Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CRACKED #192: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Pizza

by Pierre L.
January 1983

Great cover...Sylvester! Surely delivering one pizza to another planet can't be cost-efficient but then I've never run my own business...so what do I know? Fun opening...the Hart to Hart thing doesn't do much for me but it is the first issue dated 1983. That's cool.

POSTER: Be Alert...Can you guess the rest of the gag? Odd. Yellow lettering on a black background.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: No proof reader listed. Double odd.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - December 14th A joke from a reader: "What's Irish and sits out in the rain? Pati O'Furniture" Everyone is CRACKED and it feels nice.

HEART TO HEART: Interesting bit. It's certainly got a lot of verve and movement throughout. But, I've never seen this show and I know next to nothing about it...and that was my problem. I spent the whole article, literally, trying to figure out what kind of show it is. Are they detectives? Are they a couple who just get in a lot of trouble? Is the show supposed to be witty? Is it drama? Is it action? If I knew the show, I think I'd love the article. But, as it stands, I can't figure the darn thing out.

Chalk it up to...The Ignorance of Pierre L.

SOLUTIONS TO EVERYDAY FRUSTRATIONS: This bit seemed like it was going to be one of those "This thing on this side - this other thing on that side" sort of articles. And, it is. But it's more elaborate, although, not necessarily funnier. I'll give an example...

LEFT SIDE: You play a new video game only to find that your final score is two.
A guy looks very confused because he only got 2 on Snail Squasher.
A woman says "Two? You get 2 points for depositing the quarter. Boy, Barry, are you lousy. Larry is much better at this than you."
RIGHT SIDE: To prevent this from happening again, you should buy all the "How To Win" video books and practice every second you have.
The guy now has 6,000,000 points.
WOMAN: 6 million! Wow! What do you say we go to "Mike's Gouda Cheese Pavilion" and celebrate.
MAN: Sure, only, I can't buy you anything. I spent every cent I had practicing to become good at this.

They're not bad but they seem like a lot of effort. I don't know why. Is Pierre L. Lazy today?

MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOTS: 3 pages. Some of them quite funny. Osgood Asnew and his washing machines will make you laugh at loud.

HOW POPULAR ARE YOU?: Each section has three choices to see how large your Popular Score is going to be. Again, this is a rather over-elaborate bit for CRACKED. A lot of stuff to gander at here. "When it comes to choosing up sides for a team, how long does it take before you are picked?"
A - Not too long
B - A little long
C - A very long time
And, there is gaggery that goes with each.
At the end, there is a section for tallying your score. Some people are more popular than others. This isn't a bad bit. It's got some good laughs...it just seems too complicated. What happened to "You Know You're Fat When..." Of course, I never liked those bits.

SAGEBRUSH: Not one of his better adventures.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE GOING TO FAR WHEN: Video Game Edition! Yeah, this is great. "You own every towel, notebook, pillowcase and piece of clothing that Pac Man's face is on." I used to be that guy! I owned the "Pac Man Theatre" or something like that. There was a small TV-like plastic thing. You got 4 "adventures" to play. Each was a series of comic panels on paper wound around two spools like a ink ribbon for a calculator. You would spool the "adventure" in front of the TV screen. Slowly, you would go through a Pac Man adventure and then rewind it and watch it again. Loved it! Remember his TV show. And when he saved Christmas! Hell yeah!! sigh...This article is only two pages but it's great.

I will review the CRACKED Video Game special sometime soon.

TRUE FACTS THEY NEVER TAUGHT YOU IN SCHOOL: "You know food is really ethnic when it gives you heartburn-before you finish eating!" "Despite our name, CRACKED readers are the sanest folks around!" "Any music that you don't enjoy-sounds all alike!" (They still hate rock 'n' roll!) Now, this is more like it. The headers and the straightforward pictures. Why are there so many of these in this issue, though? Are they teaching us some sort of lesson? If they are, I need a CRACKED teacher sent to my house to tell me what that might be. It looks like they're just fat-cracking around to me.

A CRACKED LOOK AT AN AUTO REPAIR GARAGE: Oh, the joy! One of these. It's chaotic and it's crazy and those old, old jokes are killing me!

However, in the lower right hand corner, something odd is happening. There is a "Stock Room" right in the corner with cattle in it. A rooster is on top yelling "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo to you, too!" at the cattle. And, to the left of the "Stock Room" is a joke...that doesn't seem finished.

A guy says to another guy: "Frank what are you doing later? Marge and I would like to have you for dinner tonight." And Frank is saying nothing...Did I miss the joke?

Why the Stock Room and what is that joke? Surrealism in a CRACKED LOOKS AT... bit. Naw, probably an error or I'm missing something.

....THE CRACKED LENS...PART XVII: Sorry. I wasn't up for the full type-out this time around. There is a still from "Abby" in this. Wow.

RETALIATIONS TO DATING CLICHES: "When are we going to get married?" "Probably when we find the right person."// "I'm very choosey about who I go out with." "Obviously I'm not." 2 pages of that. Is this the "Annual All-Filler" Issue of CRACKED? This whole issue feels strange but it's the same group of Dunderheads making it. Hmmm...

MOD FAIRY TALES: Fun illustrations for a new "The Princess and The Frog". Worth a look and a smile.

ROCKY'S SCRAPBOOK:...and boy did I have scraps! (Rocky says that. Not me....Pierre. L) 4 pages of goofing. Rocky fighting as a baby. Dean Martin shows up. Burgess Meredith is there. Clobber Bang bits him up. Rocky has been with us for quite some time. Remember when he first showed up? Didn't he beat up The Fonz on a cover? Hmmm...Next!

