Wait For The Beep!

NOTE: Yes, I know it’s only Monday, but I spent all morning composing this post instead of catching up on my sleep, so I might want to do that tomorrow.  Enjoy your weekly trip down the memory lane of advertising a day early!

special message


Back in the prehistoric era known as the 1980’s, people were much harder to get a hold of tuesday tvthan they are now.  These days, almost everyone carries a cell phone with them wherever they go… making it much easier to contact people regardless of whether they are home or not, while making it a hell of a lot harder for sitcom writers since the unreachable character was a common plot device.  Since common everyday cell technology was still a decade off, the 80’s tried to solve this problem with the answering machine, the ancestor of today’s electronic voicemail.  If you weren’t at home, you could turn on your answering machine and let it answer your phone for you, greeting the caller with whatever recorded message you left asking them to leave their name and number, or perhaps just to FOAD…

hooly skunk and gecko

Quit trying to sell me insurance!!!!

Were you ever afraid your message might be too mundane or boring for your prospective callers to hear?  Did you ever wish you could liven up your message so that people would actually wait until you left the house to call you just so they could listen to your recording?  Well, the 80’s had the answer to those prayers too, and if you were one of the cool households who blew a couple hundred bucks on an answering machine back in the post-Bell breakup days, you could really spice up your answering machine message with a little help from a 3 and a half minute cassette tape called “Crazy Calls”.

Seriously, aren’t you glad you were alive for the 80’s?  For only about $19.99 plus some standard shipping and handling charge, you could have any one of those side splitting tunes greeting all of the lucky people who rang your number while you were out buying your friends Chia Pets.

police lineup

Or getting arrested for being too awesome.

But maybe you were too poor to afford an answering machine, or to pay $20 for a 3:30 second cassette tape that wasn’t from Twisted Sister.  Well, if you always wondered what those clever little ditties sounded like in all of their glory, then I’ve got a huge treat for you today!  Ladies and gentlemen, boys and squirrels, I present to you the complete Crazy Calls cassette for your listening pleasure!

Edit (9/16/16): Video removed from this post at the polite request of Crazy Calls’ creator, who is remarketing the classic answering machine soundtrack.

I’ll give you a minute or two to quit dancing to that kickass track….

sock hop squirrels!

OMG! Like totally tubular!

Let’s break down the Crazy Calls debut album, shall we?

Introduction (:35)

To use Crazy Calls, simply employ the same technique all of us 80’s children had to use to record a song off the radio.  Play the tape in your breakdance era boombox next to your answering machine, and be sure to hit both “record” and “play” at the same time, because it’s the 80’s and we haven’t figured out how to do one touch recording technology yet.  I have to admit, this intro shattered a myth I had about Crazy Calls that it was something you popped into an answering machine and it rotated messages as the calls came in.  No, you have to pick your favorite of the seven crazy calls and have your machine record it playing off of your radio.  Something tells me downloading music off of Napster wasn’t this difficult…

evil's angels

How about we just record our own crazy call?

Track 1 – Boogie Woogie (:20)

Ah yes, who doesn’t love The Andrews Sisters?  And back in the 80’s, there were still people who were alive when they were last relevant.  I gotta admit, this is one of the best 20 second parodies of “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” I have ever heard, and this would absolutely be the crazy call your grandparents would have picked back in 1985 to put on their machine, assuming they had a grandchild available to help them put the crazy call on their answering machine….

Yes son, little Timmy helped us hook up our laptop and it's working just swell!  Your father has already found some naked pictures of our daughter in law on the internets!

Yes son, little Timmy helped us hook up our laptop and it’s working just swell! Your father has already found some naked pictures of our daughter in law on the internets!

Track 2 – Call Me If You Can Can (:20)

Well, if the Boogie Woogie ditty was a little too modern for you, there’s always this relic from the days of Vaudeville that sounds like it was ripped from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon.  Just in case you want to plead youth and don’t know what can can dancing is, this should give you an idea…

Vodka always brings out the coochies...

Vodka always brings out the coochies…

I didn’t think that sounded anything like cancan dancing music, but when I went to YouTube and typed “cancan music” into the search box, this is what came up.  Offenbach’s piece if clearly what this crazy call was inspired by, they just didn’t use the more familiar part that appeared in all those cartoons we watched as kids.

Track 3 – The Answering Machine Zone (:28)

While Rod Serling and singing do not go together, his famous introduction to The Twilight Zone has been parodied in just about every way imaginable, so why not for an answering machine message as well?  I can think of two episodes of The Twilight Zone that centered around telephones, and both of them are as creepy as hell since they involved speaking to dead people.

Yeah Gramma, I just sent Daddy out to the cornfield!

