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The 15 Funniest True Stories Left Out Of History Class
The Cracked Podcast

They say the past is a foreign country. (Trust us, it’s a saying!) What they leave off in that aphorism is the fact that the foreign land of Past-zakhstan is a foreign country of constant pranks and goofs. From 1950s America to Renaissance Italy to the Norman conquest of England, our ancestors were all about changing the world AND yoink-ing each other every step of the way.


On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is LIVE at UCB Sunset with comedians Caitlin Gill, Christine Medrano, and Blake Wexler. They’ll run down the all-time silliest nonsense of actual human history. And the audience joins in at the end with some historical pranks and goofs of their own, because our live shows are interactive and fun like that.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/SKp2qk

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Why We’re Terrible At Taking Care Of Our Mental Health
The Cracked Podcast

Monty Python once taught us the following neuroscience: “The human brain is like an enormous fish. It is flat, and slimy, and has gills through which it can see.” That obvious bullshit is obvious bullshit. It’s also not much sillier than our own daily treatment of our brains. We know the human brain needs calm, care, and interaction with other humans. So why don’t we give that to our gilled head-fish?


On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to rediscover brains and the humans carrying them around. They’ll get into why this is the era of bombarding our minds with Snapchats, sleeplessness, and incomplete friendships. They’ll explore the fundamental feedback loops that make us seek out bad habits. And they’ll pick out how you can be aware of your own mental health needs, even if our wider culture wants to trick you into forgetting all about them.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/nmGrMf

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How 2 Scientists You’ve Never Heard Of Redesigned Our Planet
The Cracked Podcast

In the year 2050, there will be 10 billion people on Earth. Or at least that’s the scientific estimate. Sounds like a giant human milestone, right? Well IT TOTALLY IS…assuming we harvest 50% more food than we are now, to feed those people. Oh and 4.5 billion people will be short on fresh drinking water by 2025, 1.2 billion people are short on electricity right now, and global temperatures are about to rise a degree Fahrenheit or two (or 8.1, turning most of the world into a desert). So…where do we go from here, Earth?


Well on this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with science/history/everything about life on Earth writer Charles C. Mann. They’ll explore the lives of Norman Borlaug & William Vogt, the title “characters” of Mr. Mann’s new book The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World. We’ll also uncover photosynthesis’s stupidity, nail down climate change’s branding, and look back on hundreds of years of human self-improvement that suggest we might just make it to 10 billion if we pull it together.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/p4sxHy

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How Predictive Text Gave Us A New Harry Potter Chapter
The Cracked Podcast

If there’s one book the entire planet wants to read right this second, it’s ‘Harry Potter and the Eighth Novel That’s As Good As The First Seven’. So far J.K. Rowling hasn’t given it to us, because she’s been TOO LAZY (and when we say “too lazy”, we mean she’s written a play and a movie franchise and adult novels and good tweets). So what if someone else could replicate her work, and write us more Potter? Also what if that writer was a machine? And what if that machine delivered utterly brilliant scene descriptions like “Ron was going to be spiders. He just was.” that made us realize how funny Harry Potter oughta be?


On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jamie Brew, Elle O’Brien, & Mike Frederickson, a team of comedians & tech wizards from Botnik. They’ll dig into how Botnik’s predictive text technology combines with actual living breathing humans, to find fun jokes within the relentless advance of automation. They’ll also discover a digital future that might actually be worth looking forward to. And they’ll even deliver The Cracked Podcast’s first ever dramatic literary reading.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/79Y8wT

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All The Ways Your Microbes Make You YOU
The Cracked Podcast

You are a human being. Which means "you" are actually one human plus the trillions of microscopic life forms living in you. And "you" are living in a civilization that's only had microscopes since the 1670s, and only begun to understand what microscopes reveal. And "you" are living on a planet that was dominated by microbial life for about half its natural history, with more complex species only showing up in the last quarter, like a Miami Heat fan in between South Beach clubs. Which all begs the question: is this the microbes' world, and we're just living in it? And what does that mean for us as a species?


