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