I am a columnist and editor for Cracked.com. I am also a co-writer/co-star in the series Cracked After Hours. I saw an AMA request for Daniel O'Brien and thought, "Well, I'll probably do."

Comments: 1748 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

danielobrien1571 karma

Do you think doing a Reddit AMA is a legitimate excuse to not showing up to the office?

SorenBowie1430 karma

There's a guy in my house right now working on my stove. He says hello.

senator_mccarthy756 karma

Out of your fellow columnists, who do you suspect to be a member of the communist party?

SorenBowie1087 karma

Bucholz. That guy's Canadian and the maple leaf on their flag is red. Who do they think they're fooling?

ReadShift457 karma

Where do you get the ideas for all of the lists you guys do? Also, how much time and effort goes into fact-checking? How much control over the content of the website do you have? Is cracked.com owned by a larger parent company or is is pretty much its own entity?

Oh and thanks for doing this!

SorenBowie515 karma

That's a lot of questions!

Are articles are generate by the person who's name you see in the byline. Usually that's a freelancer who pitches us an idea in the writers' workshop.

We require sources for every article and we have a good sense of what's reliable and what isn't just from experience. We have a black list essentially of sources we don't allow. We also have a few fact checkers just to make sure nothing is egregious.

The editors will touch every article and video that goes up on the site. That doesn't mean we'll change anything but we all have a say.

Cracked is owned by a company called Demand Media but it functions differently than all the other sites owned by Demand Media.

Jess_than_three794 karma

Are articles are generate by the person who's name you see in the byline.

Wait a sec, you're an editor? ಠ_ಠ

SorenBowie474 karma

Eeesh. Sorry about that. I was trying to fly though this too quickly. Thanks for calling me out.

Mudkipman342 karma

How does it feel like to doing the After Hours series? I am a big Cracked fan and a big fan of the "Big Four" (You, Katie, O'Brien, and Swaim).

Have you ever smacked the shit out of Swaim?

How was making out with Katie during the Batman After Hours episode?

Why are you awesome?

End fan-boy mode

SorenBowie394 karma

I have never intentionally hit Michael. I may have accidentally once but I'm sure I was telling a story or something and I indicated into his face.

Making out with anyone on camera is not what you think. There are tons of people standing around holding a camera and holding a boom, and they are all tired and waiting for you to just fucking kiss so they can go home. There's nothing all that special about it.

Though I will say that when I was dressed as Batman, that felt pretty good to be kissing Catwoman.

redditacct312 karma

Thanks for being one of the few sites/mags with some original content.

The old writers for Mad and Cracked seemed to be geniuses, are any of them still around?

SorenBowie401 karma

Sadly, the writers from Cracked magazine (or the Cracked magazine you probably remember) are all gone. I'm sorry. You're stuck with us.

bmurphy518282 karma

Admit it; Katie was your first kiss

SorenBowie457 karma

Was it that obvious?

spiceXisXnice268 karma

What's the weirdest conversation you've had on the set of After Hours?

I love you.

SorenBowie762 karma

We've talked about whether Bill Murray ever raped Andie Macdowell's character in Ground Hog Day. That didn't make it into an episode.

[deleted]256 karma

Tell us eight things about yourself that would shock and amaze us and make sure to answer in two separate comments.

SorenBowie187 karma

Well done.

SorenBowie256 karma

OK, thanks everyone. I'm sorry if I didn't answer your questions. This is intense. There were a lot of great ones I didn't get to. Please feel free to ask me on facebook if I didn't answer yours. You were all very kind, I appreciate it.

KatAttk242 karma

What is your stance on sexual encounters with attractive strangers?

SorenBowie547 karma

I am, sadly, against. I'm the type of guy who likes to know middle names. Also I am engaged.

revengeryan210 karma

Is working for Cracked.com as awesome as I imagine it to be? Any highlights of your working day/week??

SorenBowie493 karma

Yes it is. The highlights are when Dan manages to hurt himself with a Nerf football at least once every four days.

The_Elf_Kicker184 karma

Is it possible to intern at Cracked?

