Prank calls are a delicate art: They're potentially juvenile, but can be wielded for justice in the right hands. Good cranks punch up at the powers that be who are tied to phone lines and public relations expectations—whether it's Russian jokesters tempting professional oil industry shill Rick Perry with a made-up pig turd fuel, or an anonymous saint spicing up C-SPAN with lyrics to the theme song of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Last night, Joel Osteen—the televangelist who closed his church to victims seeking shelter from tropical storm Harvey—fell victim to such a call at the hands of the internet's favorite alcoholic super scientist: Rick and Morty's Rick Sanchez.
Comedy YouTubers H3H3 Productions brought Justin Roiland onto their podcast yesterday to raise money for the reconstruction of Houston in tropical storm Harvey's aftermath. There, the writer, voice actor, and special sauce behind one of Adult Swim's most popular shows called Osteen's prayer line armed with Rick's gravelly drawl and characteristic skepticism of the supernatural. Immediately, the conversation escalated.
Introducing himself as Rick, Roiland opened the conversation by telling a confused operator, "I have over $87,000 and I'm ready—sorry, I have $83,897 dollars, right now, for Joel Osteen. And I'm ready to pray." It quickly becomes obvious that Roiland had no intention of actually praying, and the woman on the other end responds with the befuddling power play of speaking in tongues. While there is some neurological evidence to support the authenticity of glossolalia, it apparently also works as an antidote to phone pranksters. Comcast customer service reps, take notes.
For the fans, watching Roiland and an anonymous prayer line operator jockey for control of the conversation feels like a deleted scene from the stoneriest episode of Rick and Morty since interdimensional cable. Rick and Morty's other co-creator Dan Harmon has revealed that the popular and chaotic episode format won't be returning in Season 3 , but we'd totally watch interdimensional prank calls. Watch the full exchange below:
Donate to H3 Podcast's Harvey relief effort here.