Saturday, October 30, 2010

CRACKED #197: Another Team-Up. Emphasis On The T...

September 1983
by Pierre L.

Well, The Love Boat's been on for ages, sure. The A-Team, however, are a whole new world. A whole new violent, repetitious, ultimately monotonous world. But, off center to the right...there he is...Mr. T! He is here. And, on the edges of the cover are my favorite things...the random tourists that strolled into the cover painting. I like that.

"Plus In This Issue! Simon and Simon! If We didn't Have Ears!" Woah. You had me at the "ears" thing.

POSTER: At the bottom, it reads "This poster is brought to you by the CRACKED Society to Prevent Historical Confusion. (A Non-Profit Institution - but we didn't plan it this way.)" Great gag. Pee yellow background.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Imogene E. Uss, prf rdrer "The A-Y-Y-Y Team Takes A Ride On The Love Boat...Mr. T hee hee!"


Does anyone know how to decode this?

THE A-A-AAYY TEAM TAKES A RIDE ON THE LOVELY BOAT: Why is the title here different from the one in the Table Of Contents? High hilarity with saboteurs and kidnappers on the boat. The A-Team causes a heck of a lot of trouble. Destroying everything and blowing stuff up...All sorts of craziness. It is vaguely funny. The whole thing has a great pace to it that made me forget that it wasn't really all that hilarious. Oh well.. Final panel is killer. The Captain stands on the titled ship yelling "After what you guys did...[The A-Team's explosions and chaos on board.] THE SHIP IS SINKING!" Love that!

WHAT YOUR MOTHER WOULD SAY...WHAT YOUR FATHER WOULD SAY...: Oh, Dad! Oh, Mom! You say different things, don't you? "It's Saturday! Why can't I go to the beach? Huh? Jerry Slugfinster is going." MOM: "Oh! And if Jerry Slugfinster jumped off a cliff would you want to do that too?!?" DAD: "Have you washed the car and piled the newspapers in the garage? You should be doing more work around the house if you want go out on week-ends." Hi-Larious! "Can I borrow the keys to the car?" MOM & DAD: "No!" HA!!!!!! Well, kid, maybe you should get that driver's license first?

IF WE DIDNT HAVE EARS: Your walkman headphones would have to go up your nose. It would be tough whispering "sweet nothings" in your girl's ear. Instead of saying "I'm all ears", you'd say "I'm all nose!" I love the closing panel. (This is a high hilarity final closing panel issue.) "So, the next time you look in the mirror, rejoice over what you have..." A funny looking man is staring in the mirror, touching his ears. "Oh, EARS! I love you. Thank you for being a part of me!" A woman in curlers and a bathrobe walks by. "Are you going weird om me again, Frank?" Good stuff. And, the fact that Frank has gone weird before makes me smile.

MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOTS: No CRACKED Lens in this issue, guys? 4 pages of some fairly funny bits. Phyllis Diller is in this one. That's something to look forward to. I prefer The CRACKED LENS, though. There's something more, sort of, spontaneous feeling about it, if that makes sense.

CRACKED'S GUIDE FOR MAKING MONEY IN THE 80'S: All the great, greasy things you could do in 1983 to make cash, including endorsements, selling ET merchandise, becoming the leader of a third world company that fights communists and watching the US aid money come in...Stuff like that. Oddly political for CRACKED and not in a bad way. I enjoyed this.

REAL KIDS DON'T EAT SPINACH: A parody of the classic "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche". Those kids! They're so kid-like. Basically, we've got 4 pages of CRACKED that replicate 16 pages of this book about the quirks of kids. Troubles with baths. They know TV schedules and their birthdays but forget everything else...They try to stay up late. It's all just that sort of thing. Hmmm...this issue isn't doing a whole heck of a lot for me...Sorry.

CREATING YOUR OWN SUMMER JOBS: Sort of like the Guide to Making Money but simpler. The drawings are awesome. Filled with all sorts of odd looking people and kickass backgrounds. The actual gags are OK. Headings that say what the new job is with the picture below. "Vendor of Frozen Seat Cushions For People Who've Parked Their Cars In The Broiling Sun" A guy is shown with a fridge in a parking lot. He's taking a seat cushion out of the freezer and yelling to a lady "Why risk a burned bottom?" 5 bucks. It's 2 pages and it's fun.


