The Jerky Boys

Phabulous Phone Phunnies!

Phuck oph

*special introductory paragraph!
*The Jerky Boys
*"Stop Staring At Me!"
*Once A Jerk Always A Jerk (by Kamal)
*The Jerky Tapes

The Jerky Boys were two guys from NYC who made prank phone calls and recorded them. For like TEN YEARS. Eventually, the novelty wore off - and sales SKYROCKETED!!!!! ("Skyrocketed" is a synonym for "went down the shitter," right?) Personally, I love their calls because they have this little group of fictional characters that just cracks me up to no end. But let me move on to the first album review, and I can discuss the characters there.

The Jerky Boys - Select 1993
Rating 8

Just like the uproarious television series I haven't watched since Terry Sweeney was on it Saturday Night Live, The Jerky Boys have characters. Characters you love, characters you hate - but mostly characters that just crack the shit out of that little hole between your legs (if you have no arms and you're watering the lawn). There's Frank Rizzo, who uses a former mayor's name that nobody seems to recognize and screams like a maniac to get what he wants. He calls people names like "liverlips," sarcastically announces "I'm very proud of ya!" in inappropriate moments and screams about having problems with his "fuckin' boss." He cares not for anybody's feelings and seems to have no idea that his abrasiveness is a liability, especially when he's trying to get a new job and he ends his calls with comments like "I'll be there tomorrow with my tools, Fuckface!" So that's Frank Rizzo. Oh, sweet sweet Frank Rizzo.

Then there's Sol Rosenberg. Oh my sweet jesus Sol Rosenberg. Played by the same guy who plays Frank (a guy named Johnny Brennan), Sol is a meek, nervous, neurotic Jewish man who seems to have no real sense of what is coming out of his mouth or how to deal with even the most simple situations - when he realizes he can't see and decides to make an eye appointment, he tells the optometrist that he'll "bring all my shoes and my glasses with me so I will have them." When he gets the tar beaten out of him at work, he calls a lawyer to complain that his FEELINGS were hurt and he wants to sue. He's funny as shit, just as Woody Allen is shit.

Then there's Jack Tors. I'm not sure if he calls himself Jack Tors on this one - quite frankly, on this early stuff, they hadn't quite worked out all their characters and some of the calls are just basic prank calls where they say weird things like they want a construction company to demolish their ex-wife's house while she's out of town so they can put up a hot dog stand. But anyway, Jack Tors, portrayed yet again by Johnny Brennan, is a very very effeminate gay man who does things like trying to get construction worker jobs even though he got beat mercilessly at his last worksite for wearing frilly pink clothes around, and applying for dancing jobs by claiming that he pulls large pieces of furniture out of his ass. He's gay and that ain't no jay!

Then there's the other guy - Kamal. He usually plays the "foreign" guys like Ali Kamal (sp?) who goes to a dentist and wakes up to discover that they've molested him, Tarbash the Magician who beats the hell out of animals on stage and Kessel (I think he plays Kessel - please let me know if I'm wrong), who talks superslow and idiotic, as if he's drunk every second of the day.

Let me just cut to the chase here - these two guys are funny. Most of the calls are so oddball and hilarious, you will be FLABBERGASTED that the people on the receiving end stay on the line for so long. But I guess if you're at your work of business, you aren't really EXPECTING calls like this, so when they happen, you just sort of go with the flow to see what happens. I like the characters they're developing, the "stupid, loud" attitude they're adopting and the way that Elizabeth Shaheen took me into a girl's dorm room to let me hear the tape for the first time with a group of her friends, who were all girls.

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2 - Select 1994.
Rating 6

Not every prank phone call is funny. In fact, some of them ("Sol's Warts," "Breast Enlargement," "Scaffolding") seem to chiefly involve using words like "ass" on the phone to see how professionals will react. There's nothing clever in that. So what you do under such circumstances is pick other names out of the phone book and make MORE calls until something funny happens. You don't just throw unfunny calls on a CD and release it to the world at large! You just don't DO that! Remember that call that my friend Scott Haggard made when we were 10 years old, offering "Ayatollah Khomeini Toilet Paper"? Or when I called that woman asking if Santa Claus was there, and when she replied, "Who are you trying to call?," I answered, "None of your concern, you old bag!" Those weren't funny. So we didn't release them on a CD. It had NOTHING to do with the fact that CD technology wasn't out yet and we didn't have a contract with a record label. It was because we had RESPECT for our audience and didn't want to subject them to substandard prank phone calls when better ones could so quickly and easily be obtained.

