Not many people know this about Cracked, but long before we were a Webby-acknowledged comedy supersite, we used to be a magazine, and even further before that, a magazine people actually read. Back in those halcyon, paying-customer-having days, Cracked had a bit of a rivalry with a little outfit called MAD Magazine. At the time our two magazines had similar formats and targeted similar audiences (children of average intelligence and the underemployed.) A central crux of the rivalry was the allegations that one of the magazines was a shameless rip-off of the other, more successful brand. Whether those claims were true, or merely incredibly true, has been forgotten as the years passed and one of the magazines went under several times. And so in the modern day, the rivalry is all but non-existent.
Well no longer. Eat a dick MAD magazine. Eat it so hard.
Ho-ho! It looks like the shameless hackery is on the other foot! Now granted, the folks at MAD could claim "Well ok, but we never read your magazine. We couldn't have, you didn't actually sell any." Which is true, but needlessly hurtful. I also want to make it clear that I'm not defending the integrity of that particular Cracked cover. That cover sucked. Do you have any idea how tired the world was of making fun of Tom Cruise in late 2006? I do. (They were real tired of it) But even though it was a crappy joke that no-one saw, it was ours and we need it. Seriously. We made 3 issues that run. Stop stealing what little heritage we have. If you're looking for idea, go rip off TV Guide. They've got like a billion covers.
The interesting thing about this, is by cribbing one of Cracked's jokes, MAD may have inadvertently acknowledged that they've switched historical positions with Cracked. Now Cracked's the timely and relevant comedy outlet and MAD's the pale imitator. Here's five reasons why:
1) They don't have enough lists. You know why we write lists? Because people are busy. They need reading material broken down for them, like a mother bird does for her ugly baby birds. But look at MAD magazine, with their complicated comics, often spreading over multiple panels. Who has time to digest all that? The mayor?
2) We have a better website Granted, we have a slight advantage, in that we are a website. Consequently, we have IT professionals (I think they're Asian) whose sole job is to make our site look awesome. MAD has evidently not gone down that road. What media company doesn't have content on their website? It's 2008 guys. Remember when everyone was talking about "the information superhighway?" That was 15 fucking years ago. Man up and go find one of those places Asians hang out (they have their own supermarkets, try there) and say you need help building a website. You won't regret it.
3) We're more environmentally friendly. With a circulation of around 200,000 issues per month, MAD magazine destroys over 8000 trees a year, devastating countless wildlife habitats. Here at Cracked, by taking advantage of a paperless delivery system, for every article published we destroy no trees, and harm only a handful of animals.
4) We tackle tougher subjects. At Cracked we only write about the thorniest issues faced by today's comedy-patron. But here's MAD magazine picking on poor Circuit City. How dare they! That's like making fun of an athlete at the Special Olympics. You leave Circuit City alone MAD Magazine! They are trying their best with the abilities God gave them.
5) We are in no way associated with MADtv. Technically speaking, MAD Magazine is themselves barely associated with MADtv. They have no shared content or editorial oversight. It's a licensing deal, sort of like how for the past 20 years National Lampoon has sold their name to any production that featured prominently displayed breasts (re: National Lampoons Titty Daze.) Also, it's important to note sketch comedy is a lot harder than it looks. The benchmark for sketch comedy, Saturday Night Live, is maybe funny one sketch out of five. And those guys aren't idiots. I mean they are - but they're professional idiots - the best money can buy. Even my favorite sketch shows are only funny maybe 50% of the time.
But even taking all that into account, MADtv is funny like colon cancer.
(An aside: what would CrackedTV look like? I'm thinking a fixed camera affair where a stern older gentleman sits in a large comfortable chair smoking a pipe. He looks directly into the camera, and reads Cracked.com articles verbatim. Projected onto a screen in the background are still images of Christian Bale relaxing about his house.)
How about you guys? Does anyone here still read MAD? Are they better or worse than I think?