Thursday, December 20, 2007

CRACKED #155: Throw 'Em All In The Water

by Pierre L.
November 1978

Yes, the Fonz is there. All your other favorites are, too. It's odd that The Godfather is still there as Part 2 came out four years previous. Sylvester is pointing at a shark as he hangs from a 'C'. And, the oddest part, Steve Martin is popping out of the water near the back. Huh? He's not in this issue. As far as I know, he isn't in any issue in the near future. What's he doing here? Apart from folks loving The Jerk very much. He was probably thrown in at the last minute. It's a little odd.

POSTER: Warning: This room protected by R.A.I.D.* Security Systems. Yellow is back!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: I see a vampire Bob Hope!

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - September 26th. Only one page...again.

THE GREATEST SEQUEL EVER MADE: Everybody from the movies is in this. It's about a baseball game and Rocky is in it and the Godfather and Jaws and the Talking Blob and aliens and everyone. It's pretty much the Ultimate Big Pile article. Everybody's in it and everybody's doing their thing and it's fun. The cover matches the lead article. A lot of talk about sequels and how they manipulate folks and things like that. It's a great opener.

THE CRACKED INVESTIGATION OF THE UFO PHENOMENON: A series of gags about people seeing "UFO" 's, strange accidents and other odd things. All of them are fake. It's just dumb people. My favorite is the scientist pointing at the strange shaped skull unlike anything human. (It's a jack-o-lantern.) There is an "illegal alien" joke. It's pretty sophisticated, for CRACKED. Another good article.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF SUMMER: Well, they can't all be smart. A series of comic strip gags. The best one is a kid flying through a window on a wave when the pool breaks. Oddly enough, there is a two-page spread in here (set at a BBQ) but it's not the middle of the issue. Hmmm...

...the bank guard's gun leaks water!
...the bank's armored car doubles as a fresh fruit stand!
...the bank can't break a twenty!

Stuff like that. It's OK. A real breezer...

CRACKED PUTS THE BITE ON DRACULA: There's Bob Hope! And, he is a vampire. There is a sitcom called ALL IN THE BELFRY. There are fake albums for Deathrow Tull and Linda Ronstdead. Thirsty vampires chase down fat ladies. (Do they have more blood?) There's a vampire craze! Enjoy! This is a pretty good one. Again, as obvious as a green pea, but there are some smiles here.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A BACKYARD BARBECUE: Huh? Didn't they just do this a few pages back? What is this about? More of the same. Maybe there are some repeat jokes in here, I don't know.

Bill Sproul H.S. Class of '42 is written on the shirt of one man. Actually, he's in the earlier one but...

WHEN VERMIN FIGHT BACK: Bugs and things getting smart and surviving against man. But, I'm pretty sure they do that anyway. I don't know. This one is kind of blah. An occasional moment of "Not Bad" but generally blah. Move on...

The Cracked Bookstore: No delivery!

WHEN UFO'S EVER DO LAND: They land and humans show them stuff like war and prostitutes and zoos and things like that. This one should have a big stamp across it marked "SATIRE". It is more obvious than some other very obvious articles in this issue. At three pages, it is OK.

A MODERN PARENT VS. A TRADITIONAL PARENT: Modern on left. Traditional on right. Food, pets, dress, religion, money, goes on and on. Modern parents are wishy-washy and allow their kids too much leeway. Traditional parents were stronger but oh-so-dull. This goes on for four pages. Why? I don't know.

A DOG'S DAY AFTERNOON: Funny one pager. Again, smarter than the rest of the issue.

FUNNIEST ISLAND: Winding down. A parody then Nanny. Today, I'm a little bored with this format. Some folks show up and want their fantasies lived out. It doesn't go completely right. But, it does go on for six pages. A little guy wants to box. A feminist wants to be Robin Hood. It goes on and then it ends and Nanny is on the next page.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE GARBAGE KING: He makes million off of garbage and he's a jerk! A strange moment in this one that made me less interested: The King turns over a garbage can and says you can learn a lot from garbage. He's sifting through and talking about the guy. Then, he says the garbage creator is a big guy who doesn't like people looking through his garbage. "How do you know?" "He's behind you." In the next panel, Nanny has been beaten up by the guy. The King is fine. Gosh, what a prick. I'm not so thrilled with this one.

1 - Nice
2 - Nicer
3 - Marvin

Total - Yes, this is nice! The Great American novel will be 2/3rds Shut-Ups.

BACK COVER: Some junk about a guy chasing a lion.

The issue starts off great but gradually levels out with obvious articles and mean-spirited nonsense. I don't like it when the issues go south like this. Oh well. What's next?

NEXT ISSUE: I've forgotten.

*I've forgotten this, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

CRAKED #154: Look who's back!

October 1978
by Pierre L.

Welcome back, Jaws! Or Jawz! Sylvester will get eaten but he will return.

A one-page poster. "Do Not Remove This Screw" with joke. The background here is blue. Where'd the yellow go, I wonder? The back inside cover is, you got it, an iron on.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: I see Darth Vader.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - August 15th. Still one page. Inflation continues to rob them of a page full of letters.

JAWS TOO!: (Not Jaws too!) It follows the plot of the movie. And, the joke's are all right. They beef this one up with all sorts of great cameos. Throughout the article, various stars pop up. Sylvester Stallone, George Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Farrah Fawcett, W.C. Fields and others. It adds a bit of extra verve and really makes this opening article fun. Possibly more fun than the movie.

COMBINATION SPORTS OF THE FUTURE: Basketbrawl, Pocket Golf, Footbowl, The Indianapolis 500 Roller Derby, Bull throwing, Glidenastics...All combo sports. Some pretty entertaining drawings and the sports are decently thought out. A nice article. So far we've paced ourselves real nice.

CLONING: THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES: If anyone has ever read Calvin and Hobbes, you've read stories where Calvin clones himself. That's funnier. This is stuff like one cloned woman goes to work while the other stays home and cooks and cleans. A disadvantage is that no one can tell the difference between people in a police line-up. Things like that. It goes along...I had no idea that clones were such a big thing in 1978 that CRACKED did an article on it. Odd.

THE CRACKED LENS: Welcome, officially, one of CRACKEDs best continuing articles! The titles will get longer and longer. A Collector's Edition or two will appear. They will repeat some "accidentally". But, here is the first one. It's two pages and it's smooth as VSOP brandy.

WHEN BUSINESSES START GOING AFTER THE OVER-65 MARKET: Retired Playboy! Senior Skateboard Parks! Comic books for Super Codger and Starchie. Updated Peanuts strips for oldies. T-Shirts! Toiletries! Amusement parks! It's all here and it's all for olds! (That's plural for "old people".) A decent article. The comic stuff is the best. The rest is OK.

The issue is fudging along decently. It's a smiling read. Not one to jump up and down about but a decent, solid issue. so far.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF TRAVEL: This is the same set-up as the last two issues. Four page article with a mini-CRACKED LOOKS in the center. Some decent gags and, in fact, the best part is the (almost) two page spread. I'm in a good mood and this article is spreading along nicely.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A SKATEBOARD FREAK WHEN...: You know the style of article. A little caption and a drawing matching up. The new wheels are here and everybody is skateboarding. Your girl sits in the back seat and the board is in front. You stare nostalgically at an old iron-wheel board. Junk like that. Two pages...breeze.

ODD JOBS FOR STAR WARS STARS: What can the characters do during the downtime between sequels? "Recently, the director of Star Wars announced that he was producing at least 10 sequels..." Wow! That went terribly wrong. Chewbacca- Demonstrating Hair Styles is the best one. A very fluffy Chewbacca with a hair dryer is an alternately funny and disturbing image.

Darth Vader -Butcher, barber & tailor
R2D2 - Jukebox, Garbage Disposal & Parking Meter
C3PO -Iron Horse Baseball Umpire, Pro Football Star & Mailman
Chewbacca - Doing Shaving Cream, Commercials, Nightclub bouncer & see above.
Han Solo - Taxi Cab Driver
Obi-Wan Kenobi - Santa Claus
Luke Skywalker - Professional boxer
Han Solo & Chwebacca - Truck Drivers
There's another but I'll leave that for you to find.


TYME: A Time magazine parody. Lots of text-heavy articles. Some funny headlines and photos. This one is five pages and is, frankly, too long. It starts off fun but all the text drags it down and by the end I found myself skimming. Although, I didn't really mean to. Maybe someone with more attention span would love it to pieces.

FAMILY'S FEUD: The Dull and the Trill Family meet up with Itchard Doorson in a parody of the well-known game show. There are some good laughs here but a lot of it does that strange CRACKED thing...They seem to know exactly what to parody but they don't know how. They get the fact that some of these family's are really dull but all the jokes about them are pure 5-year-old level. A little more "Oomph!" would really make something like this great. As it is, it's a couple of smiles and carry on...

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE PUBLICITY KING: Nanny! Big boobs! Mr. Irving Hype! This one is no world-beater but it flows along OK. Mr. Hype is a bit of a jerk. He'll hype anything. The crappier, the better. Oh well. I think we've come to expect the issues to coast to an end like this.

1 - Snakes
2 - Mobsters
3 - Italian Stereotypes

Total - Snobsterian Stereotypes

IRON-ON: The jaw of a shark. SMILE! You're on CANDID SHARK!

It's fun.


BACK COVER: Od and Nod Ooglog invent the cannon. There is an elephant with a spear in its trunk and a caveman with a big paddle. You can take it from there.

Not a bad issue at all. CRACKED makes me smile. This is a good smiler. Not a classic but solid workable CRACKED.

Next issue: Everyone back in the water!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cracked #153: The Glory of Fonzarelli Rains Down!

Cracked #154
by Pierre L
September 1978

There is the cover and it is beautiful. I'm looking at the actual magazine itself right now and I am smiling. Thank you, Cracked. You nailed this one and, yes, you nailed me.

POSTER: SOS (Save Our Sharks) Jaws has returned and pop culture is going fishy again. Regardless, the yellow background remains.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: From now on, I'm skipping the proof reader thing. If a really good one comes up, I'll tell you. "Could this be FONZIE cloning around again, or has earth been invaded by the coolest aliens of all?"

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: One page. Swift kick. July 11th - Next Ish.

THE HAPPY DAZES' CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND: There is no plot. There is just greatness. All the guys go out to Inspirational Point to make out with ladies. The Fonz is there. A UFO lands and it is filled with tiny Fonzies. All cloned from the Fonz. The planet is called Ultra Kool. All women are tiny and cute. All men, except one, are tiny and Fonz. The Great Exalted Gumba looks like Potsey. Oh no!

