The Cracked Podcast

The Cracked Podcast

United States

The Cracked Podcast is an extension of the editorial team discussions that shape the brilliant articles and sketches on Cracked. Cohosts Jack O'Brien and Michael Swaim, along with an impressive roster of guests, use the platform to identify and dissect pop culture tropes, debunk myths and generally try to reach the large demographic of people who would enjoy their site's content if only they'd learn to read.


Humanity's Greatest Moments Brought to You By Drugs ​& Booze  

Even though drugs and alcohol have been a social lubricant since before we could write anything down, we like to think of history as this boring, stuffy museum exhibit where kings and queens drank iced tea, ate flavorless biscuits and had sex like our parents did (they've never had sex!). But hold onto your molly water, legal marijuana and fidget spinners, kids: history is as shitfaced wasted as any frat party or music festival, you just have to dig a little deep to find it. Also, it's hard for high school history teachers to talk about how great Ulysses S. Grant was and talk about how drunk he was the whole civil war. So they just don't mention that last part. American hero! In this week's episode, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked's Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, as well as comedian Blake Wexler, for a deep dive into some of history's most secretly inebriated moments. They'll talk about wars that were almost started and wars that were ended thanks to booze, some surprisingly great accomplishments powered by LSD (please don't try them at home) and the American president who was so drunk all the time, it sort of puts the whole Trump presidency into horrifying perspective. Footnotes: Check out Blake Wexler's New Podcast 'Ya Booze Ya News': ​Article: Cracked: 6 Historic Events You Didn't Realize Everyone Was Drunk For: Article: Cracked: The 5 Most Important Things Done While Blackout Drunk: Article: Cracked: The 7 Most Unexpectedly Awesome Parties in History: Article: Cracked: The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High: Article: Cracked: The 5 Most Inspiring Things Ever Accomplished While Drunk: Article: Cracked 5 Epic Bouts of Drunkenness That Made The History Books: Article: Cracked: 7 Great Works of Literature Written While Wasted: ​ Article: The Guardian: Drunk in Charge: Article: The AV Club: 45 Years Ago Today Dock Ellis Pitched a No-Hitter While High on LSD: ​Video: Bill Clinton Laughs At Drunk Boris Yeltsin:​

More Simpsons Writer's Room Stories (From A Simpsons Writer)  

Dana Gould is one of comedy's "that guys." His footprint is everywhere -- from writing on top-line hits like The Simpsons to cult-status titles The Ben Stiller Show -- and there's a chance you've never heard of him. If you're like Dana and you've spent the last quarter century hopping from great writers room to great writers room, while still managing to be a stand-up, a podcast host, and the voice of an animated gecko (not that one), you gain insights into life, entertainment and politics that a lot of us aren't privy to. So on this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien, Daniel O'Brien and Michael Swaim sit down with Dana for an extended conversation about the world-building processes behind The Simpsons and Parks & Rec, Elvis Costello's worst night ever, and the cognitive dissonance of the average Trump supporter. We also ask him about Gex. Footnotes: Podcast: Cracked Podcast: Insane Simpsons Easter Eggs (Explained By Simpsons Writers): Podcast: Cracked Podcast: Why Narcissism Is Our National Mental Disorder: Podcast: The Dana Gould Hour: Episode Archive: TV: IFC: Stan Against Evil: Article/Podcast: Freakonomics: The Academic Origins of China's One-Child Policy: Book: Peter Doggett: You Never Give Me Your Money -- The Beatles After the Breakup: Documentary: The Making of 'Dr. Strangelove': ​ Article: Cracked: 12 Classic Movie Moments Made Possible By Abuse and Murder: Article: Cracked: 5 Great Movie Scenes Made Possible By Reckless Endangerment: Check Out Jack's May Spotify Playlist:

Why Millennials Are The New Greatest Generation  

The script is different but the wording is always roughly the same. Every few months some retiring journalist, former tech-mogul or aspiring Tomi Lahren-type goes viral because they've had it up to *here* with these gosh darn millennials. Between their clamoring for single-payer healthcare and their complaining about unpaid internships, it's like they hate America or something. Why can't they appreciate what they've got and be exactly what the generation before wants them to be?We've heard it a million times and, frankly, it's all bullshit. You know how we know? Because every generation has been lodging the same 4 complaints about their successors since the beginning of the written language (and probably before that too). Grug and all the other teens don't care about hunting mammoths like their fathers, they just sit around playing with those newfangled *wheels* all day. As long as we keep having kids, this will happen until the end of time.On this week's podcast, resident Gen-X'er-in-chief Jack O'Brien welcomes young upstarts Katie Goldin, Brett Rader and Josh Sargent onto the show to discuss why this never-ending argument is bullshit. They discuss some flaws in logic behind popular anti-millennial rants and call out some shady statistics that news outlets circulate to prop-up these arguments.And make sure to get tickets to our next LIVE Cracked Podcast, coming up on Saturday, May 13th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked's Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, and comedian Blake Wexler to combine the podcast's two favorite topics: great moments in history and binge drinking. They'll discuss the drafting of the US Constitution, the Russian Revolution and other famous moments in history where everyone was completely sh*tfaced. Tickets are only $7 and available here: Footnotes:Article: Cracked: This Millennial Rant Deserves A Trophy For Being Most Wrong: Article: The Society Pages: Adventures in Garbage-Millennial Confirmation Bias: Article: Cracked: 5 Lies Millennials And Baby Boomers Believe About Each Other: Article: Cracked: 4 Terrible Parts of Pop Culture (With Weird Bright Sides): Article: The New Yorker: The Big Uneasy: Article: The New Yorker: The "Founder" Generation's Creation Myth: Book: Morley Winograd: Millennial Momentum: This episode is brought to you by Audible ( and Adam and Eve ( code: CRACKED).

23 Convoluted Movie Schemes That Need A Second Look  

The term 'movie magic' typically refers to the technical brilliance of bringing dinosaurs to life onscreen or how Denzel Washington can make an entire theatre of men and women pregnant with a single knowing glance. But there's a second type of movie magic that often goes overlooked: when movies are so good, we don't notice when their characters' plans' make absolutely no sense. All the great ones do this. In 'Return of the Jedi', all of the main characters get captured attempting to break Han Solo out of Jabba's palace, but it's all good because that was seemingly their plan all along? Why wait to get captured when you can just drop in, lightsabers blazing, bust your dude out of the carbonite and smoke fools in an epic prison breakout? Seems like Luke wanted to fight the Rancor all along.There's a whole category of these where bad guys try to weaponize monsters. From the 'Alien' series to 'Jurassic World', it's just a bad idea. Christopher Nolan is a real magician when it comes to bad movie plans. 'The Dark Knight', 'The Dark Knight Rises', and 'The Prestige' all have glaring examples of movie schemes that don't hold up under an ounce of scrutiny.So, join Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim, and David Christopher Bell as they discuss the failing of Nolan's villains, why 'Westworld' makes no sense, and how the dudes in 'Jaws' had a bigger boat the whole damn time.And make sure to get tickets to our next LIVE Cracked Podcast, coming up on Saturday, May 13th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked's Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt and Michael Swaim, and comedian Blake Wexler to combine the podcast's two favorite topics: great moments in history and binge drinking. They'll discuss the drafting of the US Constitution, the Russian Revolution and other famous moments in history where everyone was completely sh*tfaced. Tickets are only $7 and available here: Footnotes:Video: Cracked: 3 Ridiculous Movie Schemes That Make No Sense: Article: Cracked: 6 Terrible Plans in Movies That Just Sort of Work Out: Article: Cracked: The 6 Most Pointlessly Elaborate Movie Murder Plots: Article: Cracked: 6 Famous Movie Villains Whose Evil Schemes Make Zero Sense: Article: Cracked: 6 Huge Movie Plot Twists That Caused Even Bigger Plot Holes: This episode is brought to you by Squarespace ( code: CRACKED), and ZipRecruiter (

Why Every Billionaire Is Becoming A Doomsday Prepper  

Sometime around when Donald Trump started winning state primaries a year ago, the national mood went from, "Damn Daniel," to "oh fuck we're actually going to die in a rain of nuclear hellfire." That happens when a sitting US President attacks an almost-nuclear state on Twitter, as was the case a few weekends ago.With climate change, market instability, loss of privacy, the rise of fascism and a hair-triggered President all coming to a boil around the same time, it's understandable for images of apocalypse and dystopia to weigh heavily on the mind.So, this week the Cracked Podcast is doing an apocalypse grab-bag. Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked's Alex Schmidt and Saundra Sorenson to talk about bizarre apocalypse-level events that already happened and stories from places like Nigeria, Iraq, the Philippines and even Canada, where either natural disaster, terrorism or totalitarian government have turned everyday life into a dystopia.  Footnotes:Article/Video: Jalopnik: This is the Video CNN Will Play When The World Ends: Article: Cracked: 4 Nightmare Apocalypses Humanity Forgot Were Possible: Article: Cracked: 6 Real Cities Destroyed By Incredibly Bizarre Apocalypses: Article: Cracked: 6 Apocalypse Scenarios Society Says We're Overdue For: Article: Cracked: 5 Horrifying Apocalyptic Scenarios  (That Have Already Happened): Article: The New Yorker: Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich: Article: The New Yorker: The Really Big One:  Article: Cracked: Evacuating A Modern City: 5 Realities in a Real Apocalypse: Book: Dave Eggers: Zeitoun: Article: The New Yorker: Hosed: Article: Smithsonian Magazine: Why Did Greenland's Vikings Vanish?:

How We'd Fix These 4 Broken Franchises  

Big news! This summer, Hollywood is delivering us our 6th Spiderman movie in the last 15 years. Fun! Time to re-hash all of our favorite story beats like dead uncles, having great responsibilities and kissing upside-down.So yeah, it seems like for the nth summer in a row, the great minds in the Hollywood dream factory are officially out of ideas. Our question is: why? When there are so many amazing stories from real life or incredible works that have yet to be adapted, why another Transformers?This is an issue only the After Hours crew (sans Michael) can figure out. On this week's episode, Jack O'Brien is joined by Soren Bowie, Daniel O'Brien and Katie Willert to fix reboots, throw out adaptations and pitch unbelievable real stories that would make for incredible movies, if only Hollywood had the balls to produce them.Footnotes:Article: Cracked 5 Really Awesome Movies Hidden Inside Really Crappy Movies: Article: LA Times: Zankou Chicken's Tragic Family Rift Impedes Chain's Growth: Podcast: Radiolab: Outside Westgate:  (about Nairobi terror attacks in mall - soren talks about)Book: Jennet Conant: The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington: Book: F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Diamond as Big as the Ritz: Podcast: The Dollop: Lobotomy: Article: LA Times: Colonel Griffith J. Griffith, One of LA's More Colorful Figures: Book: Bonar Menninger: Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK: Documentary: JFK: The Smoking Gun: Article: The New Yorker: Bill James, True-Crime Obsessive, On The Genre's Enduring Importance: Book: Bill James: Popular Crime: Article: Cracked: 5 Insane 'What If' Scenarios That Almost Changed Everything: Article: New York Times: LBJ's Bravado and a Secret Service Under Scrutiny: Book: L.A. Meyer: Bloody Jack: Book: Brain Jacques: Redwall: Article: Smithsonian Magazine: The Heiress to a Gun Empire Built a Mansion Forever Haunted by the Blood Money that Built It:

Commonplace Ideas Invented More Recently Than You Think  

Nowadays, there's a huge emphasis on eating natural foods. Staying away from GMOs, pesticides, and processed sugars is generally thought of as a good thing. Some call it the paleo diet and it's a way to harken back to a simpler time, when our ancestors ate gathered fruits and hunted animals.Going paleo is very noble and all, but the problem is: the plants and animals we eat are nothing like they were thousands of years ago, let a hundred years ago. Before test tubes were ever a part of the equation, we selectively bred everything from cows and chickens to apples and bananas. You'd barf in your mouth just looking at an OG banana, let alone trying to eat it. And cows? They were bred from their ancestors, cattle-like animals called aurochs, who would fuck you up if you tried milking them.The food we eat today and think of as normal is just one example of a historical blindspot we have where we think commonplace objects and concepts have been around forever. But in this week's episode, Jack O'Brien is joined by Michael Swaim and Teresa Lee to discuss how things like food, love, racism and mourning dead children are all surprisingly recent developments.Footnotes:Article: Cracked: 7 Concepts We Totally Take For Granted, Like White People: Article: Cracked: 6 Man-Made Things You Totally Thought Were Natural: Article: Cracked: 5 Simple Things You Won't Believe Are Recent Inventions: Article: Seeker: Cows Almost Impossible to Domesticate, DNA Reveals: Article: Pacific Standard: How Lobster Got Fancy: Article: Gawker: 'Breathtaking' Document Reveals Pepsi's Logo is Pinnacle of Entire Universe: Article: Time: The Invention of Teenagers: Article: The New York Times: Who's White?: Podcast: Duke University Center for Documentary Studies: Seeing White: Text: Ralph Waldo Emerson: English Traits: Article: The Atlantic: Thomas Jefferson: Radical and Racist: Scholarly Article: Did The Ancients Care When Their Children Died?: The Romantic Love Test: This episode is brought to you by Louis C.K. 2017 on Netflix, Harry’s (, and Adam and Eve ( code: CRACKED).

