I'm So Happy You Called

Jason Batchko

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It was 1996. No one had a mobile phone. You had a phone in your apartment. A land line. And you had an answering machine, your most precious device. There were real live humans doing what they called telemarketing back then. Sometimes you'd get two or three calls in a single day. To an emerging phone pranks artist, this was precious raw material.

Recorded by Chicago drummer and songwriter Jason Batchko, these conversations have been making the rounds among phone prank connoisseurs, bootleg comedy fans, musicians in vans and hard-laughers everywhere for over 20 years. Just a man and his answering machine, trying to amuse, confuse and possess unsuspecting telemarketers, and creating a world of bizarre characters in the process: the kindly old woman who’s "just found out" she’s Jewish, The Shaolin Priest, Ms. Carton Boxx, the excitable weirdo with a poor grasp of the insurance industry, and Jonn ("jay-o-en-en!"). Telemarketers, they and many more were each so happy you called.

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