HOW TO MAKE BASEBALL MORE INTERESTING: Feels like a repeat but I don't think it is. Stuff like more fighting and violence. At first base, they place quicksand so the next batter has to move quick so the runner isn't sucked under. Some guys ride horses. Multiple pitchers and batters. Lions are let loose on the field...Actually, this seems like it might be fun.

THE LOSER: Repeat from #131...seriously, guys?

SIMIAN & SIMIAN: Sure, it's a great title but this is one of those shows, like Remington Steele, that I could never ever imagine watching when I was a kid. And, in fact, I never have. (Riptide was another one.) As I read this, I began to forget what I'd read..."Will you take our case?" "Well, there are many important factors to be considered." "Like What?" "Will you pay us?" "Of course." "Then, we'll take your case." I kept reading..."Now what?" "I think it's time to try one of our favorite tricks." "Sawing an eggroll in half?" And, I hit the fifth page..."Here's a bar of soap and a scrub brush." "What's this for?" "I want you to come clean." And, then it hurt. And then, CRACKED ran through the motions.

We are getting close to #212. The end of The Sproul Era. I know that these were the ones I read voraciously when I was a child. But, who knew how rotten my tastes were back then? I'm having a heck of a time getting jazzed up about this issue. The repeats mixed with the old jokes mixed with the dull parody subjects...Sigh...Come on, CRACKED! 200 is approaching. It's been 25 years since you started. Take off into the Comedy Stars again...For Pierre...

1 - Wright
2 - Darwin
3 - French Revolution

Historical Shut-Ups! I love it! Killer closer.

BACK COVER: Sagebrush. Fun back cover gag with a very cool use of the comic strip page.

Well, you saw my thoughts. I'm running out of steam. 15 issues before the end, I'm beginning to lose it. I'm entering the issues read by a new generation of kids from when I started back in the mid-70's. So, apparently, CRACKED feels it's OK to use the same old jokes. Guys...please, pull it out and kick my ass...Please.

Next issue: An old friend returns...It's good to see him.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

#196: All New, All Cars!

August 1983
by Pierre L.

Everyone new is here and having a good time. And, of course, Tootsie is here, too. I imagine the rednecks of Hazzard love their cross-dressing Jewish soap opera stars. Regardless, everyone is teaming up and having fun. Let's go in. Did Daisy Duke wear high heels on the show? I don't remember.

I will say, as we approach the Poster, that this issue is the most beat-up CRACKED I own. It's crinkly, as if it got wet and it's strangely stained.

POSTER: The Cracked Ear Chart - Close eyes, Cover 1 Ear and try to listen to this chart. It's a very elaborate joke. And, I'm not sure it's funny. I'll get back to it, if I remember.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Noah C. Goode is the new Italian p rrrrder. "Any second now the light will turn green! With the squeal of tires and roaring engines the cars will race off the cover. (It's gonna look pretty empty!)"

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Amos Svaboda is back! The Official Cracked Fan Club continues to haul in the members. Next issue - May 31st, 1983.

NIGHT RIDER MEETS THE DUKES OF HAZZARDOUS: Nothing like being as literal as possible in the title. And, it's all true. The Great Food Caper is causing all sorts of trouble for the Duke Boys but, with some help from Mike Night, they will stop the bad guys and save (or Svaboda)the day and raise everybody's ratings. Strange, this opener didn't do much for me. I think it's because the jokes here are the exact same as the jokes in the previous parodies of these shows. They're just combined so there's no feeling of anything but going through the motions. Hmm, I wish I liked this more but I don't.

THINGS YOU'LL NEVER SEE: A 3 Foot Bully! A teacher whose belief is "Homework teaches you nothing..." A dentist says "This is REALLY going to hurt!" Two pages of this. Some of them are OK but they're all very obvious.

I guess when the issue starts off a little off I have a tough time catching the wave.

GIFT CATALOGUE FOR TEEN-AGERS: Video Games! Hey! There's 4 pages of this.. OK, it's not all video game stuff. Buy a Video Game Rear View Mirror so you can see a truant office approaching. Wear an S.O.S. Beanie Cap. Put it on and the Change Man knows to run to your side. Buy a Steel-Toe Kicker robot to kick malfunctioning vending machines for you. Stuck With A Super Ugly Blind Date? Well, CRACKED's got it solved. Check it out!

