Roy D. Mercer

The Family Album

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With ten Roy D. Mercer albums in the racks, plus a line of T-shirts and other merchandise mentioned in the CD booklet and even a website, it's hard to believe that anyone in the intended audience for the fictional prank-call creation of Tulsa, OK, radio comedians Brent Douglas and Phil Stone doesn't already know about him, which would make them impervious to the calls themselves. Simply put, the duo, primed by a family member or fellow worker, call up some unsuspecting person and adopt the persona of the belligerent country hick Roy D. Mercer, who is always waxing wroth about some absurd wrong that has been done to him (or, in the present case, a member of his family or a pet). Mercer demands money and then threatens to go over and beat up the listener. The fun comes in seeing how long he can fool his victim into thinking the call is serious. From the sound of The Family Album, the answer these days is, not very long. Almost from the start, the people on the other end of the phone seem to be giggling, and you can't help thinking that they're really all in on the joke at the outset, much as they claim to be outraged later on. To say that the concept is getting thin is to imply that it ever had any thickness. But it is becoming more fictional than ever.

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