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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Tom Mabe

Aired August 12, 2003 - 19:46   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?

THOMAS MABE, COMEDIAN: Hi. This is Tom Mabe and I'm calling on behalf of the Help Jesus Feed the Hungry Physically Challenged, Abused, Orphaned, One Legged Children Foundation. How are you doing this evening, ma'am?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know what time it is?

MABE: Yes, I do, thanks. May I offer, what you pay for a cup of coffee a day...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't appreciate this.

MABE: ... you could help (UNINTELLIGIBLE) children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't appreciate this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Before you get upset, just think that's a telemarketer on the other end of the phone being called. It just may be the new American dream, a chance to call telemarketers at a jillion o'clock in the morning and make them miserable. Comedian Tom Mabe has had a chance to live that dream and chronicle it on his third comedy album, "Targeting Telemarketers." It's out today. It's called "A Wake-Up Call for Telemarketers," appropriately enough. He joins us tonight from Louisville.

Tom, it's great to talk to you. I listened to your tape, the CD. It's just amazing. How did you come up with this idea?

MABE: I work third shift sometimes, I'm a comic, and I won't get home at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, I sleep during the day. And I don't take the phone off the hook because if my kid is sick or my wife or mother, or someone's sick, so you know, I got tired of being woken up by telemarketers. One day I was surfing the Web and I found out about this telemarketing convention, and I said, hey, that's what I'm going to do.

COOPER: And hilarity ensues. Let's actually listen to another one of these calls. This is you calling a telemarketers at 3:00 a.m. in the morning or something.

MABE: Yes, sir.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?

MABE: Hi, this is Tom Mabe calling from IGNA Long Distance Services. How are you doing this evening, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm sleeping.

MABE: Sir, do you often find yourself awake at night worrying about your long distance phone call?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's after 3:00 in the morning.

MABE: Sir, I'm sorry. I would have never called you this late. We must be in another time zone. It's only like 2:15 here, but let me make it up for it. What if I told you that I could save you up to $5 a year on your phone bill?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: It must be like 2:15 where I am. That's my favorite part. Why do you hate these guys so much?

MABE: Because I work -- I work -- I'm self-employed, and I work out of my house. And the phone rings, I jump hoping it's a client, and it's always a telemarketer. And I just got tired of being victimized. They use my phone more than I do, but I have to pay the bill.

COOPER: All right, I want to play one more just for people at home. Let's listen to -- let's listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello?

MABE: Hi. This is Tom Mabe from Sleepy Sleep Aids with a special offer of a sleeping pill that guarantees a great night's rest. How are you doing this evening?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What?

MABE: Ma'am, do you find yourself unable to sleep at night?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is ridiculous. Don't call people this early.

MABE: It's 4:00 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's 4:00 in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) morning.

MABE: If I could just get your credit card number...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: They really do not like being called. There's no sense of irony there.

MABE: Yeah. It's telemarketers hate being telemarketed. How funny.

COOPER: Who knew. Tom Mabe, it's a really great CD. Just came out today. Good luck with it.

MABE: Hey, thanks, man. Appreciate it.

COOPER: Take care.

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