Yoda cooks something on Luke's stove. Why? "Haven't you ever heard of a gnome on the range?" I'm pretty sure these jokes would have made me wince when I was a child. Now, they're giving me a heart attack. When Boba Fett demands the bounty on Han's head, guess what Darth Vader gives him? (A: A roll of Bounty Paper Towels.) Oh, when Darth says he's going to freeze Han, Han replies with "That's not an ice thing to do." I guess as long as you don't actually read this, it's wonderful.
CRACKED'S NEW SIDEWALK, STREET AND PLAYGROUND GAMES: New games for 1980! "Cowboys & Arabs!" (You can guess your own game here.) "Chicken!" (See how long you can ignore your Mom's cries for you to come home!) Three Mile Island (A water balloon and yells of "Meltdown"!) Let's Be Obnoxious (Bug somebody you don't know and run away from them!) There are several others but those are the ones I felt like writing down. I guess this article is OK. It just kind of sits there and teeters on the edge of big-time laughs. Wouldn't it have been great if it fell into the laughs?
YE HANG UPS: It's a full multi-panel one-pager! Wow! And, it's funny even if it doesn't make a lick of sense! Enjoy!
CRACKED'S UPDATED PUNCHLINES TO SOME OF THE WORLD'S OLDEST JOKES: All right... a few examples should suffice:
What's worse than an elephant on water skis?
Old: A porcupine on a rubber life raft!
New: Just about any episode of The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo!
Where's one place you can always find money?
Old: In the dictionary!
News: Under an OPEC member's turban!
What is orange and half a mile high?
Old: The Empire State Carrot!
News: The after-glow around Three Mile Island!
(Boy, they're getting a lot of mileage out of Three Mile Island in this issue.)
What tree is always unhappy?
Old: A Blue Spruce.
New: One just cut down to make way for a row of condominiums.
Like that... MAD-lite.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we mean it this time!): Hey, Airport 1975! 5 pages of joy and Marlon Brando. Always a good bit, this bit continues to always be a good bit. So there.
A CRACKED LOOK AT A BIG CITY OFFICE: These things need open spaces. It's two pages but all the chaos and frenzy of people and word balloons leaves me swimming in the jokes about the boss being absent-minded. How do we know? He took his wife out to dinner and told her not to mention it to his secretary! Not a lot of puns in this one. How many people work here? Oh, about half. Jokes like that. And, they fill up the space and some of the people look very amusing but...Who is all this for? Surely the kids who read The Empire Strikes Back parody at the start must be shrugging their shoulders at this. Hell, I am and I'm in an office right now. CRACKED, thou art inscrutable.
HOW THE GOVERNMENT CAN CUT DOWN ON SPENDING: Boy, this one is sure heavy on the political satire. Of course, the 1980 election was a few months away but, again, articles like this really don't match up with the cover or the lead article. Maybe there were a lot of disappointed kids out there after shelling out their cash on this?
In fact, I'm trying to remember how I used to read CRACKED. We didn't have a lot of money. So, we'd go to Wegmans and I'd spend the cash I had on a CRACKED because the cover's were usually so great and then...they'd be filled with articles like this or those "You Know you're Too [Something] When..." that I always disliked. But, I'd spend my money on it so, for God's sake, I was going to read all of it and love it! I guess a comic book worked better but CRACKED was Comedy! That's what it said it was! So why does it all feel so odd? I would have been seven when this issue came out. I started buying CRACKED very soon after this. Why? A lot of sizzle. Where the hell's my stake?
CRACKED FACTS: Some days I start reviewing these and they just make me tired. This is a thoroughly average CRACKED article with wacky Facts! "A large number of exotic carpets that Iran exports are produced from the dead hairs of the Ayatullah's [sic] beard." "Martin Quackery is the first man to be raised by a family of ducks. Today he is a successful down pillow manufacturer but every time he sees a duck he is seized with an uncontrollable desire to go to Disney World." The facts are never that great. They're far too convoluted and there's no kick.
What is wrong with me? CRACKED, have I lost the love?
THE CRACKED WORLD OF VACATIONS: Well, this sure didn't bring the love back. Boy, there is a grotesque pimply-faced teen in this bit. Yuktown, U.S.A. A wife demands her husband ask for more vacation. His boss obliges. The man is fired! BOOM! That was the sound of my trousers exploding from the high hilarity! Another couple goes to Italy and complains the whole time. But, when they get back, they say they love it. Have you heard each of these jokes fourteen times in the past?
A DOZEN THINGS NEVER TO DO AT THE BEACH: Two pages of advice like never offering to put suntan oil on a weightlifter's girlfriend's back. Move on...
SYLVESTER CONTINUES TO FIGHT INFLATION!
IF RONALD REAGAN BECOMES PRESIDENT: He'll always do a re-take! Ha! Well, this is no funnier that the kind of crap Ronnie did for eight years, although it's funny to see what people thought in the Summer of 1980. John Wayne on the dollar. Superman and Miss Piggy on the cabinet. Henry Kissinger does a screen test. Oh, Ronnie! We were laughing for a while, weren't we?
CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE MULTI-CINEMA KING: And, we end with Nanny. Mr. Ray Design is the man who puts together all these big-big multiplexes and, frankly, they're a bit of a ripoff. Small seats, smaller screens, theaters next to loud generators. Bad movies...Oh wait. That's not his fault. I enjoyed this round of Nanny. It was nice to see her. There really isn't anything to laugh out loud at here but it's worth your time.
BACK COVER: "Great Moments in Aviation" A guy selling balloons floats across the Atlantic with a bemused look on his face.
I think the thing that bugged me with this issue was that the cover and the lead article promise Pop Culture goofball fun. But, most of this issue is satire on the state of the union and the upcoming Presidential election. As a kid, I would have been disappointed. As a grown-up, I applaud their attempt but wish they'd stick to Mork and Coleman.
Next Issue: I wonder what this one has inside?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
by Pierre L.
Great cover...well, great subject for the cover. Where's the background? The people look great. The motorcycle and the General Lee looks great. The car is on a dirt road that fades away. The motorcycle is on...? Who knows? Are they in Hazzard County or the big city? Are they deep in the Void near Antares 13 in the Madeline Cluster? Where are they? Why is there no background? CRACKED!! Oh well, let's head in.
INSIDE FRONT COVER: A playbill for the "1st Annual Gala Jamboree Extravaganza" It looks like a great time. Lots of food. Live music (Bee Gees, Elton John and Kiss) and celebrities (Mohammad Ali, Belushi, Coleman, Parton, Winkler, etc.) Jimmy Carter will be there. But...there's a slip! Oh no! At the very bottom!
Time: Saturday, S... ... -2PM till ?
Place: W.... Pa...
You can't read when and where it is! The hell. I want to go. I want to go now. CRACKED!!
TABLE OF CONTENTS: "Rita Righta - pruf rita" "What's Up Front - Our Cover" I see Jimmy Carter and a man at "Veronica Lake" up in the mountains and gangsters and fisherman and the word "BEEP!!" Bodes well.
LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Still selling that Cracked Reporter T-Shirt. $4.95 plus 1 dollar S&H. And with CRACKED you can be assured...that's good handling! "Next issue - August 12th" People seemed to have really enjoyed the last few issues. I wonder if there's an "Anti-Lettuce" somewhere that's filled with "troll-style" letters like "CRACKED stink! MAD yes!" and stuff like that.
THE DORKS OF HAZZARDOUS WITH CHIPS TO GO: Boo & Cuke Dork go to Los Angeles for a hamburger. They drive past a smiling man whose T-shirt says "GONZAGA". Thanks, T-shirt! Punch and Yawn, the CHIPS cops, join the Dork boys in the General Flee and capture crooks. Along the way, it is clear that Dork-style law involves a lot of violence and crashes. Those cut-ups! During all of their driving around, Boo and Punch argue about which of them is better looking and who has more dates. In the end, it's inconclusive. I enjoy CRACKED's version of Los Angeles. At one point, there is an 8-lane road, which might be a freeway or not...But, regardless, there are stores along the road. I mean directly on the edge of the road. The doors open directly onto the road. Huh? What land is this? CRACKED? Have any of you ever been to Los Angeles? Unless it's a joke? But, what's the joke? Oh well...C-3PO and R2D2 show up and hijack an oil truck. I almost forgot that.
Great article. One of my favorite satires that they've done. It has a constant sense of movement. The jokes have enough life to them so when the article actually ended I wanted more. Nice beginnings.
ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS: 5 pages of funny. These article's are just getting better and better. One of my favorites: Calvary guys are hunched over the body of a dead Indian. One says "Remember corporal, 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian.'" The corporal replies with "I know that Sarge. Why, some of my best friends are dead Indians." Politically incorrect? Sure. More clever that the average CRACKED gag? You bet your ass, Franklin!
IF WOMEN REALLY WANTED TO BE TREATED EQUALLY: Remember how I said I wished Chips and the Dukes went on longer, well, here's one I wish was shorter. This article is about women doing all sorts of the "miserable" things that men have to do. "...Let them go for the car next time you come out of a movie and it's pouring rain!" "...Let them see how they like the 'mandatory jacket and tie rule' in scorching 98 degrees restaurants!" "...Let them move the living room furniture while the men decide where it looks best!" It goes on for two pages. There is an occasionally funny drawing but let's move on...
CRACKED FANTASIES: A man's head is in the center of the pages (Corkmonger, Walter Corkmonger) and all sorts of little thought balloons emanate from his mind. Winning Mr. America. Being allowed to marry Bo Derek. No bad weather while on vacation at Veronica Lake. Stuff like that. But, it all feels rather low-key. Nothing is ever that funny or that exciting. Maybe Corkmonger's just pitching low but it's your fantasy, man! Go crazier. This is like my 96-year-old Grampa's version of a CRACKED article. "I didn't want you to laugh too hard, Pierre. You might pull a hammer. (hamstring)"
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET ANYWHERE WITH HIM / HER IF: Are all these articles becoming the same? One page of guys and gals saying rude things to their dates. I forgot this was here when I scanned this article for the review. That's how memorable it is.
