Louis "Red" Deutsch (September 16, 1895 – September 11, 1983) was a former heavyweight boxer, the owner of the Tube Bar in Jersey City, New Jersey, and perhaps the first ongoing and widely-known prank call victim of all time. In the years since his passing, the calls to him have become among the most famous prank calls ever made, having had several official CD releases (usually on milestone anniversaries of his discovery), the character of Moe the bartender on The Simpsons being based partially on him (including Bart's prank calls to his bar), and, more recently, becoming a soundboard.
Louis Deutsch was born in the city of Odessa, Ukraine on September 16, 1895, the youngest of no fewer than 7 children of a Jewish couple, Yitzak and Rebecca Deutsch. His father died a short time later, when Deutsch was still a baby.
Louis' two eldest siblings (names unknown) died in the Ukraine; his surviving siblings included sisters Pauline, Bessie and Rose and a brother named Morris.
Deutsch and his mother immigrated to the United States in 1906, when he was 11 years old. He began working almost immediately after the family's arrival at Ellis Island, selling newspapers at first, and later becoming a traveling peddler, with a horse and cart. During the Great Depression he is also known to have operated a successful chain of 30 fruit and vegetable concessions with the Big Bear Markets.
Deutsch was drafted into the U.S. military during World War I and spent approximately 2 years, 8 months in the service, but apparently never saw action and was not sent overseas. This was reportedly due to deafness in one ear.
On June 11, 1922, he married the former Jennie Schmaltz in New York City. The couple would go on to have a son, Irving, and a daughter, Rita.
In late 1933, following the repeal of Prohibition, Deutsch started the Jersey City business he would forever come to be associated with, the Tube Bar. A relatively tiny establishment with no bar stools and only one bathroom, the tavern was named for its address of 12 Tube Councourse and its close proximity to the PATH subway station, known locally as "the Tubes". It quickly became a popular watering hole for subway passengers, local police officers and especially Red's fellow boxers. Among its most famous regular patrons was world heavyweight champion, Rocky Marciano.
For most of its operation, the bar was strictly a males-only establishment and until the late 1970s, women were forbidden to enter. Reportedly, Red also had the highly unorthodox (and possibly illegal) policy of physically beating-up anyone caught not drinking and ejecting them by force, something for which he became a minor celebrity around New Jersey.
Deutsch eventually sold the Tube Bar in 1980 and retired to the city of Pompano Beach, Florida. He died and was laid to rest there on September 11, 1983 at the age of 87.
Although not a victim of the modern prank calling community (in fact, he was dead before most of us were even born), Red was one of the first prank call victims whose calls were made public. The calls were made by two young men between late 1974 and early 1976, John Elmo and Jim Davidson, also known by their the self-proclaimed title, the Bum Bar Bastards. The pair had previously witnessed Red beating up a customer outside of his bar--something that, according to frequent patrons, was not out of the ordinary--and decided to try prank calling him.
The typical call would begin by one of the men asking if they could speak to somebody with a fictitious name which, when said out loud, sounded like a common word or phrase, usually a cuss or insult (ie: Stu Pitt = stupid, Cole Kutz = cold cuts, Mike Untstinks = My Cunt Stinks). When Red shouted the name out for bar patrons to respond, he would sometimes realize that he had just been fooled, and would then proceed to cuss out and often threaten the caller. When Red did not get the joke, the caller would then egg a reaction out of him by cussing or threatening him himself. In one instance, a patron actually responded to one of these fictitious names. This was paralleled on The Simpsons, in which Bart, who frequently prank calls Moe the bartender, accidentally stumbled upon someone named Hugh Jass (huge ass). At one point during the calls, Red began to claim that he knew who the callers were because their friends had ratted them out, however, he never said or did anything else that indicated that he knew their identities, so this was most likely just an idle threat.