On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with science journalist Ed Yong (The Atlantic) for a look at the incredible world of microbes we've been living in this whole time, covered brilliantly in Ed's book I Contain Multitudes. Find out how trillions of tiny bacteria & germs guide everything from your nutrition, to our psychology, to the evolution of life on earth itself.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/FmPZnz

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12 Movies With A Hero-Villain Dynamic That's Now Insane
The Cracked Podcast

Bill Murray is an asshole. Or at least his “Ghostbusters” character is, if you consider the environmental ramifications of keeping a box of evil ghosts in America’s densest square mile of humans. That d***less EPA guy was right. Times changed. You know that. But did you know actors from Tom Hanks to Jimmy Stewart ran into that same Murray Problem? And played villains who seem nice, or heroes who seem like garbage people, just because the whole world changed a few decades (or years (or seconds)) after the movie wrapped?


On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked editor Dan Hopper for a journey into the dark underbelly of almost all your favorite movies. From the Christmas classics you love to the superhero movies you plunk down $17.50 to see, get ready for the history, economics, societal shifts, and scams the President of the United States got away with, that turned your DVD collection into a set of ridiculous movie premises.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/PRxCYE

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23 Awesome Beginnings To Start Your New Year Right
The Cracked Podcast

BEGINNINGS: they are important. So important, we put that first word in all caps. On this week’s episode, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked editors Kristi Harrison and Cyriaque Lamar for a look at the all-time best beginnings of...basically everything. From first lines of books to first shots of movies to historical firsts that everyone oughta know about, this episode’s like a smoothie made of starts, mixed to start your new year just right.

Footnotes: https://goo.gl/Xbg2EX

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11 Everyday Heroes Who Beat Racism With Fun Pranks
The Cracked Podcast

As you look back on 2017, maybe you think the forces of evil had a banner year. Maybe you think decency took loss after loss, while cruelty went to the playoffs. Well what if we told you that while that was often true, there were squads of highly-motivated nice people standing up to the Nazis marching in the streets? And what if we also told you they stood up to those Nazis with the funniest, pinkest, fundraising-est pranks imaginable?

On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedian, Southerner, and friend of the show Billy Wayne Davis, for a happy stroll down recent memory lane. They’ll discover magic t-shirts, “Swiss Coffee”, alien beings, and more fun ways the forces of good are kicking ass, taking names, and playing a little sousaphone along the way.

Footnotes: https://goo.gl/TkiQ1g

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How THE ROOM Changed The Way The World Watches Movies
The Cracked Podcast

On June 27th, 2003, a $6 million movie premiered at two theaters in Los Angeles, earning a reported box office gross of less than $2000. That movie was called THE ROOM, and against all odds it became a midnight screening sensation, changed the way the entire world watches movies, and made an enigmatic fake New Orleans native into the most successful unsuccessful director in Hollywood history.

On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, screenwriters of the new (and high quality!) movie THE DISASTER ARTIST. Find out how a movie based on a book based on a film production slash friendship became a universally meaningful piece of drama, while keeping in every open door, ass shot, and demented line reading that makes THE ROOM a legend.

Footnotes: https://goo.gl/REWy27

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Why Conservative Comedy Is Almost Impossible In Trump Times
The Cracked Podcast

Thought experiment: if you made a list of the biggest 10 comedy institutions in your life, what would be on it? Probably stuff like ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘The Daily Show’, John Oliver, network late night shows? Well if you look back over that list, you probably won’t find anybody who’s not openly lefty liberal (hi Stephen Colbert!) or wonky liberal (hey Seth Meyers!) or dead-center apolitical (hello Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader!). Why is that? How is there a total lack of high-profile comedy platforms that cater to the Mitt Romney supporters of the world, let alone the Trump zombies?


On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Jason Pargin (Cracked) and Zack Bornstein (SNL, Jimmy Kimmel Live) for a look at how comedy works, who’s allowed to be our leading joke-tellers, where today’s comedy comes from historically, and why Jimmy Fallon lost a third of his audience by treating Donald Trump like a regular guy one time.


