A Bogus Call is a form of prank call played on the hosts of the show by callers.
There is a long-running rule by the hosts of the show that bogus calls are acceptable, but anyone attempting such must following specific rules.
First, the caller must be able to convincingly portray what sounds like a real advice question. All Loveline calls are screened by a phone operator before being connected to the hosts, so a caller must first convince them they have a genuine question, or else the phone op will simply hang up on them. If the phone op buys their story, a text summary is put into the computer and the caller is put on hold. The hosts then read the text summaries of all the phone lines and decide which call they want to take at any given point. If they take the bogus caller's line and talk to them on air, that caller must continue the ruse and convince them they have a real problem to be solved.
Blurting out a non-sequitur declaration once on the air with the hosts is not considered a proper bogus call, and is the mark of an imbecile. Often engineer Anderson will simply Dump the caller’s utterance as though it were profanity, preventing it from ever being heard by anyone.
Another long standing rule that the caller must confess immediately if any host doubts their story and calls them out as bogus. This is for safety reasons, because if a caller seems to be in genuine distress or a crime is being described, the hosts are obligated to call the police. Refusal to confess that a call is bogus when confronted is considered a grave infraction, and is a great source of frustration to the staff of the show. Dr. Drew in particular is extremely skilled at finding holes in implausible stories, so callers that refuse to fess up are usually hung up on before they can continue their schtick any further.
People that confess after a creative call and remain on the line are usually congratulated by the hosts, whether they were discovered as false or revealed it themselves at the end.
References to a mason jars indicate that a given call is a bogus call, and the caller’s story is entirely fabricated. The expression originated with a caller in the late 90s who would call the show with elaborate stories, eventually working in the line "She had a butthole the size of a mason jar." This punchline has since been copied by many other callers which have used both the term "Butt-Hole" and "Ass-Hole." The Mason Jar shtick was around until shortly after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl "Wardrobe Malfunction" caused an extreme tightening of the rules of conduct which caused the show to have to censor the term "Ass-Hole," though this restriction eventually relaxed. The phrase "mason jar" is also used by the hosts when they suspect a call is fake. In 2003, the original caller from Tucson contacted Doctor Drew and apologized for what he had planned to be a simple joke-call that got out of hand. Doctor Drew spoke of his contact with the caller on many episodes in the latter half of 2003 and even offered to have the young man from Tucson, AZ on the show. The caller never accepted the invitation.
The "mason jar" line gradually faded in use by callers some years after Carolla's departure, though occasionally comes up when he is a guest host.
Notable Bogus CallsEdit
Sarah was a caller from Austin, TX in May 2009 who claimed she was diagnosed by a doctor as having an anal fissure, and was curious if it was caused by her having anal sex. Adam Carolla was guest hosting at the time. During the conversation, they heard the characteristic chirp of a dying Smoke Detector, a major pet peeve and often a sign the caller was a complete moron. Sarah claimed she was oblivious to it now, and that she'd never realized what the sound meant. Incensed by how stupid she seemed, Adam launched into a 10 minute long rant about just how stupid any person must be to not change the battery, and tangentially that people like her were the reason that warning labels are on everything. He then went on another tangential rant about how he felt women were not capable of figuring out how to get at things that are out of reach, alluding to the fact that Sarah hadn't used a ladder to change the battery, and that women never seem to use ladders. He then asked her not to change the battery, so that if there was a fire, she would be killed and not reproduce. At this point, Drew told her that her having anal sex was the reason for the fissure and that it would not heal properly until she stopped. She replied, "Could possibly be because I have an asshole the size of a mason jar?" thus revealing the entire call was a ruse. She revealed that the smoke detector sound was a recording she was playing to fool them, thus invalidating Adam's whole rant. Adam then told her to "put the guy on the phone" (due to his belief that women never make bogus calls unless put up to it by men). However, she revealed there wasn't any there, thus invalidate another of his stereotypes, though she did admit the prank was planned by multiple people from a Loveline forum, some of whom are probably male. Drew and Adam both praised her for superbly executing the call, Drew dubbing her forever after, "Lord Sarah."
Steven was a caller in January 2012 who, like Sarah, also called during an night when Carolla as a guest, though he was not on the microphones at the time. In a tearful, slurred voice, he claimed he was involved with a woman whom he'd fathered a two-year old daughter with, and that this woman had started stripping and drinking heavily. He stated that he felt he could not say anything because she was the sole income for the household due to him recovering from a back injury and being on opiate painkillers by prescription. Drew and Mike encouraged him to get off the painkillers, as regardless of any doctor's recommendation, he was not being an effective parent in his current state. Steven then mentioned the "mason jar" line and suddenly dropped his inebriated slur, revealing a completely normal speaking voice and that he was a PsiD candidate who had been inspired by his listening to the show.
During an Open Forum segment on November 19, 2013 about injuries sustained during sex, Dakota told a colorful tale of having sex with her boyfriend at the age of 17. Having never used a condom before, Dakota discovered she was allergic to latex when her genitalia began to burn and swell. She claims the swelling was so intense that it closed around her boyfriend's penis tight enough that he could not withdraw. The couple were then forced to call to her parents for help, who assisted them in walking to the car and then drove them to the emergency room, still joined together. Dakota was administered a medication to reduce the swelling so they could be pulled apart, and the condom was removed via speculum with forceps. The nail in the coffin for this call was when Dakota claimed her father's name is Mike and "went crazy" after the incident, so they began calling him Psycho Mike (not only an obvious shout-out but bizarre she would call her biological father by his first name).
Dr. Drew seemed aware the call was bogus and mentioned it in passing; being a physician he knew the part about the boyfriend being trapped was impossible. However, Drew and Mike were so entertained by her elaborate descriptions and delivery, they decided to play along and were very complimentary of Dakota despite the fact that she cussed multiple times while talking on the air.
Dakota's detailed description of the incident suggest that most of it might actually be true, apart from a lot of descriptive exaggeration and minus the part about the couple being stuck together. The amount of pressure required to grasp the penis where it could not be withdrawn would have been the equivalent of a tourniquet, and would have caused the boyfriend severe pain and likely permanent injury to the cavernous bodies in his penis. More importantly, no amount of vaginal swelling could produce such pressure and friction. As many other couples with latex allergies already know, normally when vaginal swelling occurs the act simply becomes too painful to continue or at worst, the penis is simply forced out of the opening. More than likely Dakota did have an allergic reaction to latex and still faced the awkwardness of having to be driven to the hospital by her parents, just not with her boyfriend inserted into her at the time.
On November 24, Dakota came to the studio in person and retold her story, though it became increasingly obvious the story was at least partially fake under cross-examination by Mike and Drew. She made numerous slips and changes to her story during the conversation including saying she was at her boyfriend's house and called to his parents rather than hers, and that her boyfriend was able to free his penis right away in the bedroom, and later stated he did so in the car en-route to the hospital, not at the hospital after drugs were administered like she claimed in the original call. However, Drew stated very plainly "If this were a bogus call, I don't care! Because you thought out all these details so well." She continued to insist it was true and said she would obtain the medical records from the hospital and provide them to Dr. Drew. The records would likely support that she had an allergic reaction to latex and required removal of the condom, but most likely will contain nothing to prove her boyfriend was trapped in her since, after she changed her story the third time, he was able to withdraw before they reached the hospital.
In Februrary of 2014, when a caller directly asked them why they had not mentioned Dakota's call in a while, Drew and Mike finally admitted they were convinced she not only was lying, but had other things wrong with her that were far more concerning than a latex allergy (i.e. mental illness).