My favorite: Tadpoles to put in your brother's water bed.

It's a fun bit. I'm hoping we can keep it at this level.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES!: Well, we might be losing it again. It's only one page so it barely registered in my mind. A doorman says "It's not easy getting a taxi in this rain." to a snooty man. What he's really saying is, "But slip me a few bucks and I'm sure I'll get you one." Not a good article, not a bad article. Just a page in a magazine.

REALLY REAL PEOPLE: It's basically gags about modern society with captions like "THE UNBELIEVABLE!!" & "THE ELECTRIFYING!!" above them. It's a fun idea. But, underneath each picture, there is a full paragraph explaining what the person did. And, sometimes it doesn't quite seem worth it. You decide.

My favorite: "IMPOSSIBLE ACTS!!! It was revealed today that in Captain Video's video arcade in East Rockaway, New York, the PAC-MAN game there has NEVER been used. In fact, Jack B. Quick, the dumbfounded owner has replaced the game with the complete works of Homer and the kids are lining up at 25 cents apiece to read the Greek classics."

My least favorite...Actually, I don't have one. They're all at the level of the one above. I just think there's too much text for what should be simple jokes. Almost like the concept got away from the writer.

INDICATORS IN OUR LIVES WE COULD REALLY USE: A series of meters and scales that we could use in our everyday lives. A "Mugging Chance Indicator" in case you get lost in a big city. "Girl Date Meter" The girl wears it on her chest and it goes from "Anytime, handsome" to "When Hell Freezes over". "Bad Breath Analyzer Caibrater" and the "CRACKED Magazine Humor Rater" and the "Bureaucratic Hassle Indicator" are all fun. This is a charming bit. I like this one. I don't need a lot of clever. Just a touch.

"GOING OUT" SIMULATION KITS: Shall we take a mad journey back to the days when King Kong reigned supreme in CRACKED? Because, that's where this bit's taking you. Issue #139 reprint here. Oh well. It's still a funny article.

THE AD WAR HEATS UP: "The Muleboro cowboy eats quiche!" "In these tough competitive times some businesses have taken to ad campaigns that lambast the products of their rivals. First, it was Pepsi that took on Coca Cola, and now Burger King has put the knock on McDonald's Big Macs..." "TIME is Time but NEWSWEEK is News Weak". "The Santas at Gimbel's Have Bad Breath! They also renege on 89.2 [sic] of their promises." from Macy's. Pretty funny bit. At two pages, it impresses and goes...

"THERE'S GOOD NEWS...AND BAD NEWS...": Why did the Ad War leave so quick for this bit? Lots of quick bits in this issue. Another clearinghouse issue? They seem to have this about once a year. "It's good news when...You win a stuffed animal at the amusement park's balloon-dart game." "It's Bad news when...You needed 67 dollars to do it." "It's Good News when...At the age of 40, you still fit into your wedding gown." "It's Bad News when...You were a fat, dumpy bride." OK, some of these are funny. But, the layout doesn't encourage much. Four columns on each page. Two good News columns and two bad news columns on each. It's not so nice to look at. But, at two pages...

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO PLANT CARE: OK, before I begin...I have to ask. Have you seen this one? In the article title, the word "CRACKED" is in a box and is a different font and size than the rest of the words. Why is that? Was this someone else's guide to Plant Care and CRACKED co-opted it? Seems strange...Three pages about plants and gags about plants. Weird, this feels like a reprint but I don't know if it is. It's an OK bit. Nothing spectacular. A lady puts her "Lithuanian Laptick" in quicksand and it keeps disappearing. "Grow, or I'll pull you out by the roots!" "But, why?" says the plant, "I'm rooting for you!"

HOW TO HAVE A FUN TIME ON EARTH: A guide for aliens. Earth is open every day of the year, rain, shine or snow. It's all "satire" of a CRACKED variety. Go see "Earth's Devastating Indoor Demolition Derbies"...hey! We're in supermarket and it's crazy! Fun gags to play on earthmen..."Cause vending machines and phone booths to jam." "Plant numerous phoney 'Big Foot' prints." Hmm...this is 5 pages? Why? There is a chapter (Number 6) on where to obtain Reese's Pieces. Haven't they done this with R2-D2 and ET already?

