Ray Reeves

A Phone Call from God

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"A Phone Call from God" is a nearly 15-minute-long religious comedy routine about a hapless backslider who receives exactly what the title says. Like Shelley Berman, Ray Reeves performs the bit as though speaking on the phone; no other voices are heard aside from occasional canned laughter. As the bit progresses, the squirming Christian is taken to task for failing to go to church, tithe, etc., and his lies are repeatedly exposed by the all-knowing God. Reeves' message might be useful for prodding guilt-ridden Christians toward Sunday service, but the humor is weak. Country comedian Jim Nesbitt parodied Reeves' routine with "Phone Call from the Devil," which charted in 1975 and -- unlike "A Phone Call from God" -- managed to be genuinely funny and a reasonable length. Reeves' comedy routine takes up the entire first side of his album, but the second side is filled with six instrumentals, some if not all of which are previously released recordings by King and Starday artists such as Tommy Hill and Cowboy Copas. It doesn't matter since no one will listen past "A Phone Call from God," but if Reeves had only recorded one more comedy routine, today he would have an entire album instead of half of one.

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