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‘Bruce Almighty’ Stirs Phone Calls to God

Need to call on God? Thanks to Jim Carrey’s new movie, “Bruce Almighty,” you now have the number.

The comedy, in which Carrey’s Bruce Nolan receives God’s powers, grossed more than $85 million last weekend. It also sent phone lines berserk as viewers left screenings—in which God (Morgan Freeman) pages Bruce and leaves a number—and tried the number in their respective area codes.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
The movie is set in Buffalo, N.Y., and a spokesman for “Almighty” backer Universal Studios told Denver’s Rocky Mountain News that Buffalo did not have the number assigned God in the movie.
 
But the number is legitimate in other cities—like Longmont, Colo.; Pinellas Park, Fla.; and Sanford, N.C. Callers across the country have been trying God’s number in their own areas, and they’ve been getting real people.
 
In Sanford, N.C., the number is actually for Turner’s Chapel Church where, coincidentally, the pastor’s name is Bruce … MacInnes.
 
MacInnes told Associated Press the church had received roughly 10 calls over the weekend. He said he hopes interest in the number will actually provide some opportunities for something meaningful.
 
“I had another call (Tuesday) from a man who asked to talk to God. I told him if he was serious I would be happy to talk with him about God. I said if he wasn’t serious he could just hang up. He hung up,” MacInnes told AP.
 
Dawn Jenkins of Pinellas Park, Fla., saw the movie last Friday—and recognized her own cell phone number on screen, according to a story in Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. She started getting over a dozen calls per hour from people asking for God.
 
In Longmont, Colo., God’s number rings the switchboard at the Radio Colorado Network, which coordinates phone lines for the network’s five stations there. They’ve been getting calls too.
 
“It’s everything from crank calls to some very serious stuff,” said Ron Nickel, senior vice president of the network, in the Rocky Mountain News.
 
Nickel said he hopes to turn the aggravation into a promotion—with the help of Universal Studios. The News reported that the promotion could entail callers to the radio stations being asked what they would really say to God. The best answer would be chosen by the host of the network’s religious show.
 
The prize would be a trip to Universal Studios Florida.
 
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.