ARE YOU P.M. MAGAZINE MATERIAL?: I'm not 100% sure what a P.M. Magazine show is. But, does it involve Dick Cavett? A one page bit. I don't quite get it. I'm going to move on.

IT'S A SURE BET THAT...:Seriously? More of these bits? No "Guides" in this issue? Where are the parodies? Hey! A guy has a Pac Man coat! "Sometime in the next 5 weeks you'll have 341 good laughs." A kid is seen reading CRACKED. Wow...CRACKED believed there were 341 laughs in each issue of their magazine? I'll go through and count them up soon.

E.T.'S REPORT MY EXPERIENCE ON EARTH: This is a lot like when C3P0 & R2-D2 came to Earth some time ago. E.T. is amazed that no one flies here...except for witches, kids with lots of balloons and really tall basketball players. No green creatures on TV except for The Hulk and Kermit The Frog. E.T. gazes at the stars through a telescope. Some guys gaze at the YWCA through their telescopes. E.T.'s conclusion: "I departed the planet just in time. Earthlings were in the process of stockpiling more and more nuclear weapons. Their reasoning was that creating more weapons would insure them not being used...I find it noteworthy that this same type of specious logic was also once advanced on the 753 other extinct planets of our galaxy."

All right, who's writing this issue?

THINGS WE'VE OFTEN WONDERED ABOUT: What is Prince Charles and Lady Diana's last name? Why does lint accumulate in your belly button? Why can't women learn how to put make-up on in moderation? All like that...What a weird issue.

1 - Polka dotted boxer shorts
2 - Volcano!
3 - Scarface!

Total: Where the heck is Nanny and the closing parody?

BACK COVER: Great Moments in the Art of Love. 350,000 BC All about Ug the Gentle. Remember him?

The oddest issue I've read in some time. No "Big" articles. And, the regular stuff is missing...Weird. I mostly enjoyed it but found the whole thing a bit...I wonder if the next issue is like this.

CRACKED is changing. Shall we go with it?

Next issue: All right! The Knight is here!

Monday, August 23, 2010

CRACKED #191 They really are predicting the future

November 1982
by Pierre L.

I enjoy that cover. I don't love it. I like it. It brings a smile to my face and I carry on. There's really not much to it, apart from the joke. The background does look lovely. Magnum P.I. and the motion picture Annie...Two parts of my childhood I kept trying to ignore. Let's see how this goes.

POSTER: Scratch 'n' Sniff Poster...A good gag. But, the poster is only one page...Might there be an iron-on? You bet your fat one, Mamma!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Luke N. Cee is still the pruf r-d-r. Boy, they sure can't spell that right, can they? Sylvester with the Annie wig makes it look like he's got a big afro on...It's fun...

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: No sign of the "Next Issue" box. What the hell? The "EVA" contest winners are in...

Ricky Jones (the Hulk's pal?) from Baytown, TX
Rankin McDaniel (a name I might make up?) from Vista, CA
Clint Davidson (a fey Old West gunfighter?) from Sumner, WA

They all won Atari 2600s. That is cool. We had to buy ours.

MAGNUMB Public Idiot: My mother-in-law loved Magnum. I always had that hour long American drama problem. I've gone into this before but...Sitcoms are all about the jokes...they can structure themselves however they want as long as they get the jokes in there. At this time period, hour long dramas (with the exception of the Soaps) was all about the drama. And, most drama, is structured in the same way...and so the average drama episode is more like every other average drama episode than the sitcoms are...The sameness of the plotting and the structure used to bore me silly...it sort of still does...

Anyway...Magnum...Running around, goofy gags...Hawaiian shirts...This bit's an OK start to the issue. But, I never paid that much attention to the show so I don't know all the cliches...But, if I were a Magnum fan, I'm sure I would love this. I just emailed a copy to my mother-in-law. She'll respond when she can.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER!!: It's a very funny ad for "The Sylvester P. Smythe Treasury of Every Joke Ever Made!!" Love this page! I wish I could put this one up... You get all the riddles, puns, poems and limericks...

There was a young lady in Rome,
Who was asked how her mom
felt back home.
"I've been gone from the Igloo
The Whole summer and fall too,
But Alaska when I get to Nome"

The best.

I do also like "Admittedly there have been a few clinkers (especially during April of 1651)..."

IF T.V. WARNINGS APPEARED IN EVERYDAY LIFE: Pretty amusing...The Klags Arbor Day Album "The following album contains boring melodies as well as trite lyrics all performed by musicians incapable of playing more than two correct notes per song." I wonder if CRACKED still hated those rock 'n' rollers even at this point? I wouldn't put it past them. On Magazines "Danger! The contents of this magazine has the ability to either A) render its reader helpless with laughter or B) turns its purchaser into a seething hulk after discovering what he's paid for." Guess which magazine?

ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) PART XVI: Fun, as always. Oddly leggy.

A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S.:Two pages...a completely enjoyable bit of article.

Now...OOPS - Obviously Obsolete Parcel Service - they nailed that one

CIRCUS - Central Intelligence Responsible for Covert and Undercover Schemes

URAT - Unfair Rates on American Telephones

It goes on like that.

MYPIG - Mileage You're Promised in the Garage

The drawings are nice and chaotic. I enjoyed this.

