Part 1 of a 3 part series on comedy CDs – specifically, prank call albums! Dedicated to my best bud, Peter.
THE JERKY BOYS – The Jerky Boys (1993 Select)
When this album came out back in 1993, it wasn’t available in Canada yet. Somehow, my best friend Peter caught wind of it. I think he read about the Jerky Boys in the Toronto Sun. Regardless, he knew it was available in the US. With a trip already planned for Frankenmuth, Michigan in April of ’93 (right after final exams), Peter and I made the trip with a secondary mission: acquire a copy of The Jerky Boys. On cassette, so we could listen to it on the way back home.
Mission accomplished. We listened to that tape (I upgraded to CD later on) non-stop in the van. Literally, non-stop. As in, flip the tape, start over. And then do it again. The whole time there, and the whole way home. Within days we had started calling people “jerky” and incorporated words like “sizzlechest” into our daily vernacular.
That was a long time ago and Peter and I are older (and wiser?) now. But we both still like that first Jerky Boys album. I guess it’s because when I was a kid, I used to prank call people all the time. That was the 1980’s and well before caller ID. If we only could have mastered our craft, maybe we would have been like the Jerky Boys! If only we knew you could have made money doing this!
Anyway, long story short, this CD is for people with immature senses of humour, like me. It’s all prank phone calls, all real, mostly hilarious. There are several “characters” (played by Johnny Brennan and Kamal) who perform the calls. Most of the time, they’re responding to ads in newspapers. Businesses abused by the Jerky Boys include lawyers, doctors and car dealerships. Highlights for Peter and I were:
* “Auto Mechanic” – This was our favourite. Johnny B is looking for a job, because at his old job he had problems with his “fucking boss”.
* “Egyptian Magician” – Kamal calls up a nightclub to audition his magic act. His magic tricks include “stabbing customer in eye with sabre” and “sicking a mountain cat on the crowd.” (He is advised not to bring the mountain cat for his first show.)
* “Car Salesman” – He can sell anything, but don’t ask him why he wants to commute that distance. That’s his business, jerky!
* “Sushi Chef” – The caller repeatedly punctuates his sentences with the unintelligible words “Unnn gahhhh!” much to the confusion of the sushi restaurant.
* “Dental Malpractice” – I’m sure the receptionist answering the phone at this office knew it was a prank, but she doesn’t let on.
* “Sol’s Glasses” – The character of Sol can’t see goddammit, and wants new glasses. One problem – he’s not on file. He manages to keep them on the call for 3 minutes without cracking up!
Of the 21 tracks of obscene, juvenile humour, most of these are winners. Even though I’m supposed to be a grown man, I still laughed upon hearing “The Home Wrecker”. “Jocko Johnson” has split up with his wife and he wants to hire someone to tear her goddamn house down! I still find it amazing that people didn’t just hang up, proving there’s a fool born every minute. Same with “Super Across the Way”. As soon as somebody says, “Look jerky, I don’t need to talk to you!” I would be hanging up! But in New York (where the Jerky Boys are from) perhaps that’s just not the way.
Most tracks are from 1-3 minutes in length, and have a respectable laugh-per-minute ratio.