Dial the Callin’ Oates Hotline for Your Hall & Oates Needs

This is really, really silly, but in a cheerful way: if you call 719-266-2837 (local rates apply), a British voice will welcome you to the Callin’ Oates Hotline. You’ll be prompted to choose from four Hall & Oates songs: "One on One," "Rich Girl," "Maneater" and "Private Eyes." Your selection will prompt a tinny mp3 which will play all the way through, in case you’ve been feeling a little bit glum today. It’s the best single-serving idea I’ve heard all week.

How did the gloriously punny concept come about? The Verge has the full story of hotline creator Michael Selvidge, an communications manager at Twilio, the cloud communications company which requires all new employees to build an app. Wracking his brain for an idea that would work, he thought, "‘If only there was a pun that would work with this…’ Then ‘Callin’ Oates’ hit me, and that cinched it."

The custom phone number cost only $1 per month to register, and it was on from there. Listeners responded in kind; according to the Callin’ Oates Twitter feed, they racked up more than 250,000 calls in less than two days of being online. It’s a perfect gag for a friend who’s feeling down; dial the number, hand over the phone, and watch the smiles fly. If it doesn’t work, your friend is probably the Grinch. Below, watch the seminal video for "Private Eyes."

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