FUTURE ALL-STAR TV SPECIALS: "The Network Bake-Off The Stars" Cindy Williams vs. Mike Wallace! "The All Star-Medical Special" (right after "Bambi Gets Lucky") has Burt Reynolds and Loretta Swit performing surgery of sorts. "Political Debate of the stars" does feature Gary Coleman and The Duke Boys. "Celebrity Courtroom" has the Bee Gees in it! "And we ask you not to convict our client but allow her a few more years of Staying Alive Staying Alive!" Oh yeah...This article is madness. Crazy art, lots of nutty dialog...and Linda Lavin.

CRACKED'S CARTOON SHOWCASE FEATURING JEFF KEANE: This issue has been rather nutty. There's a chaos in it that doesn't show up in a lot of these issues. Normally, I love these one-panel cartoons but...they're too sparse for the zaniness of this issue. On their own, they're great.

ACNNIE: Well, they can't all be great...The two bookend parodies are the weakest part of this issue. I remember watching this over and over on HBO but never really liking it...Why the hell did I watch it? Acnnie starts off saying..."Do you know me? I'm not Karl Malden or any of the other unknown stars they use on those American Express commercials." Would adults who understood what she was talking about be reading this? It's a great act of faith on their part...And, possibly a greater act is the fact that this is 8 pages long! Is that the longest article/ parody/ bit in ages? 7, sure. But, 8? Why 8? I don't think it deserves 8...it goes on and on and there are some good moments, mainly involving Daddy Warbuck's head...but, there are also a lot of rotten puns and it does go on...Bring back the interstitial articles!

MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOTS: Well, the chaos is gone. They really are loving this bit lately. "Retardo Montalbaun stood at a railroad crossing waiting for the 8:02 for nearly 2 weeks before passerby finally told him the train had been out-of-service for years. BELIEVE IT OR NOT." And, there is a still...I wonder whose job it was to pick through all the stills for hours on end for these bits?

THE CRACKED SOCCER QUESTION AND ANSWER BOOKLET: This was around the time when I played soccer...This booklet taught me many things. It starts with "...what immediately comes to mind when we say 'soccer'?" And, yes, there is a drawing of a large man punching a woman hard on the chin...Classy Town! It is a rather fun booklet. Lot of questions with goofy answers and wacky illustrations.

Ask your first question
Q: Gee is it really my turn to speak?
A: Sure is.

Q: I've never been in a magazine before. Feels Strange. H Ma! Hi Uncle Irving! Hi...
A: Could we dispense with the hellos and move on to the business at hand?

Q: Sure. Sorry. Ah, what's this sports article on again?

Actually, these bits are pretty amusing. Wow! Having Fun With CRACKED!

WHEN ALL BUSINESSES GO AUTOMATED: The ATM had just appeared and now:

Automated Barber
Your Instant Santa
Automated Head Shrinker
Welcome to the Day & Night Tax Collector
Automated Painless Dentist
24-Hour Automated Guard
Day & Nite Super Market

I love the technology based bits. The joy of an "Automated Teller"! and all these great follow-up ideas. These are as wonderful as CB bits or Pet Rock articles. Seeing Pop Culture and Our Culture in these parody gags in a cheap humor magazine is so much more fun than reading up on the history. I didn't use an ATM in 1982 but I'm filled with deep nostalgia for these automated things we almost had. Thank you, CRACKED.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE USELESS PRODUCT KING: Sole Grippers turn slippery soles into no-slip grippers. A Fuzz-Eater removes lint and dirt from any garment in seconds. Personalized Dog Stationary! I get the feeling that as useless as the products here might be...we've topped them many times over. These items come from "General Arnold's Rubber Band And Gadget Emporium"...Are you up on your acronyms?... Nanny rips her stockings. The New Silk Weave Stockings are applied. Silk worms spin new ones...and we see the top of Nanny's thigh-high stockings...The All-New Late-Night CRACKED. CRACKED don't work blue! This is a goofy article...and I liked it.

SHUT-UPS: Only 2
1 - Electric Chair
2 - Dummy
3 - Iron-On instructions

IRON ON: This is the best...

The iron-on reads:

Rocky I
Rocky II
Rocky III
Rocky IV
Rocky V
Rocky VI

The first three are checked off...and it wasn't until 2006 that this joke was completed. Wow! This is one of the coolest CRACKED jokes ever....

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY: Let's be honest...after the iron-on, this is bound to be a letdown...but, the man who builds the 1st house but forgets to invent a door is amusing.

Great issue. The parodies let it down but they do that a lot, in certain eras. This one is chaotic, funny, stupid, intelligent and psychic...What more can CRACKED do for you today?

Next issue: I bet you were wondering when this little "guy" would show up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

CRACKED #190: Is this gag prescient or what?

October 1982
by Pierre L.

Did we know, at this point, that the show was about to enter its final (11th) season? Hmmm...If not, CRACKED predicts our future! The cover is one of my favorites. The curtain coming down and the fact that the background Severin has drawn is a background. The backdrop of the MASH sets. It's great stuff.

POSTER: Yellow background? Check. A classic bit of gaggery. Check. Pretty good one. $5 to everyone whose name begins with "A" through "Y". But...there are no forms left!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Oh...I take back everything I said. "Looks like the curtain's coming down on MASH." I guess they did know. I think. Pru F-d-r? Luke N. Cee. He's back!

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next Issue - August 10th. I had just turned nine when this issue came out. I am now the perfect age group for CRACKED!

