Ted Koppel crank called
August 14, 2003 10:46 PM   Subscribe

Ted Koppel was prank called on live TV. So I was watching the coverage of the Blackout on ABC, and Ted Koppel was doing his live coverage. He got a call from a "Bob Dobbs" who claimed to be some muckity muck with the subway transit authority. Then "Bob Dobbs" kept telling people to log on to thankyoufortakingmycall.com to get emergency instructions. It was pretty funny. Ted was pretty clueless that it was a prank but I guess someone in the control room eventually got a clue and cut the caller.
posted by geekhorde (26 comments total)
Did anyone else catch this?
posted by geekhorde at 10:47 PM on August 14, 2003

I saw it.
posted by wsg at 10:51 PM on August 14, 2003

Sorry. My bad.
posted by geekhorde at 11:01 PM on August 14, 2003

I don't mind phone pranking in theory, but I demand a bit of wit instead of the loutish and thuddingly unfunny juvenalia of the Jerky Boys, Crank Yankers, or any of Howard Stern's crowd, etc. Anyone can pull the crap they do -- what's the challenge? They remind me of the third graders who knock on neighborhood doors, scurry off to hide in the bushes and convulse in laughter when someone ...drumroll... answers the door! (Duh.)
posted by RavinDave at 11:04 PM on August 14, 2003

I just couldn't believe the audacity of it.

And the fact that he had them convinced that he was a SOMEBODY.

"I don't think you're listening to me Ted." I think that was my favorite part.
posted by geekhorde at 11:08 PM on August 14, 2003

dammit dobbs, there you go again
posted by scarabic at 11:41 PM on August 14, 2003

Is it just me, or is there a vague resemblance between this guy and this guy?
posted by homunculus at 12:02 AM on August 15, 2003

Subvert the system that perverts the mind
posted by jackspace at 12:58 AM on August 15, 2003

I think I will order the tape. I've heard Leroy Mercer and he is funny as hell, the East Tennessee vocabulary and accent making it all the better.
posted by nofundy at 4:31 AM on August 15, 2003

Bob Dobbs.
posted by angry modem at 5:05 AM on August 15, 2003

I don't get the reference to Mark Knopfler. A little help here?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:24 AM on August 15, 2003

Got to agree with RavinDave, there seemed to be precious little wit involved in most of these. A reasonable list of prank calls can be found here, but sadly the link to Vivtor Lewis Smith is broken.

Smith and Chris Morris, while both often quite childish, do seem to have a more political agenda for their calls. His call to That's Life (a sickening lifestyle / consumer show from the 1980's) where Smith prtended to be a wheelchair bound tuba player showed just how low TV producers would go to get something interesting on air, and his call to a New York hotel to book a room for the Queen Mother ("Does the room have a porn channel?") are wonderful. Can't find a transcipt online but will continue looking.

OK, maybe they're just childish.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:37 AM on August 15, 2003

Mistadobalina, Mr. Bob Dobalina, Mistadobalina
posted by jeremias at 5:44 AM on August 15, 2003

This was also happening on local NYC stations. Pretty juvenile.
posted by caddis at 6:23 AM on August 15, 2003

Praise Bob!!

(Hail Connie)
posted by devbrain at 6:36 AM on August 15, 2003

ciderwoman: For me Morris's best was ringing Piers Morgan (who was then editor of The Sun's 'Bizarre' gossip column) pretending to be both U2's manager & Bono. Morgan 'exclusived' the prank the next day. MP3 here, [via Virtual Arsepike II]
posted by i_cola at 6:54 AM on August 15, 2003

ZenMasterThis: There used to be a guy that would prank call people (late 80's early 90's) and he called himself Mark Knopfler. He wasn't the same Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits.
posted by shoepal at 7:35 AM on August 15, 2003

Bob Dobbs: not funny.
posted by crazy finger at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2003

Thanks. I am a fan of Mark Knopfler the guitarist; I won't go looking for a "Crank Calls" CD.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:14 AM on August 15, 2003

I kind of liked the sci-fi looping sounds and buzzing that signalled that Mr. Dobbs call was being 'dropped' ... I was wondering if this noise was used by ABC studios to deal with troublemakers.
posted by carter at 8:18 AM on August 15, 2003

bob is slack
slack is bob

all hail bob!
posted by birdsong at 8:33 AM on August 15, 2003

Anyone else notice that the claimed system for communicating with the subway riders and operators was a wireless and telepathic radio?
posted by thanotopsis at 9:21 AM on August 15, 2003

i_cola, that Paul McGuiness & Bono call was great.

"For all intents and purposes U2 have been a black dance band since the beginning."
posted by john1800 at 9:27 AM on August 15, 2003

Last night, I predicted that unless this was terrorists at work, Rush Limbaugh would find a way to blame this on liberals. And, as I'm typing this, I'll be damned if he isn't.
posted by alumshubby at 10:39 AM on August 15, 2003

Praise Bob!!

(Hail Connie)

Drats, ya beat me to it. No slack there. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 10:40 AM on August 15, 2003

Of course, the potential outcome of this is that national news shows will be less likely to take calls. Very few news shows in the UK take live calls. In fact, I can't think of any off the top of my head. Shame, I love the pranks.

And bravo for the Chris Morris reference, ciderwoman. Tons of Chris Morris stuff up at Cook'd and Bomb'd.
posted by wackybrit at 3:55 AM on August 17, 2003

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