Top Five Versions of CrackedThis article is about the various versions of Cracked that have existed. That's it. Does anybody ever even read these introductions? I always skip them. The article title usually does a good job of explaining what the article is about. It's not like I'm going to open "Top Seven Craps Taken on Film" and expect an article about how to cook a quiche, it's going to be about poop jokes.
You know, when it comes to writing humor I consider myself a bit of an old hat. I've been doing this for some time. Yet Cracked never ever seems to want my articles. They always reject them for stupid reasons like "That seems racist" or "It's 50 pages long." You know what, I don't need you guys. I've decided lists were too easy and stopped doing them before you even existed. I don't care if you're more successful, have more hits and don't wear doctor prescribed underpants, I'm better than you.
Cracked Classic: 1958-2000
It may surprise younger readers but Mad Magazine use to be funny. That's right! This was also before the days of the internet so if you liked reading funny things Mad Magazine was pretty much the place you had to go. And people did, lots of them.
In 1958, a group of investors who primarily traded in canned fruits decided to give this humor magazine thing a try. Cracked was not the first, nor last, to rip of Mad's format but it was the most successful due to low overhead and their ability to hire Mad Magazine contributors who had been fired. Cracked was also able to release more magazines per year than Mad because they cared very little about quality
Just killing time until it's legal to buy porn.
Cracked's success was always based on the quality and quantity of former Mad Magazine contributors they were able to get. These were mostly employees Mad Magazine fired for alcoholism or blacklisted for being communist. Cracked hit its peak in the 80s when it convinced three long time Mad contributors to work for it. Cracked would never again be able to get so many famous Mad contributors to work for it at the same time.
In 1999, Cracked was sold as part of a packaged deal to American Media Inc. American Media Inc was only interested in purchasing tabloids owned by Cracked's parent company and insisted on not having to take on Cracked, but Globe Communications drove a hard bargain and told American Media that if they wanted to buy the successful properties they would also have to buy Cracked.
Cracked was a low priority for American Media. The offices were moved from Harlem to Florida, a move many of the employees could not afford, and an attempt to slash the budget was made, although it was discovered Cracked already operated as cheaply as possible.
Cracked Returns: 2000, 2004
In 2000 Dick Kulpa purchased Cracked Magazine. Dick Kulpa is more famous as an employee of the Weekly World News where he broke the amazing story of Bat Boy, the half man-half bat creature that would go on to become a member of the US military and political activist. Kulpa reportedly saved Cracked because Bat Boy, despite being illiterate, was a huge fan.
Still more journalistic integrity than Fox News
Cracked returned strongly with several well made bi-monthly issues. This soon ended. Cracked eventually had to make those once though impossible budget cuts resulting in the once lauded magazine to be run out of the back room of a Kinkos that was managed by a friend of Dick Kulpa. They lived in constant fear of the district manager catching on to their operation.
Cracked's 2001 showing was so weak that angry former fans sent anthrax to the Cracked offices. This resulted in the unfortunate death of an employee and the destruction of many of Cracked's archives. Since the magazine at this point was 90% items pulled out of the archives and 10% advertisements, this dealt a blow to the magazine's ability to release issues. Dick Kulpa scourged the internet for back copies of Cracked he could photocopy, but being that it was 2001, it was impossible to find anything on the internet.
In 2004, a final resurrection of Cracked as a humor magazine was attempted. Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen was named as a new publisher to drum up media attention. Unfortunately, this was 32 years after anybody cared about Cheap Trick
Cracked: Reborn 2006-2007
In 2005 after 50 years of being a poorly selling Mad Magazine rip off, a group of Arab investors purchased Cracked and decided to see how long it could last as a Maxim ripoff. Turns out three issues, which is especially odd when you consider that celebrity fluff pieces, entertainment drivel, and pictures of woman in bikinis are more popular than cartoons of people yelling "Shut up!"
Despite the magazine going under, the website Cracked.com limped along thanks to its similarity to the URL of a popular butt fetish site.
Oddly enoughm Michael J Nelson of Mystery Science Theater fame was an contributing editor for this iteration of Cracked. Rumor has it he thought he was writing for the fetish site, which would explain the anal insertion themes prevalent in articles he wrote.
This man loves to insert things into his anus
In 2007 Cracked was again sold, this time to Demand Media, an company whose business plan consists of paying contributors very little for content and then using some sort of magic search engine algorithm to make people find it when they search for funny pictures of cats.
After struggling to find their voice,Cracked.com began specializing in lists. Lists are easy to write because you don't need to think of ways to link one idea to the next. They are also easy to read because if one part is boring or you don't understand it you can easily just go to the next item.
For the first time Cracked as an entity was profitable. Cracked had never paid writers well, but now since they were just random people from the internet and not professional writers they didn't care. As Cracked.com's success grew, they were able to acquire a greater number of columnists and break into the field of videos. As a result they have received internet acclaim and rewards which are like normal acclaim and rewards except the only people who care are those who are on the internet.
Cracked's articles always end very abruptly.