Thursday, August 02, 2007

Cracked #136: The Cover Speaks For Itself

Cracked #136
by Pierre L.

October 1976

Oh, that cover! Is Heaven paved with bottles of Cracked Beer? Look at "The Fonz" and his little legs! Joy! Hey, where'd the "e" go at the end of "The Fonz". Streamlined and cool. Everything about him is Boss! And, therefore, Laverne and Shirley are too! Hi girls! Welcome. Let's go in...

I'm shaking a little.

"Unemployment is not working!" says the poster. I prefer the Fonz or Bionic people. Cracked, you've spoiled me! I smell like day-old now! But, it doesn't matter. The poster and the back cover are just icing. Let's taste the meat.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: I'll just quote the little blurb: "Laverne! Shirley! You're doin' a good job with our CRACKED beer, but where'd the funny looking bottle with the leather jacket come from? Oh, it's the Fonz -on your assembly line- and he's SITTING ON IT! We'll drink to that!!!"
Proof Reader: HELP WANTED I hope everyone's OK.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Here's a revealing one: "Dear CRACKED, I wish to complain about your obviously uncool spelling of the 'Fonz' in issue #134. Everyone knows that there is no 'e' in 'Fonz' (you spelled it Fonze!) C'mon Cracked, get with it! -John Manna Breddough, Vermont" Cracked editors respond: "Dear John, Issue #134 was the last job our prrof reider worked on before getting kidnapped!"

So, the proof reader has been 'napped! And, The Fonz has no "e" on the end of it. Interesting. I thought they were goofing in #134 but then they continued spelling it that way in #135. So, I thought that was the correct spelling. Boy, there are a series of red faces over here. But, we learn and we carry on... Let's see what those crazy gals are up too!

LEVERNE & SHIRLY: It's comedy making fun of a comedy! I love it! How many layers can we get going at once? Everyone is here and everyone is great. This one could have been an actual episode of the show with the exception of the species of Shirly's date and some sight gags. If you were a kid and you wanted to see an episode of the show and it wasn't on that night, you could read these. The satire is calm and lulling. I think it's great. Before VCRs and DVDs, we had stuff like this. Ahhh, Cracked! I sigh and carry on.

Oh, The Fonz appears at the end. 100% perfect.

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AS SEEN THROUGH BRITISH EYES: I hope you hadn't gotten complacent because the satire is back. A series of articles ("Our soldiers suffer verbal abuse in Boston drink orgy"), announcements ("Cane the ungrateful wretch"), wanted posters ("Paul Revere") and a cover of LIMEY magazine ("Man of the Year - Benedict Arnold") illustrate the way the Brits saw Americans during the war. Very obvious but rather funny. And, the more I look at it, the less it seems like satire and more like an article that a clever child would have written. Bless that Child! This issue is cooking. What's next?

A CRACKED HISTORY OF THE BIONIC MAN: Let's trace the path of the "Bionic Man" to the "Bionic Woman" to the "Bionic Baby" to the "Bionic Dog" to the "Anti-Bionic Man". If you love Bionic stuff, this article delivers. I can't get enough of the bionic people.

CRACKED'S GUIDE TO BURGLARY PREVENTION: A series of tricks and ruses to keep burglars from breaking into your house. I love this one. It's got great illustrations and all kinds of great tips like putting up a sign that says "Mean Joe Greene Lives Here!" on your front lawn. My personal favorite prevention tip: Attach a giant balloon to your home. Inflate it whenever you go out. Your home will hover in the air thereby preventing burglars from getting to it. Great.

This seems to be the third astounding issue in a row. Let's continue.

ONE DAY IN METROPOLITIS: A charming one page gag about Superman and indecent exposure. I smiled.

CELEBRITIES' HOME MOVIES: The great thing about the best issues of CRACKED is each article will have a different look from the previous ones. This issue is cooking. From the varied size of the packed frames of BURGLARY to the comic strip of ONE DAY to the faux-film frames of this one, it's all joy. You never know what's on the next page and you never know how it's going to smell. "Ewell Gibbons' Camping Trip" "Carroll O'Connor's Walk" "Gerald Ford's Sunday Stroll" and more. They're funny. They're spot on. One of them's filled with Polacks! I'll let you guess.

CRACKED GOES TO A POLITICAL CONVENTION: Well, I didn't think it would be perfect. A return to the overcrowded messes of the past with too many jokes that would have been funny during Chester A. Arthur's administration but fall a little flat today (and probably did in 1976). Scan and carry on.

CRACKED GUIDE TO SURFING: A nice time-passer. Nothing superb. Apart from a reference to Howard Cosell in the opening, this could have been from 1963. In fact, the art looks a lot like stuff from their early 60's issues. Less crazy and sloppy and more straightforward. Hmmm... Well, I've no proof so I'll carry on.

REEL GONE GOODIES: A page of film stills with "wacky" dialog added. It's OK. But, we've already had a one-pager earlier. Let's get a little more substantial, shall we?

THE FONZ THROUGHOUT HISTORY: They got me! I wish I could just present the whole article here because it is the best. I had no idea that the Fonz would pop up here but it is great. "Fonzony & Cleopatra" "Pharaoh Phonz" "Sir Walter Fonzie and Queen Elizabeth!" and the completely wonderful "The Fonz in Plantation Times" I had been wondering what the Fonz would look like if he was a black man speaking like Jim from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Thanks, CRACKED! So great.

THE BAD NEWS BORES: Wasn't a fan of the movie but the parody is a harmless 6-pages. Once again, it's a question of article scheduling. Put the Fonz at the end! An article like this is pleasant but it doesn't match the previous one. I need more Wow! here.

THE CRACKED BOOKSTORE: Buy and enjoy! If they actually send you the stuff...

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE OLYMPIC TRAINING KING: Our Nanny is back! And, she looks nice. She meets up with a man training some of our Olympic athletes. And, he's kind of corrupt. She pulls the plug on this shyster and his shyster antics. Keep it real, Nanny! Oh, this is so hard-hitting I've got a pain in my gut. Way to go, everyone involved.


1 - 5/5
2 - 5/5
3 - 5/5

Final tally : 2
(three points deducted for not having The Fonz involved or being bionic in any way)

Back Cover: "Great Moments In Science" involving the discovery of snorkels and pea-shooters contemporaneously. Nice closing page to send us off.

I like it! Oh, there's a weak spot here and there but, my goodness, they are cooking! Can they keep this up, I wonder? Stay tuned...

Next Issue: The Sandhogs? or The Beachhogs? You decide. I'm tired.

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