This article is wonderful. I need to assemble a regular issue binder of CRACKED Fonz appearances. I must!

There are so many great moments here but the description of Ultra Kool populated with Fonzies is the best. There are mirrors everywhere. Pinballs and combs become the natural industry. And, only four articles of men's clothing are sold. Jeans, white T-shirts, leather jackets and boots. The Fonz does not wear underpants.

When the women came to Earth to pick someone to clone, their other choices were:
Richard Nixon
Abe Vigoda
Robert Redford
Telly Savalas
Peter Graves
Paul Newman
Billy Carter
John Wayne
John Travolta

Best article, possibly, ever.

IF THE "FAMILY HOUR" EXTENDED INTO OUR EVERYDAY LIVES: It's what you'd expect but at two pages it doesn't disappoint. Everyone is cool. Everyone has superpowers. Leonard Nimoy is sent in search of lost children. Stuff like that. It's a breeze article. It speeds you towards the next one.

BROTHER BILLY AS PREZ: Billy Carter has Billy Beer and a big gut. What Jimmy did wrong is on the left side. The way Billy will improve it is on the right. You know...Jimmy failed to solve our fuel crisis. Billy will show the nation how to get well oiled! We see Billy on TV with a can of Billy Beer saying "Never drink Billy beer while drivin' may spill some of it!" Leave it to MAD, guys. Luckily, it's only three pages and it's not text-heavy. And, the Billy panels are pretty good. I'm hoping we climb back on track, though.

INCURABLY CRACKED: A warm-up for The CRACKED Lens. Three pages of stills from movies with word balloon gags. Kind of tough to describe in a review. This is no more funny or less funny than future installments of The C.L.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO FISHING: This one is much more free form than previous Guides. There's a poem and not all the pictures have captions. There are no new jokes here but the drawings are funny. This is a good guide. If I had to make a "Best of Guides" issue, this would be in there.

A CRACKED LOOK AT HOUSE PETS: Same as the STATE PEN LOOK from the previous issue. Four pages. A mix of multiple panels and single panels and panorama panel gags. The third and fourth pages have a mini-LOOK AT section. Still no new jokes. There are more writers than ever on this issue but what are they writing?

THE CRACKED HISTORY OF HUMOR: This one basically proceeds through history. Each panel has a year and an old joke in it. 1843 - Hotel. "You've got to make your own bed." "OK." "Here's a hammer and saw..." That kind of thing. They have taken the "no new jokes" mandate and twisted it onto its side. 2/15/1906 - An elevator operator says "What did one elevator say to the other?" A lady responds with "I think I'm coming down with something." You know what, it's old as a very old guy but I'm enjoying it.

April 4, 1957 - CRACKED is born

SAGEBRUSH: A good one. I guess he's back.

THE CRACKED ALMANAC: "A collection of hundreds of useless, incorrect facts in easy reference form." Funny. A series of lies stated as fact in almanac format. Good stuff.

Here a few I like:

If you mix 3 pounds of mud with 5 quarts of milk -
You will have wasted 5 quarts of perfectly good milk for nothing!

5 Numbers Seldom Used by Hungarians -
72 67 112 Plaza 2-7000 1,763,158,204,706

The word BORING becomes a totally different word when spelled backwards:
GNIROB meaning "bird repairman"

They also list the rules of Crowbar Ball. Email me for details.

Great article.

THE STARRY-EYED ASTRONOMER: Great one-pager. Old joke, good presentation.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: I never liked Eight is Enough. I found it kind of depressing. But, all the clutter of all the people makes for a pretty amusing parody. The kids have dumb "problems". Mom gets lots of food delivered every day. And, no one is sure what Dad does for a living. This is a decent parody. If you're a fan, this one might be kick-arse.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE ROCK 'N' ROLL KING: Nanny! I like this one. Rock concert jokes. They get bad seats but that's because "they have connections". Gene Simmons is at a B-B-Q to light the grill! Dicky Deadbeat is not very smart but he's a star. (Dicky Deadbeat - Only Beatniks are allowed into CRACKED, circa 1978!) In the end, Nanny decides she wants to be a rock star. Go for it, Nanny!



Total - Forever Young

BACK COVER - The first vet gets eaten by a tiger. Drollery, thy name is CRACKED!

It's a good issue. Not a great one but solid, fun CRACKED. The Happy Daze article and the cover put it in the Classic Pantheon. I wish the rest was as good but...what can you do? Read and enjoy.

One thing: On the cover, why does Ralph Malph's jacket say "Potsy" on the back? Why is Ralph wearing Potsy's jacket at Inspirational Point? The mind boggles.

Next issue: Bruce is Back!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cracked #152: Doesn't this look like fun?

August 1978
by Pierre L

Just a note: On the table of contents page, it says "May 1978". This would have been the month when the magazine hit newsstands. Typos can be fun.

Now, that is a fun cover. There is only one way to top a cover like that...yes, it will be the cover of the next issue. But, for now, enjoy this one. It's just fun to look at. "Star Wars has a Close Encounter" is exactly what you're going to get.

POSTER: "This Poster is Condemned" A meta-poster from CRACKED. Yes, it does have a yellow background. How'd you know?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Chuck Spellin' is this month's prufef Rdrr.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: One page. It contains this letter from Tony Allen of Seattle, WA: "Dear CRACKED, I didn't see the need for that article A CRACKED LOOK AT OLD JOKES. Isn't that what the other 48 pages do every month?" Amen, brother.

Inflation ad - Still there.

A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE STAR WARZ GANG: This story takes place immediately after the end of Close Encounters. Royboy Neery gets on the UFO and finds the Star Warz gang there. Together, they go on a mission to stop Dark Badar from kidnapping people from all around the galaxy. He's dastardly! But, it's fun. The princess is kidnapped again. The gang has to get past the Knock-Knock Monster. They do this by killing him with bad jokes. They hide in a giant candygram dressed as chocolates. And, they find the kidnapped people and...they are all pop culture figures from the 70's. Is the Fonz there? Hell, yeah. And, Dark Badar calls him a "Nerd!" 1,000 smiles. In the end, Badar loses again and we see the Princess in a leather jacket yelling "AAAAAAY!" Wonderful. A great opener.

So, we have...

Star Warz
Star Warz II
The Six Million Dollar Man v.s. Dark Badar
and this one...


CRACKED'S METHOD FOR DEALING WITH TRAVELING SALESMAN: A man named Gumm teaches us how to deal with traveling salesman. You know, I'm not drunk right now but I'm getting buzzed off of CRACKED. This article is no better than any other one like this. The jokes are obvious with illustrations that bring a smile. Possibly it's the fact that "show don't tell" is a good rule for comedy but CRACKED (and MAD) always shows and tells that makes it a bit of a blah read sometimes but today I'm enjoying this. The man dressed as a baby. The saleswoman straddling the guy to stop him from running away from a refrigerator sale. The ways to deal with telemarketers. And the closing joke as a hand turns the page while Gumm tries to sell as his book. I loved it. Four pages of fun.

CRACKED'S INQUIRING PHOTOGRAPHERS VISITS THE STARS: So very odd. Promotional photos of Alan Alda, Henry Winkler, Telly Savalas, Farrah Fawcett and every other star circa-1978. And, they all have little captions and word balloons. It's all so hysterically lame I can't stop laughing. Example: What's the one thing in life you regret most? The Fonz says, "Never having Hamburger Helper as a child." What? What does that have to do with anything? The Alan Alda one is a Hawkeye-style one-liner but many of the others are big "Huh?"'s. What's your secret for looking so young? Potsie: "I made sure I was born much later than everyone else." Come again?

Loved it!

CRACKED VISITS THE "PROVERBS AND FAMILIAR SAYINGS" MUSEUM: Fun at three pages. A crowd is led through the museum by Carl Cliche. They see the straw that broke the camel's back and watch a man watch a pot that never boils. They examine a patch of grass from both sides. Things like that. At the end, Carl asks for money. Huh? Gumm?

Oddly enough, after last issue's Handufactured Products, this one feels like a repeat. I can't prove it but the art looks different. The crowd is made up of folks from the mid-60's. (The women's dresses give it away.) And, an article like this would be four or five pages if it were new. This one is far more concise than they usually are. Again, it's just a feeling. I can't vouch.

SAGEBRUSH: Sagebrush? Have they done a Sagebrush comic in the past three years? Maybe this was the page after the previous article in the original issue and they just reprinted all four pages? It's not a bad strip, though.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A STATE PEN: Hmmm...This looks like one of those multiple comic strips spread across the pages types of article at first. But, there are only a few of those here. The top is a series of one-panel gags about visiting hours. The bottom is a series of gags in individual cells. Then, you turn the page. And...there is a mini-spread in the center. The Penitentiary courtyard. Bad jokes everywhere. Why would you take an article that wasn't that great to begin with and expand it to four pages? I don't know. The only really good gag is the last one. Two guys being let out after twenty years. The jail provides new clothes. The final panel is one of them in a rabbit suit and the other dressed as a schoolboy circa-Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Well, they can't all be good. You've got to expect things like this.

SUPERHERO ADS: Lady Lib, Silver Cyclone, Major Dynamo and Friends are now advertising their services. Power your city block with the cycling power of Major Dynamo. Silver Cyclone can wreck buildings and clear areas quickly. It's for fun. At two pages, it breezes by. (This isn't an old one, is it?)


HONESTY ON THE TUBE: News programs with the regular announcer and a Resident Truth Sayer next to him. Stuff like: "No cause for the blaze has been determined." The Truth Sayer replies with "Maybe not, but the building owner, Al Gerb, was seen walking away, holding his monogrammed lighter and singing 'There'll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight'." It's not bad just not very sharp. However, it's only two pages. Huh? Was this some sort of clearinghouse issue for old articles they never expanded to full term? Maybe? I don't know.

ISN'T IT ROTTEN IN SCHOOL WHEN: Not a fan of these. A picture with a "..." caption underneath. " raise your hand courteously, keep it up for long minutes, and someone shouts out the answer anyway!" Why is this one three pages? It's OK. A quick read. Maybe you've guessed the last one. If not, skim down to the bottom of the article.*

ONE MORNING ON JOHN SEVERIN'S DRAWING BOARD: A two-pager. Pretty fun. What's with all the breezy quick articles in this issue? I love it.

