Back then, real-life Barts Jim Davidson and John Elmo repeatedly called Tube Bar and asked for classic pun names like “Al Coholic” and “Ben Dover.” It took a few tries for Deutsch to catch on but, once he did, he unloaded on the two youths with a series of threats and expletives that would have even made Moe blush. Eventually, tapes of the calls began to circulate and the “Tube Tapes” became a pre-internet viral hit, similar to the “Shut Up, Little Man” or “Farting Preacher” tapes.

According to Cracked, bands like Metallica, Nirvana, and Alice In Chains were known fans of the tapes, which had begun to circulate without the knowledge of the original pranksters. In 1993, pop culture commenter Chris Gore directed a short film inspired by the “Tube Tapes” which starred Reservoir Dogs actor Lawrence Tierney (because that’s who we were all picturing in our head anyways).

Simpsons creator Matt Groening has said in previous interviews that, while he was a fan of the tapes, any similarity to Moe is just a case of “creative synchronicity.” That’s a little difficult to believe considering the real life Red was a former boxer, just like Moe, and a handful of season one’s prank calls seem directly lifted from the “Tube Tapes.” But, hey, who’s to say? Maybe there’s thousands of cranky bartenders across America with similar stories. We should probably call them and find out.


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