Friday, August 10, 2007

Cracked #138: My TV Favorites! and some things that are not really my favorites

Cracked #138 Review
by Pierre L.

"Mazagine" dated December 1976

That cover is one of the best. Everyone you need; everyone you love. And, they are surrounding Mr. Smythe. The best! One of my all-time favorite covers. How about those insides, though? We've had a heck of a run here. Three near-perfect issues with one excellent one before it. Let's step in.

The poster is a "$100,0.000 Rewarrd" for their proofreeder. Not a funny poster. It just makes me worried. I hope they get him. The kidnappers write again in the Lettuce Page. Where is he?

TABLE OF CONTENTS: I see the Frankenstein Monster on here. Holy Crap! This could be great.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: People like the "The Fonz Iron-On". As well they should. Next issue is out on November 9th. Get yours!

CRACKED MAZAGINE PRESENTS THE GREAT NIELSON AIRWAVES WAR: Everybody is in this. They are all in Bunkers (or spending time with The Bunkers) and fighting for great ratings. NBC has Fred Sanford and Columbo. ABC has Laverne & Shirley and The Fonz and The Sweathogs. (Shirly kisses Squiggy to get higher ratings. "Yuk! Even his lips are greasy!") NBC has Jimmy J.J. Walker and The Bunkers and Carol Burnett. Whenever a viewer changes the channel, the performer falls down wounded. One big, burly guy with a cigar changes the channel when Elton John is announced as a special guest. I hope no one hurt Captain Fantastic. It all comes at us fast and furious. Possibly too fast. Folks we love get one or two panels and then are gone. It's nice to see them all here but, except at the end, they're separated. I miss the team-up.

Regardless of that, this is a great six page opening article. And, it ends on the cover panel so...Huzzah!, I say.

A CRACKED LOOK AT AMERICA'S OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES RUNNING IN NOVEMBER: Good God, what a title! They could have abbreviated that a bit. The first of a couple political bits in here. It's got some good gags. Here are the parties:

The American Indian Party
Presidential Nominee: Chief Skinem Alive
Vice-Presidential Nominee: Chief Running Scared

The United Weather Party
PNom: Mr. Part Lee Cloudy
V-PNom: Mr. Sonny Skies

The Greasers for Peace Party
PNom: Ignatzio Schlepp
V-PNom: Vincent V. Vaselino (Why isn't he the Presidential Nominee?)

The Do-Nothing Party
PNom: Too lazy to leave a name.
V-PNom: May be named Ramone.

The United Football Party
PNom: Killer Kadowsky
V-PNom: The Kansas City Crusher

Animals of America Party
PNom: G.O.P. Elephant
V-PNom: Democratic Donkey

PNom: Sylvester P. Smythe
V-PNom: Mr. Clean

Some nice jokes here. The best is the Greaser party because, yes, The Fonz is part of it. They have a strange "official statement". "The G.O.P.P. is made up of all the real losers in America: so we don't really expect to win..." Huh? With The Fonz in the group? Their decree that "Every Thursday will be Boring Day!" is a good one. The Fonz tells a beautiful woman that he's sorry "...but it is decreed that you spend the day with either a Nerd or an insurance salesman."

You could have had any of these great men for your president in 1976.

C.B. MANIA: Frankly, a tired re-tread of the CB article from #135. The art is cool. The premise is that now everybody uses CBs for everything. Checking the weather while taking out the garbage. Yelling at an umpire. Everything. It's all just kind of OK, not spectacular. They get it right in the end, though. We see an old man explaining what that cobweb covered contraption in the corner is to a nephew. "A very expensive dust collector." CBs, no! Well, I still have mine.

THE MAGIC LAMP: A one-pager. It's a nice little diversion. I wish CB Mania had been stronger. Frankly, this brief gag can't hold up its end that well. It's charming enough but let's move on.

FORD-CARTER FIGHT: So topical that I wanted to rub it on an ass rash I've got. Lots of jokes about Ford falling down and Carter eating peanuts. May have been the cat's PJs back in '76. Yawn! Two pages of blah. Keep moving.

Cannonball - He eats so much he explodes.
Kojerk - He trips and lands on his lollipop, choking to death.
The Walled-Ins - Their house collapses.
The Six Billion Dollar Man - Rust.
Havaii 5-0: Volcanic eruption buries everyone under lava.

What is this--MAD MAGAZINE? I thought this would be a hoot but it's mighty mean-spirited for CRACKED. I giggled a few times but this issue is going off into left field. It's not bad just not quite CRACKED.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A PICNIC AREA: I liked it! And when a "A CRACKED LOOK..." article is a breath of fresh air--something is wrong. The drawings are big and it's not overcrowded. It's set at the CRACKED picnic in the middle of January so there is snow everywhere and it's freezing. Nice.

BASEBALL'S NEW TYPE BASEBALL CARDS THAT TELL IT LIKE IT IS: What's with the titles? Hey, baseball players are greedy! They get lots of money for playing a sport! Whatever. Three pages of "not very interested".

CRIMINAL SHE-NANIGANS: It's gangster jokes but...all the gangsters are women! And, yes, their raids must be color-coordinated and the warden punishes crooks by taking away their make-up kit. When is this article from? 1919? The Godfather appears in one panel so does that mean this is a re-print from 1972? It sure feels strange in this issue. When did Women's Lib happen? Maybe a good article should have gone here instead?

What is happening with this issue?

ONE AFTERNOON IN A LOCAL STEREO STORE: 100% Awesome. A one-pager that is just great. Good gag, great art and the customer looks like Stan Hillis. Wonderful.

WHAT GOES ON IN A MONSTER'S MIND: I received such a grand response from my addendum of Issue #137 that this is one is getting printed up as an addendum for this issue.

Four great pages in a row.

THE MAKING OF SILENT MOVIE: A parody of a parody. This one actually isn't that bad. There are a couple of laughs. But, you can't help thinking that Mel Brooks could have trumped this parody of his parody easily. Interesting layout but average in the end.

The Cracked Bookstore follows with their promises of great joy that never come true.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE OUTDOOR KING: It's our Nanny! It's hard-hitting! It's perfect! She goes to the woods to chat with a guy who loves camping but may not be roughing it as much as he says. Thank Heavens for Nanny!

1 - 3/5
2 - 4/fore
3 - King/Kong

Total: King Kong makes a second cameo appearance in this issue. Could he be the next Fonz?

BACK COVER: "Dr. Rudolph Melonchok Almost Discovers Electricity!" A pile of ashes wearing a hat with a kite floating nearby. Not bad.

Well, so...we had three great issues. This one had a lot of stuff that felt "off" to me. Some laughs, definitely, and when they're good--they are gold. However, I'm worried that The Fonz's sheen might be wearing off. Or the last issue was just too good. Regardless, let's head over to #139 and see if they get back on track. You'll love the cover. Trust Me.

Next Time: The gang's all here...and they're in jail?

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