Some of it's funny though, especially when they get an unexpected response from their victims. Like when the foreign guy (Tarbash? I don't know if he has a name yet) calls a lawyer crying that he delivered a pizza to the wrong house and got punched in the nose. She gets SO PISSED OFF at him when he won't stop crying! It's awesome, dude! Where's my car? And Frank Rizzo's rude-as-SHIT attempt to sell stolen diamonds to a reputable jeweler is one of the funniest things they've EVER done. Every single person he speaks to gets SO pissed at him! You'd have to hear me to believe you! The oddest calls, though, are the ones where they somehow end up making the person believe the ridiculous scenario they're pitching. Like when Frank Rizzo calls a security company because he "feels insecure," and within four minutes has the guy agreeing to help make him feel secure and beat him around for $100 an hour. Or when Sol Rosenberg convinces an old woman that her son runs a nudist camp. Just hoot-roarious! So why the baddies? Come now.

I told you to come but you were already there! God, the walls was shakin'! The earth was quakin'! And several thousand people in Turkey were killed.

Reader Comments
How can you give this album a lesser rating than the third? This album is a CLASSIC in every way!! Yes, the humor is a little different, a little stupid, and very simple, but it's hilarious! Maybe the reason why nobody has heard a lot about them is because they don't talk about sex and drugs. Maybe the reason nobody really ever took the time to listen to their material is because they don't compare to this trendy bullshit humor I've been hearing a lot of the past few years (ie, Jack Black, Adam Sandler, South Park, etc.). Nothing pisses me off more than someone reciting lines from "The Goat"...if all it takes to make people laugh is to be able to do a good impression of a foreigner (usually Mexican) and talk about sex and drugs, then throw in a few trendy buzzwords or phrases and a "Dude" here or there, comedy's getting pretty fucking sad. This album is a freakin' gem. I will admit, there are a couple of tracks that are a little boring (Sex Therapy, Pico's Mexican Hairpiece) but they are more than made up for by some of the funniest Jerky Boys calls (Sol's Nude Beach, Sol's Warts, Terrorist Pizza, Breast Enlargement). And I personally thought that the Jerky Boys got worse as they went on. 1 was great, 2 was great, 3 was Alright, 4 was Fair, and anything after that was uncreative schlock. They seemed to have ran out of ideas and characters. It seemed as if they were just calling people up to cuss them out or fuck with them. Oh well, I'll shut up now. Just remeber, this isn't an attack. It's simply the opinion of a guy who is fed up with the "mainstream" in America. Thanks for your time.
it wasen't frank rizzo that called the security company half of the shit on your page is wrong your just a complete moron
Bottom line:

Jerky Boys 2 is the funniest of the collection. Everyone I know that has heard them agrees as well
Pet cobra rules!! Having a hard time finding any of the collection around here. Way better than CrankYankers!

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3 - Mercury 1996.
Rating 7

Let us briefly discuss the purpose of a prank phone call, for those of you who have never experienced its wonders first-hand. The key components are that the call (A) is clever and/or funny, and that it either (B1) tricks the person on the other end into believing a non-truth or (B2) pisses them off so they say funny things back to you. Now I'd be happy to go through every single Jerky Boys call one by one to let you know how each fare towards meeting these 2 points, but I'm using the term "happy" quite loosely there, and to be honest I'd rather leave the apartment without my toupee than waste time on such a fruitless project as a Stills/Nash LP. So here's what's new on the third Jerky Boys CD:

INCOMING CALLS! They have begun placing their own personal ads in the New York Press and pranking people who call IN to respond! Who on earth expects to be pranked when THEY are the dialers? This is candy-dandy stuff! Unheard of since the days that Jerry Lewis pretended to be his bumbling assistant! Unheard of since the days that Jerry Lee Lewis proceeded to nail his prenatal third cousin! Other updates from the Wrath of Khan include new characters Curly G. (only one appearance for this pathetic failed rap artist but BAMM! Is it a funny one!), Rosine (a slut that doesn't need to show up more than once, quite frankly, even though she IS pretty darn foon-wah!), oddball Bostonite Mike Derucki (who places an ad in the paper and then refuses to let anybody come by to see what he's selling), a foreigner named Nikos who is completely impossible to understand and MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! A HILAROUS YOSEMITE SAM-STYLE CHARACTER THAT IS SO LARGER-THAN-LIFE, HIS VERY PRESENCE GIVES ME A YOKO BONE-O - big ol' bad ass bob the cattle rustler. Now sir, you have to be pretty slow on the draw to NOT realize that you're being pranked when somebody calls you on the phone and says, "Howdy ma'am! This here's Big Ol' Bad Ass Bob The Cattle Rustler!" But indeed, people are less "streetwise" than you might think. BOBABTCR is such a goof - his whole persona can be summed up by his response to a normal person responding to a normal ad about some lawn maintenance equipment that's for sale. BOBABTCR's response to this normal request = "Well son, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you was a regular JACKASS!"