After a year and over 100 individual calls, the pranksters decided to lay the joke to rest and stop calling Red, making one last call in 1978. In the 1980s, they found the tapes they had made of the calls, compiled them, and began giving them to their friends to listen to. These friends found the calls so funny that they gave copies of the tapes to their friends, and soon a ripple effect began that spread the tapes across the country. For years the origin of the calls and the identities of the callers remained unknown (it was widely speculated that they were police officers who frequented the bar), however, the two callers eventually came forward in the early 1990s in order to claim copyright on the calls. Today, the calls have become world famous and have been officially released on CD several times, most recently as a 35th Anniversary Edition with an accompanying DVD of bonus features by the original callers.
Amazingly, despite being made 40 years ago and stored away for 10 years after being made, all but about 5 of the over 100 calls ever made to Red have survived intact. The 5 that are missing only existed for mere hours after they were made (the callers made several late night calls to Red's house one night, and later, while intoxicated, accidentally erased all but one from the tape). Compared to the dozens of popular modern prank calls that are lost each year, either by the caller closing their Youtube account or intentionally deleting them during "scares," this is quite a feat.
Parallels to Duncan
Although never called by the same people, Red displays numerous uncanny parallels to Frank "Duncan" Garrett, the most famous victim of the modern prank calling community.
- Both men were in their 70s when the prank calls to them began.
- Both men had very gruff-sounding voices.
- Both men immediately overreacted to their very first prank call, spewing out an unnecessary amount of vulgarity and threats that far outweighed the remarks made by the prankster.
- Both men were known to frequently use the insults, "cocksucker" and "motherfucker."
- Both men made references to guns and shooting the prankster in at least one call.
- Both were usually called at work.
- Both were at some point in their lives in the business of selling alcohol (Red owned the Tube Bar while being called, and Frank had formerly owned a liquor store).
- Both were former boxers (or so Frank claimed).
- Both expressed a desire for their prank callers to get cancer on at least one occasion.
- As the calls progressed, both became increasingly aware that they were the butt of an ongoing joke.
- Neither were ever known to have contacted any sort of law enforcement on the prank callers, and instead often challenged the caller to meet him in person so he could deal with them himself.
The main difference between Red and Frank is that Red's number was kept private between the two callers and the calls were stopped when they decided that enough was enough, while Frank's number was widely circulated on the internet where hundreds of copycat pranksters would find it each day and call him relentlessly until the day he died. In Red's case, the calls were not released until well after he had already sold the Tube Bar to new owners, retired and subsequently passed away, so even if the internet had existed then, he was never in a position to receive any copycat calls.
- "Tube Bar."
- "Who's Dis?"
- "Who do you wanna talk to?"
- "What nuber did you want?"
- "My name is Red!"
- "Nobody here by that name."
- "Your lookin' for me?"
- "You wanna? You wanna see me?"
- "My name is Red! RED!!! Come on over here!"
- "Why you yellow rat bastard, you motherfucker, cocksucker. Your mother’s been sucking my prick for many years… Why don’t you come over and meet me face to face, you motherfucker… I’ll meet you wherever you want."
- "When I get ahold of you, I’ll take two zigs outta your two cheeks. You’ll remember me for the rest of your life!"
- "You motherfucker...why don't you come over and say that?"
- "I'll meet you anyplace you want, you son of a bitch!"
- "Why don't ya put it in your stomach and get cancer?"
- "You'll get a cancer you motherfucker!"
- "Why don't ya come over, you yellow bastard?!"
- "Why ya motherfucker cocksucker! Why don't ya come over and talk to me person-to-person?"
- "Why don't ya come down and say that face-to-face?"
- "Why you lousy motherfucker bum!"
- "You motherfuckin' son of a bitch!"
- "Remember one thing I wanna tell ya ahead of time: I'll catch up with you, I know your voice. But when I do, I catch up with you...I'll break them bones on you, on your feet...you'll never be able to walk for the rest of your life!"
- "If and I catch up with you, I break every bone in your body!"
- "Believe it or not, ya see? You can abuse me all ya want, but I happen to know who you are."
- "See, when I catch up with you, you'll find out who I am."
- "Come down, ya son of a bitch, and I'll cut your fuckin' prick off!"
- "You son of a bitch! If anybody would call me them names, I'd come down here and I'd kill the guy!"
- "Why ya fuckin' bum! Come on over here and tell that to me to my face!"
