The one thing all Cracked authors must have in common is a deep and abiding love of a good dick joke. In fact, the only component of the hiring interview is an Editor calling you in the middle of the night and saying “floppy penises” when you pick up. If you giggle, you’ve got the job.
And there’s absolutely no question that Shakespeare loved the dick joke. Although they often fly over the heads of modern audiences, every single thing Shakespeare ever wrote is like 30 percent puns on the word “balls.” I’m serious. The guy wrote about dicks, vaginas, boning, butt sex, gays, lesbians, cunilingus, pubes and sperm so much I wouldn’t be surprised if the quill he wrote with had a pair of rubber novelty testicles hanging off it.
A single example will suffice. People who get off on the fact that the foundation of western literature was a pervy old man love to cite this part of Hamlet
, and while it is particularly awesome in its skeeviness, it’s by no means an anomaly. It goes like this:
Hamlet: Lady, shall I lie in your lap?
Ophelia: No, my lord.
Hamlet: I mean my head upon your lap?
Ophelia: Ay, my lord.
Hamlet: Do you think I meant country matters?
Ophelia: I think nothing my lord.
Hamlet: That’s a fair thought to lie between maid’s legs.
Ophelia: What is, my lord?
Hamlet: No thing.
Ophelia: You are merry, my lord.
On first look, it seems like a simple and pretty boring misunderstanding about whether Ophelia will let Hamlet lay his head in her lap while they watch a play. But take into account the fact that in Elizabethan England, “nothing” was slang for vagina (because it’s shaped like an “O”), “thing” was slang for dick, “head” meant tip of the penis, “merry” meant sexually aroused and “country matters” was taken to mean “matters pertaining to the cunt,” and you get this much more interesting exchange:
Hamlet: Hey, can I stick my wangle in your pooter?
Ophelia: Seriously? Your mom’s like, right over there.
Hamlet: What if I just put the tip in?
Ophelia: Very well, my lord.
Hamlet: You get it? I’m talking about your cunt.
Ophelia: Yeah, I kind of picked up on that. I’m too am thinking about vaginas.
Hamlet: That’s a good thing to do between a lady’s legs. Fuck vaginas, I mean.
Ophelia: What is, my lord?
Hamlet: Vagina penis.
Ophelia: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you seem horny, my lord.
I don’t care how many black dinguses Lisa Lampanelli crams into her capacious vagina, she’s not getting any filthier than that. Add to all this the fact that, in his time, William Shakespeare's name can be taken to mean "Penis Masturbation" and you've got yourself the reigning champion of genital references.
, by Pauline Kiernan
He Was Considered “Low Art” Until After His Death, When His Genius Was Finally Recognized By More Enlightened Generations
Shakespeare wasn’t always treated with the respect, reverence and enthusiasm high school English students lavish on him today (yes, I live in a fantasy world). In his time, a large segment of England’s population considered theater in general to be repugnant, and a “gateway drug” to all manner of other vices, from atypical sexuality to questioning the leaders who condemn you to live in shit and tax half your income.
Pamphlets were released calling for the destruction of the Globe, with titles like “Theatre Is Sin” and “Free Sex! Now That I’ve Got Your Attention, Theatre Is Sin.” Some even accused Shakespeare himself of fraternizing with the young boys who served as actors in the shows. These pamphlets are widely considered to be the world’s first “yur a fag” comment, something Cracked writers are intimately familiar with.
In fact, plays were so looked down upon as a form of literature that Shakespeare’s weren’t published in an official volume until long after his death. Until then, all you could get were pirated copies written down by fans during the show and sold in booths at the flea market. It was kind of like the BitTorrent of the 1600’s.
So, called gay, offensive and a waste of time by the general public, reproduced illegally
, altered, censored and only recognized as unmitigated genius long after the fact. Sounds like Cracked to me.
Coincidentally enough, today’s front page article
. Wow, what a perfect cross-promotional tie-in! What are the odds?
When not comparing himself to the greatest writer who ever lived, Michael serves as head writer and co-founder of Ye Olde Those Aren't Muskets