THE DAY M*A*S*H*E*D ALMOST ENDED: What happened to M*U*S*H? Peace is declared! And, everyone tries to think of where they might go next..."D.J. and The Eye" - A medical examiner show. Marguerite Hooligan as Frontier Nurse! Eagleye and pals try to keep the fact that the war is over from everyone but...in the end...they fail. "Benji Loves Eagleye" is being set-up. But, even more "in the end", the network keeps the war going indefinitely! Hooray!...at least for a little while.

Can you believe MASH is ending?

IF AUTHORS REALLY MEANT WHAT THEY SAID!: Well...this is like those "Misread Headlines" bit. They are repeating their concepts a lot lately. "Walking down the street, he was struck by a thought." A man is being taken away by an ambulance. "Coulda been worse? He coulda been run over by a concept!" Funny but oh so familiar.

KIDS VS. ADULTS: 4 pages! Filler Town! "If you don't vote, it's apathy. If they don't vote, it's because "there's no real choice". "If your friends get in trouble, they're degenerates. If their friends get in trouble, it's an honest mistake." "When you want to do something different and exciting, it's risky. When they want to do something different and exciting, it's an adventure." Just like that...

ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (AND WE REALLY, REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME, FOR SURE!) PART XV: The saboteurs are shown parachuting into one of the frames. Two pages, several laughs. They never let you down with these.

THE CRACKED GUIDE TO WINDSURFING: Wow! We haven't had one of these in ages. It's four pages of Windsurfing excitement narrated by a man named "Biff" whose head floats over each panel. It's wackiness it's Biff saying you must care for your board and we see a man giving flowers to his board. There's a gal with big boobs. Big waves. Falling down and all kinds of gaggage. It's an all right bit...I don't think these are filler because they're too elaborate. What are they then?

NEW USES FOR TELEVISION: Laser disks and video recorders! Magazine appear on your TV. Works of art. Change the view from your apartment. Place TV screens everywhere and go on a vacation in your home. Big screens and small screens. And, it's a pretty good bit and suddenly it's over...two pages was too short here.

A CRACKED LOOK AT A POLICE SQUAD: This issue hit the stands on July 6th 1982. Police Squad! (the Zuckers very funny but short-lived show) was canceled on July 8th. Boy, I wonder if they knew that that would happen. But, let's be honest...these bits can have a cool very crowded feel to them but the jokes are usually pretty rotten. No difference here...One example: "See the poor posture on that officer over there?" "He's obviously a crooked cop." Police Squad! was a fun show. I wish there were more than 6 episodes but 6 episodes (and the three movies) were perfect.

Oh...just read a little more. Apparently, four episodes were aired in March. The Network yanked it and the last two aired on July 2nd and July 8th. CRACKED! You're good.

THE CRACKED STEP-BY-STEP FOR GROWING YOUR OWN GARDEN: Feels too much like the Windsurfing bit to me. Six in-depth comedy-packed steps help you grow a "bumper crop". (Do you get that one?)
Step 1 - When to start the garden
Step 2 - How big a garden to have and where to place it
Step 3 - Preparing the soil
Step 4 - What to plant
Step 5 - Once your seeds are in
Step 6 - Harvesting and Enjoying
The bit has a few smiling moments but it's nothing that great.

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY: More stills with captions and some word balloons. Although, I don't know some of these don't quite make sense...I don't want to post them because they'll make less sense in my description but a few of these gag...I don't quite get. Is my mind turning to a jelly? And, if so, what flavor?

1982 CATALOG FOR COSTUMED HEROES: Pretty entertaining three page bit. Super Rubic Cube! Caped Crusader Landing Wheel! "I Accept" credit card patches fit right onto your cape. Good stuff...It's funny, though. The art makes me think this is an old bit with "1982" freshly written in and a new gag about the Rubix Cube added. Hmmm...

CRACKED'S CARTOON SHOWCASE FEATURING JEFF KEATE: Two pages of pretty funny one-panel gags. I like when CRACKED goes into areas like this. Things they don't normally do. Fun.

CRACK UPS! FEATURING SAGEBRUSH: It's an OK Sagebrush. Better than the last one.

HOW HOT IS IT?: Not hot enough that three pages of these gags are needed. "Fish in New Mexico have taken to begging." is pretty funny...actually, re-reading this...this is the funniest of all of these bits. There's actually some creativity here. Well done. Hamlet! "Erik Estrada as Hamlet Gary Coleman as the King!" Th theater is air conditioned, after all. Pretty good bit...I take back my opening sentences.

YE HANG UPS: One page, four gags, a few laughs.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE SPECIAL EFFECTS KING: Douglas Thimbal talks about the effects for "Escape From The Clone Zone", which involves giant attack noses. The Special Effects King looks a lot like that evil doctor from Captain Marvel/ Shazam! What the heck was his name. Dr. Silvana? or something...Why am I having trouble finding this info? I'm using The Internet. It's a funny bit. Five pages of goofball explanations for special effects. It's worth a read.


1 - Shut-up!
2 - Shut-up!
3 - A Fat Guy in a CRACKED T-shirt!

Love it!

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY: The first vending machine, invented by a cannibal tribe. Pretty funny.

It's a very solid issue of CRACKED. Some highs, some lows. But, looking at it from my 9-year-old perspective, I would have read this and then re-read it all day long. Good one, CRACKED!

Next issue: Buff and awesome!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

CRACKED #189: One Final Appearance...

September 1982
by Pierre L.

