Podcast

The Cracked Podcast

The Cracked Podcast is facts, jokes, and more from the Internet’s leading comedy website. Every week, host Alex Schmidt brings together comedians, authors, scientists, and Cracked staffers, to celebrate the awesome truth that being alive is more interesting than people think it is. Fill your week and your brain with hilarious, mind-blowing revelations that’ll make you the most interesting person in every room you’re in.Looking for the archives? All episodes older than 6 months can be found exclu...more

Episodes

  • 9 Movies That Improved On The Book (According To The Author)

    Feb 11 2019

    “The book is better than the movie.” It’s a belief as old as...well, not as old as time, because books are centuries old and movies hit their stride when ‘Star Wars’ came out. Still, lots of people think movies ruin books. Many people also think there are one or two times when the movie outdid the book, in a weird exception-to-the-rule type situation. But what if we told you a better movie happens often? And what if there are cases where it was so obvious, to everyone involved, the book’s author...more

  • How A Loneliness Epidemic Snuck Up On Us (with Jason Pargin)

    Feb 04 2019

    “Social atomization” is a term that sounds like science fiction. It could be the title of a 1950s B-movie where a mad scientist vaporizes a dance party. But when sociologists use that term, “social atomization” is a complementary set of shifts you might have noticed lately: more loneliness, less societal trust, and an increasing feeling that nobody’s got your back. What does it mean if that’s happening to all of us? How can that happen without anybody intending it? And can that impact everything...more

  • How To Be Less Confused About The Economy (with Kai Ryssdal)

    Jan 28 2019

    We are fresh off the longest government shutdown in American history (with another around the corner, maybe!). We are also riding almost a decade of of sustained stock market growth, almost a decade of sustained job growth, and all kinds of other business-y news you heard about. And when those stories crossed your cable TV screen or Twitter feed, did you have any idea what they meant? And if so...c’mon, are you sure you’ve got all the context?On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex S...more

  • Why A Terrible U.S. Supreme Court Is The Historical Norm

    Jan 21 2019

    You’ve probably heard jokes about lawyers before. Here’s a more advanced version, coming from future Chief Justice Of The U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts in April of 1983: “The generally accepted notion that the court can only hear roughly 150 cases each term gives the same sense of reassurance as the adjournment of the court in July, when we know the Constitution is safe for the summer.” We know, we know, it’s not exactly a kickass one-liner. But what if it is getting at something true about th...more

  • 12 Sci-Fi Movie Technologies That Went Stupidly Backwards

    Jan 14 2019

    The name “science fiction” is a pretty good descriptor of the genre, if you want to think of it as two big buckets for a writer to fill. Bucket 1: science! Fun tech and gizmos to entertain and inspire. Bucket 2: fiction! Narrative and story and other engaging ideas that make us laugh, cry, and consider what it means to be human. It’s amazing that one genre can bring us all that. But have you ever noticed some sci-fi does an incredible job of the “fi” part -- and thanks to that brilliant “fi”, we...more

  • Overrated Myths (And Underrated Facts) About Ancient Rome

    Jan 07 2019

    How well do you read Latin? Because if you’re not all that good at reading Latin or other dead languages, good news: you could have still had a job as an 1800s historian. Fun example: there’s a story claiming the Roman emperor Caligula was SO CRAZY, he sent a whole army to a beach to pick up seashells for him. However, the Latin word ‘musculi’ means both “shells” and “military huts”, so he likely actually told his troops to pack up their campsite. Which is normal. That’s a completely different k...more

  • Happy New Year (And Thank You!)

    Dec 31 2018

    Enormous gratitude this week! New episode next week. And in the meantime, here are some of our recent favorite episodes of the show: http://www.cracked.com/podcast/happy-new-year-and-thank-you21-from-cracked-podcast/Also did you know we’re going on tour in 2019? It’s true! See us LIVE in Chicago, Illinois on Thursday April 11th and in St. Paul, Minnesota on Friday April 12th.CHICAGO TICKETS: http://bit.ly/crackedchicagoST. PAUL TICKETS: http://bit.ly/crackedstpaul

  • 12 Great Ideas America Should Steal From Other Countries

    Dec 24 2018

    “No bad ideas in a brainstorm.” That’s a common saying that implies a darker truth: as soon as an idea leaves a brainstorm’s cocoon, and gets put into practice, it can metamorphose into a living, breathing disaster. After all, who knows how your theoretical idea would actually work? How can we put any idea into practice without testing it on millions of people first? And surprise -- sudden mental left turn here -- what if we already had a way to test all kinds of ideas, see how great they really...more

