Life Before Cracked: Exploring the Comedy Websites I Used to Frequent

It’s been about four years since I first discovered Cracked.com. I don’t remember the exact date, but I do remember the exact article I read that made me take notice of the site. It was Ian Fortey’s article about awesome cases of Internet vigilantism. I knew I had been to the site before, but Stumbleupon had brought me back there. I ended up liking the article so much that I  decided to browse the website on my own. Then, I either read this story by Robert Brockway or watched this video by Michael Swaim and Katie Willert . I’m not sure which one I experienced first, so let’s say it was both of these that turned Cracked.com from “the funny site that I only kind of knew about,” to “The Greatest website ever why haven’t my shitty friends already been converted?”

And that basically did it. I’ve been a fan ever since. And just like a very persistent cult member, or a regular member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, I’ve been spreading the word, and annoying the shit out of my friends with their articles ever since. I even stopped visiting the other websites I used to visit, because now Cracked filled just about all my other comedy website needs.

Eat a swarm of angry dicks, Buzzfeed

Eat a swarm of angry dicks, Buzzfeed

However, I am the kind of person who loves to go back through my old writings, jokes, or passtimes to see how I’ve progressed as a writer and as an overall human being (I may have been a bit quick to judge Buzzfeed up there). That’s what I’m going to do right now. So, below are comedy websites (or websites with comedy on them) that I used to frequent before Cracked came along and screwed everything up for them.

1. T-Shirt Hell

Ah, T-shirt Hell. I’ve known about this website  since 2003, which makes it the oldest comedy website that I visit. I remember my first shirt from there. It said, “What Would Jesus Do (for a Klondike Bar).” Over the ten years since my brother showed me that site, I’ve amassed a collection of 29 shirts. If you’ve ever seen a picture of me, then you’ve probably seen me wearing one of their shirts.

Like this picture from my Instagram:
IMG_0076

Or this one of me and my baby cousin Carter (who is wearing the T-Shirt Hell-Baby Hell shirt that I got for him):

Clearly, no one has ever taught me how to hold a baby.

Clearly, no one has ever taught me how to hold a baby.

Or this one where I display my patronage of Christmas and girl-on-girl action:
DSCN2425

What I’m getting at here is that I have a veritable fuck ton of these shirts, so part of the reason I stopped visiting there as often is because I really don’t need another T-shirt. Maybe ever. And since I’ve seen all the shirts that they have at least a thousand times, I think it’s a better use of my time to read dick jokes on Cracked.com and save paying attention to T-Shirt Hell whenever they send me a new shirt notification.

2. Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon was the biggest victim to my new found fan-ship of Cracked, which is particularly sad, since it was the website that introduced me to Cracked in the first place. A student I was tutoring introduced me to it back in November of 2008, and for the next, say, 10 months, I was Stumbling upon (Stumbleuponing?) random websites any time I was at a computer. Looking back, I was kind of like an internet hobo: riding the rails of Stumbleupon, traveling from website to website just looking for a laugh. You had to be a man back in those days. The only person who’s got your ass was you, and you could bet every penny remaining on your Amazon gift cards that that needle eyed bastard ShockerLovr69 was watching you, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce on top of you and pound you with rape jokes. Sure, I’ve seen men die- many from my own hands. But I ain’t no killer. No, no, I’m a survivor. Killin’ meant that you lived another day on the Stumbleupon railway…
…Jesus Christ. What the fuck am I talking about?

These guys don’t know. Lousy Hobos.

Anyway, after I found Cracked, I stopped visiting Stumbleupon entirely. And other than that brief period 2 years ago when God had forbidden me to use facebook and I needed another way to waste my time, I hadn’t been back on the site since. That is until about two weeks ago. Now, I mainly use it in a not well thought out attempt to find inspiration to write. It never works. I honestly should never get back on the site since I know it’s going to waste my time, and I absolutely do not want that. But how else will I find out about the crazy awesome new green-homes that are featured on Dornob.com? And another thing- Stumbleupon, please stop taking me to the websites I already frequent. I know I liked articles from the Onion, Vice Magazine, and Cracked, but I go to those sites all the time now. Anything you try to show me, I’ve probably already seen. Take me to a site I haven’t been to yet. No, not the last page of the internet. You’ve shown that to me on three separate occasions. The novelty has worn off, and I think we both know that I’m going to continue browsing.