Also, boxers or briefs? I just have to know.

SorenBowie418 karma

Yes, we've had interns before. I have no idea how you would go about applying. I guess send an email to the general inbox. I'm worthless when it comes to this sort of thing.

Boxer-briefs. I like structure in my life.

Numbah_Thirteen166 karma

Who is the funniest IRL? On a side note, Wheat Thins or Triscuits?

SorenBowie414 karma

Jack O'Brien, the editor in chief is the funniest.

Triscuits. Of fucking course.

anthrodalek155 karma

I've heard rumours that you are, in fact, a world-class gymnast. Could you please confirm or deny.

SorenBowie343 karma

That is a bold-faced lie constructed by Dan O'Brien. He is trying to emasculate me. And it's working.

mditoma150 karma

what is swaim like IRL?

SorenBowie313 karma

He's tall. Also he talks with his hands and wears a fedora.

smthngclvr147 karma

What's John Cheese like in person? I love his articles, but it seems like he'd be one of those guys that can really suck all the fun out of the room with a single anecdote.

SorenBowie231 karma

I've never actually met him in person. I've heard that when he and David Wong are together it's like Abbott and Costello. Is that not a timely enough reference?

They're like, uh, Ash and that one girl he hangs out with in Pokemon.

FinnSteffen143 karma

Are you at all related to David Bowie?

SorenBowie371 karma

Only spiritually.

eagle12006141 karma

I started reading Cracked about 2 years ago, and you are my favorite writer on there. You always get me to laugh one way or another. I liked the article where you kept sending livestock overseas through the charity program; pure gold. Where do you come up with this stuff? Do you just start with one small aspect and build on it, or do you usually have a plan for things when you start writing?

SorenBowie209 karma

I can't speak for all the columnists, but I panic for about four days without anything to write and then I'll finally settle on something and just do it. Once I start writing it gets a little easier, I realize where the jokes are supposed to be.

smameann134 karma

How awkward was the kiss with Katie?

SorenBowie353 karma

It was good. She was very gentle, which is something I need.

wardfunk121 karma

How in the world does one pronounce "Bucholz"?

SorenBowie302 karma

Buckles. I refuse to believe anything different.

shryne111 karma

If you weren't in the writing business, what would you see yourself doing?

SorenBowie280 karma

Leading wilderness trips. I'm a climber and a hiker.

dangerwillrobinson24100 karma

are you more of a dog person or cat person? Also which of your co-workers would be the most likely to rob a bank?

SorenBowie363 karma

I am a dog person. I do not trust cats at all. But I will begrudgingly pet one if it presents itself to me. I would choose to rob a bank with Seanbaby. He seems fast and I don't think he'd hesitate to shoot anyone who stepped out of line. In fact, those are generally the characteristics I look for in a friend.

KoulMomo91 karma

Dear Soren,

You make me feel inadequate as a male member of the species.

"After Hours" is awesome and hilarious, who writes what on that show? Do you each write your parts?

Basically, how does an episode of After Hours go from Inception to what we see on screen.

SorenBowie114 karma

You can always see the writer of each episode in the credits. The writers are usually Jack O'Brien, Dan O'brien, Michael Swaim or me. Robert Brockway wrote a phenomenal episode and throughout the process of rehearsal Katie Willert does a significant amount of work as well.

It's a ton of work between the idea and the final product with several meetings honing the script in between. There's actually not much improv on the day because by that point we think the script is so tight.

CaptainJoeMyers79 karma

If you could fight one extinct creature, what would it be? Would you use that creature for a pizza topping? Based on this comment alone, would you write me a letter of recommendation for grad-school?

SorenBowie165 karma

If I could fight one creature it would be the pterodactyl. I don't really like my odds but, man, what would people even SAY at the wake?

TheBreener73 karma

How did you come up with your 'character' that you use in your articles? And is everyone's 'character' a kind of over-exaggerated version of themselves or a certain part of their personality?

SorenBowie141 karma

It just seemed to fit really well and no one else was doing it. I can't really get away with the self effacing stuff because everyone's immediate reaction is, "Oh, fuck you." So I went all the way in the other direction. Also I grew up in Aspen.

