In the darkest depths of the ocean, beyond the realm of man's understanding, lies Great Cthulhu. The last of the Great Old Ones, who sleeps in the sunken city of R'lyeh, awaiting the time when the stars will be right and he will break out of his tomb, free to feast upon the souls of man...
...But in the meantime, he is still trapped at the bottom of the ocean in his city looking for a way to pass the time. His solution? Start a phone-in talkshow in which people can phone him about anything, ranging from secrets of the old ones to farming advice. Calls for Cthulhu (a pun on The Call of Cthulhu, the original Lovecraft story) sees the title character (portrayed by a hand puppet) answering questions from viewers on all sorts of topics and providing advice with varying degrees of helpfulness (in between boasts about his intentions to swallow the souls of his callers- and occasionally he'll swallow the soul of a particularly annoying caller over the phone).
Not to be confused with The Call of Cthulhu, the original short story from which the character originated.
This series provides examples of:
- Affably Evil: Cthulhu's surprisingly genial for a soul-devouring monstrosity.
- Black Speech: Given the Lovecraftian setting, it's bound to come up now and then.
- Crazy-Prepared: Whenever there's a rapid fire round, Tim brings up a banner with a loud announcement that always manages to surprise Cthulhu. In one episode, Cthulhu says that it's time for a Quick Draw Segment. Just when he thinks he's conned him, a new banner comes up.
- Crossover Cosmology: Cthulhu mentions Odin at one point and later has a guest appearance from Xenu.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the first two episodes, the visuals to the intro are not as clearly developed and the set is a lot more simplistic.
- Eldritch Abomination: Cthulhu. Some of the bigger ones are referenced occasionally and Shub-Niggurath phoned in one episode.
- Eldritch Location: R'lyeh is built up as one, though we don't see much of the non-euclidean geometry.
- Everything's Better with Plushies
- The Ghost: Tim, Cthulhu's assistant.
- Laughing Mad: The fate of a telemarketer who makes the mistake of calling the show.
- Lovecraft Lite: Ironically many of the cosmic horror components are still present, but it's hard to take the Cthulhu hand puppet seriously.
- Cthulhu also occasionally talks about having real estate problems and runs a "suicide hotline" as "community service" (though he has a tendency to abuse it).
- Mood Whiplash: The intro always starts off with a dark and epic feel, creating a sense of terror and cosmic horror as we learn about the mysterious Cthulhu... before announcing that Cthulhu is answering phone calls from viewers.
- A running joke is for Cthulhu to respond to a caller (usually the first) by announcing that he will swallow their soul and delivering a speech about the inevitable horrors to come... then casually answering the viewer's question. The inverse is fairly common as well.
- Orphaned Series: There sadly haven't been any new episodes since 2011.
- Our Souls Are Different: Cthulhu compares human souls to sugar, then caffeine, then marshmallow peeps. They don't really taste good, but it's hard to stop eating them.
- R'lyeh is boring: Lampshaded.Cthulhu: You know, I never really did feel lonely down here. I mean, it's nice enough. I got the, um...well...the drowned city...the occasional Lungfish...and now that you mention it, there is damn little to do down here. Oh well, I'll be going back to sleep soon enough. Maybe in a year or two.
- The Unpronouncable: Parodies the use of this when Cthulhu outright refuses to tell a caller how to pronounce his real name.Travis in Duluth, MN: Ah, hi! I was just wondering: how do you pronounce your name?
Travis in Duluth, MN: Well I was looking it up online, and I found several different pronunciations. I was just wondering...
Cthulhu: Kid, do you have nine tongues?
Travis in Duluth, MN: What?!
Cthulhu: Tongues, kid. Do you have nine of 'em?
Travis in Duluth, MN: Well—
Cthulhu: Is your mouth more than six feet wide?
Travis in Duluth, MN: Well, no.
Cthulhu: Then give it up! It's an alien language; your little skin-flap of a mouth can't handle it. Besides it's more of a mental thing than an actual word, so just...give it up. Next caller! You're on with us again for Calls for... um, me.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Cthulhu is constantly talking about swallowing souls. He even had a segment in which he tried to do a cooking show demonstrating different recipes.
- According to Cthulhu, the best drink to go with souls is pink lemonade snapple.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: When someone asks why Cthulhu looks like a sock puppet, he gives his explanation.