I’m mostly doing this so I know where I’m supposed to be over the next few months. I will likely add and reblog this several times, so you can tune out and wait for the rerun if you’d like. Here are some upcoming live opportunities.
One of the things in that list of opportunities to see my dumb face is tomorrow night. I’ll be doing stand-up with some very funny people, one of whom is named Quincy Jones and I’m certain he’s not the one I’m thinking of but let a man dream, dammit. As usual I don’t know what jokes I’ll be doing but, as usualer, they will be brand new. Tickets are only $5.
I watched the Drew Carey show when it was on but fell off around the same time that everyone else did, when it started to get weird and experimental and absurd the last few seasons of its nine-year(!!!) run. It was never my favorite show, but I certainly looked forward to it when it was good and really liked Lewis and Oswald.
Maybe a year ago and for no reason at all, this show popped back into my brain in a huge way. I found myself dwelling on how strange it got (random “theme” episodes, a subplot involving a fake marriage between Drew and his boss, Drew secretly marrying two women at the same time, the entire plot of The Full Monty condensed into a single episode, April Fool’s episodes, a whole season where Drew quit his job, bleached his hair, grew a goatee and started a band, was Sweet Dee really on that show? etc) and wanting to know why and how it happened. Did Drew Carey go mad with power and start demanding to do event episodes that showcase his improv buddies? Was he legitimately trying to get his music career off the ground? Or did a new head writer take over and start pushing his or her own weird agenda that was a total tonal departure for the show? In seasons 8 and 9, they didn’t even film the show the same way and switched to a single-camera format.
How did Christa Miller and Ryan Stiles feel when they showed up to work one day and suddenly their sitcom about a group of friends was doing a “What’s Wrong With This Episode” episode?
Mimi and Drew’s cross-dressing brother Steve got married and had a baby that eventually burned Mimi’s house down forcing her to move in with Drew; why did that actual plot happen?
I will always read articles about this show because I want to know why and how this happened, but no one ever seems to get into it. Even the Wikipedia page just dryly explains that the show started to get weird with no reference to why.
Uproxx wrote an article today about Drew Carey, and it is another one in a long line of articles that doesn’t answer my many questions about this show. I feel like an idiot for even being hopeful that it would.
I just sent the first email in my life that seems like it was written by a crazy person (it was to my landlord about my suspicions that, someday soon, there might be a possibility that our building will have ants, which is a concern based not on the presence of ants but on a bunch of other clues that in my experience can lead to an increase in ant activity, and also my constant paranoia about ants, and also because I’m insane).
I worked in the service industry for many years and saw my fair share of complaints and letters and notes from crazy people, and here at Cracked there’s no shortage of emails and comments from people that seem completely detached and unreasonable to me, and I’ve never been able to get into that headspace. I was always scratching my head thinking “How does a person become so removed from reality that they think sending a message like this (example: a woman wrote the site years ago to complain about the fact that lizards have a negative reputation in the media and Hollywood and would Cracked please work to buck this trend), and not think it was insane?”
I’m finally now at the stage of either adulthood or early onset madness where I no longer care if the emails I send out sound nuts (and, in fact, I know this one does). If I was a stranger reading the email I’d sent which goes into pretty deep detail about the entire history of this particular breed of ant, I’d think I was nuts. And I guess I’m okay with that because, legit ants are a real problem y’all.
Anyway I really don’t want ants, and leaving a hose on the front lawn is a sure fire way to get them because honestly ants are more drawn to water than they are scraps of food and sugar and if we’re going to split hairs here we are in a drought in California and you really shouldn’t be watering your lawn anyway so just stop watering and then you won’t have to worry about leaving hoses out on a hot day and then, hey, two birds, ya know? BRB, canceling my Saturday night plans because now I feel like I’m covered in ants.
I spend a lot of time thinking about why Bruce Wayne could be better for Gotham than Batman and which animals look like candy while meanwhile my wife is quietly doing real work and trying to save the world. She co-founded an extraordinary Environmental non-profit and now they can potentially secure $100,000 for their work. If you have ten seconds, please vote for the LA Sustainability Collaborative. They are doing amazing things.