My Small Town Can Fit In A Building: Life in Small-Town USA  

The 2016 Election made it clear that we live in an America divided.  There is a struggle between small-town and big-city America that comes down to more than just ideology. There's a general misunderstanding of how we live life that both sides fall victim to. To one side, the cramped and cavernous nature of city streets is straight-up anxiety-inducing. To the other, it's a surprise that dirt roads even exist at all. Didn't we get rid of those decades ago? But if the road is made of dirt, how will the driverless Uber know where to go? This is why Trump's President, ya'll!In one bubble, entertainment is taking in a show or a concert; in the other, entertainment is muddin' or taking random pills. One isn't better than the other. There are no judgements here. It's just that things that are absolutely commonplace in one world are so completely alien to the people in the other.On this week's podcast, city-boy Jack O'Brien is joined by columnist John Cheese, who still lives in small-town Illinois, and comedian Billy Wayne Davis who grew up in rural Tennessee but now travels the world and has seen the absurdity in how both sides live. Later, John Cheese and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) break-down their formative years in small-town Illinois and how the death of the local business turned their community into a living hell.Make sure to get tickets to our next live Cracked Podcast on Saturday, April 8th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack is joined by Daniel O'Brien, Soren Bowie and Katie Willert from 'After Hours' to talk about reboots we'd love to see, great movies hidden in bad movies and other movie ideas way too awesome to actually get made. Tickets are $7 and available here: Footnotes:Billy Wayne Davis on Twitter: Billy Wayne Davis Live at Third Man Records: Video: Billy Wayne Davis on 'Conan': Article: Cracked: 5 Things Only Poor Teens Understand About Poverty: Article: Cracked: 4 Common Morals Designed to Keep You Poor: Article: Cracked: 4 Things Politicians Will Never Understand About Poor People: Article: Cracked: 5 Telltale Sings You Grew Up Poor: Article: Cracked: I Was Raised As A Racist: 6 Weird Things I Learned: Article: Cracked: How Half of America Lost It's F**king Mind: Article: Cracked: I Investigated Fox News' Poverty Claims (On My Mom): Jack O'Brien's Playlist on Spotify:

Marketing Lies You've Been Duped Into Believing  

We all know consciously to take advertising with a grain of salt. Those McDonald's burgers can't look as manicured in person the way they do in the ads. Examples like that are easy to catch. It's harder to spot false advertising when companies are bending the truth so much, your bullshit detectors don't know which way is up. Take Listerine mouthwash. It was originally sold as a surgical antiseptic until some ad men in the 1920s were like, "if we told everyone to wash their mouths out with this industrial cleaner every day, then we'd make so much money we could light our cigars with the cash, but how...". The answer was in a book of medical terminology. They looked up the fanciest word for bad breath -- halitosis -- and made an ad campaign telling everyone it was a chronic disease with only one cure."Hey, sonny boy! Does your dame ever tell ya you have bad breath?""Why, yes mister!""That's simply because you're dying son. Say here, drink this poison, BUT SPIT IT OUT FIRST. And do it every day for the rest of your life."And 90 years later we still use Listerine and still think halitosis is is a disease and not just latin for brush your damn teeth.Modern movies do this too. Sometimes if studios have a real clunker on their hands, they'll cut a trailer that's so unrepresentative of the movie, you would want to sue to get your money back. A lot of times this happens to children's movies with disastrous results for the parents that think they're about to spend 2 hours with a rapping kangaroo.So on this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked writers Carmen Angelica and JM McNab and producer Brett Rader for a discussion of horribly misleading movie trailers, straight-up advertising lies and the contemporary commercials that are messing with your perception of reality.Footnotes:Article: Cracked: Movies That Were Waaaaay Darker & Crazier Than Advertised: Article: Cracked: The 6 Most Hilariously Misleading Movie Trailers: Article: Cracked: 5 Things Movie Trailers Need to Stop Doing: Article: Cracked: 6 Dumbass Publicity Stunts That Fooled Everyone: Article: Cracked: 6 Iconic Things You Won't Believe Began as Publicity Stunts: Video: Helpful Honda Ad: Video: Chevrolet "Real People" Ad: Article: The News Wheel: Are Chevrolet's "Real People, Not Actors" Car Commercials Fake?: Video: If "Real People" Commercials Were Real Life: Video: Aaron Paul on The Price is Right: Video: Josh Androsky on The Price is Right: Follow Jack O'Brien on Twitter: Follow Carmen Angelica on Twitter: armesancheesesFollow JM Mcnab on Twitter: Follow Brett Rader on Twitter:

8 Unlikely Vacation Spots From Fictional Universes  

Ahhhh, mid-March. Time to pack the bros, the beers and the board shorts into the station wagon and drive down to the beach because it's SPRING BREAK WOOO. But instead of going to Florida or Cancún , the Cracked Podcast is taking a detour to 8 fictional locales.Jack O'Brien is joined by special guest-host Daniel Van Kirk for trips to Amity Island, Zootopia, and GTA's Vice City in our attempt to figure out best place to take a fictional vacation. They're joined by comics Blake Wexler, Jamie Loftus, Alison Stevenson, Josh Androsky and Eric Lampaert for a journey that will take us through the lives of Fraiser, the Gilmore Girls and Satan.Footnotes:Blake Wexler on Twitter: Jamie  Loftus on Twitter: Alison Stevenson on  Twitter : Josh  Androsky on Twitter : Eric  Lampaert on Twitter :

The Shockingly Recent Race Riot You've Never Heard Of  

A brief glance at the cartoon version of America makes you think the South is pretty racist. Look at them, with their Confederate flags and voter ID laws! But while you were sleeping, the blue states were up to some pretty racist shit too. It's just that they've got better PR. For example, one of the biggest and most violent anti-segregation fights in US history didn't take place in 1950s Mississippi or Alabama, but 1970s Boston. The 70s! In Massachusetts! The land of Kennedys, Afflecks and liberal arts colleges was faced with the desegregation of schools and was like, "yo George Wallace, hold my beer!"To discuss some of the secretly f#&*ed up modern history of the United States, Jack O'Brien and Michael Swaim are joined by the guys from 'The Dollop': Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds. They discuss the Boston busing riots of the 70s, the comically-liberal blue state with secret ties to the KKK and why we're about to live through the Enron crisis all over again.Footnotes:The Dollop: The Dollop's List of Sources: Podcast: The Dollop: Boston Busing 1974: Podcast: The Dollop: Oregon and the Ku Klux Klan: Podcast: The Dollop: Enron: Image: 11 Nations of America Map: Article: US News & World Report: A Flag, A Busing Fight and a Famous Photograph: Documentary: BBC: HyperNormalisation: Article: Buzzfeed News: How Teens in the Balkans Are Duping Trump Supporters With Fake News: Video: Oregon Whale Explosion: The Cracked Podcast: Why Class in America Isn't Just About Income: Article: Siderea: Class (American): This episode is brought to you by Squarespace ( code: CRACKED), and Coca Cola & Powerade (

How Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos Are Playing You  

It's become your daily morning ritual. Wake up. Open Twitter. And here come's your fix. It's something like, "Trump Surrogate Says Jews in the Holocaust Didn't Have it So Bad!" and you're off to the races. How could he!? Do they know how insensitive that is!? And so on, and so forth until tomorrow, when it's something else. It's the rage machine and it exists on both sides. For every "Trump Eats Steak Well Done With Ketchup," you see on on the left, folks on the right will see something like "Communist Sympathizer Lena Dunham Thinks Pedophiles Should Teach Kindergarten." And the big secret is: both sides are getting played. The nonstop outrage engine is a contrivance, a counterfeit system made by people trying to profit off notoriety, and fueled by humanity's physiological addiction to anger. We hate it. And we love it. And we can't fucking stop.On this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Jason Pargin (aka David Wong), Katie Golden and Alex Schmidt to break-down how the non-stop rage machine works, who's profiting from it, and why this snake eating its tail is so addictive to the human psyche.Footnotes:Article: Cracked: 5 Ways to Stay Sane in an Era of Non-Stop Outrage: Article: Cracked: 7 Creepy Ways Corporations Are Turning You Into an Addict: Cracked Podcast: Why the Food Industry is Evil: Article: The New Yorker: The Hell You Say: Article: Rand Corporation: The Russian Firehose of Falsehood Propaganda Model: Check out  our new series   ' After the Trump '  on Cracked:

25 Bizarrely Specific Ways Movies Get Reality Wrong  

It's not something that you consciously notice, but movies speak to us in a secret language. They use a special shorthand to convey ideas or explain plot in the most efficient way possible. There's one problem though: they do it in the same couple dozen ways and recycle them over and over. And they need to stop. Or at least invent some new ones.Is someone's life crumbling away after a break-up? Just give them a beard and litter their apartment with Chinese food cartons. Want to show someone has a house or apartment, but no possessions? How about some well-placed Chinese food cartons? Is someone pulling an all-nighter with their work? More Chinese food cartons!If you're a person who even casually watches movies, you'll know so many of these the instant we bring them up and you'll never unsee them in any film going forward. To break down 25 of the biggest offenders, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked's Carmen Angelica, Soren Bowie and Daniel O'Brien. They talk about how people brush their teeth in movies, how men try to steal kisses and why you can never trust a fictional male nurse.Remember to buy tickets to our next live taping of The Cracked Podcast on this Saturday, March 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack and the gang are going to talk about Amity Island, Jurassic World and movies where vacations go awry in an attempt to figure out the best spring break you should take while vacationing in a fictional universe.Tickets are $7 and available here: Footnotes:Podcast: Cracked: Dumb Movie Tropes That Need to Die Already: Video: Cracked: 6 Bizarrely Specific Scenes  Hollywood Won't Quit Using: Video: Cracked: 4 Movie Straw Men Characters That Keep Showing Up: Video: Cracked: 7 Bizarrely Specific Ways Movies Get Normal Jobs Wrong: Article: Cracked: 4 Bizarrely Specific Rules That Exist in Movie Universes: Article: Cracked: 3 Bizarrely Specific Job Trends in Movies: Article: Cracked 4 Products That Only Exist in Movies: Cracked Photoplasties About Movie Tropes: , , , Article: The New Yorker: What Did Jesus Do? (Actual Logic vs. Narrative Logic): Article: The Hathor Legacy: Why Film Schools Teach Screenwriters Not To Pass The Bechdel Test: This episode is brought to you by Casper Mattresses ( and Squarespace ( code: CRACKED).

