Rank #1: 12 Incredible Historical Artifacts That Somehow Still Exist
Many science fiction stories go to the past, not the future. Which makes sense, right? Why be a Connecticut Yankee in some random Jetsons city when you can be a Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court, A Place That’s Part Of Your Own Era's Roots, Which Makes Visiting It Meaningful? We all long to vacation in the past, touring its wonders before the germs & backwardness bother us. But here’s one way being alive is more interesting than people think it is: there are a shocking number of artifacts that let you experience that past *today*, because they still exist in spite of all logic.
On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with comedic character genius Andy Daly to bring the past to life. They’ll explore old curiosities that anyone can hear, see, experience, or eat, even though there is no way any of that should be possible. Join Alex and Andy for comedy records from 1899, pickles from before the Civil War, a surprisingly modern warning about a surprisingly ancient dog, and more.
Sep 23 2019
Rank #2: 14 Funny Strange Stories From The Lives Of Great Scientists
Science: it’s often remembered as a story of remarkable linear progress. It’s also a truer, cooler, more incredible story if you stop and smell the roses...and in this metaphor, “the roses” are little-known bizarre stories from the lives of great scientists. On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians Robin Ince and Olga Koch for a special LIVE show at The London Podcast Festival. They’ll explore the weirdest things you never knew about scientific luminaries from Newton to Darwin to Pythagoras. They’ll welcome further tales of that stuff from our brilliant British audience members. And stick around after the live conversation for a tale of perseverance through military occupation, heinous sexism, and more common historical obstacles, illuminating more things worth remembering as we examine odd men of the past.
Sep 30 2019
Rank #3: The 9 Strangest Newest Conspiracy Theories Thriving Online
Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle wrote that it’s “evident” the Earth is round. One generation later, Greek mathematician & geographer Eratosthenes achieved a solid ballpark estimate of the Earth’s circumference. Again, that was over 2000 years ago. So how are we now in a world where many people believe our world is flat? What if those Flat Earth People do believe in climate change, in a hilarious way? And is there any chance this is all the Internet’s fault?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Dana Gould ('The Simpsons', 'Stan Against Evil', incredible stand-up comedy, so much more) for a deep dive into the world’s strangest newest conspiracy theories. They’ll look at how YouTube, social media, and bizarre message boards give us rabbit holes like never before. And they’ll examine how you can move forward in a world where all data gets bent out of shape by people helping each other do it.
Jun 03 2019
Rank #4: How The CIA Quest For Mind Control Drove The World Insane
Sidney Gottlieb is a name you do not know. If you did, you’d know about decades of CIA projects ruining countless minds with drugs and torture. You’d also know about the CIA’s secret San Francisco bordello, collaboration with Axis Powers war criminals, and borderline wacky fixation on turning drugs into brain-controlling weapons. On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with scholar, journalist and author Stephen Kinzer, diving into astonishing stories from Stephen's new book ‘Poisoner In Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control’. Discover the most important and powerful government agent you’ve never heard of, and how he pioneered everything from global “black sites” to 1960s counterculture, all with zero oversight and a hell of a lot of LSD.
Sep 16 2019
Rank #5: 11 Common Sayings & Phrases Everyone Uses Wrong
Aphorisms: they’re the world’s favorite way to let somebody else handle the thinking. We all turn to a time-tested saying or phrase from time to time. It’s not a crime or nothin’. But what if lots of our most common sayings have actual meanings that are the opposite of our intention? What if lots of our go-to words and phrases have nightmare historical origins? And when we find out our language has those dark secrets, what should we do next as responsible speakers?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt teams up with comedians Greg Edwards and Caitlin Gill for a trip back in time, back through vocabularies, and back to the basics of the English language. They’ll examine how history, slang, and surprising shifts in meaning can mess with our most trusted sayings and phrases, turning our ordinary speech into insane ahistorical nonsense.
Jun 10 2019
Rank #6: The End-Of-The-World Mentality (And Why That’s Ridiculous)
You’re going to live a long time. Congratulations! That’s good! There are zero ways that is bad news! Yet if you talk about our future 50, 40, or even 10 years from now, people might tell you that’s fantastical wishful thinking. They may say the environment/politics/economy/incoming meteor dooms us all no matter what we do, so who cares. Why is assuming the world’s going to end so common? How come people talk about it with a wry jokey glint in their eye? And why does every generation tell that “joke” even though the world keeps on spinning?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down with Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) to dig into what you need to remember about our wretched hellscape. They’ll pick apart the fearful thinking that deactivates lots of people for no positive reason. They'll examine how people actually behave when the world actually is ending. And they'll explore the fantastic news that you’ll probably live to see a future Past You would kill for.
May 27 2019
Rank #7: 12 Amazing Advances In TV Technology (That Make TV Worse)
Streaming services revolutionized the TV-watching experience. There’s no denying it! Everything’s different now that we have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and the three new companies that launched while you were reading this sentence. There are now lots of ways to watch lots of great shows...but what if that system is unsustainable, counterintuitive, and worse than plain old cable in sneaky surprising ways? And what if there are other new amazing TV technologies that are comically weird and stupid? On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedian and podcasting titan Jimmy Pardo (Never Not Funny) for a dive into the bizarre business decisions and technological missteps that make modern TV frustrating to watch in hilariously odd ways. And stick around for what Viewers Like You can do to have the best possible TV-watching experience.
Sep 09 2019
Rank #8: 15 Great Movie & TV Moments (Caused By Budget Problems)
You can have too much money. (Not YOU specifically -- you are a valued listener and deserve Scrooge McDuckian riches.) The world’s movie studios, TV networks, and other visual-fun production companies think they need an infinite budget to make the next 'Star Wars'-type cultural phenomenon. But what if we told them the history of film & TV is packed with enormous successes that sprang from running out of money? And what if one of the prime examples of that is 'Star Wars' itself?
On this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by working writers Hallie Cantor, Ben Joseph, and Chase Mitchell to see how the biggest movies and TV shows stumbled into great ideas by not being able to pay for their first idea. Discover which region-defining TV show was supposed to be set in the wrong city & state, which British national epic almost had zero style, which defining film of the 1980s achieved greatness by lying to the cops, and so much more.
Jul 22 2019
Rank #9: 10 Real Science Stories That Should Be A Sci-Fi Movie
Good news: this single podcast episode is two shows at once! Because on this episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians Caitlin Gill and Kandice Martellaro for a walk through the latest greatest science news you haven’t heard yet. From there, they’ll spitball the fun & funny sci-fi movies waiting to be adapted from that real life science. Because here’s the #1 news story to remember: being alive is more interesting than people think it is.
Aug 26 2019