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Cracked Officially Starts Feeling Sorry for MAD Magazine

Hey.

Hey MAD.

How you doing? Why don't you sit down, slip off those shoes of yours? Have something cold to drink, maybe snack on a few of these chips. Do you want a back rub, or something? Heating pad?

Foot massage?

You've been having kind of a rough time, lately, haven't you? We feel your pain, really, we do (well, not really; things are actually pretty great over here. But you know what we mean).

I wanted to write sooner, really I did. Back in November, your TV show, (that, evidently, wasn't already canceled), was canceled. That must've been tough. Even though it didn't have much to do with your brand, it had your name on it, so that must have hurt a little bit. I wanted to reach out to you, but I just got so busy; see, we were installing hot tubs in all of the Cracked offices at the time, which required a ton of my attention (you can't install hot tubs within five feet of a chocolate fountain, which we'd just installed in October). They're kind of tacky, I know, but we had some extra cash so why not, right?

But we're talking about you here, buddy.

So first the show got canceled and now it turns out, as of last week, several staff members were let go and your magazine was reduced to a quarterly printing. I couldn't believe it. I'm sitting there at my desk just thinking, Gosh, that must hurt. That's got to be poison for a magazine that wants to maintain any semblance of edginess.

I started thinking about what it would be like if we were restricted to four updates a year. I mean, how can you stay topical and relevant with so much time in between issues? That's when I started getting really depressed, so then I turned the bubbles on and I started feeling a little better (I know, they built a desk onto the side of my jacuzzi. SO AWESOME, right?).

I know what you're saying: Dan, Cracked.com updates everyday. You'll never be as completely and utterly screwed as us here at MAD. Well, quite frankly, it's a minor miracle that we get any posts up. See, there are all these women who camp outside the Cracked offices trying to get us to have sex with them. While we're trying to get to work. I know, can you believe it? Everyday, more women who want "a hit off the Cracked pipe," so to speak (talkin' about wieners, here).

"Your obsession with pop culture makes me want to take my pants off."

We tell them to back off once in a while, but they won't be reasoned with. I mean, it's tough enough updating our site every day, so what, are we supposed to update their vaginas every day, too? With dick?

But this is about you.

And I'm sorry again, about all your recent setbacks. And sorry it's taken me a week to reach out (though, in fairness to me, we're installing a waterslide on the roof of the building. These things take time). But, rest assured, Cracked is here for you. We used to have a magazine, remember? This is what my desk used to look like (before it was sitting on the side of a jacuzzi filled with naked, ethnically diverse women):

See? We know what it's like to have a magazine canceled, so we're in the same boat.

...

Okay, not really in the "same boat," necessarily, because we're doing extremely well. Our magazine tanking was, at most, an aggravating detail; we still had our awesome site after all. You guys, on the other hand, have nothing but the magazine. So, I guess our boats have very little in common.

Still, we're certainly the guys to talk to if you're looking for advice. No one knows better than we do how to bounce back from a magazine crash. Though it's highly unlikely that you'll ever enjoy the same kind of internet success that we enjoy--our site boasts an award-winning journalist as well as that guy who did Internet Party--you do have the potential to be a real comedy force in today's world, just like Cracked!

Though, again, and I know it must sound like I'm harping on this point, but we are not at all in the same boat. Our boat is substantially larger, a great deal faster and, if I may, considerably more sexually proficient. Your boat is a quarterly boat which, nautically speaking, is the worst kind of boat to be.

Come to think of it, we might not even be in the same ocean as your (rapidly sinking) boat. Or maybe we're like some sort of sexy helicopter hovering above your boat, hurling garbage at you.

Yeah. That sounds more like us.

But, hey, this is about you guys, am I right?

You know what might help you bounce back? Make a humor website that... Oh, I see you've already got a website, so let me just check it out here.

...

Huh. I gotta say, and I mean this with all due respect, but that is honestly one of the worst websites I've ever seen in my life. And it's not like you weren't warned. Several months ago, Cracked's most dangerous columnist, Chris Bucholz, pointed out how your little website was suspiciously devoid of any piece of actual new content, but you still didn't update it.

Really? Really?

Look, I know you still love magazines and the Internet probably seems like a big and scary place to you, but wake up. Every website on the Internet has more content than your site. For shit's sake, I have more fun going to Pepsi's website and pretending I'm in a shitty dance club than I do going to your site, and you're supposed to be entertaining. Pepsi sells soft drinks, but their website still tries to make it worth my time to stick around, because this is the future and that is how things work now. Why is your website still a boring, spiritless hunk of hot pigshit? Why wouldn't you update it? I mean, you clearly had time, it's not like your canceled TV show and the four issues you print a year would be taking up too much of your time.

Sorry. That was kind of in bad taste. I shouldn't have flown off the handle. We were talking about you, and why you should make a website...

But, come to think of it, maybe you shouldn't. Ordinarily, that would be a good idea, but, gosh, the humor magazine-turned-website slot seems to be filled right now, thanks to some whirling comedy behemoth with a can-do spirit and an excess of testosterone. We've sort of cornered that market already. Well, cornered isn't right. Conquered.

We conquered it.

So, maybe avoid making a new website. The last thing you need is another embarrassing failure under your belt. And since you can't really work on TV or the Internet or print, then that leaves...uh. Huh. Smoke signals? You could do comedy smoke signals, I don't think anyone else is doing that right now. That market's all yours...

Hey, do you guys need some money, or something? I feel awful, because I just have so much money and you guys... Seriously, do you want, like gas money, or a hot meal or something? Jesus. I wanted to cheer you up and instead I reminded you what a pale imitation of your former self you are. Gosh, I feel like such a horse's ass. (Oh, Horse, that reminds me: I'm buying horses for all the interns. Because that's where we're at. Cracked has horse money.) I really should just stop talking before I make this worse.

Oh, but one more real quick thing. As different as we are--in terms of success, our adaptability with regards to the shifting trends in media, our superior sexual behavior--we do have one similarity. According to legend, longtime MAD editor, William Gaines, reportedly kept a voodoo doll in his office, in which he would stick pins, all labeled as various MAD "imitators" (Cracked,Sick, The New York Times), and he would remove a pin whenever one of these imitators would stop publishing or disappear. At the time of Gaines' death, there was only one pin left, and it was labeled "Cracked."

See, here at the office, we have a couple of dolls, too. One doll, "Crackey," represents CRACKED. The other, "Wifey," represents the collective wives and girlfriends of members on the MAD Staff.

Guess what the Crackey Doll is doing right up the Wifey Doll's butt? Come on, guess.

Come on.

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Daniel O'Brien

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