In the 1990s, there was a fortune-telling TV show hosted by psychic Miss Cleo. This is a very interesting topic given the charade that it unfolds about who miss Cleo was, details about her TV show and more!
1. About Psychic Miss Cleo
Psychic Miss Cleo was originally named Youree Dell Harris. She was born on 12th August 1962 in Los Angeles. She attended an all-girls boarding school and her upbringing took place in a Catholic Afro-Caribbean family. She neither was a bright student nor was she interested in studying. Her interests peaked in theatres, though, during that time it was much harder to pursue. The infamous psychic Miss Cleo fortune teller met her demise at the age of 53, due to developing colorectal cancer on July 26, 2016. (See What’s a Hippie?)
2. Theatre and Scam
At the age of 34, she, along with her girlfriend, worked on theatre performances in Seattle, Washington. Her first theatrical performance was also her first acting project. The play titled For Women Only was an autobiography project. Throughout the year, she made many projects that led her to fall into debt.
She didn’t bother to pay her employees and lied to them about being a patient with bone cancer. She convinced them that she required the money made by the play for her treatment. If this was not enough, in 1997, her last project Supper Club Café turned out to be a disaster. This meant that she had numerous unfulfilled promises and a huge trail of debt. (See Why do people fall victim to scams?)
3. Miss Cleo TV Show
Due to so many scams and debts that she caused with her theatrical life; she needed some form of restart so she could resolve these problems. The instant solution came from the TV show Miss Cleo. During the late 1990s, Harris worked under the supervision of Psychic Reader Network and dawned the name of Cleo. The company also changed her origin from Seattle, Washington to Trelawny, Jamaica. On their website, they mentioned that she was a famous shaman of Jamaica.
It was a pay-per-call service where you would call Miss Cleo and tell her about your problems. She would listen to them and tell you a solution based on the believable tarot card that she had lying around. She was a false fortune teller and made claims that she was able to tell people about their future or what is about to come. (See Debunking Witches Flying on Brooms)
4. Lies That Followed
- The show ran after midnight, concreating the belief that her psychic abilities were at their best after midnight. When in reality, the only reason for streaming the show at that time was because live streaming prices were far cheaper late at night when compared to other time slots.
- There were instances when the crew of the show would call Cleo while already having prepared the script for her in advance to read off of and appear legit. Since it was their own crew, they did not even have to pay for the calls. It was noted that eleven out of nineteen calls per night were scripted.
- People who actually engaged a call on the show were many times misguided as she had no such capabilities or knowledge. She was either given a script or was improvising as she spoke. (See Why Are Rabbits’ Feet Lucky?)
5. Few Other Projects
- In 2002, she also voiced Auntie Poulet, one of the characters in the very popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Later, that character would briefly appear in Grand Theft Auto 4, although she wasn’t brought back to voice it this time.
- She also appeared in the New York Daily News regarding her new work as a spokeswoman for a music TV show. She conducted multiple magazine interviews as well.
- Miss Cleo appeared in a number of advertisements such as General Mills breakfast cereal, French Toast Crunch, which later became a series of adverts.
- Soon after, Psychic Reader Network studio had claimed the rights to the character of Miss Cleo that led to a discontinuation of these series.
- Later in 2014, she also appeared in a documentary that was titled Hotline. (See 10 Interesting Bob Ross Facts)
6. The Dark Side
Given her history, it is not much of a surprise that she turned to falsification and fraud one more time. There are mails that were sent to people that advertised that psychic Miss Cleo had chosen them and held a tarot reading for them over free calls. All of that turned out to be false as the calls were charged with a fee. Moreover, rather than Miss Cleo, it was her associates working under Psychic Reader Network, who picked up the call and recited the script that was given to them. It wasn’t until later when local Jamaican people began an investigation on her to find out about the truth. Since her way of speaking, her mannerism, and the stories weren’t understood or related to people who lived in Jamaica, it began to suspicions.
Although the network managed to fool many people, there were leftover gaps which later resulted in her being exposed to the public. Numerous allegations were raised against her, though she denied all of them. It certainly led to a decline in the viewership which was already low at that time. The show ended abruptly during the early 2000s. (See 4 Interesting Black Friday History Myths and Facts)