ONE EVENING IN THE MCDUFFY HOUSE: Another one-pager. Not as good as the previous Article but...It's fine.

HIGH NOONISH: One of their "classic" parodies. Not a repeat, however. This one begins as a High Noon parody and then morphs into another attack from...The Talking Blob! (He first appeared in #149.) Fun stuff. Every time an oldie pops up like this I guess we can expect the Blob. I enjoyed this. The twist halfway through keeps it interesting. An enjoyable parody.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE SKATEBOARD KING: Somehow this one seemed a lot easier to read than the previous issues interviews. Yes, Nanny is here. Yes, the skateboard king is a crook and a rip-off artist. But, the article chuffs along with a smile or two. I've got good spirits from this issue. This bit doesn't bring it down.


1 - Goofy Guy
2 - Firing Squad (Ooooh! That Smarted! is written on the wall.)
3 - Quicksand

Total: Bravo! I smiled and laughed and shut the hell up.

BACK COVER: Something about head shrinking. Not a great one. Oh well.

I enjoyed this issue very much. The opening article really kicked arse and sent us flying. My good-will-o-meter was at a high here. All the brief articles really chilled my berries. (in a good way) This is a fun issue. I wish they'd do more like it.

NEXT ISSUE: Best cover ever?

* "...after 16 years of education, in your very last class you realize that school will be over and your troubles will really begin." Amen, everybody.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Addendum to issue #151

TV GUISE listings (selected)

7:30 - Bionic Lady
Locked in a raisin factory, Jamey (Lindsey Wagger) uses her bionic powers to break out in order to save a teen-age boy from a stack of deadly buckwheat pancakes.

Miss Teenage American Pageant
Special: Hosts mason Reiss and Mel Brooks guide viewers through this live telecast of the 18th annual pageant. The contestants are judged on appearance, personality and breath. The girls also perform in a production number and try to step on Mason Reiss for the sake of humanity. (90 long minutes)

9:30 - Love Ship
To the delight of millions, the love ship is eaten by an underwater creature.

2:00PM - Movie-Comedy

Wonderful World of Dizzy
Two brothers disguise themselves as an otter in order to win 1st prize at a dog show.

7:00AM - Hi There America
David Hartman yawns for 20 minutes and then interviews the author of "I WAS GERALD FORD'S PAPER BOY".

9:30AM - The Moppets
Kermit and the rest of the gang welcome 3 great puppets of the past: Howdy Doody, Lamb Chop and Spiro Agnew.

10:00AM - I Love Loosey
Loosey surprises Rickety by locking one of his show girls in the closet and taking her place - or was that yesterday's episode?

9:30PM - One Date at A Time
Anne accepts a date with a man who is only happy when dressed like a bowling pin.

There are more but these truck me after a first read. I can list more if needed.

Copyright 1978 CRACKED Magazine.

CRACKED #151: I See Angels

July 1978
by Pierre L

It's a fun cover. Charlie's Angels was never a show I watched. And, in fact, I caught half of an episode recently and it has that 70's hour long drama "pretty bad" feel to it. I saw thirty minutes and thought it was repetitive even though I had nothing to compare it to. Regardless, Sylvester is great here and there's enough entertaining stuff going on to reel you in.

POSTER: Correct Time! It's a picture of a clock at 7:21. And, it's the old favorite "this clock is right twice a day" thing. And, it's got a yellow background. Why? What exactly is the purpose of that yellow background? Why not a lovely baby blue? Why not a dark violet? Pee yellow? Was this a 70's thing? Did pee turn yellow in the 1970's and this color was a novelty? Did people pee green before? What am I talking about?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Luke N. Cee, pruf rrddrr The best? Maybe. Standard TOC. Let's fly to the Lettuce.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: One page again. That inflation ad is cutting into our letters. Apparently, there is going to be an Australian edition. Hmmm...I should check that out. "Next issue - April 25th"

CHURLIE'S ANGELS: The gals are called out to protect three tennis players at the Purena Goat Chow Invitational. There's excitement, intrigue, sexiness and jokes your grandfather would have buired out back. As I mentioned, I'm not a fan of the show but this is an OK starter. Almost any show could have been inserted into here. It's kind of generic but... There is one good joke. Two of the Angels are having a secret discussion in the country club restaurant. They are trying not to be seen. In the next panel, they are speaking in a darkened place. They mention not wanting anyone to become suspicious. The next panel reveals that they are under a table and all the patrons are pointing and staring. Not bad.

HOW TO EAT BETTER FOR LESS MONEY: A guide to keeping cows in your basement. And, stealing free samples from the supermarket. And, buying Octopus Malted in bulk. And, dressing up as a lady fish to attract men fish. And, getting arrested for killing a bald eagle. It's a breeze article. I forgot it right after I read it but the image of the old lady fainting into a display upon seeing prices going up is funny. A nice article.

The issue hasn't started with a bang. But, a light, refreshing breeze.

TV GUISE: A very elaborate TV guide parody. All sorts of new shows are listed including "Moskowitz and Chang". They're detectives and they are, apparently, awesome. Some very funny stuff here. In fact, the elaborate listings of the TV schedule make this seem more like a National Lampoon article or something. I'll add a small addendum with my favorite show listings. Suffice it to say, this one is good stuff.

Lassie as Jaws
Woody Allen as James Bond
R2D2 as the Fonz
These get better as they go. Lassie as jaws is a bit on the obvious side. Woody Allen as James Bond isn't funny but the caricature of Woody is amusing. R2D2 as The Fonz is, possibly, the best ever. Richie, Ralph and Potsie talking to a robot in a leather jacket who just goes "Beep" is great. I miss The Fonz.

A CRACKED LOOK AT OLD JOKES: The setting is a restaurant/ club. And, it a "CRACKED LOOK..." that prides itself on being nothing but bad jokes about flies in soup and the like. Can you see the irony in this? "I don't know. But, it's crawling up your arm." is included. Something strangely perverse about this one. Meta-CRACKED. I wonder if this means that this is the last one of these. (As far as this type of gag feature can go.)

THE CRACKED WORLD OF FOOD: MAD, welcome to this issue. Where do these come from? I always thought MAD cornered the market on these comic strip-style things. Of course, CRACKED'S are less political and less satirical. A CRACKED article about food in this style is definitely going to feature a bunch of fat people. And, this will not let you down. There are also health food gags and a decent sight gag or two ("All little Gilbert eats is junk!" and it's true). There's a buffet gag and...all kinds of wonderful magic. Fun? Sure. Groundbreaking? No. CRACKED? Yes.

CRACKED'S DETECTIVE HANDBOOK: Another text heavy one. Awesome. The illustrations are funny. The gags are decent. This one makes me feel warm inside. There are moments when CRACKED doesn't make you laugh but it makes you feel nice. It makes you smile and enjoy life. We are in a run of these articles now.

From a slow start, we enter the final third coasting along through clouds. Nice.

HANDUFACTURED PRODUCTS: Paper Cups, Cigarettes, Pies, Peanut Butter and Records. All drawings of folks mashing peanuts by hand and carving grooves on vinyl. It's fun. At the very top, there is a great drawing of the Frankenstein monster waving. It's a fun article...and if it is from earlier than 1965, I'd be surprised. From the art to the strange subject matter (in an issue so heavy on mentioning inflation, there is an article on expensive handmade products?), this is clearly a repeat. And, it's fun as hell.

IF FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER DID GUEST APPEARANCES ON T.V.: This must be why the last article is there. We briefly see Frankie there and this is all about him.
The Walled-Ins - He is a rather creepy scarecrow.
The Six Billion Dollar Man - He is Stebe Austin's Dad.
Laverne and Shirley - Frankie is dating Shirl. No problem from muggers.
Good Tymes - He eats Delma's cooking.
Happy Daze - The final panel is a repeat of the final panel in the similar King Kong article. And, it is so cool.
This article is awesome.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE AIRLINE KING: Let's come back down to earth. Nanny interviews Mr. Freddie Faker who is kind of a jerk. Lots of cheap flight gags and stuff like that. Luckily, this one has really great art with all sorts of entertaining caricatures and such around the interview. I'm still getting tired of this feature at the end of each issue but this one is not bad.


1 - 2/5
2 - 4/4
3 - 5/8

All for laughs and all for nice.

Final Score - Brown

BACK COVER: Great moments in Horsemanship - Lars the Inept invents Spurs. We need a little breather at the end, I guess.

This issue is about as fun as it gets without actually having a lot of laugh out loud moments. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If this isn't the Golden Age of CRACKED, then it's a very solid Silver. I can't wait to see what's next.

NEXT ISSUE: Let's mix and match some more.

Friday, November 02, 2007

CRACKED #150: An Historic Encounter

Cracked #150
May 1978
by Pierre L.

150 issues of CRACKED! Who would have thought that this little goofball magazine would make it this far? And still doing the same jokes! Ahh...Makes me smile. Without further ado, let's step inside this important issue and grope around.

COVER: Excellent. Good for a smile. I always like to Sylvester front and center.

POSTER: A "Top Secret" one that really isn't all that great. Possibly the problem with it is that if you have it hanging in your room, it's just too much to read and the joke is too subtle. Folks want to look and acknowledge and smile. This one is too much effort and not enough payoff.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Luke N. Cee is the pruerrfer for this issue. A preview of upcoming articles? Two words: Jimmy Carter. How's that grab you?

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: One page. The second is that "Fighting Inflation" ad again.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE WORST KIND: I haven't seen the film in years. Does someone want to send me a copy? I'm kidding, of course. A great parody. It has a real nice flow to it and there's always something fun going on. Some of the jokes are older than a Civil War veteran. (How many kids of 1978 were actually familiar with the song "Melancholy Baby"? I only knew it from CRACKED jokes.) It's a brisk 7-page opener that goes against my "no movie parody" rules. The closing joke is a McDonald's one! The head alien is asked the secret of the universe. His reply: "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese..."

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO PADDLEBALL: Why not? Paddleball! They even mention it in the intro..."Just when you thought you had learned every sport that there was to know..." Ahhh, something about this guide is charming. Silly pictures with, mainly, straight captions. I smiled throughout. Maybe I'm just feeling good. Maybe Jesus loves me still. I don't know. Regardless, this is fun CRACKED.