Upcoming Opportunities to See and Please Not Touch My Stupid Face
I’m mostly doing this so I know where I’m supposed to be over the next few months. I will likely add and reblog this several times, so you can tune out and wait for the rerun if you’d like. Here are some upcoming live opportunities.
9/16 Stand Up Comedy in Santa Monica: I’ll be doing what might be the last Unpopular Opinion show. Laurie Kilmartin and Dan St. Germain will also be performing and they’re both so funny I can’t stand it, but at least I can stand up (this has been an example of the kind of joke I won’t be doing).
9/26 LA Podfest: We’re doing a live podcast at god dammit 11pm the day after we god damn get home from god damn Nashville. That’ll be in Hollywood I guess.
10/15 Stand Up in Echo Park: No link to the show yet, but I’ll be doing a set at Echos Under Sunset, a venue that I absolutely hate. Am I done yet? Can I be done doing live sh-
10/18-10/19 Writing Workshop in New York: I’ll be talking about writing and jokes and writing jokes at The Pit on the 19th. The Humber Print Humor Seminar is a weekend-long workshop/lecture series with some pretty cool guest speakers (Larry Doyle!). Come watch me pretend I know what I’m talking about with McSweeneys’ Chris Monks and CollegeHumor’s Susanna Wolff (I’d also wager that Susanna and I will derail our panel to talk about our dogs). This is probably it.
10/31-11/2 Comikaze: Cracked is returning to Comikaze for the fourth year in a row to perform After Hours live! We’ll also be doing a Q&A. We’re doing a live podcast too. The schedule of events hasn’t been posted yet so I don’t know when we’re doing what, but we’re definitely going and will have a booth again so stop by and say “Meh.”
Regarding the whole feminism debacle, don't you think that a website like Cracked should probably not take sides on issues like this and begin alienating fans?
[Speaking on behalf of myself and not Cracked-at-Large, the policies and shape of which are not under my sole jurisdiction.]
I’m not talking/thinking about every sub-faction of feminism and every misguided protest or action that has resulted from a misinterpretation OF feminism, because feminism is such a huge thing and, as Soren pointed out, not everyone is going to be getting it right, all the time. There will be feminist spin-off groups that don’t quite grasp the message, there will be groups that pervert and distort it for their own agenda, and there will be groups that go overboard and so on, but that is true of literally every movement (civil rights-related, political, religious or otherwise) in the history of time.
I’m by no means an expert, which is why I’m trying to learn, but what I think about when I talk about feminism is what I remember being articulated to me by my sisters-in-law and what I saw/see embodied by my Mom’s example (and my Dad’s, for that matter), and it’s a really simple and clear message to me: Equal political, economic and social rights for men and women. There are smaller and more specific aspects of this broader conversation that are a particular focus of mine (representation in fiction/pop culture, educating people to help make an America where a woman can walk down the street at night feeling exactly as safe as I do, every night of my freaking life [which is to say, very]), but the core remains the same: Equality where it doesn’t currently exist.
So, when you talk about “taking sides,” my knee-jerk response is, uh, what’s your side? I’m not trying to be glib here. I could be wrong but, according to my slow, caveman brain, if my side is equality for men and women then the other side must be inequality, right? And if that’s the case, then, no, I don’t feel any responsibility to give the other side representation in my writing. There’s the potential that in doing so I’ll be alienating readers that either want men to have more rights than women or women to have more rights than men, but that’s a risk I’m absolutely fine with.
hey, I'm a massive fan and I have been for a while now and I was wondering if you could maybe give me some advice on writing dialogue between characters for comedy because I'm really kinda struggling, thanks and sorry about wasting your time.
Reeeeead a lot. I may have mentioned this before, but I was lucky because, in high school, our theater department had a really robust library of plays. Starting sometime in my Junior year I committed myself to reading a new one every single week for no reason other than I liked reading plays more than paying attention in certain classes. Plays are a great writer’s resource, especially if you’re struggling with dialogue.
