Long John Nebel (born John Zimmerman; June 11, 1911 – April 10, 1978) was an influential New York City talk radio show host. From the mid-1950s until his death in 1978, Nebel was a hugely popular all-night radio host along with his wife, former pin-up model Candy Jones . At his peak, Nebel had millions of regular listeners and what was described as "a fanatically loyal following" to his syndicated program, which dealt mainly with anomalous phenomena, UFOs, and other offbeat topics. As Nebel worked without a call screener, his show heard on New York's WMCA radio was an easy target for prank calls.
The phone callersEdit
These calls, also known as the "Hello, John?" series, were made over a span of several years in the mid-1970s, and were edited seamlessly into a 40+ minute recording. The calls were made primarily by Jim Nazium and Hank Hayes, two New York City pirate radio operators whose transmitter had been confiscated by the FCC and took to prank calling Nebel's show out of boredom. In one of the last calls in the series, Nazium and Hayes taunt Nebel for breaking down and hiring a call screener.
Along with the "Red" tapes, they are among the best known prank call series in the pre-soundboard era and one of the first to utilize pre-recorded sounds to taunt a victim: Morse code beeps, skidding tires, and several excerpts from the "Nine!" tape, a widely circulated radio industry inside joke from 1974 that satirized Top 40 radio programming of its era. Nazium often mimicked an angry and confused old man who repeatedly threatened to come down to the studio to attack Nebel.
Nazium and Hayes would later make prank calls to other radio hosts including Bob Grant and Larry King (using a sound effect designed to trigger the automation system on the satellite network that distributed King's show) as well as to public access TV shows and to non-broadcasting victims.
Quotes of Long John NebelEdit
- Look in the mirror! And look at a large sized jerk!
- You know you really are a jerk!
- You don't have any goddamned guts, you hear me!
- You're scared stiff, you yellow bastard!
- You know what I'd like to do to you? Split your head wide open.
- Aw, get off the air, you bum!
- Fellow, you yellow son of a bitch, you wouldn't come down anyplace! Now what do you think of that?
- You know what I'm gonna do some night? I'm gonna catch up to you and I'm gonna punch you around like you've never gotten beaten up before.
- And you, my dear lady, are a creep and I recognize it.
- You know you're a real, real jerk? You must be embarrassing to members of your family. Are you in an institution or are you making this call from home? Maybe you have a weekend off.
- I don't happen to be down on negroes, sir, but I'm certainly down on jerks like you.