COWTOWN U.S.A.: The best! Cowtown (from Issue 139) has returned! It is a photo (real photo) filled brochure for a vacation in Cowtown. A lovely young lady and a man in a cow suit enjoy the town. This is very funny and almost feels more like a National Lampoon article than something for CRACKED. If I had the ability, I'd post the whole thing. But, I don't know how. Suffice it to say, you get a buttload (is that the right word?) of info detailing all the fun stuff to do in Cowtown. I will list just some of the activities on the final page:

"Get Up!
Get Out!
-Come wash in our sinks!
-Ride on our newly paved road!
-Smell our bread!
-Shiver in our cold!
-Soak in our rain!"

Good stuff.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF HOSPITALS: First thing I noticed was that it's printed poorly. The article is too close to the top of the page. The very top edge of everything is cut off. Quality, thy name is CRACKED! The first thing I thought was "After Cowtown, this is right back to MAD-sville." But, it's actually not. If you read the article, it is not the standard several panel comic strip-style stuff with a bad punchline. The way this one is written is more interesting. Jokes and funny names are sprinkled throughout. Not just in the final panel. One guy is named "Mr. Pumplechunker". Were they all high over there? One of the strips starts with a fat lady swinging from a bar in a doorway. It ends with something that doesn't even seem to be a joke. The gag is at the start and it moves towards serious behavior. Wow! I wonder if this thread will grow and extend across the issues? Possibly not but... 4 pages of an interesting avenue.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A SKI LODGE: Funny jokes? You won't find them here. "What's that jacket of yours lined with?" "Duck down." You provide the punchline. However, this one is laid out exactly like the Santa's Workshop "LOOK" from the previous issue and it's fun to stare at. Nothing all that humorous but not a bad way to spend two pages.

IF THE CARTER FAMILY BECAME TV REGULARS: No. It's a lot funnier when Darth Vader is on a TV show. The Washington Squares with the Carter Family is mildly amusing. The Man From Atlanta (Man From Atlantis parody) makes me think that the original 5 episode miniseries of Dallas would have aired the month after this issue came out. So, in March 1978, Patrick Duffy (Or "The Duff") was known to CRACKED readers as "The Man From Atlantis"! (Steve?) But, at the end of April, he would be known as Bobby Ewing.

Actually, I wouldn't mind talking about Dallas but I'll keep on moving.

OTHER "SELF-SERVICE" BUSINESSES: Self-service gas stations lead to conjecture. Self-serve hospitals and supermarkets and courtrooms and hair salons and restaurants. Another strange article. The jokes aren't funny and the drawings are so cluttered and zany that, on occasion, I can't quite see the joke. (The supermarket is a good example. What am I looking at?) However, the energy and smash of the drawings make for an article that I just kept peering at. It was fun.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO MARTIAL ARTS: Lots of funny drawings of people kicking and punching things. I've always thought that two "CRACKED GUIDES" in one issue was too much. This is no exception. But, it is fun. The two men dancing in one diagram is funny stuff. Like a lot of this issue, this article is a breeze. Smile and enjoy.

GOOD TYMES: "Good Tymes"? How long did it take them to figure that one out? "Just throw a Y in there?" "Where?...Oh!...Good stuff!...Lunch?" This one's all right. The earlier Good Times parody back in Issue 130 was funnier. By this point, Florida was off the show. The father was long dead and all sorts of secondary characters had taken over. Mr. J.J. Walker is as good as ever but this makes me kind of sad. Shows that grind on long after they should have stopped are not so fun. It's like seeing the end of My Three Sons. Everyone's married and has kids! 12 seasons that thing was on for. Somehow I just end up wistful rather than cheerful at the end of this one.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE SOUVENIR KING: It's Nanny - looking good. It's some guy selling souvenirs - he's a shyster. Nothing worse and nothing better than they'd done before with Nanny. To be honest, I was really hoping they'd end the issue differently. Nanny at the end is honestly wearing on me. Oh be it. It's like one of those albums where everything really rocks but the last song is longer and slower than everything else, kind of dragging it down. Let's move on...I don't expect a change here.

Sal - 3/5
Wilbur - 4/5
Louise - 4/5

Total: Joy

Every person shut-upped and named in this issue. Great stuff.

BACK COVER: A jockey shoots another jockey to win a horse race. The issue kind of tails off. (No pun intended. Pun received?)

I loved this issue up until the end. But, there is enough good stuff and slightly odd off-kilter stuff to keep the CRACKED fan amused. This one actually might be a decent one to show non-fans. I think I'll show your mother.

NEXT ISSUE: Ladies and Ladies and Ladies

Monday, October 29, 2007

Addendum to Issue #149

Excerpts from the "Statement of Ownership, Management & Circulation"

1. Title of Publication: CRACKED Magazine
2. Date of Filing: October 1, 1977
3. Frequency of issue: Monthly except February, April & June
4. location of known office of publication (street, city, county, sate, zip code) (Not printers): 235 park Avenue South, new York, N.Y. 10003
6. Names and address of the Publisher, Editor and Managing Editor: Robert C. Sproul, 235 Park Ave. So., New York, NY 10003 Editor: Robert C. Sproul, 235 Park Ave. So, New York, NY 10003. Managing Editor: None
7. Owner...: Major magazine...Robert C. Sproul...Bernard Brill
10. Extent and nature of circulation:
A. Total No,. copies printed (Net press run: Average No copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 891,479; Single issue nearest to filing date, 904,916.
B. Paid circulation: 1. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors and counter sales: Average No. of copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 471,981; Single issue published nearest to filing date 541,250. 2 Mail subscriptions: Average No. of copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 1,820; Single issue published nearest filing date 2,301.
C. Total paid circulation: Average No. copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 473,801; Single issue published nearest to filing date, 543,551.
D. Free distribution by mail, carrier or other means: 1. Samples, complimentary and other free copies: Average No. copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 118. Single issue published nearest to filing date, 100.
E. Total distribution (Sum of C & D); Average No. copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 473,919; Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 543,651.
F. Copies not distributes: 1. Office use, left-over, unaccounted, spoiled after printing; average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 700. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 720. 2. Returns from news agents; average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months. 416,860. actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 360,545.
G. Total (Sum of E & F should equal net press run shown in A): average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months, 891,479; actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date, 904,916.

I certify that the statements made by me above are correct and complete.

Robert C. Sproul, Publisher

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cracked #149: Haven't we seen this cover somewhere before?

Cracked #149
March 1978
by Pierre L.

Yes, we have. It's the same idea as the "Free Poster" from #135. Oh well. This one is still fun. It's nice to see these characters that we love all jumbled up like this. Darth with C-3PO's head is pretty funny. Let's step inside.

FREE POSTER: "Warning! Absolutely Nothing Will Not Be Tolerated!" Did they find this one in a "leftover gags" file from issue #74?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Let's move on!

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - January 31st. Pretty standard stuff. Best letter: "Hey CRACKED, Don't you ever stop making fun of STAR WARS? They spent a lot of time and money on that movie and you treat it like a TV Show." So true.

There is a "Statement of Ownership, Management & Circulation" included. I may include a bit of this in an addendum.

THE SIX BILLION DOLLAR MAN VS. DARK BADAR: Someone is draining off all of the Earth's electricity. So, Stebe Auston is shot into space and winds up on the Death Star. He gets rescued by Luke Skywalker. He thinks Stebe is the Princess. The best line in the whole bit comes when they are leaving the cell and Luke says, "Put on this Barbara Streisand disguise and we'll sneak out of here in no time." And, over the next page, the Six Billion Dollar Man runs around with a curly wig and a big nose. It's great.

This article is really quite entertaining. It mixes the movie with the TV show and comes up with a few good hoots. The crew of the Falcon and Stebe dress up as Tupperwear sales ladies and sneak on the Death Star. All sorts of junk like that. In the end, there is a Wizard of Oz parody. I liked this opener quite a bit. Mix up the TV and movie stuff more often. Putting a TV character into a movie plot is nice. Let's carry on...

CRACKED'S SPECIALLY TAILORED BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS: MAD ahoy! This is what you'd imagine. Example: "Grocer" There is a big supermarket ad that reads: "Poindexter grocery - Today's manager Special! - 1 7-1/2 lb. baby girl Denise - Started Wed. May 10th at 7:45 - Continues indefinitely." Another example: "Stock Broker" We see one of those stock printer machine things with a long stream of paper coming out of it. The magnified paper reads: "At the close of the hospital today, Callenger Enterprises was up 1 as the company declared a new dividend - Mark David Callenger Company should continue rapid growth as Mrs. Callenger told stockholders her intention of declaring still a second dividend on a date to be announced." Stuff like that. Written in their sleep or taken from an old issue of MAD. Move on.

JERRY INTERVIEWS THE STARS: Jerry Dumpy interviews Bobby Bake, King Kung, Wretched Thomas (John-Boy) and Wattah Faucet (ex-Charlie's Angel). This one has some fun art and some good gags. Wattah shows up at the door looking like the lady from the Bounty commercials. King Kung is really tiny. The best, though, is Mr. Thomas. In contrast to his Waltons character, he wears a beret and smokes a cigarette on a long holder and yells "Hi!...Simply Hi-i-i-!" when he sees Jerry. In the end, Jerry turns out to be Nanny Dickering. Pretty good stuff.

ONE AFTERNOON AT A COLORADO SKI COMPETITION: Decent one-pager. A lot of snow. I miss snow.

CRACKED TIPS FOR IMPROVING HOME MOVIES: If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a reprint. Actually, I don't know better. It's about spicing up home movies with flashy titles (The trip to Mexico becomes "Terror in Tijuana") and wacky camera angles and stuff like that. You need to add merchandising rights and cakes falling onto baby's heads. Then, you've got it. Fun article. I can't shake the feeling that it's an oldie, though.

A CRACKED LOOK AT SANTA'S WORKSHOP: The best ever. Big pictures and decent jokes. It's all set in Santa's place with elves and reindeer and toys and antler polish. This is the first "CRACKED LOOK AT..." that I've ever wanted to see go on for an extra page or two. Nice.

So the halfway point...a solid issue.

A subscription ad kicks off the second half. Still fighting inflation.

IF THE CHARACTERS OF STAR WARS APPEARED IN OTHER MOVIES AND TV SHOWS: Matching Game '77 (amusing), The Walled-Ins (all right), The Wizard of Noz (good for a laugh) and Rockey (not bad). This is exactly what you'd expect if you've read other versions of this. And, it's great to see these characters appear in other things. I wish it was a little less obvious but then it wouldn't be CRACKED. If you loved the characters and couldn't get to the theater again, they're here. And, they're good for a smile.