I would also suggest trying some exercises where you write with a particular person in mind. If you’re writing a scene between two buddy cop characters, Jim and Megatron, for example and you can’t seem to wrap your head around making them sound real or fleshed out, just cast them (when I was writing Dan in Agents of Cracked, I was alternately writing for Jason Bateman or Tobias Funke).
Pretend Jim is going to be played by Michael Cera (who I’ve chosen because he’s got such a specific way of speaking). When Megatron asks Jim if he likes to party, nonexistent Jim might say “Sure” or “I like to party,” but Jim-as-Michael-Cera would say “Party? Oh, I mean, yeah, if you- I’m not exactly, I wouldn’t call myself a party…partysaurous, but, yeah, no yes. Yes. I’m party. I have partied. Yes.” It doesn’t matter that you probably won’t get Michael Cera to play this part (and it doesn’t matter if you’re writing a book where the “parts” aren’t played by ANYONE); what matters is now you have a character with a distinct voice.
Then just pick someone else for your voice inspiration for Megatron (could be a famous person or someone in your life whose cadence and mannerisms you know really well), and see what organically happens when two people with established voices do when stuck together in a specific situation. Michael Cera and Omar from The Wire are in a police car together, on a stakeout. What would they say to each other?
Years ago I was listening to old interviews with young girls given during the height of Beatlemania and you can hear that, as they try to articulate what the Beatles mean to them, they start legitimately hyperventilating and freaking out and suddenly they can’t breathe and I remember thinking “Weird, I love the Beatles to bits and pieces but I can’t wrap my head around having such a real, physical reaction to a piece of music or art” and then Beyonce and Nicki Minaj dropped the Flawless remix and then Nicki put out the Anaconda video and now my fucking body is fucking changing.
So why does Cracked CONSTANTLY push Feminist propaganda so hard? And let's not bullshit ourselves. You do. Just yesterday you published five articles. Two specifically referenced either Feminism or Feminist backed statistics. Conversely whenever you cover anything related to the opposition you not only mislead about their views... you straight up fucking lie about them and people let you get away with it because you're a "humor magazine". So I'm wondering why you propagandize *so hard*. Why?
Because we’re true believers!
Let me take this moment to say how Cracked could have gone another direction 7 or 8 years ago, a more Maximy, Booby Gallery of the Day direction if not for the steadfast resistance of David Wong and Jack O’Brien. I barely acknowledge the side that opposes feminism, but Wong goes out of his way to understand people who are mad at feminists, and he writes about those views with more sensitivity and understanding that I could ever muster.
To sum up: We don’t have an explicit agenda but if one comes across, It’s not one I’m ashamed of.
Alright, i’m gonna sit down and basically explain the situation in this ask so everyone of my followers knows why i’m so pissed.
Michael Brown, a 17 - 18 year old african american boy was unlawfully shot (8-10 times supposedly) by police in St Louis, Missouri on saturday, august 9th, 2014. He was unarmed, and had done nothing to attract suspicion other than the fact that he was black. His body was left in the street for 4 hours. (beware: somewhat graphic image linked)
There are several claims from witnesses (see: Dorian Johnson’s account and video [HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UP ON HIS ACCOUNT, ITS VERY SPECIFIC] — Brown’s friend who experienced the situation first hand, La’Toya Cash and Phillip Walker— Ferguson residents nearby the incident), that fall together in generally close claims. However, the only one who’s claim seems out of place is the police officer’s who shot Brown. Who, by the way, is put off on paid administrative leave AND who’s name remained under anonymity for his safety (However, attorney Benjamin Crump is looking for a way to force release his name). He claims that Brown began to wrestle the officer for his gun and tried attacking him after he told Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson (22) to “get the f*ck on the sidewalk”.
According to Johnson, after a minor confrontation on the officer’s part where he grabbed Brown by the neck and then by the shirt, the officer pulled his gun on Brown and shot him at point blank range on the right side of his body. Brown and Johnson were able to get away briefly and started running. However, Brown was shot in the back, supposedly disabling him from getting very far. He turned around with his arms in the air and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By this point, Brown and the officer were face to face as the cop shot him several times in the face and chest until he was finally dead. Johnson ran to his apartment and by the sound of his account, seemingly had some sort of panic attack. Later he emerged from his home to see Brown still laying in the streets. People were gathered with their cellphones, screaming at the police.