Lies You Believe About Jesus, Islam And Other Religions  

What separates the baby religions from the big ones? Is there anything specific that makes Catholicism or Islam more important than the shrine to The Noid that I have in my closet? Some religions make you go to mass or travel to Mecca, mine makes me eat pizza in the nude at least twice a week. The point we're trying to make is that what seems fringe or crazy now may have a billion devoted followers a thousand years from now. Mormonism was about as fringe as you could get a hundred years ago, less than a million followers, but now the there are around 16 million members and counting. Is there any religion that's out there now that's in the same place Mormonism was 100 years ago?To get a better understanding of some of these lesser-known religions and if they'll stand the test of time, Jack O'Brien's guest this week is Reza Aslan, who has a PhD in the study of religion and whose new show 'Believer' on CNN throws him head-first into the beliefs and practices of obscure religions. Among Scientology and Santa Muerte, they talk about the implausible origins of biblical literalism, the rare disorder that has tourists in Jerusalem thinking they're the messiah and a few big things that'll change your notions of Christianity and Islam.Remember to buy tickets to our next live taping of The Cracked Podcast on Saturday, March 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Jack and the gang are going to talk about Amity Island, Jurassic World and movies where vacations go awry in an attempt to figure out the best spring break you should take while vacationing in a fictional universe.Tickets are $7 and available here: Footnotes:TV Show: Believer with Reza Aslan: Book: Reza Aslan: Zealot: Video: Reza Aslan Viral Interview on Fox News: Article: Cracked: 5 Ridiculous Things You Probably Believe Islam: Article: Cracked: 5 Myths You Probably Believe About Major Religions: Article: The Telegraph: Jerusalem Syndrome: The Madness That Grips Foreigners on the Streets of the Holy City: This episode is brought to you by Blue Apron and ZipRecruiter.

Cracked's 2017 Fake Oscar Awards  

Who can forget the classic Oscars showdown between 'The Artist' and, uh, 'Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close'? Most of us can and did, in fact. Great job, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences! Way to keep your fingers on the pulse of American filmmaking by giving gold out to the 1930s-style silent film. Trailblazing. The Oscars have proven year after year that they're not the best barometer for judging the best or even the most popular films from a given year. Often they're really only judging movies on the criteria of being appealing to a group of old, white men with film industry jobs. Look at three of the last five best picture winners and their subject matter: 'Birdman'– an aging actor known for playing superheroes strives for artistic legitimacy; 'Argo'– Hollywood producers save hostages in Iran; 'The Artist'– Remember silent films? And let's pencil 'La La Land' into that list– an struggling actress and a struggling musician fall in love, become successful. Hollywood obviously has a problem being objective about movies wherein the subject matter is itself.So this week we're being objective for Hollywood. Jack O'Brien welcomes Cracked's David Bell, Adam Ganser and Brett Rader to discuss 2016's Best Picture nominees and award movies in some made-up categories that we'd like to see incorporated into the Oscar broadcast. Later they took a look back at the 2012 Oscars in which 'The Artist' won best picture and redistribute the awards with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight. Footnotes:Cracked Podcast: Why We Should Wait 5 Years to Award the Oscars: Article: Cracked: 5 Problems Haunting The Oscars (Besides Lack of Diversity): Article: Cracked: 5 Reasons the Oscars Matter Even Less Than You Thought: This episode is brought to you by Squarespace ( code: CRACKED), Lincoln In the Bardo, and Away (