OK, there is one superb joke. Dark Badar is on Matching Game '77. The question is: "Mary said: Oh Harry, I don't know how to tell you this but I'm going to have a BLANK." Dark Badar's response is "I'm going to have a..." "Medium-sized intergalactic rumination."

IF ALL VIOLENCE WERE ELIMINATED FROM TV: Football players tag each other and form a strong offensive line by eating smelly cheese. Injuns "scalp" cowboys by giving them buzz cuts. Cops throw Boston Cream pies at crooks. It's fun. The art has a lot of verve here and the sound effect "SPROUL!" is used. I like this one.

IT'S A LOT WORSE IN BUFFALO: An article about how cold it is in Buffalo. Apparently, it's pretty cold! Yeah, it does get cold there. During bank robberies, you can't tell who is the crook because everyone has ski masks on! No one can commit suicide because the snow drifts are so high! I miss snow. They gotta knock it off.

I recently transferred my old VHS of a Yule log to DVD-R. The tape was 30 minutes. So, I looped it four times. Two hours of the yule log. Did you see that the Christmas candles are out? Excellent. I can't buy them now because I'll have burnt them down by Thanksgiving. Still...


THE TALKING BLOB: A parody of The Blob. It's great. I like when they hop back in time like this. Somehow it seems more charming than usual. The Blob ends up eating everybody and is only stopped by the CRACKED printer ending the article. The Fonz doesn't show up like in the Beach party parody. Still...This is a lot of fun.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE WRESTLING KING: We see a lot of chicanery involved in professional wrestling. Atilla the Bun loses in a bout to Nanny's nephew. The pictures are funny and the words are few. This is fun Nanny. Just goofiness. Leave the social commentary to MAD. They do it better and it suits their magazine, which is, frankly, more ponderous. Fun closing article.


1 - 5/5 (A lady with an awesome face)
2 - 5/5 (Quicksand)
3 - 4/5 (A big suitcase)

I feel giving. 5 stars all around. I am Shut-Up.

BACK COVER: Great moments in Auto Racing. The visual is better than the punchline. A confused man in a little car. His car has a chain attached that leads to an enormous cannon. It is about to be fired. He doesn't look happy.

Great issue. I was worried in the beginning because it seemed like we were climbing in a rut. However, this is good stuff. CRACKED firing on full and making us smile. I can't wait to see where we go next.

Next Issue: You-F-O!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cracked #148: That's one sweet-ass cantina!

Cracked #148
January 1978
by Pierre L.

Great cover. The center of the "Star Bar" poster. And, yes, this month's poster is the pretty awesome "Star Bar" spread. One of Mr. Severin's best. Everybody's laughing at Sylvester! Because he's the freakiest one of all.

As we've seen in the past, though, a kick-arse cover can disguise pretty bland insides. What about this month? let's jump in.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Seymour Errs - prueff rrder Now, that's bad spelling!

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: The lettuce sometimes looks more like cabbage to me. Next issue - December 20th. Amos Svoboda has a couple of letters here. But, it's only one page. There's a subscription ad on the second page. Oh well. I just set myself up for another year. Pretty cheap. $4 for 9 issues. Not bad. That's cheap comedy.

THE SPY WHO SNUBBED ME: Lots of funny visuals. Lots of Jawz attacking Jaimes Bund. And, possibly not their best use of "funny character names" Bund and Jawz? Who wrote this? My 4-year-old nephew? The best gag in this one is during the opening ski scene where a head is randomly floating through the sky saying "Uh-oh! Wrong page!" Who is he? We'll find out. Not a bad opener. It moves briskly and James Bond films are generally one step away from parody anyway so they didn't have to travel far. When Bund turns to the audiences and says "Aren't my asides nauseating?", that's nice.

THE MACHINE MANIA MONOPOLIZES THE MOVIES: Basically fake movie posters for films that are completely robot or machine filled. A bit of a strange article, I thought. People were certainly robot nutty because of Star Warz (Wars, sorry) but were they really "machine crazy"? Maybe they were. "Robot Love" is a robot love story starring Jason Robots Jr. and Joan Rivets. "Robbie the Robot Cop" has a sidekick dog played by Rin Tin Tin. "Riding For a Fall" is about the tragic end of Hollywood's #1 stunt car. This one stars Jane Fender. Bela Lugassy stars in "Dracula Drags Again". And, of course "Gunfight at the OK Garage". But then, it takes a strange turn. "Introducing Morrie the Mower in...The Grass is Greener". "The Iceman Cometh Not" is starring Fred "the Fridge". "When Your Number is Up" is something to do with a calculator. There's a real charming in these articles that seem to catch a clever idea from pop culture and then spin off into realms that make you think "Do they know what they're writing about?"

A SOUVENIR PHOTO ALBUM OF THEIR TRIP TO EARTH: Star Warz, ahoy! Cy-Threepiu & Artie-Ditto visit Earth and what do they find? What you'd expect? Yes. Artie is treated like a fire hydrant. They get good service at the gas station. They get mad when they see a guy punching a vending machine. They are thrilled to watch people at the beach swimming in oil. It's fun to read but it consists of 100% of the jokes you would have thought up if this were your job.

A BROCHURE FROM P.T.U.: Prime Time University! It's all about congregating and watching TV and reading TV Guide. This is a pretty great article. But, unfortunately, you'd need to read it. Lots of fine visuals and great "brochure" text. It even has a commercial break. Let me just say: Kojak graduated from here with a LLB (Bachelor of Lollipop Licking). This is good stuff, folks. Find it and read it.

THE HOW TO INSULT MANUAL: I can take or leave this one. It's basically a guy telling another guy all the insults he can use in his day to day life. I was going to pick one and print it here but, Lord, they're all bad. "I remember you when you were only this big!" "And, I remember you when you were only this wide!" Stuff like that. One great joke: The guy telling the insults is the head floating through The Spy Who Snubbed Me. His head appears at the top of certain panels narrating the insult action. Somehow he wound up in the wrong article. Take that and move on.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A PLANT STORE: Big drawings, fewer word balloons than usual. Not actually a funny setting but there are a lot of women who look like Nanny Dickering. I've been enjoying these more and more lately so...this one ain't bad. But, a plant store? What's next? A stationary shop?

ONE MINUTE TV SHOWS OF THE FUTURE: Very fast TV. 60 Minutes is now guessed it. Interviews are people saying "Hello" and that's all. Gone With The Wind is edited down to a minute. Funny how this was such a crazy thing then but, gradually, this is the way most TV has become now. And, it didn't require the choppy "Comedy" we get here. It slowly became this over a long period of time and tightening. So, the article is slightly amusing but not really up to much. Time has dulled its sheen. It does have some charm, though.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF TOYS AND GAMES: I'll just start with this: There are two cheerleaders in this one holding up their phone numbers for the football players. Their numbers are - Suzy: 213-1876 & Lucy: 943-7890. They're older now but they've still got zazz! MAD invades CRACKED offices. A series of comic strips with gags a-plenty! Franny Fallapart from Renco is the highlight. She's a doll that falls apart. A brief read. Good for a smile. But, let's move on.

THE 99,999 MILE BOOK: A parody of a car care booklet put out by Shell that ties everything back to Shell products. It's laid out sideways as if it were a real car care book and it's pretty amusing. Actually, they are Shill products but you know... Always use Shill oil. Sage bit of advice: Every year you should do a simple check-up on your car. "Engine...Is it still under the hood?" Useless info except when it's sending you to Shill products. Fun stuff.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE HOBO KING: Nanny! This one is pretty good. I know I've been getting down on Nanny lately but this one has verve. A good issue can perk things up. Turns out this hobo king lives in a mansion. There's money to be made in hoboing! Ahh, what happened to hobos? They do rip off a Groucho Marx joke at one point (probably more than that, actually). The Hobo King makes a joke and then, in the next panel, he's looking at us and saying, "Well, look folks. Every panel can't be a gem!" Only remind us of that when we're in hysterics otherwise it looks like you really don't care.

STAR PEOPLE WEEKLY & CREATURES & THINGS: A tabloid for outer space! Hugh Hefner XII is on the cover with his outer-space Playboy Empire. And, the gals look real odd! Apparently, they just opened the first McDonalds on Uranus. How do the new Polaroids work? Pop the Polaroid Pill in your mouth. Focus on the subject. Tweak your nose. Finished photo pops out of your mouth. It's fun. This is an entertaining article that pops up in one of the SPECIALS in the next year or two. Look for it! Oddly enough, at five pages, this one could have been longer.


1 - 3/5 dead guy
2 - 4/5 old guy
3 - 5/5 mail man

I love shut-ups.

Final Score: hot/damn!

BACK COVER: Great Moments In Games - Upper Mongolia - 1,057,649 BC - Wooka J. Zooka Jr. Almost Invents Tic-Tac-Toe. (It wasn't until 83,422 years later that circles were invented and tic-tac-toe became popular.)

An extremely charming issue. This is the way CRACKED does it right! A dud here and there but, overall, solid. Makes you smile and makes you want to read more.

Next: More Star Warz! More Fun? We'll find out.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Addenudm to Issue #147 Review

Two of the hottest items in the stores these days are Tuscan peppers - just one bite and you'll know how hot they really are - and electronic calculators. Bought mainly for mathematical problem solving in the past, these space-age devices are now about to take on a whole new role. So grab your machines and get set to try


1)If Mr. Bixby, Mr. Cullin and Mr. Cosby all entered a room at the same time, what would you have a lot of?

(28,849 x 2 + 20)

2) What a woman often does when asked her age?

(2,145,447 x 3 - 1,118,996)

3) A witch usually wears Cover Girl on her nose when she goes out because she's trying to conceal a ____?

(3498 + 3608 +2)

4) Mary wanted something sweet for her birthday, so John gave her a box of ____ and told her tow wait a week.

(81 x 81 - 1223)

5) What you'd send if you learned King Kong was coming in a hour for breakfast?

(38 x 38 + 71 - 1010)

6) What Tonto always said when people asked him why the Lone Ranger always got to wear the mask.

(36 x 36 + 27,541,271 x 2)

7) What a person says when Richard Nixon reiterates, "But really, I am NOT a crook!"

(1.61616 divided by 4)

8) What Texans think Mt. Everest is.

(34 x 34 x 7 - 378)

9) To whom 30% of your pay check goes to every month.