- "Yeah, your mother sucked my prick the other day, ya know that?"
- "Why don't ya go out and fuck your mother, ya cocksucker?!"
- "Fuck YOU and your father, ya cocksucker!"
- "Come on down, you son of a bitch! I'll give you a $50 reward!"
- "I swear to God, I'll give you a $100. If you come over and show me your face."
- "Whaddaya tryin' to do? Make a jerk outta yourself?"
- " You yellow rat bastard. Why don't you come over and say all these things?"
- "Ya Fuckin' Bum!"
- "Why you yellow son of a bitch. Ya Motherfucker. You dirty rotten son of a bitch. Your a cock sucker and a motherfucker! Your a whore bastard! Your no fuckin' good! You son of a bitch!"
- "Listen you motherfucker come over here!"
- "If anybody would say that to me, I'd come down and fight 'em. But you ain't got the nerve, ya fuckin' bum!"
- "You see you motherfucker. Why don't go out and lay your mother for a change? You yellow bastard."
- "You yellow rat bastard. Why don't you come over and say all these things?"
- "When you want eh.. enjoy yourself with you fun. You don't tell your friends. Your friends happen to squeal on you. But, I'll catch up with you. When I do God help ya."
- "You know your friends gave you away, because you bragged about it, what your doin'."
- "You see your friends deserted you. They double crossed you. They gave you away when you try to tell them, that you are havin' a lot of fun with me. So I happen to know ya."
- "You yellow son of a bitch!"
- "You rotten yellow bastard!"
- "Ya fuckin' motherfucker!'
- "You know your mother sucked my prick the other day. You know that? Now you can come down and suck mine too?"
- "How would you like to go fuck yourself?!"
- "And wait until I catch up with you! I'll put the Z.Z. on both cheeks of you life. You'll remember me for the rest of your life."
- "I know who you are. Your friend, your friends told me who you are. So I know who you are.
- "I'll get ya, ya cocksucker! And when I do boy, God bless ya!"
- "I'll put 3 bullets into your jaw!"
- "Why don’t you come down, you motherfucker cocksucker. I’ll open your belly up and show you all the black stuff you got in there."
- "I'm not open yet my friend. 12 o'clock we open."
- " Listen ya cocksucker. If you come over here, I'll cut your belly open."
- " Why you cocksucker, come over here and I'll give you $100."
- "I'll cut your balls off!"
- "No girls can come in this bar. We got no ball room here."
- "Why don't you come over here? I'll suck your prick."
- "If I be insulting, they call me them words to your mother. I'd dare them to come down here, but you haven't got the nerve."
- "Never mind how old I am. Why don't you come down here?"
- "Are you talking to me?"
- "You want the Tube Bar, your talking to? Is that the number you called? The Tube Bar?
- "This is Red from the Tube Bar."
- "Why don't you come over and try to give it to me?" (a punch in the face)
- "Why don't you go out and fuck your mother or your sister? You mother fuck."
- "Come down here! I'll break your fuckin' head! Ya cocksucker, ya mother fucker!"
- "Why don't ya drop dead?"
- "I'll cut your fuckin' belly open if I see you."
- "You ain't got the nerve, you son of a bitch!"
- "Why don't you tell me who you are? I'll come over, and I'll screw ya."
- "I'll shoot ya, ya son of a bitch! I'll put a few bullets into ya!"
- "If anybody would call me them kind of a words, I'd go down and meet 'em, even if I get killed. But your to fuckin' yellow."
- "Whaddaya try to do, kid again?"
- "Any time you come over, I'll be here."
- "I'll kick your fuckin' teeth out if I see ya!"
- "What are you talking about?"
- "You lousy Irish cocksucker."
- "You haven't got the guts to come over here."
- "Yea come over here, I'll suck your prick."
- "As big as you got it" (how big a prick)
- "I'll take it in there to you motherfucer." (up the ass)
- "Who the hell do you think your talkin' to?"
- "I'll shoot the brains outta ya, ya bastard!"
- "I'll Kill you, you son of a bitch."
- Stanley Cramer? Stanley who?" (Stan D. Pain)
- "Whaddiya tryin' to kid me now?"