WHAT YOU'RE REALLY THINKING: Apparently, I'm not thinking anything that witty. I'm really just kind of an angry jerk. It does end with the writer of the article running into Mr. Sproul's office with the idea for this article. CRACKED!!
CRACKED VISITS THE OL' FISHING CREEK: I wonder how they do these. Does the artist draw them and give them to the writers who stick in all the jokes? Because, unlike the covers, there is always something going on in the drawing. In fact, I love the drawing in this one and that led me to realize why these bits bug me. A lot of times, especially when Don Orehek draws them, the actual layout is really entertaining. There's so much going on. You can scan this one and see so much. Charlie the Tuna fishing. "Warning: Slow Sand" Up in the top right hand corner, near the two old men standing in the water in bathing suits and fancy hats, the fishing creek seems to wind off into the distance. Hey! There's a tugboat way, way back there. No joke around it, although it is pulling a water skier . There's the Loch Ness Monster! "Danger: Thin Ice" So much fun stuff. Why is that old guy sitting in the water up to his neck? Surely not to deliver the rotten joke that he seems to be delivering? Up to the left..."How did you come to fall in the water?" "I didn't come to fall in the water, I came to fish!" I hope no one got paid for that. Ignore the word balloons, enjoy the richness of the Ol' Fishing Creek.
CRACKED'S ALL-PURPOSE TIME-SAVING "DENIAL OF CHARGES" SPEECH FOR POLITICIANS: Two pages of "I wish to speak to you..." And then, there are several different endings to that sentence, ranging from respectful to wacky. This is possibly the most boring article I've ever encountered in CRACKED. I just cannot focus my attention. It's impossible. Sorry. Move on.
THE CRACKED PENAL CODE: Tow pages of people punished for annoying other people. Getting up for popcorn in the middle of a movie sentences you to being thrown in a vat of hot, melted butter. It's like that. A lot of very similar articles in here this month. Oh well, at least it's only two pages long. The last panel is another reference to CRACKED and rotten articles. Hmmm... Oh, one of the punishments is mandatory viewing of a 36-hour Farrah Fawcett film festival.
WHAT "HELP WANTED" ADS SAY AND WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN: You know the drill. "Want a job with punch? Learn the ropes with a challenging position." Boxer. "Move up fast in dynamic Wall St. job." Elevator operator. The final panel is another CRACKED rib at themselves. We're getting a trifle too samey with these things.
LOSER - THE MAGAZINE FOR DEADBEATS: "Exclusive: 16 pages of blank paper. (The material got lost on the way to the printer.)" Yes, fat people, old people and ugly people...they're all losers! Actually, this bit is pretty funny. A bit heavy on the text at times but with some smiles. There is a great Severin drawing of a man walking down a dark road...towards a manhole...about to step on a banana peel...with a mad dog right behind him...with a flower pot dropping out of the sky...with a thug around the corner. That's awesome. The table of contents has a series of drawings, mainly illustrating articles listed. One is an open door, an overturned chair and legs swinging. The heck? CRACKED!!! "The time I was punched in the mouth by a member of the Humanist Society." Loser Quiz...Loser Advice Column...The Inquiring Loser...Ads for Snake-eye dice and a Real piece of Poison Ivy. The best bit? I think it's a big arrow pointing at a dull guy's face. "CONTEST - Find a name for this loser (So we can tell him to get lost during the hurricane season)" Pretty good bit.
Ad for Cracked fighting Inflation is next. And, it's Sylvester in the ring with the big monster named "Inflation".
CRACKED SONGS FROM OUTER SPACE: One example will suffice..."Broken Motor Opera" sung to the tune of "Satisfaction"..."I can't get no - warp drive action. I can't get no - chain reaction,/ Well I tried/ Overdrive/ And I blew out Warp 5/ Engines don't go. Engines don't go." That's the first verse. I'm done. Onward?
YE HANG UPS: Four one-panel gags. They're fun.
JIMMY CARTER'S TELETHON FOR ENERGY: Nanny shows up at one point to denigrate Dolly Parton's figure but, apart from that, this is a brand new way to end an issue. Jimmy wants to raise a billion gallons of energy! In the end, he gets about 8 gallons. But, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton show up. Very, very topical CRACKED article. Yes, these issues are still issues today but this article is very specific to the issues of the Summer of 1980. So, even though the article is fun to look at and a breeze to read...it's never really funny, today. However, the fact that they ended an issue like this is, frankly, awesome. CRACKED!!
1 - Conquistador
2 - Booze Hounds
Total - Conquiztabooze!
INSIDE BACK COVER: An iron-on. Sadly, their weakest yet. Two arrows: "See front of T-Shirt" "See Back of T-shirt" Let's see the back of the issue, shall we?
GREAT MOMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY: A wristwatch with a sundial! That's a heavy wristwatch!
Good issue. The highs are high and the lows are just average. A fun read that made me giggle a bit. Thank Goodness. To be honest, I was starting to lose my faith in CRACKED. But, of course, one issue does not a winning streak make. Let's check out the next issue before we start crappin' 'em out of excitement. Shall we?
Next issue: They struck back! And, it hurt my hinder!