(35,445,672 x 2 + 186,001)

10) How the British pronounce what's on the bottom of a shoe OR what Bruce the great white's favorite appetizer is before having filet [sic] of human.

(12 x 12 x 2 + 445)

11) What a husband does when he gets his wife's credit card bills.

(1,161,068 divided by 2)

12) What you will become if you read CRACKED for 8 hours straight.

(1434 - 663)

Article reprinted from CRACKED MAZAGINE #147, page 12. Author unknown.

CRACKED #147: Hi, Sylvester!

Cracked #147
Decemeber 1977
by Pierre L.

What a great cover! We haven't had a cover like this for a while. Apart from the taglines, no pop culture references. Just Sylvester and some goofiness. I missed this. Let's head in...

The Poster is another great Sylvester-themed picture. "Sylvester the Janitor!" with a little jab of comedy right under your belt. Ahhh, the magazine feels young again.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Well, the contents look the same as always. That was fun while it lasted.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: I don't know why but I've just been itching to dive right into the bulk of the issue as of late. Would you care to join me? Next issue - November 8th

STAR WARZ II - Sheep on the Planet Crackabor are being dewooled by Dark Badar! Why? Who knows? The folks at CRACKED might but I've forgotten. It's fun to think that they anticipated the sequel immediately. Too bad it's so CRACKED. Maybe they need a writer working for them who wasn't one of Milton Berle's favorites from 1949? I don't know. The art is great, as always, and there are some decent jokes but this just feels like space being taken up with a "guaranteed to sell magazines!" article. I wish The Fonz were in this. Kirk and Spock from Star Trek are, though. I'm not a Star trek fan but I did go to see the first movie in the theater. I fell asleep a lot. In the last panel, Spock and Kirk hold up a sign saying that they will return in Spring. Of 1978, I imagine. But, the movie opened in 1979 and it wasn't very good. Maybe I need to see it again.

What was I talking about? Oh Star Warz II. Well, I can assure you that every child with action figures was coming up with better stories than this one.


THE CRACKED HISTORY OF ART: More fun. Great art mixed with some good gags, including Dick Clark having a $20,000 pyramid built in ancient Egypt and Leonard Da Vinci's earliest drawings. He started as a cartoonist. The first drawing is a guy with a broken fife being handed a fife by another guy. The second guy says, "Take my fife, please!" A guy reading the cartoon look confused and says that he doesn't get it. I sure do! It's comedy you blockhead. Go piss up a tree! At four pages, this one is a sweet-smelling breeze.

EXERCISE MANUAL AND HOT DOG STUNTS FOR SUPER HEROES: Funny. It's a manual for super chin-ups and levitating push-ups and diagrams for Solitaire Tennis and the Home-Run Bunt. I like it. However, the artwork and the layout smells of the late 60's to me. I can't say for certain that this is a reprint but it sure might be. If anyone knows, give me a yell.

A GLOOMY INDIAN STORY: A one-pager. Good chuckle. Fun, slightly demented, artwork.

IF PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE ADVERTISED: Apparently this was considered such a ridiculous thing at one time that articles like this could be written. Lawyers and doctors and dentists advertising? Not on this Earth! Well, they didn't then. And, this article is OK. "Are you divorcing more, but enjoying it less?" My favorite line from the "Ned's For The Defense" ad. Actually, it's a fun article (it's been a pretty fun issue).

A CRACKED LOOK AT NEW YORK CITY: Here is my advice: Do not read the jokes. Look at the drawing. The drawing is superb. (It includes a store called "Sproul's" with the words "Smoke Cracked" on the front window.) It's very detailed and funny. The jokes get in the way. Sometimes you have to look underneath what they're actually doing to get to the good stuff.

My copy has two postcards in the center. "Greetin's From Herkimer County" and "Greetings From Brooklyn". They're great! Really, they're OK.

The Cracked Bookstore: Fonz for President still on sale!

CHATTERBOX WEEKLY: It's a completely frivolous entertainment magazine that actually is not much different from stuff you'll spot on the checkout line today. The cover features Telly Savalas -- Selling advertising space -- on his big, bald head! Lots of text heavy stuff here but it's worth a read. Chewbacca and Farrah and The Carter Family (not the singing one) and Jimmy J.J. Walker and everybody you could imagine. Jimmy J.J. buys Peter Frampton's new album. After listening to Side 1, he is heard saying "Now, I think I'll listen to side 2." I've seen this one re-printed in collector's editions so you should be able to run across it pretty easy.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT: All about getting toned up and in shape. High energy foods? A basket of light bulbs. How do you warm up? A winter jacket and a muffler. It's stuff like that and I think your tolerance for sheer silliness will determine how much you like this one. I love it so...Here's One For Your Mom!

WHAZ' HAPPENING?: It's fun. A good TV parody always makes me smile. But, again, there's something about picking a comedy and pointing out the things that crop up again and again in it that seems odd. That's what makes a sitcom a sitcom. Characters repeating themselves in slightly different ways week after week. And, let me be honest, loud, fat people on TV are damn funny. Two of them are funnier than Jesus should allow. What's the plotline here? Who cares? Are there jokes that seem to come from the Henny Youngman Joke File? Hell yeah. Do I like it? Surprisingly, more so than Star Warz II. Let's see what's next.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE WRITING KING: Actually, Nanny calls him the "CRACKED" Writing King. So, this one is filled with in-jokes. Mr. I. M. Amoron is lazy and not funny but Bob Sproul met him when he was picking through trash (both of them were, actually. Mr Sproul was looking for jokes.) and made him the head guy. At least Cracked can pick at themselves. Of course, that's where Mad has based most of its humor so... Who knows? This interview is the most fun in ages because it references many of the writers and artists and is having a good time. Maybe after this Nanny should take a vacation...or come to my house and massage me.


1 - 1/2 (Guy with big nose)
2 - 3/4 (Guy run over by tank)
3 - 5/6 (Guy with funny beard)

Total: I'm just goofing around.

(BACK COVER) THE ANGRY ELEPHANT AND TARZAN'S SON: From the same guy who did the earlier Indian one-pager. A nice closer.

I liked this issue. Only the Star Wars parody made me shrug. The rest of it ranged from funny to time-passing. And, with No Fonz, that's all I can expect. This is one worth reading.

NEXT ISSUE: The Force ain't goin' nowhere!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Addendum to the Review of issue #146

Here are the covers included in the "CRACKED COVER STICKERS".

Cracked #146: Let the Warz begin!

Cracked #146
by Pierre L.
November 1977

Well, you knew it was coming. Star Wars is here! And, it will almost be as big as The Fonz. Expect heavy Star Wars presence over the next batch of issues. Good or bad? Let's see. There are free gifts inside so that's something.

THE POSTER: "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, LIFT FLAP!" And, if you lift the flap it tells you to knock it off. Only lift it if there's an emergency. I don't know if I have time for this kind of chicanery.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Same proof reader as last time. Looks like a fun issue...

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Two pages of magic. "Next issue - September 27th"

STAR-WARZ: Excellent parody. Well, pretty fine parody. Again, the movie parodies don't always grab at me as strong as I'd like but this one is pretty nice. This feels a lot like every joke-filled parody that kids made after the movie came out and it's no worse for that. I'm tempted to detail everything in this one but I think that would be silliness. This is good stuff. You should seek this article out and give it a read. (It's probably in a CRACKED SPECIAL somewhere.)

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO CANOEING: I've been canoeing a lot and this guide would have definitely come in handy. This article is of the "Straightforward captions with wacky pictures" variety. It's all right. Somehow it feels very odd coming after Star-Warz. Almost like the magazine is trying to bring itself back down to earth. The previous article went all over the place. This one is blocky and text-heavy. It's a bit of a sharp yank.

ON CAPITOL HILL: A clever little one-page zing. An interview with a politician that caps off with a nice punchline.

WHEN THE COUNTRY RUNS OUT OF WATER: All sorts of little gags about what will happen when we run out of water. Crooks stealing water coolers. Ice cubes being more important than diamonds. Things like that. Some funny illustrations here. The best bit? "Conserve Water-Drink Booze!' I'll get behind that.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO JOGGING: Another guide already? And, this one is of the same variety. And, it looks really familiar. I don't think it's a repeat but maybe they should have kept this for the next issue. If there had been only one of these Guides in this issue, Awesome. Two is a bit much. Some fun captions and pictures but I wandered away halfway through.

What an odd issue so far. They started off with a bang and they're doing their best to back away from it. Why?

FRUSTRATIONLAND: Fantastic! Instead of "A Cracked Look at...", we have this. An amusement park full of annoyances that people can knock around. Burn IRS Forms. Take a tank trip down the highway. Abuse a Farrah Fawcett-Majors lookalike. Pretty funny and kind of sad at the same time. You can't really eliminate your problems but you can go to an amusement park and pretend like you can for a while. Well...

There are also little CRACKED COVER STICKERS in the center. Various issues of the magazine from the 50's and 60's. It's pretty sweet. Strangely, several of them resemble MAD covers.

FRINGE BENEFITS ATHLETES WILL SOON BE DEMANDING: Their own personalized cheerleading squad. Brow-wipers for tense bowlers. Padded basketball hoop rims. Things like that. It's OK but I didn't find myself nut-cracking over this one.

CRIMEDOM'S MAIL ORDER CATALOGUE: Things for crooks like mugging tips and mouthwash for whoever gives you the kiss of death. In fact, the mouthwash joke was just used in the Fringe Benefits article. This one's all right but I have a tough time getting too jazzed up about it. This issue is losing me.

THE GREAT AIRLINE WAR: Fonz flies TWA-AAAY! Best joke here. Lots of gags about the crazy stuff airlines are doing to get folks to ride. Concerts, tennis games and all kinds of junk. This one is made up of a series of small ads detailing the fun on each plane. It's pretty good but, you know the rule, invoke Fonzie and you've limited yourself. The best bit is the bit with Fonzie.

THE DEEEP: Another movie parody. I can't vouch for the movie (as I've never seen it) but this parody isn't bad. It has a nice flow to it and a few funny moments. It's far less MAD-like than the Star Wars parody. It's nice to see two different sorts of parody pop up. Both of them are fun although I really would have preferred something less limiting here.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE INSURANCE KING: I love Nanny more than ever. However, these articles are tiring me out. I'm starting to dread reaching the end of these magazines as the repetitive nature of these things makes me sigh. Maybe Nanny should have her own show or something, like a sitcom? I don't know. Not a favorite part of the magazine for me.