Why Modern People Might Have The Worst Sex Lives Ever  

When you think about ancient human history, you probably think about sex, right? Who doesn't? And when you do, you probably imagine in your head (because you love envisioning your eldest relatives gettin' down) a very bland, puritanical form of sex where they do it through a sheet once every other year and only to conceive, right? Well, sorry to make you throw up in your mouth a little bit, but your ideas of chastened ancestors living repressed lives are as wrong as the next images we're about to put in your mind: ancient humans were nasty little horndogs. In fact, the basically standard modern ideas of monogamy and fidelity are extremely recent developments in human history. They've only been around for about 10,000 years -- a blink of the evolutionary eye.So what was the ancient hunter-gatherer love like actually like? And what can we learn about our own sex lives from looking at how the cavemen got down? A lot, actually. So we asked an expert. By studying prehistoric human cultures and the sex lives of our two closest genetic relatives, chimps and bonobos, Dr. Christopher Ryan has some pretty eye-opening stuff to share about human sexuality. So Jack O'Brien welcomes Dr. Ryan on this bonus episode of The Cracked Podcast to talk with Teresa Lee and Michael Swaim about swinging tribes-people, primitive vibrators and ape balls in a conversation that is bound to make you rethink everything you know about love and sexuality.Footnotes:Book: Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha: Sex At Dawn: Podcast: Christopher Ryan: Tangentially Speaking: Scholarly Article: Michael Gurven & Hilliard Kaplan: Longevity Among Hunter-Gatherers: Article: Jared Diamond: The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race: Article: Cracked: 5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be The Exact Opposite: Article: Cracked: 6 Horrifying Facts That Get Left Out Of History: Article: Cracked: 7 X-Rated Traditions That Prove History Was Horny As F*$&: Article: Cracked: The 6 Most Cynical Exploitations of Romantic Love in History: Article: Cracked: 6 Factors That Secretly Influence Who You Have Sex With: Article: Cracked: 5 Insignificant Things That Determine Who You Have Sex With:

Jafar Is Disney Moses: Secretly Heroic Villains  

Did you ever notice how every movie villain is just really ugly beyond belief? Emperor Palpatine? WRINKLED UP UGGO. Jafar? POINTY FACE. Scar? LITERALLY NAMED AFTER HIS FACIAL DEFORMITY.It's fucking dark when you think about how many movies this applies to; how the villain is usually someone trying to live a normal or equal life, but their ugliness just gets in the way. 'The Incredibles' is a perfect example. The villain is an ugly-little redhead kid who just wants for everybody to be a superhero, but the Incredibles are like NNNNNNOPE and throw him into a jet engine because only they should get to be superheroes.Yeah, of course Syndrome kills like 30 other superheroes and sets a giant death robot loose on a major metropolis, but just go with us for this thought experiment. His heart was in the right place. On this week's podcast Jack O'Brien welcomes Cracked's own Katie Goldin and Michael Swaim to unpack this trope and how you can see ugly bad guys ostensibly trying to do the right thing in franchises from Disney to The Lord of the Rings.Footnotes:Video: Cracked: 4 Disney Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along: Article: Cracked: 9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along: Article: Cracked: 5 Movie Villains Who Were Right The Whole Time: Article: Cracked: 6 Reasons The Jedi Would Be The Villain In Any Sane Movie: Article: Cracked: You Really Have No Idea Who The Villain Of Frozen Is: Book: Chuck Klosterman: I Wear the Black Hat: Video: Kanye West: All Day (Live at the 2015 BRIT Awards): This episode is brought to you by ZipRecruiter ( and Harry’s (

The Mind Melting World of Putin's Russia  

If you've followed the news recently, you may have noticed the tiny little superpower Sarah Palin can see from her house has emerged from its slumber and re-injected itself into American politics. Not since the Cold War has Russophobia been as much of a part of our daily lives as it is now. Disinformation, strong man tactics and a corrupt and dictatorial turn have spilled into American life in a way that would've seemed like fiction only a few decades ago. What was once the well-trodden territory of black and white "duck and cover" videos and 80s action flicks is now a staple of Twitter feeds and nightly news broadcasts.So how did we get here, and what the hell does Russia even want from us this time around? That's what Cracked's Robert Evans and Michael Swaim are here to find out on this week's podcast. They join Jack O'Brien for an all-encompassing conversation about the KGB's history of deceit, Russia's methodology for spreading lies and Vlad Putin's psych evaluation. Later in the show, Jack interviews Cracked engineer Tatiana Nam about her experiences growing up in Russia.Our next live podcast is on Saturday, February 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Just in time for Valentine's Day, join Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim and Teresa Lee as they welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn for a discussion about love, relationships and why our sex lives now bear no resemblance to the way our ancestors got down. Tickets are $7 and available here: Footnotes:Video: Cracked:  Why the #1 Fact of Military History is a Lie: Article: Cracked: 5 Conspiracy Theories That Are Real (But Not How You Think) [#5 CIA created AIDS]: Article: Cracked: 6 Insane Conspiracy Theories That Actually Happened [#2 KGB Was Involved in JFK Assassination]: Article: NPR: Putin 'Probably' Approved Plan to Kill Spy: Podcast: NPR: Russia's Interference is an Assault on the Western Liberal Order: Video: Press Conference with Bill Clinton and Drunk Boris Yeltsin: Podcast: NPR: Trump Seems Willfully Blind to Putin's Real Goals: Book: Peter Pomerantsev: Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: This episode is brought to you by Squarespace ( code: CRACKED) and ZipRecruiter (