Constantine_Predator70 karma

What is David Wong like? And how does one "Squancho"?

SorenBowie156 karma

David Wong is the smartest person I've ever met in my entire life. He not only catalogs information in his brain but he knows how to develop unique ideas and strange hypotheses around it. He's incredibly analytical.

fahqredd66 karma

Did the crash of Digg have an effect on Cracked traffic at all? Cracked was always front page when Digg was at it's peak.

SorenBowie123 karma

Not really. At first we saw a dip but by that point we weren't really relying on Digg for the majority of our traffic. Now if Facebook crumbled today, we would probably be in trouble.

attack_panic65 karma

How much can you bench press? I'm going to be a little disappointed if it's not at least 100x my body weight.

SorenBowie198 karma

two hundred and fifty thousand pounds. But I can only do three reps.

zombalicious63 karma

Big fan, have talked to you on Facebook before, and I just wanna say that you are amazing and thank you so much for doing this! Now to my question, for the article that you wrote about turning a scam emailer into a hero, were the emails real? They just seem so believable and it seems like something you would do to one of those douche bag spammers.

SorenBowie138 karma

Those emails were 100% real. I paint myself into a corner sometimes by doing a lot of fake letters and emails, but some of them are actually real. That also means that I've written tons of letters that never panned out. I have one email exchange with Jose Canseco that I can never publish.

EpsilonShawn57 karma

Are there cubicles? Are they personalized? Is there photo-documentation?

SorenBowie114 karma

Yes, there is an ID scan so don't bother trying to break in.

ernieacon56 karma

Where do you film Cracked After Hours?

SorenBowie104 karma

We film at a restaurant called the Los Feliz Cafe in Atwater Village, Los Angeles.

dontmutemeplz56 karma

What's your favorite ARTICLE on that website

SnareEmu50 karma


SorenBowie186 karma

We spread the lists across two pages because people are more likely to read something when it's bite-sized chunks. It's the same reason we write lists. There's less of a commitment when your scroller isn't the size of a pinhead, and we feel like we can win you over through the first page because our content is good.

On a bigger a note, I guess I don't understand what the problem is. It's literally as easy as the push of a button to read the rest of the article. Is everyone so jaded that pushing a button sounds like too much work?

dushanbe449 karma

Aside from your own, whose writing do you generally like the most?

SorenBowie155 karma

I think Dan O'Brien and Seanbaby are consistently the funniest writers on Cracked but David Wong writes articles that will change the way you see the world. Brockway is still my favorite though because his goal is always to terrify you just a little bit while making you laugh, and I really appreciate that.

ToiletNinjas43 karma

Do you get very much man-on-the-street recognition? Swarms of fangirls swooning at your feet?

Do the girls always end up asking for Swaim's number by the end of the convo?

...can I have Swaim's number?

SorenBowie76 karma

We get recognized sometimes. I get it a lot less than Dan and Michael. Crowds will form around Michael, it's incredible. I've even taken pictures for people of Michael. It's a nice humbling moment.

I_Am_Jacques42 karma

Are there actual (non-acting) people around when you guys film After Hours? Do people ever get up in your business when you film? I would ask if internet fame has ever gotten you laid, but if your articles are any indication then that's a silly question.

SorenBowie88 karma

We film After Hours from about 6pm to 6am. The place is closed while we film so the only people around are crew and extas. It would be impossible to film while the restaurant was open. Not because we're famous or anything, but because plates and people are really loud.

TeletextPear41 karma

Are the Cracked columnists friends in real life or do you all secretly hate each other? Or openly hate each other?

SorenBowie74 karma

We are all really good friends. At least those of us who live in the same area. Sometimes Seanbaby will come down to visit and that's always fun.

whiteguycash41 karma

Why do most people on the internet seem functionally retarded?

SorenBowie113 karma

Because you're only seeing the worst and the worst people just happen to be loud. Just remember that nothing is personal and that there's a very specific reason everyone feels the need to troll or tear something down.

