In the school of telephone-harassment comedy that includes the Jerky Boys and Roy D. Mercer, the comedians call unsuspecting people and concoct embarrassing situations, rather like an aural version of Candid Camera. Comedian Tom Mabe works a twist on the concept by waiting at home for the endless army of telemarketers who pollute the phone lines these days to call him up, after which he invents characters and wild situations to pay them back for trying to sell him things he doesn't want. When a carpet-cleaning service calls asking for his business, he declares that he has blood all over his carpet and needs someone to come over right away; a caller soliciting donations to the police is greeted with comments about a pipe bomb, followed by an explosion; and when someone wants to sell him a cemetery plot, he says he's been contemplating suicide and feels this is a sign to go ahead. Some of the humor comes from the other side of the phone, as hapless telemarketers gamely try to play along. When he tells one he is a porn star, she says she is, too. Not to be outdone, he calls her back at home, posing as a supervisor, and fires her. As sympathetic as one may be to Mabe's rage at telemarketers, the material is uneven on Revenge on the Telemarketers, Round One and, as is usually the case with this sort of thing, becomes repetitious and irritating over the course of an album. (It works best in isolated segments on radio.) It isn't as repetitious and irritating as those telemarketers, though. The final track, "Revenge Is Sweet," is a musical number by Chris Parker and Steve Keller containing excerpts from previously heard segments and Mabe's own rap.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann