Write my voicemail

Inspired by I Am Legend, I thought it’d be funny to have my voicemail message be a “broadcast” looking for any remaining survivors of something. I want to start off with “I am IS. If you are listening to this message, it means…” and end with “If anyone is out there, if anyone can hear me…leave a message and I’ll call you back.” really dramatically.

I need the middle written for me. Any ideas?

ETA: Right now my message is “You know that voice that tells you to leave a message? Well this is my impression of her. [clears throat, inhales]” and then it goes to the woman’s voice. Hysterical.

How long a time period are we talking here? A typical few seconds, or open-ended?

At a minimum, you might want to include some appropriate sound effects, layer over eerie sounding wind, maybe a squeaky door or something similar. A slight, varying echo wouldn’t hurt, adds a 3D dimension too it.

It might be fun to have a friend add a second voice in the background, somewhat disconnected, asking what happened, where everyone went, that kind of thing. Assuming time is an issue (you dont’ want people falling asleep because the message is 5 minutes long…), you’ll want to have a serious, slightly panicked, very confused tone.

As for the words, considering the amount of time you have, less is more, although some vague reason why or how you survived might add to the mix. Maybe add some cryptic reference to your involvement in a secret project of some sort. Don’t worry so much about the dialogue, let the caller’s imagination do the work for you. Ideally, they should know it’s a joke, but even so, they should wonder if they shouldn’t turn on the TV and check CNN, or look out the window and see if there are others outside.

Maybe run through the news and see what’s popular in the conspiracy world/mass media today, allowing you to change it regularly. CERN might be good, for example, maybe it’s “breakdown” wasn’t just a slight malfunction, and it’s all a government cover-up because something is seriously wrong. Maybe the Chinese baby-milk scandal has more effects that just making people sick and killing them. The new way of creating stem cells got out of hand. The possibilities are endless.

Changing it every so often will make people want to call you, too. Which, depending on the people that have your number, may or may not be a good thing. :slight_smile:

My only advice–which is lame and a bit party-pooping but, I feel, worthy–is that if you go this route, change it up at least once a month.

“Entertaining” or “novelty” voicemail messages only stay that way for the first/second time someone hears them. Then they become quite annoying and people hearing them start to grumble “SHUT UP ALREADY SO I CAN LEAVE A @#& MESSAGE!”

If this doesn’t bother you, and/or you don’t get a whole lot of repeat callers, by all means ignore me. Perhaps I’ve just been scarred by hearing one too many “cute” voicemail prompts over the years…involving kids, pets, music, sound effects, people singing who shouldn’t be singing, whole families talking in unison, etc…


I don’t want to do a long one, but how would I go about using sound effects without it sounding lame? Put the phone up to my computer speakers or something?

The whole idea is lame. People don’t call you to hear something ‘funny’; there are comedy shows they can go to if they want that, done by professionals.

People call you to communicate; things like this that get in the way of that are just annoying.

But it’s your phone, do what you want.

I don’t get many voice mail messages, so I went the comedic route. Billy Crystal impersonated Fernando Lamas for mine. You look mahvelous!

A local radio station ran a competition for the best one of these a few years ago. I only remember two of them:

Hi. You’ve called Dave and Tim. We can’t come to the…
You’ve called TIM and Dave. We can’t come the phone right n…
No, really. You’ve called Dave and Tim. We can’t…
crack {THUD}
Hi. You’ve called Tim.
The winning entry, IIRC, was a surly:

Cute recorded greetings were very big when answering machines first became mainstream, along about 1975. Now: lameness personified.

My favorite style is “Hi, <insert name> here.” It comunicates the only two important facts the caller cares about: did I get the right phone (Yes)? and is the person available to talk? (No). All else is wasting the caller’s time.

My least favorite is people who’s message explains what to do, followed by the voicemail system’s recording explaining, yet again, what to do. Apparenty that person has never actually listened to their voicemail or that off anyone else using the same system.

Who will be hearing the message? As I explained to my daughter, prospective new employers will most likely not enjoy listening to your funny message. On the other hand, back when answering machines were much more common than voice mail, my outgoing message was Don Henley singing ‘If dirt were dollars, I wouldn’t worry anymore’ and my prospective employer heard it and still gave me the job.*

I will agree with other posters that it is a little late to be doing funny messages, but whatever floats your boat, man.

*They called and offered the job before I got home from the interview–I didn’t have a chance to change it.