Unless you're including me in that statement, in which case I can't tell you for sure. Probably on account of the retardedness.

freshpotatoes39 karma

What's your favourite porno?

SorenBowie82 karma

Candy Stripers.

avoidpi32 karma

Coke or Pepsi?

SorenBowie200 karma

Dr. Pepper or nothing.

SorenBowie242 karma

If this somehow doesn't earn me a sponsorship I'm going to be very upset.

beakanoma30 karma

Regarding any inaccuracies in Cracked articles or videos (ex: there were a few points made in the 'Harry Potter' episode of "After Hours" that, as a 'HP' fanboy, I know are incorrect), do you feel it's the responsibility of the writers to get everything right or the readers / viewers to be able smart enough and capable enough to do their own research? (I would personally say the latter, but I'm wondering what you think.)

SorenBowie64 karma

We definitely have an obligation to be factually correct. If we made a mistake, we're very sorry. We try to be as true to the original source as possible because each argument should be grounded in truth. That said, we have the same Internet as everyone else. If there's something we left out or didn't mention, there's usually a good reason for it.

shmigumpeny26 karma

Soren are you working on anything ouside of Cracked.com? Like a book? Or a movie? Or videos? I really loved all of your 5 minute videos on Youtube. Please do more.

SorenBowie117 karma

I wrote a book but no one wants to publish it. It's about a family that goes to the desert one summer and it gets so hot that dogs start eating each other. There's also a sexual predator who stands outside a girl's window each night. It's very funny.

triksterx25 karma

Do you guys have title generation software for your list articles, or is someone actually coming up with all that stuff on their own?

SorenBowie47 karma

We do not have title generation software. Each article comes to us as a pitch first. The titling happens at the end, once the article is finished and we title based on what we've seen be successful in the past.

no_more_lurking_now23 karma

The subjects of the articles written by you and the other writers varies so much, which topics tend to get the most interest and feedback?

SorenBowie79 karma

The "X things you didn't know about being ______." Do really really well because people are genuinely interested. When I write about fighting turkeys or the best kinds of monkeys, usually those aren't huge traffic drivers but I still love doing them.

eeviltwin23 karma

If you, Swaim, and O'Brien all had to switch bodies with each other for the rest of your lives, and you got to to decide who gets which body, what would you do? Would you choose for your own benefit, or to spite Swaim and/or O'Brien?

SorenBowie57 karma

I would do the selfless thing and let them decide, then I would take whatever was left over. I've had it pretty good until now, I think I could turn one of those other busted heaps into something useable.

Honestly though, Dan is more in shape and probably stronger than I am now. He runs marathons and everything. That might be an upgrade minus the freakishly long torso.

bn2021 karma

You take a daily user submissions, so I have two quesitons:

How much do you edit their article when a user submits? Is it a "you aren't funny, let me try" or do you leave them as is?

And also, what are some of the dumbest articles you've received?

SorenBowie29 karma

We usually work with the writers from the pitch stage so we know that they have great ideas to start with. From there, I'm always impressed with how well they understand the voice of the site and the sophistication of their humor. We've had to do completely rewrites before but we also have some articles that we barely have to touch.

therealbighairy18 karma

Hi, Soren.

Curious to know if there is any rivalry between the east cost staff (Gladstone, ATB, e.t.c.) and yourselves on the west coast?

SorenBowie83 karma

Yes. This is heating up to be Biggie and Tupac all over again. We never learn. We never learn.

lmxbftw11 karma

What topics have you wanted to address in After Hours, but have not been able to yet?

SorenBowie30 karma

All the dead moms in 90's sitcoms. Full House, My Two Dads, Blossom...think about it.

pinkstapler10 karma

Any tips for those of us aspiring to contribute to cracked.com and other comedic endeavors? How do you develop a funny idea/premise into a full column that remains entertaining throughout?

SorenBowie36 karma

Keep writing. If you are submitting to Cracked in our writer workshop, keep submitting. Our feedback will tell you exactly what direction you need to go. We will essentially work with you throughout your entire pitch because just turning everything down doesn't help us at all. We want you to succeed because we need to fill the slots on our front page every day.