I Laughed Until I Cried; Then I Laughed Some More

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I love crank calls.

I lived with Dolores, an old high school friend for a few months back in 1979.   We were both in college and living in Austin at the time.  We were broke students, working for skimpy hourly wages and and trying to survive.  We couldn’t afford to do much–entertainment had to come cheap, so we had to imrpovise.  We discovered that one form of very inexpensive fun was to crank call the fraternity houses at UT  This was in the days prior to the advent of Caller ID, so it was easy to do. 

Dolores would get on the other phone and I would, in  my most affected radio voice, tell them that was with a certain station and we were live on the air and that the Sigma Tau Delta house had been chosen to participate in the “Name That Song” contest and if the lucky frat rat who answered the phone could identify the tune he was about to hear, he’d win a cool ONE THOUSAND dollars.

I’d ask them if they were ready and when they answered in the affirmative.  I’d let out this big, loud sound of human  flatulence. 

Silence on the other end.

Dolores and I tried our best to withhold our laughter.  I’d regain my composure and I’d say “Sir, I can give you one hint.  This song made it to number three on the TOP FARTY!!!!!”  

Then when could no longer contain ourselves and would hang up laughing maniacally.

I’ve been a fan of crank calls ever since and on fortunately, they’re all over the You Tube.

I found a few this past weekend and some were so funny and made me laugh so hard, I felt like I had just done 500 sit-ups…and we know THAT didn’t happen.

Cable access stations with shows that take phone calls are prime targets of crank callers.

C-SPAN gets its fair share, too.

This is a prank call to a some fried chicken joint.  

People who have Internet radio shows are lucky.  There are no FCC  profanity  restrictions.  The hosts and their guests can cusss on the air like Teamsters.  

This one is so very,very strange.

But this video?  In terms of crank calls, THIS ONE takes the cake.  

This is C.B. Walker, a ‘psychic’ who for years, had his own cable access show in New York City.  The genius behind this madness is Dario Priester who created the character and the show several years ago.  Priester says he wanted a comedy show that was really “anti-comedy”.  It was never supposed to be funny;  it was to appear real and that’s what makes it funny.  The focus from the very beginning was to get as many crank callers as possible.  From what I understand, the majority of the  “too hip, can’t fool me’ New Yorkers were oblivious to this fact for most of the show’s three year duration on local public access.   This worked to Priester’s advantage because the show, the host he created and the subject matter lended itself a plethora of calls every time he went on the air…and always with hilarious results.  

Check out CB’s website and his other videos (and each one has the same lousy camera angle) on You Tube.

Good stuff.   

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