CRACKED PREDICTIONS FOR THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE: There will be a faith healer game show called "Let's Make A Heal". Gas prices will be so high that families will trade in their children for gas. And, it is laid out in a CRACKED LENS-style, with the wacky picture matching up to the caption. It's like their Believe It Or Not articles. Some funny pictures here. Santa shows up.

Hey, where is the CRACKED LENS?

TOOTSIE ROLL: It's a Tootsie parody. I know Tootsie was extremely pouplar but, starting the issue with Knight Rider and The Dukes and ending with Tootsie...would that have been awesome for the average 10 or 11-year-old...I'm bored looking at the first page and this thing is 7 pages long. Let me have another look...

I'm back. Yeah, it follows the plot of the movie closely. Maybe I need to see it again. Maybe I was the wrong age. I never really was all that thrilled with Tootsie. I'm still not. The best bit is the kind-of-disturbing final panel. Stallone dressed as "Rockyette". Burt Reynolds dressed up for "Smokie and the Cutie". Tom Selleck in a dress. It's kind of funny but makes me feel strange...

1 - Guillotine
2 - Line-Up
3 - Plumber

These never lead me astray. Joy!

BACK COVER: The Truth About Pac-Man...Funny page. Pac-Man moves all over the cover. He eats cherries, strawberries, peaches, apples, grapes, bells, pretzels and keys..."The main thing everyone wants to know is where do I go when I use one of these side exits..." Restrooms! "...the same place you'd go it you'd just eaten all this junk!!" He is flying towards the "Pac-Men" room. Great closing gag!

OK, this issue was definitely uneven. A lot of short articles and then an interminable film parody. I guess, in the end, this is a completely average issue of CRACKED magazine. Some great bits, some vague bits, some bits that do nothing. And, a reprint. (Hmm, why the reprints?)

That's why we love CRACKED, I guess.

Next issue: Another team-up...and the new Cover guys for CRACKED...Guess...

I knew I'd forget about the Ear Chart.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

CRACKED #195: The Old World Meets The New

July 1983
by Pierre L.

Well, you knew it might happen. If you really thought about it, you knew that Gary Coleman would meet up with E.T. As inevitable as The Fonz meeting up with some sort of Outer Space thing. As inevitable as The Godfather meeting up with Jaws (or Jawz). Gary and Sylvester are rather nonplussed but E.T. looks very regal. For some reason, this issue smells good.

POSTER: $50.00 in a wallet was found and some other stuff...OK, well...Maybe the poster isn't such a good one. Let's keep moving...let's not let the filler weigh us down here...

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Prff Rderder - Kent C. Wellatall Hey! That's a good one! I hope evrything is spelled right here.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - April 19th, 1983. "Dear CRACKED, CRACKED #194 was the first time I didn't laugh at your cover, but loved it anyway. Both that and the accompanying article...were a fitting final tribute to a truly great TV show. I'll miss it. Scott Morrill Elmira, NY" Amen, brother

Woah! "SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - At the request of thousands of CRACKED readers we have formed the OFFICIAL CRACKED FAN CLUB." Holy...For $9.98, you get an official membership card, a special decoder "that will enable you to read the secret club messages appearing in every issue" and 10 issues of Cracked AND a Flying Disc! And, being a CRACKED fan continues to be awesome!

IF EaTing HAD BEEN FOUND BY ARNULD: It's more or less what you'd imagine. Arnuld smuggles ET around in various outfits including a large afro wig. Woolies's response? "Holy moley! It's Aretha Franklin's mother!...Wrinkly old broad!" They goof around a while and then get EaTing back to his bus...and the ratings for Diff'rent Strokes shoot through the roof. Yeah, this bit is a lot of fun. It is exactly what you'd expect and, possibly, something you could have written yourself but...I don't always want to wander into brand-new worlds. Sometimes I just want to sit peaceful and warm and cozy...That's what this article is. A joy...The last appearance of Diff'rent Strokes? It night be. That would be sad.