And while I’m on the subject of seeing the same thing over and over again…

3. The Cheezburger Network
I cannot honestly say that I was ever a “fan” of The Cheezburger Network so much as “prey to one of their joke traps on Facebook.” What would happen was someone I knew would post something from the site, and in my moment of weakness, my curiosity would get the better of me and I would click on the link. The next thing I’d know, it’s three in the morning and I’m on page 40 of Roflrazzi reading a photo comic involving Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey McGuire. So while my stupid friends still occasionally post pictures from that internet shit gutter, I’ve long since chosen to stick with my Cracked articles that at least teach me something other than how we English Majors get a little too worked up over the differences between “Your,” and “You’re” when there are far worse atrocities being wrought upon our beloved language.
Note: I didn’t actually visit The Cheeseburger Network at the time of writing this because I’m trying to have this post up before Christmas.

1. Acid Cow

Ugh, this was a dark time in my comedy life. I visited this site heavily during Stumbleupon’s reign on my free time, and Acid Cow was one of the sites it directed me to. Back then, I only ever visited the website so that I could find funny pictures to make into motivational posters. I’ve long since given up making those posters if favor of jokes that are actually funny. During the year or so that I made those posters, I crapped out about 230 of them, with only a handful actually being funny enough for me to be only mildly embarrassed by them. Here’s the funniest one:

Slut

And that picture isn’t even from Acid Cow. That’s one I took in New Orleans of my one time friend, Lady Gaga fan, and potential mass murderer, Lady Caggiano. So, I essentially wasted all that time searching through Acid Cow’s bottomless pic dumps looking for funny pictures, only to use those pictures in what I would describe now as the dregs of my comedy writing career. I guess I shouldn’t credit Cracked.com with me no longer visiting this site, as it was more of my own new-found hatred of Motivational posters that did it. But I’d like to give credit to Cracked.com anyway. Thank you Cracked! You saved me from a life of telling not funny jokes over pictures that could be classified as the “Two and a Half Men” of pictorial comedy. You wonderful people are heroes.

Some more than others

As I was writing this post, I moseyed over to Acid Cow for the first time in at least three years to see if I found any of the pictures in the pic dump funny. Out of the 79 pictures in that dump, one made me laugh. And that was of the new Wendy’s spokesperson (You know, the red haired nymph that magically appears only to gloat over random people’s fast food choices) taking a wide mouthed and eyed bite at a sandwich. Shit. I’m so embarrassed by my past self.

5. Cyanide and Happiness

Oh man, I was fucking obsessed with this site before I discovered Cracked.com. I have my best friend and knife aficionado to thank for that. For those of you who don’t already know, Cyanide and Happiness is a web comic featuring crudely drawn stickish figures and all of their wacky, sometimes amoral, adventures. I was actually a pretty hardcore fan of the site until Stumbleupon came along and ruined everything. Here is probably my favorite comic they’ve ever made:

Recently, I liked the comic on Facebook, and now I get the latest comic strips on my news feed on a regular basis. And this brings me to a very important question: Why in the spinning tirade of fiery fucks did I ever stop visiting this site?! There is no excuse for it. For all the other sites I’ve mentioned, I’ve had a decent reason: I’ve matured as a writer, I found a better site, I have enough offensive shirts. But there is no excuse for me leaving Cyanide and Happiness. It’s a web comic- it’s not like it will suck up all of my time. Quite frankly, I’m ashamed of myself, and the only way to rectify this glaring mistake of mine is to go back and read every single comic of the last four years. So if you’ll please excuse me, I need to atone for my comedy sins.

Peace

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