The Cracked Podcast

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Are you ever so overwhelmed by the thought of going out to socialize that you just stay home instead? And then once you stay home, you're bummed out at yourself for not leaving the house in the first place? Is your typical party maneuver to hang out in the corner pretending to text someone? Is the slow march of time a crippling experience that can only be made bearable by drinking alcohol and seeking out progressively more dangerous experiences?Oh. Whew. Us too!Seems that anxiety and depression are taking a bigger stranglehold of our culture and there are actually some statistics to back that up. Suicides are at a 30 year high, drinking is at a 25 year high, rates of depression are up 800 percent over 70 years and prescriptions for antidepressants were up 400 percent between 1988 and 2011. That's some grim shit. But we have a theory as to why this may be happening.Around some 200,000ish years ago, the human brain stopped evolving, but our culture hasn't. Rigorous jobs, ever-expanding social networks, complex societal problems have all made our lives more convoluted, but our brains were only designed to handle things like, "where's the fire?" and, "hey, there are some deer over there." Evolution has left us hanging and we don't know how to cope. For a multi-tiered deep-dive into this subject, Jack O'Brien is first joined by Cracked executive editor Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) to discuss the increasing role of anxiety in our population. Later, Jono Zalay, the world's foremost comedian with a PhD in neuroscience, joins the conversation to talk about the role of drugs in this equation and some of the scientific reasons for why our brain needs anxiety.Also, make sure to come to our next live podcast taping on Saturday, September 10th at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles, where Jack and the Cracked staff will flip-off movies like 'Sully' and 'Deepwater Horizon' and pitch some insane true stories that should be made into big Hollywood movies instead. Tickets are only $5 and are available here:  https://goo.gl/VP9riY Footnotes:Cracked: Why Anxiety is the Plague of the Modern World:  http://goo.gl/BOfQgE Cracked: 5 Brain Disorders That Started As Evolutionary Advantages:  http://goo.gl/US9TKb Cracked: 5 Ways Your Brain Is Tricking You Into Being Miserable:  http://goo.gl/6bivn Cracked: 6 Logical Fallacies That Cost You Money Every Day:  http://goo.gl/K7PI8 Cracked: 6 Human Character Flaws (That Saved The Species):  http://goo.gl/ObLk Cracked: 5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think:  http://goo.gl/XtQGF Slate: Why Do American Schizophrenics Hear Threatening Voices?:  http://goo.gl/oi4PVh Quartz: Giving Up Alcohol Opened My Eyes to the Infuriating Truth About Why Women Drink:  http://goo.gl/qnJPSh 'Rat Park' Comic by Stuart McMillen:  http://goo.gl/0yst1z Jono Zalay:  http://goo.gl/mx203E Jono's Podcast 'Universe City':  https://goo.gl/ocbDyh Come see us at the Now Hear This podcast festival: nowhearthisfest.com This episode is sponsored by Magoosh, Yoga Hosers, and Loot Crate.
If car commercials, beer commercials and presidential stump speeches were the only entertainment you consumed, you'd probably be pretty bored. You'd also think that American farmers are the life-blood of the economy and account for roughly 85% of the population. But in fact, less than 2% of Americans work in the business of putting food on your table-- we're talking farmers, ranchers, fishermen, etc.-- and over 80% of us live in metropolitan areas of some sort. That's a crazy ratio, especially when it comes to something as important as where the next meal is coming from.How did we get here? How has the food industry in America gone from family farms and self reliance to drive throughs and endlessly stocked supermarkets in just a couple hundred years? This week, Alex Schmidt and Carmen Angelica speak to Maureen Ogle, a historian who wrote a whole book on the nuts and bolts of the American food industry and specifically, our obsession with meat.Neither her book nor this podcast are condemnations of eating meat or exposés into the horrors of meat production, we're just taking a look at the amazing confluence of business, agriculture, science and logistics that keeps the grocery shelves stocked and the McRib in rotation.Footnotes, links and sources: https://goo.gl/44o22v
Alex Schmidt is joined by Sarah Pappalardo (Reductress) and Dave Weigel (The Washington Post) for a look ahead at an election that’s practically happening tomorrow. Could one party take both houses of Congress? How is the Presidential race shaping up? And will American voters have to jack up their pandemic risk just to plunk down a ballot? Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/how-bizarre-or-great-will-2020-election-be
Alex Schmidt is joined by Adam Tod Brown and Chet Wild, the hosts of Unpopular Opinion’s “The 90s Sucked” podcast. They’re exploring huge, meaningful, world-altering ways the 1990s never stopped happening to us. They’ll also reveal which element of the ‘90s stuffs the nation’s landfills to this day, which ‘90s band happily played a show in a living room, and which ‘90s after-effects are most worth looking out for in 2020, 2024, and beyond.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/5-weird-ways-1990s-never-ended/
