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Jesus Chatline was a live-streamed webcast series hosted by Richard Burnish and Steven Chilton, who promoted a fictional branch of Christianity called “The Church of the Neon Bible" as a satire of American televangelist public access shows, that ran from 2011 to 2012. The show was known for being inundated with prank phone calls from users on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board.
Jesus Chatline was first live-streamed in May 2011 (shown below, left). On June 12th, FacePunch Forums member shaunr posted several YouTube uploads of the show. On June 30th, the special episode titled “Funeral Edition” was webcast, in which Burnish hosts a mock memorial service for Chilton as he is shown laying dead on a sofa (shown below, right).
On January 28th, 2012, an episode titled “Hard Issues with Carl Ghomeshi” was live-streamed, in which the hosts mimic a cable news program and discuss issues like freedom of speech (shown below, left). On May 20th, 2012, the “Racial Harmony Edition” of Jesus Chatline was webcast, in which Burnish and Chilton discuss racial stereotypes (shown below, right). In July, the show was discontinued. On July 18th, 2012, a Facebook page titled “Jesus Chatline” was launched.
On May 21st, 2011, YouTuber cooljunkproductions uploaded a video featuring prank highlights from the show (shown below). In the next four years, the video accumulated more than 110,000 views and 380 comments. The same day, the video was submitted to the /r/atheism subreddit, where the top comment pointed out that the 4chan users were pranking a satirical show.
On May 12th, 2012, Redditor faceplanted submitted a montage of 4chan’s Jesus Chatline prank calls to the /r/videos subreddit, where it garnered upwards of 1,300 votes (68% upvoted) prior to being archived. On the following day, YouTuber BBQ Ball uploaded a montage of Jesus Chatline prank calls (shown below). In the first three years, the video gained over 183,000 views and 1,600 comments.
Following the finale of Jesus Chatline, Chilton launched the solo show Rumbled Feathers on the streaming site Justin.tv. Like Jesus Chatline, the show was frequently pranked by 4chan users.
- Richard Burnish is the main pastor of Jesus Chatline and author of the “Neon Bible.” Burnish was raised in Seton’s Creek, Alabama and later joined Chilton to become preachers on the show.
- Steven Chilton is the co-host of the Jesus Chatline. Little is known about his history prior to the show.
- Chad is the imaginary producer of the show, who is blamed for calls going on too long and any technical difficulties that occur.
- Leeroy Sinclair, or Deryl Nippernuck, is a native American who frequently calls in to criticize the hosts and beg for royalties.
- Randal Baby Stevens is a frequent caller who often discusses the topic of homosexuality.
- Neil Legstrong is a deep sea biologist who was nearly killed after a chat member asked him to do a barrel roll which destroyed his FAP suit (Futuristic Aqua Protection). After this, the chatline held a fundraiser to buy him a new suit.
- Priest Hans Peter Schlanslucher was a “friend of Pope Benedict” and an employee at the Vatican’s media department.