The whole layout of Happy Days had changed since the last time we saw it. When was that? I think when the UFO showed up back in...look it up (September 1978). It was some time ago. And now, the show was at the end of its 9th Season. Richie was long gone. So was Ralph Malph. Potsie had nothing to do. Joanie & Chachi were about to be spun off. The Fonz had been neutered in the same way Mr. T would be in a few years.

But, they were still the Happy Days Family. The show was still in the top 20. People still loved it. It was a pleasant place to go. Now, I want to watch all the episodes.

On the cover, with a full background, Chachi and the Fonz share the space. Who would have thought that Joanie would have been so popular to the show? Strange...I did used to watch the show a lot at this time. I would watch it on its Primetime weekly airing and then in syndication all week.

Oh...great cover...let's hop in.

POSTER: On a white background! It's a 3-D poster....but, it's sort of not really. Think 3-D...think CRACKED...think their brand of humor...you'll get it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Aaron E. Oss, pruf r-d-r. I see an old lady, a mean guy, Ronny R., The Talking Blob, a howling cat and Uncle Sam.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - July 6th. Right after the 4th! A great bunch of days!

HAPPIER DAYS: I love the layout on this. The first two pages is a series of 10 panels along the border...Funzie, Borey Beth, Itchie Jr., Moronion Cunninghamandeggs, Coward C., Ruger (the C's nephew), Giddy Piccallilli, Boney, Cha Cha and Arnuld. To be honest, I have no idea who half those people are but when a show goes so long and it's an ensemble and large chunks keep leaving...that'll happen. I suppose someone who missed Doctor Who for a few years would be extremely confused upon returning.

The Fonz doesn't do much here. The parody is all about the people who aren't around any more. And, the fact that some characters have faded into the background. And, the fact that some characters have been doing the same joke for years. And, the fact that some new characters didn't quite work. And, the fact that every episode is now focused around Joanie & Chachi. And, the show is very different.

But, we still loved it. it was still great fun.

It's funny The Fonz was in the background of the first Happy Days parody. He's in the background here. What a strong force he was in the world of CRACKED.

The Fonz, Mork, Gary Coleman, Star Wars.

Were those the four elements that made the magazine such a winner in the second half of the 70's? Well, they're all pretty much gone now. And, this is very cool, we've been with them the whole time.

A great parody to open the issue. Can the rest of the magazine live up to it?

Of course not...But, let's have a look anyway.

THE TRANSLATOR & THE DUEL: An amusing one panel bit in silhouette. It's an old joke but it's better than a "You Know You're Whatever When You Whatever" bit.

HOW THE GOVERNMENT CAN REALLY SAVE MONEY: Fun. DEFENSE "By recruiting only short servicemen the government can save money in materials. A midget army can get by on: Smaller Uniforms, Smaller Barracks, Smaller Food Rations, Smaller Disability payments." "I want you, Shorty! for the U.S. Mini-Army!" Bits on Social Security, School Aid, Medicaid, Welfare, etc. Not bad.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF TEENAGE DATING: Oh no. This could go horribly wrong. Four pages about the foibles of Foible World, U.S.A. I don't know. We went from a very specific thing in the Happy Days world to this generic stuff...It's OK. But, there is one strip that cheeses me...

A couple sits in a movie theater. They are waiting to see Dracula's Psychiatrist. The young man is very considerate.

"Is your seat comfortable?"
"Is anybody's head in your way?"
"Is the person next to you talking so he'll interfere with your enjoyment of the movie?"
"Nope. The seat's empty."
"And there's no sticky candy on the floor or drafts from the air conditioning?"
"Everything's just perfect."

Then, he asks if they can change seats because there's a huge guy in front of him. That's the gag...But, it makes no sense...See Question 3 and the answer above.


CRACKED SPELL OUTS: Based on the "How Do You Spell RELIEF?" commercial. How do you spell MEDICINE? C-A-S-H. How do you spell TELEVISION? O-P-I-A-T-E. How do you spell EL SALVADOR? V-I-E-T-N-A-M?!! How do you spell Loni Anderson? D-Y-N-A-M-I-T-E Four pages of this. It's OK. But, isn't it very MAD?

MORE PRESS MISTAKES: Funny bit. "Russians are noted for their vodka and their ability to smoke fish." Yep! A Russian is smoking a fish. "Dog for sale: House broken, will eat anything especially fond of children." Yep! A hungry dog surrounded by the bones of children is about to eat another one. Only two pages. Fun.

THE CRACKED MOVIE III: Not as much fun as II, oddly enough. It has a similar plot to the first one. The Talking Blob goes missing this time, instead of Nanny. He's got amnesia and is living on a farm in Topeka. There are a bunch of song parodies and it's in SURROUNDSOUND. It's fun to see everyone goofing around but, it's odd, I don't like it as much as the first two. How did that happen? I think there's a IV around here somewhere. I wonder if I'll like it more.

RELIEF IS: Three pages of this..."Drinking 3 gallons of lemonade at a restaurant, then going to the rest room and discovering..." A man dashes into a Men's room. But, an old lady can't get in the Woman's room...Out of Service! This goes on for three pages.

But, a guy does call a co-worker a "Nerd Ball!" That's worth something. And, a kid tries to flush a banana down the toilet.

GREAT MOMENTS IN HISTORY: A "Foto Funnies" bit. Two pages. Long captions and a little gag in the black & white photo. They're fun. A lot of reading, though. I just had a glance at the front cover of the issue. I miss The Fonz. This bit's all right.

YE HANG UPS: Four one-panel gags. They're good for a smile.