Alex Schmidt is joined by Jody Avirgan (FiveThirtyEight, 30 For 30) and Nicole Hemmer (historian, author 'Messengers Of The Right'). Jody & Nicole host a fantastic new podcast called 'This Day In Esoteric Political History'. On this show, the three of them share amazing stories from T.D.I.E.P.H., and from elsewhere, about America facing shutdown-level crises. It turns out the United States often faces pandemics, crashes, and weather cataclysms that disrupt national life for months or even years. Those events don't loom large in our collective historical memories, despite being important reminders of our country's resilience in the face of bizarre national danger...and reminders that thoughtful collective action is as American as apple pie, baseball, and revolting against the British.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/6-little-known-crises-lockdowns-u.s.-history
Alex Schmidt is joined by the incredible Andy Daly, star of ’Review’ and all of the rest of TV. This podcast is inspired by Dalton Wilcox’s long-simmering project ‘Bonanas For Bonanza’, a rewatch podcast (theoretically) tackling all 431 episodes of the 1959-1973 Western adventure TV show ‘Bonanza’. It turns out even the earliest 'Bonanza' episodes are quite odd -- which begs the question, how weird can a long-running show get? Alex and Andy answer that with examples (and audio!) from ‘Gunsmoke’, ‘One Tree Hill’, ‘Lassie’, and more surprising pillars of American television history.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/7-bizarre-moments-from-bizarrely-long-running-tv-shows/
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedy writer & “Creature Feature” podcast host Katie Goldin for a run through animal-specific myths springing up around coronavirus. They’ll break down whether nature *really* is “returning”, what the heck is going on with bats and tigers, and why your housecat is being smart about this situation. Also they’ll reveal some actually-fascinating true animal elements of the world shutting down that haven’t crossed your Twitter feed.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/bizarre-myths-amazing-facts-about-animals-coronavirus
Alex Schmidt is joined by New York Times-bestselling author Jason Pargin (pen name David Wong) for a close look at mistakes society needs to stop making now, and stop making always. Alongside that, they’ll explore ways you can help people survive this coronavirus thing, just by being thoughtful.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/common-beliefs-that-make-disasters-worse-with-jason-pargin/
Alex Schmidt calls up Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti, to explore what it’s like simulating a sports season that may never happen outside of his PlayStation 4. They’ll also examine the weird way virtual sports can turn meaningful, discover how Taiwan resumed real baseball a week ago, and dig into sports’ role as a canary in the coal mine of modern American society.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/sports-in-time-coronavirus-with-jason-benetti
Alex Schmidt is joined by Adam Tod Brown (Unpopular Opinion, MTV, Playboy) and Dan Hopper (Ranker, The New Yorker, CollegeHumor) for a look at some things COVID-19 put on hold -- specifically the most foolish, inefficient, straight-up bad things in the entire world. So throw on some headphones and have a fun & critical think about everything from the Olympics to April Fools Day to an insanely wasteful daily practice we should’ve questioned a lot sooner.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/6-things-shut-down-by-coronavirus-that-shouldnE28099t-return/
Alex Schmidt is joined by journalist Olga Khazan, author of ‘Weird: The Power of Being an Outsider in an Insider World’. They’ll take a deep dive into personal stories and scientific studies about life as a weirdo. Discover the cultural, social, mental, and physical ramifications of living outside society’s norms. Also stick around for the surprising upsides of that kind of life. Because here’s one way being alive is more interesting than people think it is: being “weird” can be a person’s greatest strength.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/the-surprising-scientific-truth-about-living-as-outsider/
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/podcasters Adam Tod Brown (Unpopular Opinion) and Jeff May (Sideshow’s Side Show) for the strangest, silliest, oddest psychological warfare ever plotted by national governments. Discover tales of elected officials and professional militaries dreaming up pranks, toys, holograms, and more bizarre tools for crushing their enemies...even if the execution of those plots would boggle the mind.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/13-insane-psy-ops-real-governments-tried-to-pull-off/
Alex Schmidt is joined by Billy Wayne Davis (Conan, Adult Swim) and Kandice Martellaro (Stan Against Evil, Femmebot PhD) for the silliest minutiae that slipped through the cracks of IMPORTANT HISTORY. Listen for surprisingly wacky elements of World War 2, human spaceflight #1, the Battle of Agincourt, and more events nobody remembers as embarrassing and awkward (even though they should).Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/11-little-known-dumb-details-big-historical-events/
Alex Schmidt is joined by Siobhan Thompson (Rick and Morty, Dimension 20) and Andrew Ti (Mixed-ish, Yo Is This Racist?) for a trip through the strangest canon ever grafted onto a TV show. They’ll turn up late-season canon decisions that broke entire television universes. Also be sure to listen for strange network promos and a stranger talk show appearance that make your favorite science fiction worlds too bizarre to comprehend.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/11-tv-shows-that-secretly-gave-themselves-insane-canon/
Alex Schmidt is joined by Dan Hopper (Ranker, CollegeHumor, The Washington Post) for a look at movie & TV locations that fans are pilgrimaging into oblivion. Discover the most neighborhood-snarling, pizza-chucking, monastery-crumbling behaviors in the whole world of fandom. Find out how one monkey's paw-style studio deal turned part of Spain blue forever. And find out how Viewers Like You can be more thoughtful toward Hollywood locations than the average 'Joker' Instagrammer.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/8-famous-movie-tv-locations-ruined-by-fans/