1- 3/2
2- 4/5
3- 1/1 (a lady and a boat)

Total: You make the calculations. My Shut-Ups calculator is broken.

The Man and the Ink Spot (back cover): Nice closing one-pager. A lot more fun than many of those "History/ Inventions" things that normally float around back here.

Boy, I ran out of steam here, huh? The issue was mighty uneven. Some great bits mixed with some stuff that barely kept me awake. I think it's one of those things where Star Wars seems to welcome the magazine into a brave new world but most of the issue is the same-old CRACKED. And, frankly, I'm hoping for a new revolution in comedy here. The Fonz knocked us up a level. I was hoping Star Wars would have the same effect. Oh well.

Next Issue: A throwback cover and some sassy insides!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cracked #145: Don't Demean My Fonz

Cracked #145
October 1977
by Pierre L.

I love the cover and I don't love the cover. The Fonz hasn't been this degraded since we saw his little legs hanging off the conveyor belt on #136. But, if anyone's going to pick the Fonz up like that, it should probably be Rocky. (Kong would be to easy.)

Yes, in the end, I love this cover. Let's check out the magazine, huh?

"Craymon" This is a word in the "Big Confusion" poster. The poster has a lot of strange, goofballery words in it. Here's the full text (black letters on yellow background):

"Important notice!!!

It has come to our attention that certain percamunius individuals are continuing to cause unnecessary craymon. This can prove to be dericulus and extremely damaging.

Any recarnaders who continue these practices will face automatic boduption. Absolutely no derainments will be made! If you have any further questions, address them to your immediate carastapor!


Pretty Sweet

(Oh, my "CRACKED POSTCARDS" as advertised in the cover have gone missing.)

TABLE OF CONTENTS: ERRIN SPELIN' - preuf reider for this issue. Looks like this is going to be a fun one.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Only one page again. (See last issue.) Next issue: August 16th. Too brief. I like to luxuriate in the letters and this is too brusque.

LEVERNE & SHURLEY: I always like when the TV shows reappear. We get more or less the same jokes but with a different plot line. Rockey Baboona teaches the gals self-defense when Linty & Squiggly are robbed. A bunch of sitcom characters appearances, such as Ed Norton and Ralph Kramden and Lucy and Ethel. This one is fun. There are a couple of decent laughs. (Shurley gets a great face in one panel.) And, there's a Farrah Fawcett gag at the end. How could you ask for more from an opening parody? I could wallow in this forever.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO BABYSITTING: Fun but odd. Two examples of odd: they show a bunch of kids and list the going rate for babysitting above them. The price goes up as the kids get older. A set of mean looking twins has "Name Your Price" beneath them. Then, the last two are a swanky looking guy and a young gal in a little skirt. "You pay 75 cents an hour." Funny in a slightly disturbed way. Second example: How to keep the kid occupied. Well, you can play games with them or... "give him something he can keep busy with." In that panel, we see a little Fonz-esque kid with his hands in his pockets getting introduced to a little girl with pigtails. CRACKED! Where are your manners? Besides that, this is a fine little guide. Hell, maybe it's all good advice. I don't know. I never babysat. It sure seems like it might work. I'll give it a try.

A CRACKED LOOK AT SUMMER CAMPS: A series of comic strip gags. A lot of jokes about kids going horseback riding and smelling bad and how expensive summer camp is and things like that. My favorite? Thanks for asking. Two kids are seen chatting. 1ST KID: How do you like camp so far? 2ND KID: It's O.K., I guess. But I can't help thinking that the owner is just in it for the money. 1ST KID: Yeah. I know what you mean. The two kids turn and look into the next cabin window. They see kids crammed against the windows into tiny bunks like chickens in cages. I laughed and then I went "gosh". So far--we are boiling along!

COTTONIN' TO CARTER!: Wow! They really liked doing Jimmy Carter stuff. This is all about what Carter has done to the country. There's a big fishin' hole in front of the White House now. The New Lincoln Memorial is now Mr. Peanut. Hank Williams is on the one dollar bill. There is no more Department of Defense. It is now the Department of Feudin'. A lot of hayseed jokes and such. I wonder if any of the CRACKED Editors was ever hung for treason.

THE AWAKENING...: Good one pager. We see an egg being poked open by a chick. The chick emerges and has a look around the filthy, smelly city streets. The last panel is the chick crawling back in the egg. Not bad.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A SKATEBOARD PARK: We're halfway in already! Wow! This issue is, frankly, rad. I don't mind this one because it isn't overcrowded with jokes and there is movement in the drawing. It's when everyone's standing around like a million Henny Youngmans that I get antsy. This one is not bad. Of course, the jokes aren't funny but you take what you can get.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO SOCCER: Not a great one but not a bad one either. A lot of very dry captions with really goofy pictures. Things like "This is the goalkeeper" and we see a fellow with a feather duster and an apron cleaning up the goal. You know what I mean. There are a few smiles in here.

AN AFTERNOON AT AN ARTIST'S STUDIO: One pager that ain't half bad. The joke is kind of obvious but it's a fun scan.

IF ROCKEY APPEARED IN OTHER TV AND MOVIE SPOTS: You knew it had to happen. Let's see where they send Rockey.

The Merry Tailor More Show - Rockey and Paulie show up. Paulie does some dumb stuff and it's over. Well, that was brief.

Wilderness Kingdom - Murle Purkins goes after the "Italian Stallion". He spends a page watching Rockey get ready for his day. It's not bad. Rockey eats eggs and likes animals and is well-built. Nice. They've got it.

Jawz - Do you think Rockey beats up the shark? Well, you could be right.

Welcome Back, Kodder - He's teaching now! Yep! And, he's not very smart. He got in there by beating up the principal.

Apparently, there's not a lot to do with this character. The same jokes are repeated several times. Maybe a better choice of shows would have worked. This article, which I had very high hopes for, is just OK.

THE CRACKED BOOKSTORE: Still selling Fonz for President.

AIRPLOT '77: If you've seen the film, you'll enjoy this. I've seen the film therefore I enjoyed it. Jokes all around the "plane goes underwater" entry in the Airport films. I like the film and I enjoyed the rib tickling quality of this article. And, it isn't as loaded up as a MAD article. More space. I like that.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE RADIO KING: Nanny (the sweet one) goes to station WARP and discovers that the guy in charge is a real chiseler. He doesn't care about you. All he wants is a couple of bucks. Well, can you blame him? I thought he was going to ask Nanny out at one point but he didn't. Nanny does it again but, honestly, I'm getting a little bored with these coming at the end of every issue. Can we break it up next time?


1 - 5/5 (sticks to a boxing theme)
2 - 3/5 (FFF - Funny Fat Guy)
3 - 5/5 (sticks to an airplane theme)

Final Tally - 5/3/5 A real nice one. No spiders or monsters but ugly people saying "Shut Up!" to other ugly people. How can you go wrong?

BACK COVER: Great moments in History. Some Indian guy invents an umbrella by lifting an elephant's ear and standing underneath. OK but nothing to sing about.

Overall, this is a great issue. There are dips here and there and a startling lack of Fonz antics but still... I'd recommend this one highly. It has a nice percentage of hits and only a couple of dips.

What about next issue? You ask? Well...we might just be able to keep this up.

NEXT ISSUE: [No Preview available]

Friday, August 31, 2007

Cracked #144: It Takes So Little To Make Me Happy

Cracked #144
by Pierre L.
September 1977

Tremendously stupendous. A bit surprising that the first Happy Days parody is only happening now but...Thank God. It won't be as much Fonz as we're used to but, Good Jesus Help Me, it's going to be nice. What a cover! Let's dive in!

The poster reads "Warning! Forget that you saw this poster This Means You!" Has their regular poster guy retired?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: The Fonz and Mr. C are featured in the little panels on the right. This is going to be good.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Only one page this issue. Next issue - July 12th.

The second page is taken up with a subscription ad pointing out that their accountant is a tightwad and that you can save $1.40 because he's on vacation. Not bad.

HAPPY DAZE: I knew it would be called Happy Daze! You just get that feeling. The plotlines? 1) Mr. C discovers that his hardware store had a huge drop in sales so they have to economize. "Maryanne" (Mrs. C) throws out the expensive dinners she keeps making and boils water. 2) Itchie is going to follow Mary Berth Wartwhistle to Hamburger University instead of Northwestern. Everyone thinks this is a bad idea eventually the Fonz is called in to help Itchie straighten up.

So very good. It's a mix of jokes that relate to the show (like Boney (Joanie) pointing out that her Dad tells her to "Go to bed" a lot - "Yesterday I slept 23 hours") to jokes that are pure CRACKED and don't relate to anything but the writer's minds (like Potsy showing up in a track suit for band rehearsal because they're going to "run through a few numbers"). I don't even know if the second type of humor could be considered actual comedy but it's all great. Everyone gets a moment to shine. There are some laughs. And, the Fonz says to Itchie, "Just remember, women are not everything? A man's career is important, too--how'd I get myself to say that?" Great opening. I feel like we're back on track again.

SUPER SKATEBOARD STUNTS: This was written right after the new skateboards appeared with the polyurethane wheels that allowed for all sorts of stunting around. It's OK. A lot of nice visuals showing skateboarders doing crazy stuff and, quite often, getting hurt. It's a solid 4-pager. "My Mummy Done Ptolemy" is written on the bandages of one really beaten-up skater. That is a reference to one of the absolute classic blues standards "Blues In The Night". When Daffy Duck sang it in a 1940's cartoon, it was topical. Were a lot of the kids of 1977 crazy about 1941's biggest hits? Did this make them set down their copies of Boston's debut and pick up the Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Howard Arlen Songbook vinyl? I wonder.

AD CAMPAIGNS FOR UNWANTED PRODUCTS: Pretty darn good. Ads for wrong numbers, junk mail, lumpy oatmeal and income tax forms. The wrong number ad shows a beautiful woman who meets a great man through a wrong number. "Say, how would you like to meet me for dinner tonight." [sic] "Me?...A girl whose last date was 5 years ago with a 90 year old Mongolian monk from Madagascar. Wow!!" We see a very lonely woman become completely thrilled when junk mail arrives. And, my favorite, they want you to visit the "Frost-Heave Inn". It is shown as a beautiful inn that is actually just a fake front up against a horribly run-down building.

AT AN AFTERNOON BUSINESS LUNCHEON: A one pager. I've done the joke in this one better in real life. Skip ahead.