CRACKED GUIDE TO SKY DIVING: This is a reprint from issue #130. Well, the same things I said there stands here. Except...this joke...A man is buying a jumpsuit. "May I suggest one made of 100% duck down." " duck down. It may cause me to quack up."

THE PEOPLE'S COURTROOM: Great bit...Judge Irving Horsenagel. It's all kind of dull and boring (unless you love court shows) so after three pages...

THE ALL-NEW PEOPLE'S COURTROOM: Milton Mudflaps & Sondra Pitface...Dancing gals, lots of lights, a "Judgement Wheel" It's pretty awesome...The whole article (both halves) have a freedom and a roll to them. It's nothing I can spell out here because the jokes are all the same...It's the layout, the art and the variation in the panels. I don't know. I like this bit a lot.

WHEN MEN AND WOMEN SHOP: Oddly enough, most of this is kind of true. The sexes do shop in different manners. A few of these (the woman trying on a thousand pairs of shoes and the man in the gun store trying to buy slippers) are cliches but many are spot on. Men get embarrassed buying women's underwear. But, women don't get embarrassed buying for men. Women use shopping carts more than men. At three pages, well, this one may be overstating it but, even if it isn't funny, it's rather charming.

Am I drunk? I'm getting a real kick out of this issue.

I am not drunk. I wouldn't be able to write if I did.

I could be high, though.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A SUPERMARKET: OK. Another reprint. From issue #115. Oddly enough, the one with the first appearance of M*A*S*H on it. The one pictured in the previous post. How's that for coincidence? What's going on CRACKED? Don't you release large numbers of reprint issues every month? What's with the double-up? Something to do with the approaching Issue #200 perhaps?

THE CRACKED MOVIE IV: Little Miss Sunshine done by CRACKED...Not meaning to be a jerk, but this is as good as that movie. Mr. Sproul invests all their money in Rubick's Cube bombs so they need $25,000. So, Sylvester's Girlfriend Eva is being entered in a beauty pageant. So, the normal crowd of goofballs set off by train to go to Splunkville, Iowa...but the train breaks down so they have to hitchhike and, after some wackiness, they arrive at the big pageant. What happens? Read it and find out. This is better than III. On par with Part II but not as good as the classic first one.

(I'm lying. I don't remember what the first one was about. Was that the world-wide race?)

ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) Part XX: The best one. A huge battle is going on in a field. In the foreground, a man is waving his arm. The balloon reads: "That's it, guys! The war's over! Thanks for coming. You can all go home!" 4 pages of the usual awesome.

HOW TO BEAT THOSE VIDEO GAME PLAYERS: "At Last...Top Secret Strategy For Machines Like Yourself That Are Serious About Gobbling Up Coins!" The actual guide is only 2 sideways pages but it's charming. All about how video games can make players lose. Secreting oil onto the buttons. Flash subliminal messages "Your Parents want you to do some chores" onto the screen. Flash pictures of food. Use your "inside phone" to call a truant officer. i don't know what an "inside phone" is but I love it so much. Another fun, brief bit.

LIFE IN THE 21ST CENTURY: Like the man and women bit, this one is kind of true. Shopping by computer. Sports players will be extremely pampered and get everything they want. All the rock groups that ended in the 80's would be back, The Who and The Rolling Stones. Again...nice.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE AUTO KING: Holy Irving Krud! Another reprint! This is from issue #109, July 1973.

1 - Shoe Woman
2 - Grampa!
3 - Star Trek

TOTAL: Ride My Face To Chicago!

Good stuff...

BACK COVER: SAGEBRUSH...well, he hasn't been that funny for a while. I'd hesitate putting this on a back cover. Why buy it if all the gags are going to be like this? Luckily, I did buy it.

I thought this issue was pretty great. The hits overwhelm the misses. We are entering the New World of CRACKED in high style. I can't wait to see where we go next.

But, the reprints are a bit worrisome. 52 pages total (counting front/ back covers and inside covers). 11 pages of reprints. 21% of this issue is reprinted articles. The hell? Is this the beginnings of a trend? (Not to Overnerd it but if you don't include the's 11 pages of 48, which is apx. 23%, almost one-quarter of the issue.)

Next issue: The New World meets the Transitional World. I want to see where this is going to go.