Plus the calls are getting more surreal and sideways-minded, like one where Tarbash calls who-knows-who asking for who-knows- what, and keeps interrupting the call with the ring of a desk bell and the statement "Stop that - stop that." Or the way Mike Derucki calls a place asking for new awnings and spends the whole call screaming off-phone at his workers at the top of his lungs. Or the way a drunken Kissel calls up a serious voice lesson instructor and wails "Happy Anniversary!" and other classics WAY out of tune while the teacher tries to figure out what exactly is happening to him on this fine Bresctober Morn.

Some of `em suck though and let's not pretend they don't. "Safety Gates"? More like "Unfunny Words," if you

My tummy hurts. Say - I thought up an ingenious way for parents to keep their kids from having sex - get them interested in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy! Trust me - NO fan of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy will be having sex any time soon.

Reader Comments (Adam Hammack)
Suck my fucking balls you ass-wipe. (Intelligent public discourse, indeed...)

I F@*%&ING LOVE "Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and I can assure you I am no twenty-two year old virgin. Hell, the first time I ever got laid it was while I was reading the chapter where the whale and the bowl of petunias materialize forty stories up in the air and are forced to come to grips with their all-too-short existence before meeting their new friend "the ground" several moments later. And it was with pornography stars Asia Carrerra and Jenna Jameson. They got so horny from Douglas Adams' hot hot HOT use of really funny off-kilter metaphor that they just jumped my bones unholy. So there.

(To bring up a very cogent argument I like to re-iterate each time Prindle says something that pisses me off: "You shouldn't expect anything more from him; after all, he likes Everclear.)

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4 - Mercury 1997.
Rating 7

One can't help but notice (not ice! Water!) that Kamal's participation in these CDs is growing dimmer by the day. On the last CD, he was only on 6 or 7 of the calls - on this one, that number is down to 5IVE. So The Jerky Boys is really The Jerky Boy With A Friend Chipping In Every Once In A While. In a nationally televised interview, I asked them why they didn't just change their band name to this and they said it was because the original bassist owned the rights to that name and they couldn't afford a lawsuit at this pivotal juncture in their career. So instead they chose the name Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Powell. And the rest is herstory!

Sol is still crackin' `em up on this one, saying "Sir! Sir!" to people who are clearly women, shouting "HELLO? HELLO!" as if he thinks the person has hung up when it is clear that the person hasn't actually hung up, and answering "Thank you!" in entirely inappropriate moments. Tarbash also strikes a winning moment during a 3-minute call that basically involves little elves making funny noises and kicking him in the head and stuff while the poor woman on the other end tries to figure out what in Damnation Alley (ah! Killer roaches!) is going on.

But please - "Hello Ray (The Phone Man)"? "Spider Monkey"? "Mining For Scotty"? Notes to keep in mind - (A) It's not funny when the person on the end doesn't react at all, (B) It's not funny just to say you're beating the shit out of a monkey, (C) making fun of foreigners who can't understand what you're saying is pretty weak comedy, Tom Green, and (ABC) "Don't shoot that poison arrow!"

But nobody, I'm pretty sure, asked for a novelty dance number called "Jerky Baby Jerk" at the end. Perhaps this song was from the Academy Award winning motion picture film The Jerky Boys which I can't seem to find in any of my local video stores presumably because it is always rented out by university professors demonstrating "perfection in cinema" to their mathematics classes.

