So the prompt is “write a blog post inspired by the word: cracked,” and all I can think of is Cracked Magazine.
They’re out of business now, although the website Cracked.com is still going, albeit with a much more adult tone. It got its start back in 1958, after seeing what success Mad Magazine had. It was obviously a rip-off of Mad, but for some reason managed to hang around until 2007, so it lasted just short of fifty years.
I rarely read the magazine. I had Mad, and that got me through my high school years. I’d pick up a Cracked, usually while I was in the store buying Mad, flip through it, and always came to the conclusion that it would be a waste of money to buy it. Of course, a lot of artists and writers from Mad ended up at Cracked, most notably Don Martin, for years “MAD’s Maddest artist,” who had a falling out with the publisher of Mad and probably did it as a public way of extending both middle fingers at his former employer.
This is the kind of thing that happens all the time, not just in the entertainment business, but in business in general: someone comes up with an original idea, and when it turns out to be a smash everyone else tries to do the same thing. Sometimes what the competitor’s version turns out better than the original, but usually not. That happens a lot with movies, one of the many reasons Mary and I don’t go to them anymore.