Phone Calls From The Dead

From This Might Be A Wiki
Artwork that is sometimes used onstage during the call
Projection Screen

song name Phone Calls from the Dead
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Unreleased
year 2007
first played March 10, 2007 (66 known performances)
run time Clock.png This unreleased song has only been played live,
and therefore has no definitive run time.
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell


...It started when we performed last February at the TED conference in Monterey, California. We were asked not to just do our usual thing.

So we cooked up this “phone call from the dead” thing. At the conference they had had this guy named James Randi who I think used to be a regular magician, The Amazing Randi, and now he’s kind of a debunking expert. So he has this Randi Foundation where he offers something like a million dollars to somebody who can prove that they’ve communicated with spirits from beyond the grave; it’s just one of the many ways he’s trying to provoke people who claim paranormal stuff is real. So we did this bit in the show where we had the Amazing Randi call us from the dead and demand his own million dollars.

That was the gag and unfortunately I don’t think anyone at TED thought it was that funny. We performed our set at 8am right after the blow-out beach party they’d had the night before so everybody who was there was actually hung over and I don’t think anybody really liked or got our show that much. Anyway, we decided to stick with the phone call from the dead despite the poor reception it got at TED

Song Themes

Death, Telecommunication, Temperature


Current Rating

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Phone Calls From The Dead is currently ranked #509 out of 910. (14 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.07)