Skip To Content

    Is This The Greatest Prank Call Of All Time?

    For years touring musicians listened to copies of this call in their vans. Now, you can hear it for yourself.

    It takes a while to develop, but many believe the below video contains the greatest prank call of all time. Touring musicians have been listening to the call -- which has managed to remain offline for over 15 years -- for ages. Now, you can too.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    The call goes like this: someone from "the corporate office" of Wendy's calls a Tempe, Arizona, area store to inform the crew on the closing shift that they've received a few complaints about French fries coming out under temperature. The head honch at corporate needs the store to turn back on the Fryolater and make sure its internal thermostat is correct.

    He asks the employee to stick his hand in the hot oil to tighten a loosened heating filament. Thankfully, the employee is too smart for that. But what he does next ... Will. Blow. Your. Mind. And he does it twice. (Thankfully, no one is physically harmed in the making of this prank call.)

    The "Corporate Office" is the work of Los Angeles funny man Bob Schriner, who lived in Tempe, AZ, at the time of the call, 1999. Schriner says he wasn't surprised the call ends the way it does. (WARNING: Spoilers ahead.)

    wendys.com

    "The premise of calling as the guy from corporate was something I'd been messing with for a little while with mixed results," Schriner tells BuzzFeed News. "You'd be amazed by how often someone would destroy company property when they thought it was their boss's boss on the phone. If there's something I was surprised by it would be the sound a phone makes when submerged in frying oil."

    The call, and others from Schriner like it, started gaining a cult following among touring bands in the early aughts thanks to Henry Owings of Chunklet magazine. Owings is a staple in Atlanta's alt and punk scenes who frequently had bands stay at his home while they were on tour.

    laserbeast.com / Jason Carlisle/

    Lightning Bolt

    facebook.com

    The Locust

    When they'd head back out on the road, he'd give them a CD that included Schriner's handywork, which he'd first received from John Schmersal of Brainiac and Enon in '99 or 2000. "It feels almost provincial to talk about circulating prank calls in this very modern age," Owings tells BuzzFeed News. "But the Wendy's call was always the first thing I'd put on [the CD]."

    Eventually, one of the bands that was given a copy of the call, Lightning Bolt (above, left), gave it to a fellow touring band ,The Locust (above, right)), who knew Schriner. Owings and Schriner met in 2002 and have been best buddies ever since. Now Owings is making the call available via Chunklet, pressing 100 copies of the call on one-sided 12" vinyl. It is also available via download.

    Schriner doesn't fear Wendy's will take any legal action now that the call is seeing the light of day. "I don't think they would venture into a civil suit with me for the cost of a circa-late-90s phone," he says.

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    "There must be a statute of limitations for any criminal prosecution," he adds.

    He also feels no remorse about the call. "Remorse? Please. People often ask me, 'What if that kid really did put his arm in the fryer?' That would have brought about some remorse, but common sense held strong with this kid and he was well aware that the oil was indeed hot. The premise of getting him to cook the phone(s) is a simple bait and switch. If I'd asked him to just fry the phones, he might have done it. Then again, he might have hung up. Frying a phone as an alternative to deep frying one's forearm was, as you can hear in the call, a relief. "

    You can download Schriner's "The Corporate Office Calls Wendy's" prank on Chunklet's bandcamp page.