The Enormous Lie About Modern Life (You Likely Believe)  

Once you hit your mid-twenties, everything starts beginning to suck. Your favorite band? Not as good as when they first came out. Favorite hangouts? All gone to shit since all the young people started showing up and ruining everything. The world? Basically a day away from total anarchy.Even the idea of time begins to suck. The present is somehow always the worst and no matter how bad your life was 5, 10 years ago– it all seems tinted with rose-colored glasses. Sure you were bored all the time, had no way of communicating with people who weren't your neighbors and loved Hootie and the Blowfish, but man the 90s were the absolute peak of human existence, right? Not really.Somehow humans have this bias that makes them think the world is always at the brink of complete collapse and that things were better before...before AIDS and Ebola started killing everybody; before all the bees disappeared; before crime took over the streets, when you could leave your front door open all day and the criminals would tip their hats and say, "good morning!"We're here to say this way of thinking is wrong and completely ignores all of the amazing advancements humanity is continuing to make every day. It's just you don't hear about them because the headline "Cancer Deaths Slowly and Steadily Dropping" isn't as flashy as "IT'S ALL BURNING DOWN MAN, DON'T EVEN BOTHER!"On the podcast this week, Jack O'Brien is joined by Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to talk about how we're neither going to hell nor are we in a hand basket. Poverty, war and disease are at all time lows, all you have to do is look away from the news to see it.Our next live podcast is on Saturday, February 11th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles. Just in time for Valentine's Day, join Jack O'Brien, Michael Swaim and Teresa Lee as they welcome Dr. Christopher Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn for a discussion about love, relationships and why our sex lives now bear no resemblance to the way our ancestors got down. Tickets are $7 and available here: Footnotes:Articles: Cracked: Pieces of Good News Nobody is Reporting: Article: H.H. Holmes: Website: Graph: Actual vs. Projected Death Rates for HIV/AIDS in the US: Article: Cracked: 5 Horrifying Apocalyptic Scenarios That Already Happened (#1 The Toba Event): Scholarly Article: British Journal of Preventative and Social Medicine: The Coal Gas Story: Article: Bloomberg: Bias, Blindness and How We Truly Think: Article: The New Yorker: Doomsday Prep for the Super Rich: This episode is brought to you by Shari’s Berries ( code: CRACKED) and Blue Apron (

9 Creepy Real Murders (With My Favorite Murder)  

Remember when you made fun of that kid in grade school for wetting the bed? You probably shouldn't have done that. I would apologize, change your name or leave the country. The reason is, psychologists suggest something called the Macdonald triangle, that there are three main characteristics of people who grow up to become killers: arson, cruelty to animals and bed-wetting. If you've got two or more, (in Jeff Foxworthy's voice) chances are you might be a serial killer.So, for another round of creepy solved and unsolved murders, we've invited back to the podcast America's foremost experts on the subject, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark from 'My Favorite Murder'. They join Jack O'Brien and Daniel O'Brien to talk about Daniel's two hometown serial killers with a strange connection, two district attorneys who suffered mysterious ends, the unsolved murder of three girl scouts, and the murderer who buried his "kill kits" in the woods.Footnotes : My Favorite Murder: Article: Cracked: The 5 Most Terrifying Serial Killers You've Never Heard Of: Murderpedia: Richard Biegenwald, "The Thrill Killer ": Murderpedia: Robert Zarinsky: Documentary: Netflix: " Amanda Knox " : Article: New York Times: For Letterman Stalker, Mental Illness Was Family Curse and Scarring Legacy: Article: Washington Post: A Decade Later, Prosecutor Luna's Death Still a Mystery: Article: CNN: What Happened to Ray Gricar?: Book: Gloyd McCoy: Tent Number Eight: Murderpedia: Israel Keyes: Documentary: HBO: There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane: Article: ABC News: Murder of Jasmine Fiore by Ryan Jenkins: Article: Today Costa Rica: Costa Rica Re-Opens Serial Killer Case):

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