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"Stop Staring At Me!" - Mercury 1999.
Rating 6

Pushpedals, but this is totally Johnny Brennan's project now, with only THREE contributions by Kamal (all hilarious though, especially a confusing call to a stupefied worker at a Chinese restaurant, during which Kamal changes the entire plot of the call five different times before asking her to go see The Lion King with him - HA!). The biggest problem with The Jerky Boys is prevalent all over this one - overreliance on cursing and aggression, without any attempt to infuse intelligence or novelty into it. There are only so many times you can hear somebody say, "He hit me in my cocks!" before it's just not funny anymore. One jolly anointment they add, though, is an ages old joke that you would assume everybody would know about by now, but apparently not. This is the call in which you pretend that the person on the other line has called YOU. Then they argue that this is not the case, and a dumb little argument erupts. Somehow Johnny manages to pull this off twice on this CD and make it FUNNY. The best is when he picks up the phone and shouts, "Frank's Pickle Barrel Ass!" when he calls a pickle company. When he "finds out" that it's a pickle company, he excitedly shouts, "Oh! You sell pickles? So do I! This is Frank's Pickle Barrel Ass!" And the person on the other end doesn't even seem to process the fact that this is about the stupidest store name since "Lettuce Souprise You."

Or how about the one where Frank Rizzo responds to a classified ad about "scrap" and defensively shouts "What, you wanna scrap with me? You've never even MET me!" Or the stupid call by Jack Tors where you can clearly hear a vibrator and moaning in the background. Am I crazy or is this stuff somehow - I don't know - funnier than those cheerleaders on Saturday Night Live?

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Once A Jerk, Always A Jerk (by Kamal) - Deep South 2000.
Rating 5

If there's one artist that is sufficiently important and compelling to DEMAND his own solo album in today's stale musical climate, it is, of course, Nick Knox, a guy who used to play drums for The Cramps about 15 years ago. But until that day comes, we'll have to listen to disposable shit salad like this godfucking Kamal CD. Apparently, Kamal now fancies himself not only a telephone prankster auteur, but indeed a humorical comedy writer in the vein of Michael O'Donohue or somebody who wrote for Fridays. Four SKITS make their way onto this tiny metallic LP - one of which if sunny! Fit's so sunny! It's Rodney Dangerfield at the Million Man March, telling zingers like "I tell ya, about halfway here I realized I left my door unlocked. I was gonna turn around and go back, but then I realized, `What am I worried about? You're all HERE!'" Then there are two skits that have their moments in space and time, but are not as tight and upper-turnable-mouth-cornery as that. ONE is a gay version of The Godfather. ONE is an Abbott and Costello parody called "Arab and Kostelowitz," featuring their most famous routine "Who Was Here First?" Politically informed? Yes! Funny? Mmmm. It's okay. But the final routine skit thing, and you can ask my wife to vouch for me here, is the least funny seven minutes in the history of rock and roll. Including the Chevy Chase album. INCLUDING Gallagher. INCLUDING every no-talent two-bite Seinfeld-wants-to-be comic you encounter at your local watering hole (vagina). The "Degenerate Dating Game" SUCKS OUT LOUD AND SUCKS OUT PROUD.

As for the calls, a few are good; most rely too much on the phrase "my cocks" and whatnot. But who wouldn't enjoy the humor of "Spanish Lessons," in which an Indian man (from India, not the Indians that were born in the good old U.S. of A. like a true American) rips a language school a new ass for supposedly teaching his son SPANISH instead of English? HEEEEEE! So now the father speaks Indian or whatever stupidass language, Hindu or whate - I mean, they're not valid and they don't show up on any census so let's not spend too much time on them, and his kid speaks Mexican!. Then there's a "Dance Loop" called "I'm An Angel" followed by four "special bonus calls" by some redneck man who goes so far beyond the realm of "not funny at all" that he'd might as well call his work "Serious Phone Calls That Contain Untrue Statements." If I were to take those calls into account, this CD would get a 3 without a doubt. But I'm a nice guy! Eeeey! I'm a nice guy! Fuhgeddaboutit! Ayyy! Have a hot tamale! Ayyyy! So I'll give it a very low 5. On accounta the uproariously rude "Kissel Photographer" call and the legendary classic early Jerky Boys demo track "X-Rated Hotel," which for some reason was never included on any of their proper CDs. Which is odd, because Christians love the term "skull fuck."

Do you think the Mafia is going to come to my house and kill me because of that "Italian" bit I did a few sentences ago? I wasn't actually making FUN of them. I was just writing in dialect.

If I wanted to make FUN of them, I'd go into the whole "smelly greaseball goon" thing. But then those damned Jets would come after me, and believe you me, when one is a Jet, one is a Jet all the way, from one's first cigarette to one's last dying day.

Oh no! Here come the (warm) Jets! Like Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell! Someone got in their way! Someone don't feel too well!

(I hope the Jets were Italian - if they weren't, this joke isn't gonna make any sense at all!)

(Especially to stupid Wops!)

(Kidding. Don't kill me.)