  • How A Few Precision Engineers Invented Your Entire Life

    Dec 17 2018

    You’re holding a couple hundred billion transistors right now. Yes, you. You with the smartphone in your hand. That’s possible because -- surprise -- transistors are only a few nanometers in size now. A size so small, that description means nothing to you, right? Well here’s something: what if transistors and all other things we engineer are only going to get smaller from here? And what if that entire process began a shockingly short time ago, in a specific place, and changed the entire world fa...more

  • 13 Badass Astronaut & Cosmonaut Stories Everyone Should Hear

    Dec 10 2018

    Space: it’s the final frontier AND somehow the least popular frontier. A couple decades of successful shuttle launches passed unnoticed. A slew of orbital science experiments didn’t excite anybody. Even the Space Race wasn’t the nation-gripping drama we decided it was retroactively. Why isn’t space travel capturing more imaginations? Why aren’t people more stoked about it? And would it help if we did a rad podcast episode about the most kickass exploits in all of space history?On this week’s epi...more

  • 11 Pop Culture Alternate Histories That Almost Happened

    Dec 03 2018

    Here’s some common sense: the more complicated a machine gets, the more ways it can break down and fall apart. That applies to everything from cars to kids’ toys to Hollywood, and that last thing (Hollywood) is this principle’s most fun application. Because what happens to your favorite movie if any step of the process goes differently? Is it even still that thing you like if it has different writing/casting/directing/editing/releasing/endless continuing list of these things?On this week’s episo...more

  • 11 Historical Facts That Were Way Too Stupid For The Movies

    Nov 26 2018

    History: it’s the number one topic for filmmakers who want to win an Oscar. From serious movies about American history to serious movies about British history, no subject wins more votes and locks down more statues. Of course the people making those movies would tell you they’re super serious because history was that way, so what else can they do. But what if every period drama could be funnier AND realer if it got over itself? And what if eras from ancient Rome to the twentieth century Cold War...more

  • 12 Ridiculously Obvious Lies & Cons (That Fooled The World)

    Nov 19 2018

    Our brains have a few sets of guardrails...theoretically. One set should prevent us from claiming wild nonsense about ourselves, in particular if we know we can’t back it up. Another set ought to prevent us from falling for that garbage if other people pull it. But what if certain people don’t have that first limitation? What if they have the ability to lie beyond all reason, all the time? And what if the rest of us are liable to fall for it in spite of ourselves?On this week’s episode of The Cr...more

  • 9 Movies That Forgot To Prove The Villain Wrong

    Nov 12 2018

    Imagine a genie gave you one million dollars to make a movie. You’d immediately go into Working Your Ass Off Mode, right? After all, if you’re spending one whole million U.S. dollars, you’d want to make sure the script and production were as perfect as they could be. Now here’s the next version of that thought experiment: what if you got to spend FOUR HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS? What if you got to spend it making an Avengers story that tied together ten years of filmmaking? And here’s the scary par...more

  • How One Forgotten War Created Modern America

    Nov 05 2018

    If you took an advanced high school history class, you might remember that The Spanish-American War happened. You might even remember a few details: a ship sinking in Cuba, the U.S. taking over Puerto Rico, Teddy Roosevelt riding a horse...and once you answered a couple test questions about that, you moved on forever. To most people, the wars that define America involve George Washington winning, Adolf Hitler losing, and the Russians pointing nukes at us and frowning. But what if a brief America...more

  • The Creepiest Hidden Truths Behind The Origins Of Monsters

    Oct 29 2018

    Thought experiment: imagine an alien. Great, experiment complete. Now examine what you came up with. It’s almost definitely one of two things: 1) a specific extraterrestrial from a movie or show, who you can point to as from that movie/show. 2) what’s known as a “Grey” -- a small humanoid with a large teardrop head and two face-dominating eyes. That second kind of Grey Alien dominates our cultural conception of life from other planets. But where did it come from? And what does it say about our l...more

  • Theories And Headcanons That Make Movies 1000x Better

    Oct 22 2018

    What do you do when a piece of entertainment lets you down? Maybe you complain about it to your friends. Maybe you nail its flaws with a sly tweet, or share a damning critical review. If you use any of those forms of outrage, it's probably because failed art can feel like it's happening TO us, not for us. But what if we told you anybody can take ownership of their viewing experience? What if holding one fun idea in your mind throughout an okay movie can change it into unforgettable entertainment...more

  • LeVar Burton On Reading & Sci-Fi & Where We’re Headed Next

    Oct 15 2018

    Books: they’re almost definitely supposed to do something besides decorate wall space. After all, there’s a whole class about them every year in school. Also various scientific studies say our brains get concrete benefits from reading the written word. But what do we gain when that word is read to us? What do we gain when we let a writer’s meaning reach us like never before? And what happens to society itself when literature takes on the role of prototyping our future?On this week’s episode of T...more