THE SPOILED ROTTEN CATALOGUE: A Twig Throwing Machine. A Walkman Tape Player For Dogs. A Bark Amplifier for small dogs. Tabby's Perpetual Milk Fountain. A Chowhound Beeper Alarm. Some fun illustrations even if none of the items is really all that funny.

SAGE BRUSH: Fun art. Bad joke. Sorry.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF LOOKING GOOD: Seriously, another one of these? Four pages of gags about exercise and name-brand athletic equipment. A man puts a bag over his wife's head. I don't know. Flip it!

1 - Frankenstein
2 - Mrs. Lavinia Stein
3 - Beer Stein


GREAT MOMENTS IN TRANSPORTATION: Oh look! A slave being abused! What's with these back covers?

Starts of strong and proud...saying goodbye to Happy Days and The Fonz...then it trails off. But, really, why wouldn't it?

Next issue: Wow! They're back!

Friday, August 06, 2010

CRACKED #188: This is what you do...

August 1982
by Pierre L.

You have a contest! Big Prizes always sell magazines. Don't they?

Well, this is a kick ass "Sevarin"[sic] cover. Syl + Eva...How many times does "EVA" appear on this cover? 1...2...3...a lot... Good luck everyone.

POSTER: No yellow background. It's a "PUBLIC PARK RULES" poster. Pretty much...you can't do anything. At the end, they tell you to enjoy the park. Zing! Zang!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Aaron Spellin is now the prif rdr. Well, good for him! "Enter our best contest eva! Rules and entry blank on page 5."

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next issue - June 1st The accountant is gone. Lots of letters but...the contest rules are here...

Have Fun You Can Win
Enter this contest today!
3 Grand Prized
ATARI Video Games
The popular games that you play on your own television!
Plus 22 Runner-Up Prizes of free one year subscriptions to CRACKED Magazine

"Eva is Sylvester's new girlfriend. Her name has been hidden in the park scene on our front cover. Find the number of times Eva's name appears on the front cover...Then, on a separate piece of paper, tell us your favorite joke."

Entries must be mailed by June 8th, 1982...Crap...

THE FALLING GUY: I never watched this show. Never seemed interesting to me...and I'm having a heck of a time paying attention to it...So, I've brought in a Guest Reviewer for this bit of the review: GVB the Third to help...Sir...


GVB3 here... The great thing about The Falling Guy is that, in so many ways, it encapsulates everything that CRACKED is about, namely sucking ass.

CRACKED SUCKS! MAD FOREVER! I think they had Pac-Man on the cover around this time! Read that instead!

OK! OK! Enough of this! PIERRE L. IS BACK!

Ghumdrop Vincent Burlington III strikes again. I didn't realize it was the same guy. I thought the same man who ruined my review of #178 was long gone. Apparently, he's still lurking.

Ghumdrop, I'll get you!

I still don't know anything about The Fall Guy, though.

COLLISION COURSES: A man with no gas is about to meet an Arab sheik. A Feminist is about to meet a Male Chauvinist. The best? A man with a ladder is about to run into a man holding a TV. At one page, I like it.

HOW TO SAVE THE BANKING INDUSTRY: Space themed banks! Old West banks! Banks with igloos! The bank presidents will tell jokes to people. No more toasters for deposits...Designer Jeans. Dishwashing service...Pac-man! Magicians in the lines to keep people interested. Centerfolds in bank books...I think CRACKED's onto something here. It's a pretty amusing bit. Better than The Falling Guy. But, all of these sorts of bits are so formulaic...I get lethargic...

HOW GULLIBLE ARE YOU?: Well...it's not that great but I like the art. Do you believe the plumber when he says..."This repair shouldn't cost you more than $15...unless I hit a snag...but that's pretty unlikely. After all, all I'm doing is changing a washer." No matter what your grandfather tells you, do you take it as fact? Granddad loved Nixon. You check off boxes (Yes or No) under each panel. Then, there's a score...The article's all right...But, it's nothing to tattoo on your ass if you know what I mean.


What the hell?


Ghumdrop has somehow broken into the post. I don't know how that's possible. We must be on our guard.

ONE DAY IN THE DEPARTMENT STORE: A blind man, spinning his seeing eye dog around...You know this joke...It's fun(ish). Enjoy the page.

TALKING VENDING MACHINES: At two pages, there are some funny moments here. (Stretch if any more and you got problems.) Abused machines punch back. Cigarette machines blow smoke in your face. Some machines talk to lonely people. Your Mom thinks you stink. Put a slug in a machine...it'll grab you. Like your Mom grabbed me last night. A pretty good article.

ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) Part XIII: Two pages. At least three laughs...that works for me. I see Don Knotts!

T-SHIRTS WE'LL NEVER SEE THEM WEARING: Sylvester P. Smythe wears a MAD shirt. Alfred E. Newman wears a CRACKED shirt. Archie Bunker wears a NAACP shirt. Gloria Steinem has a Playboy Bunny shirt. Gags like that. Very MAD...again...MAD check #232 or #233...there might be two pages missing.

Ghumdrop! Knock it off!

Actually, I had the exact same thought about that article that he did.

A CRACKED LOOK AT HOUSEHOLD CHORES: Three pages, all gags, no waiting. Young man like to do laundry to meet women. A young boy is offered a new train car (toy trains) every time he takes out the garbage...That garbage ain't getting taken out! IMAD is better than this! Why not read MAD!? I'm going to start my own site! MAD Magazine Reviews and it will start in the 50's and be better than this! The art is fun here but the gags are so-so.

