Remember All Those Cheesy 900 Numbers?

Yes kids, back in the days before MySpace and Zwinky and ringtones, stupid teens and pre-teen (i.e., teens and pre-teens) wasted their time and their parents’ money calling 900 numbers.

900 numbers were pay phone numbers that offered various services. Some of the more popular of these services included psychic advice and the ever popular phone sex. Late night TV featured many ads touting these 900 phone lines, and I think it is safe to say that there was not a single TV commercial for a 900 number that was not cheesy.

Now you are about to see two of the very cheesiest ads ever broadcast for 900 numbers.

First comes the 900 number of the man who was at the time the best selling rapper ever, M.C. Hammer:

It’s not clear what someone who called that line actually heard. According to the commercial:

“You might hear a joke.”

“Or a couple of rhymes.”

If I were really in need of a good joke I don’t think M.C. Hammer is the person I’d pay for one.

In later years, M.C. Hammer went bankrupt and was forced to make ads pitching mortgages and insurance to people with bad credit, but seeing this commercial, I guess it really wasn’t much of a fall after all.

Hammer’s 900 number was a little different from most others in that callers also got a chance to “leave your personal message,” which I’m sure was treated in the same serious manner as all his fan mail.

Speaking of people who threw away many metric tons of fan mail, Hammer’s late 80s/ early 90s musical colleagues New Kids on the Block also had a 900 number and made a TV commercial for it:

By the way that thing that looks like a beige brick that one of the New Kids is holding to his face is a phone, and it’s probably not even a cell phone but the handset of a “cordless” phone. And check out his fashionable knock-off B.U.M Equipment sweatshirt.

It’s a good thing my little sister never saw that ad; otherwise my parents would have had to sell vital organs just to pay the phone bill.

Both of these commercials are enough to make anyone glad the 90s are over.

And remember: “Kids, get your parents’ permission before you call.”


  • 3 Responses to “Remember All Those Cheesy 900 Numbers?”

  • I remember being quite young when these sorts of things aired. Nowadays, I guess those text-message services have taken place of the sex lines, for the most part, so, instead of just paying tons of money, you cramp up your thumbs too.

    Comment by Conservative Cat on December 1, 2007 at 1:15 pm

  • I remember that commercial and phone number. HEE HEE, Thanks for the link

    Comment by Jennifer on May 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm

  • I remember 900 commercials from my youth. Thank god I never called those lines before.

    Comment by Anthony on January 16, 2009 at 7:34 pm