Yeah Gramma, I just sent Daddy out to the cornfield!

Track 4 – 50’s (:29)

The Crazy Calls naming department worked overtime on coming up with a title for this doo wop ditty.  This was the one that would play over the ordering information at the end of the commercial, and that ending was one of the tunes that stuck in my head for over 25 years.  It’s such a wonderful flashback to the early days of rock and roll, that you’d swear it was being crooned by Marvin Berry and the Starlighters.

Chuck!  It's your cousin Marvin!  Hey, you gotta listen to this kid.... oh shit!  The cancan song's playing!  He isn't home!!!!

Chuck! It’s your cousin Marvin! Hey, you gotta listen to this kid…. oh shit! The cancan song’s playing! He isn’t home!!!!

Track 5 – Bogie (:20)

Also known as the lost track of the Crazy Calls cassette!  Yes, this was the only recording that they didn’t play during the commercial, and nobody who didn’t order the damn thing would have had any idea it even existed!  Kind of like none of the kids from today even know Humphrey Bogart ever existed.  Hearing this rarely played cut makes me want to break out the old Bertie Higgins 45….

Don't swoon over Bertie's sexy tan lines...

Don’t swoon over Bertie’s sparkling eyes or sexy tan lines…

Track 6 – The Rap (:25)

Also known as…. the best fucking recording of anything that ever created sound waves.  Seriously, who doesn’t like old school rap?  Especially compared to some of that garbage that passes as hip hop these days.  Kanye, Ludicrous Speed, Lil Wayne, Lil Jon, Lil Dick…. none of them can touch the def boyz from with the chainz from the 80’s!

They don't make 'em like The Fat Boys anymore...

They don’t make ’em like The Fat Boys anymore…

Track 7 – Beethoven’s Fifth (:25)

When Chuck Berry first advised Beethoven to roll over, you can rest assured ol’ Ludwig hadn’t heard the greatest atrocity ever to occur to his music yet.  And keep in mind, just a decade earlier, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony had been turned into a freaking disco song!  So Crazy Calls really upped the ante on how to desecrate a musical classic (and hey, I love disco!)

And really, people who hate disco just don't have taste...

And really, people who hate disco just don’t have taste…

So if you liked what you heard today, be sure to hit those thrift stores, rummage sales or your parents’ attic, and maybe you too could own your very own copy of that 80’s classic Crazy Calls!  We here at The Nest salute its contribution to the cheesy earworm Hall of Fame, and for coming up with the greatest short feature rap song in the history of beatboxes and gold chains.

Damn!  I gotta hear that one again.  Hit it, boys!

Now that's what I call hip hop!

Now that’s what I call hip hop!

About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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19 Responses to Wait For The Beep!

  1. merbear74 says:

    I just suffered a mild 80’s flashback attack…my futures so bright I gotta wear shades….

  2. The Cutter says:

    One time, my sister, grandfather and I tried to make a funny answering machine recording. We did a Three Stooges style “Hello…hello…hello…HELLO!” I was kind of envious of these awesome recordings though

  3. Lynda says:

    LOL, nowadays you would NOT record “nobody’s home” you would say, “I can’t get to the phone!”
    😉 I think I have heard a couple of these before, but I didn’t realize they were from a whole tape of this stuff!

    • I’ve fallen, and I can’t get to the phone!

      Good point about inviting an intruder, because I think every one of these crazy calls mentions not being home! Heck, they might break in just to steal your awesome Crazy Calls cassette!

  4. gentlestitches says:

    funniest flash back ever! OMG people had the most amazing recorded messages. Most of all I LOVE that poodle on the poodle skirt! I love poodle art as does my poodle. 🙂

    • LOL, maybe I need to do more poodle art!

      That drawing, along with the disco one that also appeared in this post, were part of a 6-drawing series I did for a decades-themed game one of my friends over on the message board ran four years ago. As you may have guessed, they represent the 50’s and 70’s respectively…

  5. fransiweinstein says:


  6. I think my parents still have the Andrews sisters recording on their answering machine…

  7. Pingback: The Squirrelies! | kiralynblue

  8. Kate Sparkes says:

    “Chuck! It’s your cousin Marvin! Hey, you gotta listen to this kid…. oh shit! The cancan song’s playing! He isn’t home!!!!”

    Thank you for making me snort coffee out of my nose. 🙂

  9. rebecca2000 says:

    LOL I remember that. Or those that would make their answering machines say hi so it would confuse people.

  10. C.K. Hope says:

    My parents still use these on their answering machine message. They refuse to use voicemail because then they couldn’t have Abba answer their phone. Seriously, this is what is on the machine now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXfa-SBxchw . Rotary phones and answering machines, my parents like to live old school 😉

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