Way back in the pre-call-display 1970s, Jim Davidson and John Elmo repeatedly phoned the owner of the local dive, Louis "Red" Deutsch, asking for pun names like "Ben Dover" and "Pepe Roni." After polling the bar for the nonexistent patrons, Red would growl elaborately obscene threats at the pranksters -- way too vulgar even for the moral cesspool that was '90s FOX programming.
The pair recorded all their calls on an old Panasonic cassette player, and somehow a copy leaked. What would became known as "The Tube Tapes" began to circulate, eventually turning into a cult phenomenon. After hearing them at a party, the head of TeenBeat Records released the tapes on his independent label, which sold 6,000 copies in the first year alone. The tapes were a favorite among Major League Baseball teams thanks to the New York Mets' equipment manager, and they circulated among touring rock bands like Alice in Chains and Nirvana.
Insanely, all of this was unbeknownst to the original pranksters (dubbed the "Bum Bar Bastards"), who didn't clue in to their underground fame until 1992, when Davidson randomly heard Kurt Loder reference the tapes on MTV. The tapes became so legendary that in 1993, pop culture commentator Chris Gore directed a short film based on the calls, starring the appropriately grizzled Lawrence Tierney as Red. Though contrary to boring old real life, Red actually gets to follow through on his threats and guns down the pranksters, giving them the grim ending The Simpsons was too cowardly to attempt.