archives links about me

Karma Chameleon
Karma Chameleon Phone

I was tired the other day and I decided to lie down in my bed and hopefully take a little mid-afternoon nap. I drifted off with the TV on and when I awoke there was a commercial on that convinced me I was still sleeping. It was a commercial for a project called: The Karma Chameleon Phone.

It's a phone that, instead of ringing, plays Boy George's hit song "Karma Chameleon". It starts up with these kids giggling and having an all around good time as the phone "rings". They then pick up the phone and ask the people at the other end to call again. The hospital--calling to alert the children about their mother's unfortunate boating accident--then dutifully calls back much to the joy of the children.

Because if there's one thing that 6-8 year old children are loving these days it is Boy George and Culture Club. And to advertise this extremely timely product they have recruited none other than Boy George himself!

The phone itself is giant! It's this enormous plastic molded monstrosity. There's a huge log that houses the buttons, a large ugly chameleon and a disproportionately large ladybug playing the harmonica. When the phone "rings" the song starts up and the chameleon's stomach inexplicably lights up to the beat of the music.

The most obvious function of this phone is that it makes Big Mouth Billy Bass look like an elegant decoration for the homes of the rich and famous. So, as the commercial predictable asks, how much would you expect to pay for this? $4.99? Well yeah that's what you'd expect to pay. But you're clearly mad! You should expect to pay over $100.00. That way when they say it's $89.95 you can feel like you're saving a ton of money. Then when they say that for a limited time only they're taking an additional $20.00 off of the price you can snatch up the phone to place an order. After all, a deal like that can't last forever! And they've only got a limited supply!

My favorite part of the commercial is when the announcer says: "Look at how surprised these people are when the phone rings and plays Karma Chameleon by Culture Club!" Why the hell are they so surprised? They saw the commercial. They even ordered the phone! What did they think would happen?

I think this may be the one tacky item that even I would be ashamed to have in my apartment. Here's a short list of some of the tacky items I have had on display in the past just to give you a frame of reference:

  • A remote control that looked like a slice of pizza called "Remote by the Slice" which, in case you're wondering, doesn't mean anything
  • An oil-painting of Winston Churchill
  • A phone made out of foam
  • A Barbarian Brothers poster
  • An entire wall covered with pictures of the Boston Bruins

Ah, who am I kidding? I would love to own such a thing.

During the duration of the commercial I was waiting to spot a Saturday Night Live cast member or for something to pop up that would reveal that it was all just a clever joke. No such thing took place. Instead a phone number popped up (1-800-235-4848 if you're a fool with questionable taste ... like me!) where you can call to order it. I was tempted. It's pretty safe to say that if it was $20 or less I'd probably be calling my Mom tonight using a plastic chameleon.

No matter. I'm sure this device will be piled into the local Dollar Store in a few months and on that day I will be there to snatch up as many units as possible. "Why?" you ask? Because one day I will own a giant mega-corporation and a giant mega-corporation needs phones, damn it.

Discuss this article in the forums

Read more articles by this author (Chefelf)

Warning: This website--like every other website on the internet--has been known to contain gross exaggerations and fabrications. Consider yourself warned.

Back to L&E

Copyright © 2001-2022 Chefelf
a division of All rights reserved.