IF COMMERCIALS WERE BUILT INTO TV PROGRAMS: They seem to be right back on track. Kojerk, The Bionic Lady, McClod, Walter Klondike and the Evening News and the ABD Movie of the Week all get loaded up with ads (product placement expanded). The ABD Movie is my favorite. It stars a Woody Allen character in a situation very similar to the Mad Scientist section of Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex..." Ads keep appearing and it's great. I'd detail the ads and the jokes but this one's more fun to read than read about.

A CRACKED LOOK AT THE PHONE COMPANY: One of the lighter "CRACKED LOOKS". The jokes aren't funny but it breezes by and it is interrupted by...

"FREE GIFT #2" CRCAKED STICKERS! There are around 18 of them and they are all sort of like mini-posters. "Fight Ilitarasy!" A one-way sign pointing two ways. "Out of Ordre" That kind of thing.

They are cooking here. No wonder the poster in this one was blah. They saved all the great stuff for the stickers.

EXPOSING THE CON IN CONTESTS: You know, I think I see why this issue is hitting it so solidly. They never wander outside of the sort of thing they do well. Although this isn't their best issue, each article hits the strengths and leaves you smiling. This one shows big contest ads and then has a small magnifying glass in a corner revealing the fine print. The one that grabbed me right off was a picture of a brand new camper with an old hippy standing in front of it. "Win This Camper!" "The camper you win is Albert Snodgrass." The old, smelly hippy. Yes, The Fonz does appear in this under a "Win A Trip To Hollywood" thing. This one just cooks. Some jokes are better than others but it all just feels right.

DIGITAL INSTRUMENTS OF THE FUTURE: I'll just run through them real quick...

Digital Shopping Cart - Shows how much you'll be spending. (There is a woman shopping to the right of the woman with the cart. A child is yanking at the woman's pants to get her attention. And, the child has actually started pulling the woman's pants off. You can see part of her behind. Why?)
Digital Spending Meter - Measures how many tax dollars wasted by Congress.
Digital Unemployment Calculator - "registers the number of a school's unemployed graduates"
Digital Violence Recorder - For the top of the TV
Digital Pest Recorder - Shows how many insurance salesmen have come to your front door.
Digital Phone Meter - Shows how high your phone bill is.
Digital Calorie Calculator - Shows how much you're taking out of your fridge.
Digital Speedometer - Shows how high or low over the speed limit your car is going.
You know, there are more but the one you need to remember is the Digital Dumb Joke Totalizer. This one is for your CRACKED magazine.

THE CRACKED HISTORY OF ECOLOGY - Four pages of jokes about pollution, garbage and stuff like that. Nicely done. Although, CRACKED doesn't really seem to be convinced that any of this is a problem. They do the MAD thing where if hippies are involved, it must be pointless. Bravo, CRACKED! You've always stood your ground. Not a great article but you may learn a thing or two. (Or you might not.)

BAAD BAAD BLACK SHEEP: A perfect example of why the TV parodies are better than the movie parodies. If this had been for a movie that I'd never seen, I'd be snoozing because the jokes would be very scene specific. But, it's a parody of a TV show I've never seen and I love it. Who are these characters? What are they doing? Who knows? But, I'm smiling. The second page and half of the third are made up of a big aerial dogfight with jokes coming out of various planes. Nice. One woman mentions breaking her Vinnnie Barabarino thermos. Awesome.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE PET STORE KING: Our Nanny skewers some jerk who is selling people all kinds of strange pets and pet-related things. Way to go, Nanny! This Pet Store King reminds me a lot of the Fad King from a few issues back. Regardless, skewered he be! Wonderful.


Do you need the ratings here? Do you imagine they are anything less than stellar? In fact, the second one is an all-tine favorite of mine. So good.

"Gorge Hairystone Invents Rock Concerts" on the back cover. He is a caveman who hits other cavemen with a rock. Ahhh... I feel refreshed.

When they are on, they are on! CRACKED, you hit it here! As I said, they stick to their strengths and they can't be beat. Too bad we had to go through a bit of a trough but things are nice again. What will the next issue hold? Hmmm...

Next Issue: Holding Awesome!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cracked 143: Who is this "Rocky"?

Cracked #143
August 1977
by Pierre L.


Yes, there is no Kong on the cover. Yes, that's wonderful. Yes, there is no Fonz on the cover. Yes, the tears are rolling down my face, too. But, it is very nice to see someone not gorilla-esque on the cover. The promise of "Rocky" and "Silver Streak" parodies in the same issue isn't as thrilling as I'd wish it to be but...look on top! The cover declares, quite boldly I might add, "Your Very Own Chicken Poster!" So, although two movie spoofs in one issue might make me wary, all I can think is "Holy crap, a chicken poster of my own!"

Let's go in!

Hey! There is a chicken poster. "Down With The Colonel!" Nice. I've got two issues of the magazine because I had to detach this hilarious poster. It now hangs over my four-poster. Ahhh... Can the magazine be as great, I wonder?

TABLE OF CONTENTS:Proofreader is still Jhon Smiht. The comedy simmers slowly. It's like pre-heating an oven.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: You know, this month's letters column hasn't grabbed me. Normally, I have to restrain my sides. This time, it seems almost like a regular letters page with occasional comedy drawings. Hopefully, this is not how I feel about the whole thing. Next issue - June 7th.

ROCKEY: Rockey's a real bruiser! Adrian's so ugly that she wears a paper bag over her head! There's boxing and lockers and jokes about turtle food! My God, I was never much of a Rocky fan but now I'm buying all the movies and watching them three times each. The things CRACKED makes you do. Best joke: Rockey is taking Aperian on a date. He asks Brawly what his sister might want to do: "Hey, Brawly! What's your sister like to do?" "Take her some place where she'll feel right at home." "Like where?" "...the dog show." Oh, my sides. thanks, Cracked. What else have you got?

IF TV COMMERCIALS WERE HONEST: Loved it! Dorothy Hamill for Clearall. McDonald's. Long Distance calling. Rosie and Bounty. Shake 'n' Bake. Pepsi. Laundry detergent. They all get it here...and it's funny. They throw a series of zings at the adverts for these articles of merchandise and they leave everyone squirming on the ground. Razor sharp satire from America's favorite Cracked!

SPECIALTY SIGNS FOR SPECIALTY STORES: Great drawings of storefronts with very specific signage. The balding Lamb Sweater Shop has a sign that says "We want to pull the wool over your eyes." Yes, the jokes are like that. Nice and obvious so you don't get distracted from the Richard Scarry-esque drawings. I want to live in this town!

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: Everything's tiny. Tiny cars (can be cleaned in the dishwasher) to tiny wives (easy to brow-beat) are all covered. Tiny cigarettes, too. The things that inflation and shortages made us do. Look at that guy's wife! She's tiny!

POEMS TO CRY BY: Purchased from some sort of MAD Magazine garage sale, no doubt. Rejection letters and the like from schools, publishers and such all told in rhyme. I'll be honest: I don't read Mad because of this sort of article. Not enough pictures! A couple of funny poems but I can't recommend it.

NEW FORMS OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT - Thank Heavens, pictures! Boy, Pong really has made everyone go crazy. This article is pretty good. Stuff to do at home! Things like putting colored lights on your turntable and watching them spin. Putting asbestos ducks in your toaster and shooting at them. At two pages, this one is a breeze.

Hey, there have been a lot of short articles in this one! Clearing house, Cracked?

A CRACKED LOOK AT A CIRCUS - Contrary to my popular opinion, I like this one. There is a lot more space in it and fewer jokes. The jokes seem more disconnected from the setting than ever but, you know what, I love a circus. I also love a parade but I haven't hit that yet.

CRACKED SPECIALIZED GREETING CARDS - What's with all the cards and letters and rhyming in this one? Would the Fonz have kept this under control? This article, at least, has pictures. "I love your doggie and his cute heart-shaped marking/ but I'm calling the cops if he doesn't stop barking!" with accompanying drawings. A sweet little piece of candy that leaves no aftertaste.

So far things are going pretty fair.

HELP WANTED - There are ads for an "environmental pollution director" but it's a garbageman! Ha HA! Well, kind of obvious. They're really turning the satire screws hard on this one, though. Most of these jobs sound great - but they stink! Next!

CRACKED LOOKS AT THE T-SHIRT CRAZE - Brief comic strips with jokes about T-shirts that have stuff written on them. Boy, this issue alternates the satire with the breezy stuff pretty easily. My favorite? Oh, thanks for asking. A mom is watching her daughter go out with a young gentleman. Mom has a rolling pin in her hand. The kids are smiling. Mom's T-shirt says "Overseer". The daughter's says "Slave". The boy's says "Master". Classy! Oh, one guy's shirt says "I Love My Splotz!"

SILVER STREAKED - Two movie parodies in one issue. Maybe this is a Mad magazine. Nope, it's CRACKED. This one's OK. I'm kind of "movie parodied" out. A couple of decent jokes but were the kids really into jokes about trains being late? Well, they could have been, I guess. Wasn't the movie mostly a comedy? Hey! Rocky's in the first panel! Way to go, Rock! Let me look for the Fonz.

THE CRACKED BOOKSTORE - Hey, someone cut out the coupon in mine!

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE MONSTER KING - Ahhh, here's King Kong. (He appeared briefly in Rockey, too.) I was hoping he might have fallen from favor. Nope. Just getting sifted around in the magazine. Nanny visits the King in his giant Hollywood home. (I do mean 'giant'.) In the end, Nanny's charm causes King Kong to carry her away. She'll be back. I hope. Not really a hard-hitting interview but it was fun. King Kong has a big house! I must be in a good mood today if I let this constant "Kong Worship" just breeze by here. Oh well...


1 - 2/5 (Zing me!)
2 - 4/5 (Hang someone from a cliff and I'm yours.)
3 - 1/6

Average - 8 The final shut-up was too damp and I'm lonely.

Back Cover - Great Moments in Dentistry "Doctor Luke Wormwatter, Pioneer Dentist and part time trapper, invents the first false teeth." Kicks me right there, nice and low.

A charming mix of longer, harder pieces and shorter, flabbier bits. This issue and the last one have been like rays of light after the foul-smelling sludge of #141. I want to say that, at this point, King Kong is done and we can move on.

Next issue: Quick Quiz!

What kind of days (or daze) can we expect in the next issue?
a) Crappy
b) Sappy
c) Happy

Think carefully before answering.