- call me now May 1
There was once a time when the hotline psychic Miss Cleo's face was all over television, her Jamaican lilt urging couch potatoes to "Call me now!" for a reading. And people did: the Federal Trade Commission said that the Psychic Readers Network made more than $1 billion in shady profit.
In February 2002, the FTC filed a complaint against the company and Miss Cleo, alleging that they misrepresented the "free" readings and did not disclose the correct fees in advertisements. That was the beginning of the end for Miss Cleo, who says that she was just a spokeswoman, not the mastermind behind Psychic Readers Network.
She's kept a pretty low profile since, until now; today, she's featured in a new documentary, Hotline, which takes a closer look at telephone hotlines and their place in today's digital world:
Vice interviewed Miss Cleo (real name: Youree Dell Harris) in Toronto and asked her about everything, from what she did before joining the Psychic Readers Network to how much money she really made.
Some of the more interesting tidbits she shared include the fact that she was not "fresh from Jamaica," although her television accent would have you believe otherwise, and she never went to jail, despite rumors today that she's still rotting away in a cell. She made 24 cents a minute from each call (compared to the other psychics, who made 14 cents) and comes from a long line of "spooky people." Read the entire interview at Vice, and watch the video below to instantly be transported back to a commercial break during The Ricki Lake Show. --Catherine Garcia
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The myth of the stay-at-home dad
- The slippery slope of Twitter's attempts to stop harassment against women
- What could happen if the Supreme Court rules against ObamaCare
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
Subscribe to the Week