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Rick Sanchez Prank Calls Joel Osteen’s Prayer Hotline and Things Get Super Weird

Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland paid a visit to H3H3 Productions in order to help raise relief funds for victims of tropical storm Harvey. While on the show, Roiland called in to Joel Osteen’s “prayer line,” which is a phone line you can call if you’re ever in need of (you guessed it) a prayer. He also called in as Rick Sanchez, the drunken, nihilistic scientist he voices on the show. Hearing Rick tear into fundamentalist parishoners is pretty neat on the show, but watching him do it “live” was something else entirely.

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Granted, they kind of took it out on the poor (volunteer?) operator who had the misfortune of answering Roiland’s call. Ultimately, their goal was to tear into Osteen for his cruel refusal to open his megachurch’s doors to Harvey victims, but obviously, the guy’s too busy blocking storm victims from entering his church to offer a prayer to the common man. Sure, he might have welcomed them in later, but really, it took a hell of a lot of shaming on Twitter to bring that about.

Still, the call is pretty … weird? I mean, I expect anything involving Rick Sanchez(‘s voice, even) to get kind of weird, but here, things kind of escalate and fly off the handle real fast. Roiland keeps asking for Osteen, and the operator catches on that this is a crank call pretty quick. But shortly after that, she begins to … well, speak in tongues. She starts spouting some nonsensical words at Roiland, who’s able to play Rick fully straight up through the whole thing. It really seems like kind of a surprise to him, actually, and he seems to kind of not really know how to come back at what she’s saying.

It’s only at the end that one of the co-hosts of the show lends a vital bit of context: at a lot of these evangelical revival masses, people are highly encouraged to “let the spirit move them” and just say or do whatever it is that’s coming through their mind. This is what’s referred to as “speaking in tongues,” which a close encounter with the Holy Spirit is said to provoke. Now, I don’t know if this woman was encountering the Holy Spirit as Roiland asked about Osteen in Rick Sanchez’s voice, but I mean … it’s likely not the weirdest thing that Rick’s had to deal with, am I right?


(via A.V. Club, featured image: Adult Swim)

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Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.

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