[Footnotes on Cracked.com page]

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9 Secretly Necessary Life Lessons For Modern America
The Cracked Podcast

Growing up: it used to be as easy as drinking your milk, preparing to work 1 job for 40 years, and not misusing the height of telecommunications (a landline phone). Now that all of that has changed (side note: turns out milk isn’t all that good for you), what should we be teaching the new generation of kids about life on Earth? Also, hold on, we’ve all seen the Internet. Maybe the adult generation is the one that actually needs the advice.


On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Kristi Harrison (Cracked) and Andrew Ti (“Yo Is This Racist”) to explore every lesson that ought to join the pantheon of Things We Tell Kids About Life. Find out why you might not be apologizing very well, why your retirement plan might be a mirage from the 80s, and most astonishingly, why Kim Kardashian and Guy Fieri are f***ing awesome.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/naZgWK

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Best Episode Ever: 30 Rock
The Cracked Podcast

Thought experiment time: what's the best episode of your favorite TV show? No matter what the series, from Mad Men to Seinfeld to Battlestar Galactica, it's a surprisingly hard question to find an agreeable answer. But that's what we've assigned Cracked's resident TV nerds, Carmen Angelica and Brett Rader, with doing: each week they're going to look at a different popular TV series and try to determine its best episode ever. In the past two weeks they've discussed Friends and Adventure Time, and this week, as a special bonus for Cracked Podcast listeners, we're posting their discussion about 30 Rock. 


Best Episode Ever releases new episodes every Tuesday and is back next week on their own feed to talk about Arrested Development. Click here to find links to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher: https://goo.gl/CxWzkj

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Cracked Mailbag -- Sample Episode
The Cracked Podcast

Cracked's Daniel O'Brien and Cody Johnston take your questions every Friday on Cracked Mailbag. To submit your questions, hit Cracked up on Twitter (twitter.com/Cracked) and use the hashtag #CrackedMailbag To listen to new episodes, you must be subscribed to the Cracked Private Reserve. Sign up at cracked.com/subscribe.

Comedy
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All The Insane News Donald Trump Stopped You From Noticing
The Cracked Podcast

The news: if you’ve read it since the fall of 2015, it’s been nothing but Donald Trump stories, and Opponent Of Donald Trump stories, and the sports section (which is also kind of Trump news). That’s insane, right? Isn’t there an entire rest of the world out there, full of local governments legislating, scientists discovering, rich people hiding money on tropical islands, and woolly mammoths dying in slapstick ways? Ya know, the fun stuff?

On this week's episode of The Cracked Podcast, we're LIVE from UCB Sunset in Los Angeles, with guests Cody Johnston, Katie Goldin, Rivers Langley, and Siobhan Thompson. And we're bringing you all the amazing, terrifying, and strange news the media hasn't had the bandwidth to tell you about.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/ou72Xm

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17 Hit Songs That Are Secretly (Or Openly) Insane
The Cracked Podcast

Top 40 radio: it’s like if a robot became obsessed with our collective subconscious. And it’s always been dominated by fun, sunshine-y pop songs. Stuff like “Respect” (Aretha Franklin) and “Hey Ya!” (OutKast) and “Maniac” (that dancing movie). But are those songs all that they seem to be? Or do they have hidden, fascinating meanings that nobody ever stops and thinks about?

On this week’s podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack, the hosts of Earwolf’s “Who Charted”, to ask the questions nobody’s asking about the biggest hit songs of all time. Get ready for a whole new perspective on all your favorite artists, from Van Halen to Marvin Gaye to Francis Scott Key.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/5sPe7A

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10 Revolutionary TV Shows That Almost Happened
The Cracked Podcast

Remember the LOST pilot? It was basically an incredible JJ Abrams movie with plane crashes, polar bears, and dreamy Matthew Fox. If only that first episode aired-- it would've been a cult phenomenon-- an all-time pop-culture "what-if?" But instead we got LOST-- the time-traveling, island-hopping sci-fi adventure of diminishing returns.

On this week's podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Carmen Angelica and Brett Rader, the two hosts of Cracked's newest podcast series Best Episode Ever, to talk about 10 innovative TV pilots that almost made it to series but will forever be "what-ifs."

And make sure to subscribe to Cracked's newest podcast Best Episode Ever, where Carmen and Brett will dissect your favorite TV series and try to find each show's best episode ever. Tomorrow they'll discuss Friends with Cracked favorite Katie Willert. Search for "Best Episode Ever" in your podcast app of choice or click on the footnotes below to find links to it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/G8GfYZ

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How Your Germs Control Your Politics (with David Wong)
The Cracked Podcast

Stop me if you've heard this one before: a charismatic populist leader rises to power by warning of immigrants who are are "filthy" and "bring disease." It's no coincidence the greatest deplorable leaders through the ages use the same coded language to talk about people who are "other."

It's psychology. Quite understandably, it's human nature to fear disease. It's why rats are icky to us and I ceremonially burn my clothes after I go to Disneyland. But if you know what you're looking for, you'll see how diseases are are framed as exotic and foreign as an excuse to gang up on different nationalities: SARS, ban Chinese people; Ebola, ban everybody from Africa; sickness in general, build that wall.

On this week's podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by Cracked executive editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to talk about how this weird germ theory controls how you think about everything.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/zSd56T

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3 Scientific Reasons People Think They See Ghosts
The Cracked Podcast

Whether it's ghosts or the afterlife or god, most humans tend to lean towards thinking something funky and unknowable is out there, even if they can't pinpoint what it is or prove that it exists. 

With ghosts, this seems to be especially true. In some states, real estate listings must disclose if people have died at the property, you know, in case ghosts, and even the most fervent atheists will admit, "yeah there's something weird opening doors in my house, it's definitely a ghost."

On this week's episode, Alex Schmidt is joined by Dana Gould, creator of IFC's Stan Against Evil for a wide-ranging conversation about why humanity is obsessed with the supernatural and some of the scientific reasons our bodies trick us into believing that ghosts are real. 


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/vfMFwp


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15 Myths & Urban Legends That Deserve Modern Horror Movies
The Cracked Podcast

Aside from a couple original standouts, horror movies seem to trot out the same 5 or 6 monsters/killers/haunted board games each year. It's The Fourth Life-Partner of Chucky (they're not putting labels on things). Saw 3.14: Circular Saw! Oui-3: Revenge of the Ouija!

The 'Saw' joke isn't even a joke. The 8th 'Saw' movie is coming out this year. There are no remaining Hollywood actors who haven't been murdered by the Jigsaw killer.

To end the stale repetition put forth by the horror industrial complex, Alex Schmidt is joined by a panel of Cracked's David Christopher Bell and Brett Rader, as well as comics Hallie Cantor, Greg Edwards and Danielle Radford to talk about 15 real life urban legends and folk monsters that deserve their own horror franchise that runs about four films too long.


Footnotes: https://goo.gl/Ra9XKN

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17 Classic Movies That Were Saved By Studio Interference
The Cracked Podcast

In an alternate 1985, American movie audiences saw a movie called Spaceman From Pluto, wherein Eric Stoltz's time-traveling DeLorean is sent back to the 80s by driving straight into a nuclear explosion -- nuke the fridge style.

Almost as if the writers and producers had time traveled themselves to watch Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and realized what a horrible idea that would be, Stoltz was recast, the title was changed to Back to the Future and Marty McFly gets back to the future by summoning 1.21 gigawatts through the power of lightning.

This is just one example of how studio notes aren't always a bad thing. On this week's episode, Alex Schmidt is joined by The Canon's Amy Nicholson to discuss how movies like Alien, Forrest Gump, and Beverly Hills Cop were saved, or almost completely ruined by the scourge of Hollywood: studio notes.


Footnotes:​ ​https://goo.gl/nXFKEB

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