KIDS, YOU KNOW YOU REALLY HAVE TO WORRY WHEN: Wow...three pages of this... "You grab the wrong lunch and you end up with coffee and a turkey sandwich and your Mother gets juice and peanut butter and jelly." "You aren't at home when the new issue of CRACKED arrives." "You get home and your Mother says 'The school called...'." "You get home and me and your Momma are getting it on!" -GVB3 Rules!

MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOTS: I don't know. Is there a point in going on? He's tapped the review. He knows what I'm typing and can PUD! me around at anytime. There's a flying car...there's an old lady...there's a parachute...I'm a stupid jerkhead...there's a...OK...

ADULTS FOLLOWING THE RULES THEY SET FOR CHILDREN: All right...Ghumdrop...take over! I give up!

OK! MAD rules! CRACKED sucks!

STOP WATCHES FOR A CONTEMPORARY BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS: That's all you got, Ghum? What's the point? You said all that stuff before. Why say it again? People can see what you've written on your previous post. Part of me just wants to say to you...that the stop watch for "Dreaming of a whiff of clean and fresh air over modern cities" is at 77 Years and 9 months and 23 days...But, what would you care? Especially, if I said that this article is a little obvious but not without its charms..."Getting the waiter's attention in a restaurant...7 hours, 38 minutes, 20 seconds" What do you think of that, Ghumdrop?! If that is your real name? YOUR MAMA! I wrote that! Pierre L...not Ghumdrop.

CRACKED SUCKS, MAD RULES! I wrote that, Pierre L. did! What do you think of that?!

WHAT'S SO GOOD ABOUT THE WORLD TODAY?: I don't know. Let's ask GVB3...


Ha! Now, I hacked into your hacking! Try it...YOUR MAMA GIVES gifts! She does give gifts. That's my mama.

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE GAME SHOW KING: I'm onto your game, you Invader of Other People's Blogs. Nanny kicks Mr. Cluck Embarris, the Game Show King's, behind and I'm mailing you yours before the Shut-Ups! You do not get the Shut-Ups! This ends now! Speak now! You won't get more than two words out before I zap you.

MAMA's family!

BLOW your own horn!

MAD men is a good show!

I beat you, Ghumdrop. Get the hell out of here. Go to the CRAZY Magazine Reviews site and bug them for a while.

1 - Dogs
2 - Bricks
3 - Reagan

Dogbrickagan. I love Shut-Up words.

GREAT MOMENTS IN TRANSPORTATION: Royalty are abusing slaves again...Oh well. It's Gagtastic!

Things have calmed down. I don't even remember much of this issue now. All I remember is that we put an A-Hole down! So, let's move on.

Next issue: Still trying to bring those sales up...an old friend makes an appearance for the final time.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

CRACKED #187: Selling Fewer Magazines? Put Everyone On The Cover!

July 1982
by Pierre L.

You saw it in the last post. After half-a-decade of solid sales, CRACKED's popularity began to drop in 1981. (Odd, that was when I started to read it.) By the end of 1982, sales would really begin to slide until the middle of 1985. (We'll discuss that when we get there.) But, now, we're early in '82 and the staff are giving it their all. This cover has a background! Granted it's the gray/ white exterior of The Love Boat but there is a background.

And, look at everyone on there:

The Dukes & Daisy
Mork & Mindy
Gary Coleman
Captain Gavin MacLeod
The Bandit!
& Sylvester

All welcoming us to a "Wacky Love Boat Cruise!" Let's go in.

POSTER: Yep, the yellow background is here. Brighter than ever. This is the "ECHO POSTER!" Yell something at it and your voice will echo...Check the fine print! You gotta hang it in the Grand Canyon! Oh, the love!

TABLE OF CONTENTS: Luke N. See is still the prueff rdeder. He's kept his job! Bob Sproul is just the publisher. No longer the editor. Marion Sproul is the editor. I think this issue looks fun. I never like to guess until I've been there, though. Although, I guess I just guessed.

LETTUCE FROM OUR READERS: Next Issue - April 20th. Accountant is still there. "Dear CRACKED, Is your magazine inteliigeant?" "What did the drumstick say to the drum?" All these questions. Let's learn from each other.

Oh...According to THE COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE, CRACKED Issue. No. 70 is worth 80 cents, and the first issue of CRACKED is now worth $24.

THE WILDEST AND WEIRDEST LOVE BOAT CRUISE OF THEM ALL: And is it ever...There's no plot at all. Everyone on the cover shows up on the Love Boat, does a few gags making fun of the characteristics of their particular shows and then there's a car chase with the Dukes and the Bandit. Lots of bad puns. Some great illustrations of folks being goofy. An exploding pig and Jonathan Winters. Of course, Mork & Mindy was at its very end. The ratings had plummeted and it was going off the air soon. But, it's nice to have them back one more time. And, of course, Diff'rent Strokes was no longer a megahit. Although, it was only halfway through its run. The Dukes, however, were kicking ass. Smokey & The Bandit 2 had come out in the Summer of 1980. The Love Boat was going strong, too. A mix of Current Juggernauts and old CRACKED favorites...possibly some of them appearing for the last time.

WHAT THEY'RE REALLY THINKING WHEN THEY SAY: Oh no...This is no way to run a magazine. These articles are pure filler. Try as they might. As far as I know, this bit could have run 15 or 20 years previously. I don't get anything out of it.

