The Cracked 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 exclusively on Stitcher Premium, ad-free. Go to and use promo code EARWOLF for 1 month free (and $5 off the annual plan!)

The Weirdest Ways America Tried To Win The Cold War
Jun 24 • 85 min
Thought experiment: you’re a large country locked in a 20th century geopolitical death struggle. Any wrong move could irradiate the planet. Any right move gets you a marginal victory over your opponent without ending the larger conflict. In that scenario,…
The 12 Most Incredible Things Ever Done Purely Out Of Spite
Jun 17 • 65 min
A “fire in the belly”: it’s a metaphor for motivation that sounds like terrible medical trouble. Our culture tells us a little bit of anger — a little bit of that ulcerative-sounding “fire in the belly” — helps us accomplish a little bit more. But what if…
11 Common Sayings & Phrases Everyone Uses Wrong
Jun 10 • 59 min
Aphorisms: they’re the world’s favorite way to let somebody else handle the thinking. We all turn to a time-tested saying or phrase from time to time. It’s not a crime or nothin’. But what if lots of our most common sayings have actual meanings that are…
The 9 Strangest Newest Conspiracy Theories Thriving Online
Jun 3 • 65 min
Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle wrote that it’s “evident” the Earth is round. One generation later, Greek mathematician & geographer Eratosthenes achieved a solid ballpark estimate of the Earth’s circumference. Again, that was over 2000 years ago. So how…
The End-Of-The-World Mentality (And Why That’s Ridiculous)
May 27 • 77 min
You’re going to live a long time. Congratulations! That’s good! There are zero ways that is bad news! Yet if you talk about our future 50, 40, or even 10 years from now, people might tell you that’s fantastical wishful thinking. They may say the…
11 Bizarre & Gross Problems That Took Over U.S. Cities
May 20 • 69 min
In the 50 years after the Civil War, America’s population quadrupled. That’s right: four times as many people within five decades. That surge of humanity made the turn-of-the-century United States a nation of 75 million Americans flocking to cities built…
7 Common Mistakes That Ruin Movie Sequels & Trilogies
May 13 • 67 min
Movie sequels are the biggest gamble in entertainment. The first movie is the first bet: how much do you build it toward a franchise at the expense of its story? How many of those folks will stick around for a second adventure? With your Adventure #2, how…
10 Insane Real-Life Crimes Committed Through Video Games
May 6 • 55 min
Video games are escapist. That’s one theory about them, anyway. People think we fire up the ol’ console or PC or goofy VR headset to get away from life’s troubles. But what if that’s not the case? What if the art form of video games is a breeding ground…
How Lousy Life-Shortening Jobs Became America’s Gig
Apr 29 • 86 min
Be glad you don’t work in turn-of-the-century America. It was a time of lethal accidents, legal child labor, lecherous tycoons and more sick problems we’ve (mostly) left behind. Things got better in the past hundred years. That’s a fact. But have things…
What Fascist Italy Reveals About Modern America
Apr 22 • 80 min
If you ask the average American to name ten things from World War II, Benito Mussolini won’t often make the list. But “Il Duce” seized power long before Hitler, spent more than two decades reshaping Italy in his image, and coined that “Fascist” term we…
10 Great Movies & TV Shows (That Were Almost Disasters)
Apr 15 • 56 min
Notes are annoying. Nobody likes to spend weeks and months crafting an idea only to be told what’s wrong with it. Flip side to that: we often have blind spots when it comes to our creative projects. And that goes for everybody, even the creators of the…
11 Bizarre Military Strategies That Somehow Won Real Battles
Apr 8 • 58 min
Wars involve a lot of pressure to be cool. It’s why people sign up: the chance to be heroic, the chance to appear mighty, the chance to give a ‘Patton’ style speech in front of a giant version of your national flag. That heroic stuff is all well and good…
17 Surprising Tales From Inside Conan’s Late Night Shows
Apr 1 • 51 min
Conan O’Brien’s made 25 years of late night TV (and counting!). You probably know the support of a staff made that possible. But did you know it also took sprinting, packeting, Schwarzenegger-tracking, Central American kidnapping, index card pouch…
The Bizarre Hassles Women Face In Our World Designed For Men
Mar 25 • 77 min
The phone you are reading this text on is easy to hold…if you’re a man. That’s according to statistics on average hand size & average phone size. If you’re a woman? Good luck taking one-handed pictures on this slightly-too-big brick that might give you…
12 TV Cancellations That Caused Horrifying Cliffhangers
Mar 18 • 60 min
Novelists are a little bit invincible. Oh sure, it’s hard to write a book, and you are required to stop writing your book if you die. But barring that untimely demise, you can to see your novel through to the bitter end as long as you have enough grit to…
10 Creepy Unsolved Mysteries From History
Mar 11 • 64 min
We’re only a few centuries into the era of detective work. 19th century criminologists like Eugene Vidocq invented modern forensic techniques, standardized criminal databases, and the basic approach that underpins police investigations to this day. You…
What Would Happen If The Oscars Went Away?
Mar 4 • 59 min
We’re fresh off ‘Green Book’ achieving its dream Oscar night (CONGRATULATIONS you made-up Hero Dad Story you!!!). But this week’s episode is about EVERY Oscars ceremony. Why? Because the Oscars dictate most of your movie-watching year: October-December =…
5 Mainstream Health Habits That Trick You Into Feeling Lousy
Feb 25 • 92 min
The most successful people in the world are SO EXCITED to call themselves that. Hard-charging, in-leaning, unstoppable titans of industry want everyone to know it. One of their favorite brags: never sleeping more than a few hours a night. Is that actually…
7 Incredible Biopics Hollywood Should’ve Made By Now
Feb 18 • 69 min
History is the most prolific screenwriter of all time. Thanks to the magic of Events Happening In Real Life, pop culture has graced us with everything from ‘Braveheart’ to ‘On The Basis Of Sex’. Those hit biopics about real people form a sort of Humanity…
9 Movies That Improved On The Book (According To The Author)
Feb 11 • 57 min
“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…
How A Loneliness Epidemic Snuck Up On Us (with Jason Pargin)
Feb 4 • 92 min
“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…
How To Be Less Confused About The Economy (with Kai Ryssdal)
Jan 28 • 59 min
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…
Why A Terrible U.S. Supreme Court Is The Historical Norm
Jan 21 • 96 min
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…
12 Sci-Fi Movie Technologies That Went Stupidly Backwards
Jan 14 • 52 min
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…
Overrated Myths (And Underrated Facts) About Ancient Rome
Jan 7 • 68 min
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…
Happy New Year (And Thank You!)
Dec 31, 2018 • 3 min
Enormous gratitude this week! New episode next week. And in the meantime, here are some of our recent favorite episodes of the show: Also did you know we’re going on tour…
12 Great Ideas America Should Steal From Other Countries
Dec 24, 2018 • 54 min
“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…
What is The Cracked Podcast?
Aug 19, 2013 • 0 min
Listen to The Cracked Podcast every Monday on Earwolf.
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Aug 18, 2013 • 0 min
Find Full Archive of The Cracked Podcast on Stitcher Premium