Cracked is an American humor website and YouTube channel, which came from the now defunct humour magazine of the same name, the magazine was founded in 1958 and was published somewhat erratically until it ran its final issue in February 2007. However as mentioned up top, the Cracked name did not die, instead the site was founded in 2005 by Jack O’Brien and by the time that the magazine was finishing up, the site was attracting several hundred thousand unique users per month, as well as generating 3 or 4 million page views, with these numbers jumping up to about 17 million unique visitors and 300 million page views by February 2012. Cracked, is often compared to Collegehumor because both began to dominate certain demographics in the early 2000’s, both focused on humor content and both ran a website and YouTube channel, if you would like to see my Top 10’s for Collegehumor then you can by clicking here and here. Since 2008 or 2009 I have been a fan of Cracked, more focused on their video content rather than their articles and listicles but nonetheless I’ve thoroughly enjoyed what they’ve been doing, however, things began to change following Jack O’Brien, the editor-in-chief stepping down from his position to pursue opportunities with the podcasting division of HowStuffWorks. Following that, their core video staff started to break away to pursue new opportunities. Starting in October 2017 with Soren Bowie who left and became a writer for American Dad and Michael Swaim who also left to pursue new ventures, including making his own fan backed content on his channel, Small Beans, and is currently working with IGN in a senior video content creator position. Following that on December 4th 2017, Cracked laid off 25 members of its site, which included the entire video team, so with the exception of a few animated videos which presumably were made beforehand and took a while to animate, Cracked hasn’t released a video on their channel in approximately a year, and no non People Watching content in approximately 2 years. It’s not terrific that Cracked did that but from what I can gather their staff have managed to survive, some of their familiar faces are thriving, with Cody Johnston, utilising a similar set up to something he did on Cracked and expanding it, creating his awesome Some More News show, which runs alongside Katy Stoll another former Cracked personality, you can also donate to their patreon to keep the content coming. Daniel O’Brien, another popular Cracked video staff member went on to become a staff writer on the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. To avoid boring you and losing the thread of this list, I’ll stop there, so now that you are more acquainted with Cracked, check out below, my Top 10 standalone Cracked Videos. You can click over here, for the companion piece to this where I list my Top 10 extended series Cracked Videos as well.
1. Andrew Jackson: Most Terrifying Man Ever Elected
Not only is this a surprisingly funny video, but it’s also informative and managed to make me terrified of a man that died approximately 174 years ago.
2. How to Survive Life as a Character in a Bad Work of Fiction
I like metafiction, fourth-wall breaking and I’m also partial to pseudo-classical stories, like bad Pride and Prejudice fanfiction. So this was a grand slam of a video for me, and it really gave Michael Swaim, usually more of a wild card, a chance to show off his acting chops.
3. The Terrifying Conspiracy Behind Early 90’s Kids’ Toys – Nickelodeon Gak Parody
This is one of those totally surreal sketches that makes me laugh every single time. It’s also so realistic to those types of commercials I watched as a kid.
4. If ‘Breaking Bad’ Was Made For Kids – Board Game Parody
I didn’t really watch Breaking Bad, I usually wait until hyped shows are over then watch it without any pressure but for whatever reason it just kinda slipped off my watch list. However this sketch was clever and refreshing and just a little bit dark, not only did it make me want to actually watch the main show but it was just downright entertaining.
5. The Rise and Fall of the Most Famous Background Actor Ever
I like when comedy is taken to an extreme, or its played off as serious and this sketch really straddled both of those well in a fun little story or supply and demand and how we pigeonhole celebrities, think of The Simpsons episode where Bart says ‘I didn’t do it’ and you’ll get what this one is about.
6. Why the ‘Paranormal Activities’ Family Really Moved Out
It’s hard to talk about what I liked about these entries without spoiling what makes them funny but in this case the humour comes from subverting expectations, family obligations and people just being inappropriate.
7. Is it time for Batman to Tone it down
This makes me laugh every single time, mean logically Batman is a messed up Orphan who was never told no, so he could easily have turned out like this. I mean his suit is designed to strike fear into their hearts so this just takes that to its logical extreme.
8. The Horrifying Downside to Being a Superhero’s Brother
You don’t usually see Soren Bowie and Cody Johnston together which is a shame because when they do they can make something genius like this sketch about how having superpowers doesn’t mean you grow up, and being the long suffering brother of a superhero.
9. 23 Jokes that Never Made It Into Our Best Videos
Gives us a rare look behind the scenes of Cracked in their typical tongue in cheek fashion. Personally I’d have liked from across the page stuff because I found this episode really funny and interesting.
10. Why Last Action Hero is Secretly Terrifying
This episode is really clever, you don’t see the host often enough and it could just as easily have worked as a Today’s Topic but its genuinely funny, a little bit grim and also really NSFW me want to watch The Last Action Hero again.
Honourable mentions go to If Cereal Mascots Got Serious about Stealing Cereal, Why the Scooby-Doo Mystery Team is Terrible at Mysteries, Why the Worst PowerPoint Presentations Take Preparation, When Giving Away ‘A Lifetime Supply’ Turns Deadly and When Body Switching Movies Collide – Sci-Fi Parody which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the top 10 list.
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