  • 15 Emmy Awards We Wish Existed

    Oct 08 2018

    Television: it’s the most important art form that’s ever been shot with a gun by Elvis. And don’t let that jokey reference to a real thing (seriously -- check the footNOTES) distract you from our current Golden Age Of Television. We have more shows, and more great shows, than ever before. But has the system for rewarding those shows kept pace? Do we have the right set of Emmy Awards for celebrating TV’s new best stuff? And if a panel of comedians put their mind to it, could we get a new set of a...more

  • 11 Amazing Fans Who Belong In The Pop Culture Hall Of Fame

    Oct 01 2018

    Fandom: it feels like it’s gotten hard lately. For example, ‘Ready Player One’ began its life as a bestselling novel by Ernest Cline. In their “A”-graded write-up in 2011, The AV Club said "for readers in line with Cline's obsessions, this is a guaranteed pleasure." Yet by 2018, when ‘RPO’ got a Steven Spielberg film adaptation, that same review site gave the movie a “B” grade with a side of savage criticism: "Like Ernest Cline’s divisive geek-courting novel, the film doesn’t offer much of a sto...more

  • 9 Supposedly Important Words (That Don’t Mean Anything)

    Sep 24 2018

    Have you visited America’s heartland? And if you have...why are you so sure? “The heartland” is not a defined thing, with borders or flags or land made of literal hearts. The term actually comes from a British geographer named Halford Mackinder (a fantastic name), who coined “heartland” in 1904 to describe one central part of pre-WWI Europe. So why do we use “heartland” in the present day, to describe an aspect of the U.S.? Is it to imply ideas about it, without letting you consider those ideas ...more

  • The Weirdest Ways Music Pranks The Human Brain

    Sep 17 2018

    Adele and Kermit The Frog have a lot in common. Sure, they’re from different countries and they’re different species and one of them is a puppet. But in terms of taking your brain over by manipulating it with song, they’re the world’s foremost masters of a little trick called the appoggiatura. What is that magic Italian-derived word? How does it work? And how many other ways does the world prank your brain with music every day?On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt is joined...more

  • 14 Movies That Are Weirdly Casual About Character Deaths

    Sep 10 2018

    Movies have a weird double standard when it comes to character deaths. Some characters get swelling music and emotional final speeches; others get blown to bits in some background CGI effect intended to slightly increase the stakes of the second act. Strangely, this is even true in movies specifically about the sanctity of life, like <i>The Shape of Water</i>. Why is this? And is it getting worse?Today Alex is joined by Cracked contributor Dan Hopper and writer/performer Kandice Mart...more

  • 13 Bizarre Jobs You Never Knew Existed

    Sep 03 2018

    Did you know you can get paid to be a fake mourner at a funeral, for families who fear a low turnout? Or to pretend to be a fan of a celebrity, to make them seem more popular at appearances? If you have the right look, you could even get a job as a fake businessperson in China, for companies who want "Americans" in the background of their press conferences. These are just a few of the bizarre but very real jobs covered in the Personal Experiences section of Cracked, along with things like "...more

  • The Bizarre Way Marketers Boil You Down And See Your Future

    Aug 27 2018

    When you fire up Netflix, you’re looking at it...and it’s looking back at you. Which is weird, right? Even though you already paid for Netflix’s entire service, and even though it shouldn’t matter to Netflix how you spend your time there, every image you see is calibrated to sell you what they’ve decided you want. Did you know that process is going on? And did you know they might know some things about you that’d surprise you?On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt sits down ...more

  • How To Separate Good Internet Outrage From The Evil Kind

    Aug 20 2018

    You need to arm yourself against weaponized old tweets. Not your own tweets, hopefully (though who knows). We’re talking about how every time you open social media, someone’s outrageous words are being used against them. Maybe the frequency of that scares you; after all, every one of us is lucky certain things we’ve said weren’t timestamped for eternity. Or maybe that pile of outrage excites you; justice relies on evidence, so maybe the more evidence there is the better the world will get. But t...more

  • 7 Real People Who Singlehandedly Screwed Entire Economies

    Aug 13 2018

    The stock market is even more powerful than you realize. Which is saying something, right? Much like Han Solo is pretty sure he can imagine infinite money, you believe you know the world’s combined wealth is mighty. But did you know a lot of Traditional Upstanding Stock Market Business is simply rich people gambling? And did you know individual rich people, regular people, and even children have steered the entire world economy into a ditch more times than your history teacher can count?On this ...more

  • What is The Cracked Podcast?

    Aug 19 2013

    Listen to The Cracked Podcast every Monday on Earwolf.

  • Find Full Archive of The Cracked Podcast on Stitcher Premium

    Aug 18 2013

    Find Full Archive of The Cracked Podcast on Stitcher Premium