There’s a certain unadorned beauty to the voiceover pitch in this commercial for a deeply puzzling 900 number consisting solely of shots of people crying uncontrollably on the phone. It probably dates from the late 1980s or the early 1990s:
What makes people all over America break down and cry like this?
Call 1-900-740-3500 and hear it for yourself.
Two dollars per minute.
If you’re under 18, ask your parents before you call.
I think it was a “sob story” phone line, a number you could call if you wanted to hear sad stories. Are there people who are kind of addicted to sad stories, to the point that they would spend dozens of dollars for an hour-long session, say?
We have obtained the expert testimony of “Paul d” on a YouTube comment that “when I was younger I called this, it is just prerecorded calls where people describe sad stories, when I called a girl was talking about how her husband died in a motorcycle accident, me and my friends were like this is stupid lol.”
Anybody remember calling this number?
Also, where did they get the sad sob stories from?
Here’s the commercial. There’s an identical commercial with a different number, 1-900-9099-CRY, which you can see here.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Is ‘The Crying of a Generation’ the saddest album of all time?