Alaska News

City of Juneau started a joke hotline to cheer people up. High demand might have knocked it offline.

Juneau city officials have started a joke hotline amid the coronavirus pandemic, because you could use a laugh right now.

The City and Borough of Juneau hotline debuted Tuesday. It’s simple: Call 907-586-0428 and hear a (squeaky clean) joke.

“People just need a laugh,” said Dawn Welch, a recreation planner with the City and Borough of Juneau.

The joke hotline broke down Wednesday due to overwhelming demand, according to Welch. It was fixed by Thursday.

The idea came up a few weeks ago in an online discussion for parks department professionals, said Welch.

With a popular city-sponsored hiking program suspended during coronavirus closures, a hotline number usually used for the program was available.

“We thought, this is a perfect time to do this,” Welch said.


Three volunteers — one retired man and two high school girls — are recording a new joke by 10 a.m. each day, seven days a week, Welch said.

The volunteers are responsible for sourcing their own jokes -- though people are invited to submit jokes at

“Just good, clean, corny jokes,” Welch said.

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Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.