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/podcasters Kate Willett (The Late Show, ‘Reply Guys’) and Eli Yudin (‘What A Time To Be Alive’) for a look at the weirdest ways the children of rich maniacs bought themselves professional careers. Listen for pop stardom, sports glory, and more careers you can try on like a hat if your dad is a dictator/mafioso/Bond villain inspiration.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/7-weird-jobs-children-rich-maniacs-bought-themselves
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians & alien comedy experts David Christopher Bell (Gamefully Unemployed, "Fox Mulder Is A Maniac") and Moujan Zolfaghari (Mission To Zyxx, 'At Home With Amy Sedaris'). They’re digging into the most common lazy media tropes, frustrating hoaxes, and generally confusing myths about aliens. So throw on some headphones, increase your media literacy, and be ready to spot the REAL signs of extraterrestrials, if and when we ever get them.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/10-regular-things-we-should-all-stop-mistaking-aliens/
Alex Schmidt is joined by special guest Jesse Thorn (Bullseye, Jordan Jesse Go, Judge John Hodgman, THE LIST GOES ON)! They’ll explore the surprisingly common phenomenon of two famous people meeting up, hanging out, and (often) having an extremely weird time together. So throw on your headphones for tales of everyone from Elvis to Amelia Earhart to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince having an odd hang with a fellow world-famous awkward person.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/9-bizarre-surprising-stories-famous-people-hanging-out
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedy writers Gonzalo Cordova and Alan Denton. They’ll explore the biggest recent movies, and the extraordinarily strange work that went into making them. Find out which Oscar movie got patched like a video game, several days after it was in theaters. Discover which animal overran the set of your favorite action movie franchise. And keep listening for the set of international financial crimes that built Hollywood’s hottest production company.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/11-major-recent-movies-with-secretly-bizarre-productions
Alex Schmidt is joined by the incredible Dana Gould for a trip through world-famous scandals that somehow never get a closer look. With each story, they’ll dig into the forgotten and astonishing details of those scandals that were apparently too mind-blowing for the public to remember. So throw on some headphones, and discover the ways Elizabeth Holmes, O.J. Simpson, the Enron fellas, and more infamous maniacs are much more bizarre than you realized.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/9-infamous-scandals-with-crazy-details-everybody-forgot/
Alex Schmidt and special guest Jason Pargin (who writes for Cracked as David Wong) are exploring the ways being afraid of everything (an easy action) can stop us from being free. Discover the decades-long tradition of some Americans wanting to give up everything in exchange for not needing to think, the centuries-long tradition of people inciting fake panics, and the reasonable ways you can help change things for the better.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/why-fear-based-democracies-arenE28099t-free-with-jason-pargin/
Alex Schmidt is joined by the one and only Kai Ryssdal (Marketplace, Make Me Smart) for a look at surprising, strange, and shocking stories from all over the U.S. economy. Discover an international pig flu, a 26-word statement that built the modern Internet, and more amazing ways cash is ruling everything around you. By the way, if you’re an American listener, you spent the past few years funding an astonishingly huge bailout. Surprise! Listen for details!Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/5-parts-u.s.-economy-that-are-stranger-than-you-think
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/writers Caitlin Gill and Alex Watt for a look at the surprising number of times movies, TV, and gaming gave heroic powers to the exact right person. They’ll explore stories of regular people who saved a life thanks to skills gained randomly from cartoons, sitcoms, ‘World Of Warcraft’, and more silly entertainment.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/9-times-pop-culture-accidentally-taught-people-to-save-lives/
Alex Schmidt is joined by comedians/podcasters Jamie Loftus and Atsuko Okatsuka for a look at everyday objects with incredible secret powers. Find out how old bras, loose salt, random mayonnaise and more common items became useful tools for making the modern world better.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/9-everyday-objects-with-incredible-secret-powers/
Alex Schmidt rings in “the new year” with comedians/podcasters Billy Wayne Davis and Danielle Radford. It's a special double-topic show, beginning with the strange history and complex present day of the “normal” calendar. Then they’ll explore the most obscure, bizarre, and theoretical calendars from world history, many of them invented to fix that pope-y "Gregorian" dating system you might've planned a New Year's party around.Footnotes: https://www.cracked.com/podcast/6-brain-stretching-calendar-systems-you-never-knew-existed/
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Podcast Details

Created by
Literally Media
Podcast Status
Hiatus/Finished
Started
Aug 18th, 2013
Latest Episode
Jun 1st, 2020
Release Period
Weekly
Episodes
348
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour
Explicit
Yes
Order
Episodic

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