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The Jerky Tapes - 2001.
Rating 6

This appears to be old calls. There's only nine of them, and they're all really long. In fact, they spend literally a good half of the CD talking to this angry Flower Lady. It's hilarious at first, as they confuse her with various voices and nonsensicals, but hooee does it wear thin by the fifteenth minute or so (until Big Ol' Bad Ass Bob The Cattle Rustler shows up out of nowhere with a sturdy "Ma'am, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you was a regular jackass!")

Both Kamal and Johnny are featured, as well as a third voice to serve as "straight man" on a few of the calls. Bits are funny - it's just that long prank calls get really dull.

My workplace just laid off about seventy-billion people and we merged with this super-corporate place. You know how, with 40 hours a week, you should have 160 billable hours a month? My old place required 120 (because you spend time in meetings, bathroom, lunch, etc). This new place requires 180. I found out yesterday that I have been given 195 BILLABLE HOURS for the month of February. And I was on vacation for a week! That means that, to reach my billable hour mark, I would have to work 13 hours a day. And believe me, I'd rather be Designated Sniffer at a LAN party than waste away in the Chrysler Building like some kind of businessman dickhead.

Which is what I am, by the way. A businessman dickhead. Suit and tie everyday! Mingle with the blue-collars? Fooee! It's all martinis and blowjobs for Ol' Prind.

Oh hell, did I say "martinis and blowjobs"? I of course meant "farts, peenies and Kojack."

Reader Comments
Well- ok so I haven't heard this alblum. But if you like funny prank calls- d/l "Dat Cereal Bawx" by Group X (The allstar Arabian Rappers). Its so damn funny! If you don't like it your family is going to get killed- so you'd better like it! (Abdiassis E. Ahmed)
Ever heard of the one? When Sol Rosenberg calls this welding place, and wants them to put him in big old iron-box, weld it shut, so he can masturbate in it, before they but his wife inside the box and then throw the box in the sea? And then he asks the receptions if she could masturbate with him in the box.

. What about the one (I don't remember which character Johnny used) he calls duck-cleaning company and tells them, that him and his grandson went shooting up some ducks, now they got pile of dead ducks and they don't know how to clean them...The lady on the other side of the phone cranks up and says ....No! no no we don't clean that kind of ducks we clean air-ducks and Johnny says, yes they (The ducks) were flying up in the air before they got shot, so they were air ducks. Now they lady on the phone goes berserk laughing.

. what about the one (I don't remember the name again Johnny used) calls up this lady who was selling a dresser and he says I want to buy the dresser because he has gotten too old to dress himself up, and now is looking for a dresser (Person) who can help him dress up.....And the lady goes no no no this is peace of furniture not a person who will help you get dressed, and Johnny goes no ma'am I don't need you to dress me up I'm married no thank you....
I see you are very fond of the Jerky Boys you prick. Well suck my cock. Part 1...2...3...4...............who gives a fuck! All of em that I've heard were pretty damn funny!(1,2,4) You seem to have a decent knowledge of music because some of the wise cracks were non sensical to most. Taking shots at Yes and I thought there might have been a bit in there about Brian Eno....well that was just great, you punk! Keep up the good diabolical uh... dialoguical well whatever.

Yours Truly,
Shit Head
there are 2 calls i have been looking for, for years now. they were on the original tapes. one was the x-rated hotel, but the other i can't find. it was also kamal, calling a bouncer at a nightclub, complaining that 2 "dumb blondes" came out of the club and scratched his "fuckin car". then the bouncer started yelling and kamal said "i'll put a fuckin bullet in ya head, you don't talk to people you don't know like that". the bouncer was a typical ny guido, it was hysterical. anyone know of this call, or does anyone have it?

also there were 3 "sick as a dog" calls, and i think only 2 were released. of course, the best one isn't out on cd.
Hey man, I just wanted to give some love for that Jerky Boys page you made. Its not easy finding jerky boys fans anymore, but I was glad to see your site. A lil of the info is wrong, but I dont care cuz its a JERKY BOYS PAGE lol.

alright well i just wanted to show some love.

also, you dont have anywhere i can DL some of the cd's do you? cuz i got all of em but they are scratched to hell lol.

anywho. PROPS.

Carl Sourbutts
I still laff every time i hear Rizzo.. love the Jerky Boys!!!

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If laughter is the best medicine, buy your prescription drugs here (and by "prescription drugs," I mean "CDs by popular phone prank callers The Jurky Boyz")

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