Numerous rumors are sweeping around such as Brown stealing candy from a QuickTrip, the store he emerged from calling the cops on him, Brown reaching for a gun, Brown attacking the cop first, ect. But these have all been debunked. (I know a lot of these have been debunked, but im having a hard time finding sources. if anyone could help out and link some legit ones id be SO grateful)
The event in and of itself was terrible, but now it has escalated beyond belief. Around 100 or more people, mostly black, went to the police station to protest peacefully. Things quickly turned bad as martial law got involved and authorities were bringing in K9s, tanks, heavy artillery, ect. The heavy police presence only made things worse as riots began to break out and looting and vandalism started. [ x ] [ x ] [ x ]
Now, as of very recently, the media has been banned from Ferguson. There is also a No-Fly zone above Ferguson for the reason of “ TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES ” as said on the Federal Aviation Commission’s website. Cop cars are lined up on the borders to prevent people from entering/leaving. Media outlets are being threatened with arrest. It completely violates our amendments and everything.
It’s becoming increasingly scary and difficult to find out whats going on over there. I’m afraid this is all the information I have, though. If anybody else knows anything about the situation, please feel free to add on or correct any mistakes i’ve made as i’m no expert on writing these things.
And as a personal favor, i’d really appreciate anyone to give this a reblog in order to spread the word. I think it’s a shame that this is going on in our own country yet so few people know about it. Help me make this topic huge and get this as much attention as possible.
I've been wanting to pitch an idea for an article to Cracked but I, being shy and anxiety-filled, am terrified to actually post the pitch. Do you have any advice?
Eesh, good luck, buddy!
Shyness is a comforting and useful “tool” for lack of a better word, and my instincts for a long time sided with shyness and caution, and there’s a lot of merit to that. Let’s talk about some things that my shyness, nervousness or anxiety accomplished for me:
They have, without question, resulted in me being comfortable, I won’t pretend that they didn’t. I’d be in class, in college, listening to a bunch of people talk about something that I didn’t agree with and I’d think “Maybe I should interject,” and then I’d remember that I’m probably the only one with my opinion and it wouldn’t help anyone if I rocked the boat, and anyway if all of these people thought the same way they were probably right, so shush, Daniel. And boy, sitting in a classroom quietly will always feel more comfortable than having a bunch of eyes on you when you’re saying something you know a bunch of people won’t like. And that comfort is nice and reassuring. Mmmmm, tasty comfort.
Or I’d see a cute girl reading a book at my coffee shop [or bar or office or The World] and think “Maybe I should introduce myself and find out what she likes,” and then instead I’d ultimately choose to read my own book and, sure, sitting on my own without having to talk to someone new who could potentially hurt my feelings, I didn’t start breathing fast and I didn’t start sweating and I felt very comfortable, so much more comfortable than if I’d tried to stutter my way through an introduction.
Or I’d have an idea for an article and I’d write it up and I’d consider submitting it to a magazine I liked, but then I’d imagine the cold, rejection letter that could potentially follow. And I’d think about how depressed that could make me, how embarrassed I’d feel, how maybe the rejection would sting so hard that I’d quit writing altogether. And then I’d decide “Nah, this is another one just for ME. Not going to submit it.” And, PHEW, what a sigh of relief! It’s legitimately comforting and wonderful.
But I should be clear right now, I don’t actually remember any of those things. I don’t remember sitting quietly in class. And I don’t remember not approaching the cute girl at the [insert place], and I can’t remember the names of any of the magazines I didn’t submit to. Which isn’t to say that those things didn’t happen; I’m positive that they did. I’m sure that they happened a bunch of times, I just don’t remember them with any clarity.
I can’t remember specific examples where I bit my tongue in class, but I remember how amazing/terrifying it felt to be the first one in a room saying “Wait, let’s rethink this,” and people listened.
I don’t remember every interesting woman I didn’t talk to, but I remember the smile of every single one that I was (temporarily) brave enough to try to make laugh.
