Holy Crap! Remember…Cracked Magazine?
Ah, nostalgia! Be it that old cartoon, a favorite toy, or a comic book from days gone by, isn’t it great, when out of the blue, the memories come flooding back, and you’ve no choice but to exclaim “Holy Crap! Remember…?”
Cracked Magazine (or ‘Mazagine’, as the cover read) began in 1958 as an unapologetic rip-off of Mad Magazine, complete with tone, layout, and butt-fugly mascot (Mad had Alfred E. Neuman, Cracked had janitor Sylvester P. Smythe). The art was often times crude, as was the infantile humor, which spoke to my pre-teen sensibilities. I was very much into Cracked in the late 1980′s/early 1990′s, around the time when George H.W. Bush, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and New Kids on the Block were ripe for a ripping.
I always felt like I was getting away with something while reading Cracked. The covers seemed innocent enough that my parents would purchase the rag for me at such a young age, but at the time, I felt the humor was dangerously cutting edge and grown-up. It wasn’t. The formula was simple: Grab the nearest blockbuster movie, hit TV show, or chart-topping musical act, give them a ‘spoofy’ name, include a bunch of recurring segments such as Spys vs. Saboteurs and Shut Up!, lather, rinse, and repeat.
I’m not quite sure what ever happened to my Cracked collection. Could I have unceremoniously dumped them out with the trash? Only FSM knows. I do wish I still had some old ishes to thumb through, because the World Wide Web is severely deficient on actual in-magazine content, however, the cover images I’ve been able to find from my era of reading the mag caused a tidal wave of nostalgia (which you are hopefully now drowning in). Funny enough, Cracked was my first real introduction to the X-Men, thanks to a 10+ year early prognostication of an X-Men movie, which Cracked depicted featuring the mohawked Storm, brown-and-yellow Wolvie, and Nightcrawler!
In 2006, Cracked was rebooted as a spoofy mens-magazine, but only lasted 3 issues. However, Cracked.com is alive and well, and while not holding to any of the old mag’s structure, has featured some hilariously-awful articles, including, but not limited to ‘The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World‘, ‘5 Upcoming Comic Book Movies That Must Be Stopped‘, and ’15 Images You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photoshopped’. While I appreciate Cracked.com, I can’t help but mourn the loss of the cruddy-old mag that made a pasty fat-kid giggle.
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