A GOOD DATE VS. A BAD DATE: Seriously? Three pages of more of this kind of thing. The artist is one I haven't seen for a while or at all. That makes me think they have a new artist or...this is a very old bit. I don't remember it so I'm saying it a new bit. So, HOORAY! for the new bit. I wish it was funny.

MORE BELIEVE IT OR NOTS: This is a pretty funny bit. There's a picture of a man on the ground with his eyes closed and one leg in the air. He seems to be tapping on a sewer drain. "Mr. Frank Sonata, a music professor at Boston College can play "You Light Up My Life" on a sewer drain with one leg in the air and both eyes closed! BELIEVE IT OR NOT." It's all stuff like that and it's three pages and it's pretty good. Now, you could point out that all this is is a variation on The Cracked Lens...so that makes a lot of "Foto Funnies" gaggery in this issue...But, luckily, it's something they do a good job with, generally.

COLLISION COURSE: "Ban Guns" meets a hunter. Kermit the Frog with a thin pig meeting Miss Piggy. A dog meeting a dogcatcher...and more!!!! Well, it's one page. It's fun to get that little snap of realizing what the gag is so I can't slander this one.

VIDEO COLLEGE: Taking classes from home via Video! It's sort of amusing but nothing earth shattering. It's the third page that is awesome...The advertisers pitch to people at Video College...My favorite? "Thanks to Slap-On Facial Paint All your Video College Classes Can Be Truly Integrated" You buy these assorted paints and paint your face to make your class interracial. You use "Honky White For Blacks" & "Midnight Mahogany For Whites". "Your home study classes can assume a truly international atmosphere with the addition of Tacos Brown & Won Ton Yellow". The best!

YE HANGS UPS: Oh, it's one page and it's fun. These one panel pages are generally amusing.

CRACKED WORD PLAY: One of them is "The Generation Gap". GENER ATION.
Get it? Two pages of those. I like 'em but I still never get 'em.

THE CRACKED WORLD OF RELATIVES: Oh dear..Well, I read it. 4 pages of several panel strips with relative gags. A little boy thinks that if his pregnant sister has a little girl, he'll be an aunt. A kid responds to a fat relative who says "I remember when you were this high" with a "...when you were this wide..." bit.

I'll detail one of the strips and then we'll move on:

Panel 1: Two fat, mean ladies leave a house. A husband and wife stand in the doorway.
Wife: Well, I'm glad that's over with. I can't believe your cousins Sonia and Clara argued and fought all evening.

Panel 2: Inside, the husband stands looking rather smug. The wife has a tray of dirty dishes.
Husband: Well, it's like Einstein once said. Put two people born of the same blood in the same room and they'll always go for each other's throats.
Wife: When did Einstein say that?
Husband: In his famous theory.
Wife: Which one is that?

Panel 3: Wife is washing dishes. Husband holds up a finger and has a goofy look on his face.
Husband: The theory of Relative-ity!

ABSOLUTELY, UNQUESTIONABLY, POSITIVELY, UNDENIABLY, THE VERY, VERY, LAST OF THE CRACKED LENS (and we really, really mean it this time, for sure!) Part XII: Only two pages? Well, they're funny. Read them.

TOO DUMB FOR COMFORT: I had no idea that this show was on so early in the 80's. For some reason, I always thought this was mid-80's.Started in 1980...ran for three season on the Network and then three(ish) more seasons in syndication. In the end, it became The Ted Knight Show. Hmm...I used to watch this in syndication all the time. It was one of those "Not really all that funny but Jm. J Bullock is pretty darn amusing" shows. That's why I watched. Now, I couldn't even imagine trying it but I'm jaded. This parody is OK. 7 pages seems a touch excessive to me especially when they could have included more "What They're Really Thinking" stuff. I'm kidding, of course. A decent parody but it doesn't match the pure OOMPH! of the opener.

MORE CELEBRITY GARBAGE: The opening blurb above the title, the title and the art around it look very old. But, the rest of the bit is new. I think. The last time they did this was Issue #131 - The Godfather Meets Jaws - March 1976...Would have come out at the end of 1975...The year CRACKED had its largest circulation. Is there any clearer reason why this not-so-funny seems-to-be-ripped-off-from-MAD bit has reappeared? Miss Piggy, J. R. Ewing, The Regans, Howard Cosell...Their garbage is here...

CRACKED INTERVIEWS THE SKI RESORT KING: A good Nanny bit. She really gets cheesed at Mr. Schuss who runs these resorts that really rip people off. She even has tons of film footage to show off things that are skeevy. A cup of tea is 65 cents...but, you use a Universal Tea Bag. The fireplaces are coin operated. 50 cents lifts a metal frame and exposes the fireplace for 12 minutes. Do they make snow? No...they shred paper. They do give everyone Free Snowballs to eat. But, in the end, a film mishap derails Nanny's expose. Oh well. Good bit, though. I wish all of these were like this.

1 - Dad
2 - Bell
3 - Bull

Dadbellbull...I love it.

GREAT MOMENTS IN FASHION: This is a good one. Sir Algernon Stewart-Ellsworth III invents the Stove-Pipe Top Hat on 6/11/1857. See it and giggle.

Well, they seem to nail down certain bits, most of the parodies, Foto Funnies, Word Play, but other bits (you know the ones) seem like endless filler to me. I guess if each issue is like an album by one of your favorite bands, then it would be one a band that put out too much material. For every great bit there's a weak bit...that's too bad. I may check out some of the Collector's Editions and Super CRACKED issues to see if they get the chaff out.

Let's carry on.

Next issue: What else do you do when your sales are beginning to plummet?