I was too nervous to submit probably 200 articles or short stories or one-act-plays to websites, magazines and contests. I don’t remember any of those pieces of content (or the names of any of the sites, magazines or contest). What I DO remember, with eternal specificity, is the first article I had submitted, completely cold, to Cracked. The rough draft was written in red pen in one of those College Ruled notebooks. I wrote it when I should have been paying attention in Astronomy, a Summer Semester class I was taking my junior year of college. I typed it up when I went home that night and submitted it. The minute it was accepted by then-editor Jay Pinkerton, I told my big brothers, and then I took out my friends Joe and Jaclyn for a late night snack of cream-of-turkey soup at our favorite piece-of-shit diner to tell them the good news, and then a few days later I told my Mom because she seemed bummed that day and I thought it might cheer her up (I originally planned to keep my Cracked writing a secret from her, because there were curse-words in it and I didn’t want to upset/embarrass her. For the record, when I DID tell her I’d sold my first article, her response was “I’m sure they’ll buy more and more articles and then just hire you full-time,” and then of course that happened, because Moms know more than us).
It may not have been comfortable, but I sure do remember it, and other moments like it. In fact, before falling asleep at night, I have never comforted myself with idle thoughts of the chances I didn’t take. Even when things DON’T work out, it’s more fun to relive the chances you took than it is to dwell on the ones you didn’t.
Anytime you do something like that, something that scares you or makes you breathe fast, you’re going to feel uncomfortable. But, I don’t know. Do you think you were put on this big, silly Earth to sit around being comfortable?
“There comes that phase in life when, tired of losing, you decide to stop losing, then continue losing. Then you decide to really stop losing, and continue losing. The losing goes on and on so long you begin to watch with curiosity, wondering how low you can go.”—
My name is Caylyn, I’m 18, and I had a horrific experience with a guy. The two pictures above are pictures of the two outfits I was wearing the two times I met this guys, the first being weeks before our encounter and the second being only a few weeks ago. So here it goes… I went…
“I’m not sure where this new installment falls in your franchise, but if it’s the third film you should consider titling it ‘L3prechaun.’”—I woke myself up this morning by saying that out loud. Apparently in my dream I was brought in as a consultant for the Leprechaun franchise (a series of horror films that even in my dream I still have not seen) and that was my first contribution. It stands to reason that I probably I had Leprech4un up my sleeve as well but was likely holding it back to dazzle them later.
John Mayer has a lyric that goes “I wish there was an over-the-counter drug for my loneliness. FOR MY LONELINESS!” I can’t stop thinking about him saying that in earnest to a therapist who is just trying to keep it together. I’m going to challenge myself to slip it into a conversation. I want to do a joyful painting of how that lyric makes me feel. I want John to sell the rights to that song to an anti-depressant medication so the commercial starts and that lyric plays and then the guy from the All State commercials says “Now there is, John. It’s called ‘Artaxal,’ and I think you’ll find it’s what’s been missing.” I want to hear Tracey Morgan read that lyric as Tracey Jordan. I want John to get married and in his vows say “I thought I wanted an over-the-counter drug for my loneliness, for my loneliness, but really all I needed was you, by my side, Lana del Ray or whatever.” This lyric is the best thing to happen to me in such a long time.
Quick question: Do you know where your book "How to Fight Presidents..." would be located in a Barnes & Noble, or if it is even in them? I want to read it but prefer to buy my books in person rather than online. Which is curious because I am far too anxious to actually approach a B&N employee for help searching for your book. Any and all help is appreciated, thanks!
I think it most often shows up in History sections, and that varies depending on how specific the History section at your particular Barnes and Noble is. Some have a “US Presidents” section and some have a general “American History” section and some just have an even MORE general “History” section, nothing else. I’ve never seen it in the Humor section, which is fine by me, because I don’t think any of the funniest books I’ve ever read came from the Humor section of a bookstore, and a few stores occasionally rotate it into their “Helpful, Humorous and Odd” tables (though probably not anymore, this far away from the release date).
This week former congressman Todd Akin reaffirmed his beliefs that victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant & that the female body “has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” A lot of people don’t believe him, but that’s why I’m here! To explain why he’s DEAD RIGHT, using SCIENCE!!