- "Your the one kiddin' me around huh?"
- "Why don't you come down here, and have a little moxie, and come down and tell me that, uh face to face?"
- "I'll show you at my age what I'll do to ya!"
- "Ya see, ya mother fucker. I'll knock your fuckin' teeth outta your mouth, if ya come over."
- "I'll shoot your fuckin' balls off, ya bastard."
- "If anybody would call me them names. I'd come down here, and I'd kill the guy. But you ain't got the guts."
- "You yellow rat bastard!"
- "You cocksucker, you ain't got the nerve."
- "I wish I would know who you were. If I knew who you are, I'd come after you."
- "When I come after you. And I guarantee you, you'd never be able to walk."
- "l'd break every bone in your body."
- "Why you fuckin' bum, I'll be here all day."
- "If I'd see you, I'd make a little mark on your cheek. And for the rest of your life, I'd cut a little cheek out."
- "I'll FUCK YOU before you, you talk to Hugh Duche."
- "Ya suck a cunt, you son of a bitch."
- "Ya muddafucker, you suck your mother's cunt."
- "Tell the cocksucker he sucks a cunt." (In the background refering to the caller)
- "If anybody would call me. I'd go over miles away, to the names I call you."
- "You son of a bitch, ya cocksucker, I'll let you sick my prick."
- "There's nobody by that kind of a name." (Al Brickurnick)
- "I'll cut your belly open! Ya Guinea Bastard!"
- "Why don't you go and drop dead?"
- "[Laughs] Eh ya do eh? Eh, you want to make a $500 reaward? Bring 'em over and I'll give you $500. (The call mentioned he knew who the guy bothering Red was.)
- "You see, whoever you are, you son of a bitch! You come over here I'll give ya..uh.. I'll give you somethin' to think of."
- "Why don't you come down, and show me your face? Ya fuckin' bum!"
- "Your mother is a fucker, she's a cunt."
- "Why you lousy son of a bitch! I'll give you $500 to come here."
- "Why you fuckin' bum, I know who you are!! And God help you when I catch you!!"
- " I'l put 2 zzps. I'll put two zigs on your !?! Both cheeks! You'll remember me for the rest... I know ya, don't worry!"
- "Your father is..er.. in your mother's asshole. Ya fuckin Bum!" (Where's my father?)
- "I wish you would come down, you mother fucker."
- "Why you yellow rat bastard. You mother fucker cocksucker!"
- "I've been fuckin', your mother's been sucking my prick, for many years. And your trying to make a jerk outta yourself. Why don't you come over and meet me face to face you motherfucker."
- "Why you lousy motherfucker cocksucker! You fuck your own mother for a nickel, ya son of a bitch! Your a motherfucker and a cocksucker!"
- "Peppe Roni?"
- "And there's a man by that name Peppe Roni?"
- "You wanna talk to a man by the name of Peppe Roni?"
- "I don't undersand what your saying." (Hal Jalikakick)
- "He's in my place?" (Hal Jalikakick)
- "Lets see ya motherfucker! You know your mother? Your mother fucks for niggers. So why don't you go out and fuck her yourself?"
- "You ain't go the nerve to come down."
- "Why don't you come over and say that to me face to face?"
- "You can do anything you want. You yellow rat bastard."
- "I happen to know who you are. And wait unil I catch up with you. I'll put the Z.Z. on both cheeks of your life. You'll remember me for the rest of your life."
- "Phil is off today."
- "Yea, but Phil dosen't work today."
- " When I'll catch with you. You'll find out all those Z. You know what [indistinguishable] make a Z? On both cheeks you'll have it. You motherfuckin' bum!"
- "Mark is not here." (Mark Mywords)
- "HE'S NOT HERE!!!" (Mark Mywords)
- "YOUR MOTHER SUCKED MY PRICK LAST NIGHT!!!"
- "Listen ya mother fucker. I fucked your wife this morning."
- "I give ya, $100 my word of honor. I'll give you $100 just as soon as I got it upon me." (Re: "Get that $100 ready, I'm coming down.")
- " Why don'tcha come over and be a man?"