DURING THEIR NINETIES HEYDAY, THE JERKY BOYS TURNED PRANK CALLING INTO A FUNNY, FILTHY ART FORM, SELLING MILLIONS OF ALBUMS AND INSPIRING TODAY’S CROP OF IMPROVISATIONAL, AUTHENTICITY-SEEKING COMEDY STARS. THEN THEY WENT QUIET. NOW, THE GROUP’S CO-FOUNDER AND DRIVING FORCE, JOHNNY BRENNAN, IS READY TO HIT REDIAL ON HIS CAREER.
The Jerky Boys were good at what they did: Their first three full-length records all made it into the Billboard 200, two of them went platinum, and they scored a Grammy nomination.
Most everyone has made a prank phone call or two. But hardly anyone manages to turn juvenile high jinks into a career.
The Jerky Boys may have never fully left, but in terms of putting together a new record of prank call mischief, Johnny Brennan agrees that a return to the phone line was a long time coming.
“In today’s world, you can still do the Jerky characters — you just gotta come in from a different angle”
He made a name—and a living—making prank calls in the ’90s. Now the Jerky Boys’ Johnny Brennan has returned, and it’s like nothing changed.
The world’s most famous prank caller, Johnny Brennan, tells us about his decision to revive The Jerky Boys after a long hiatus.