Morrie the hoaxster made a prank call to news anchor Peter Jennings. (Photo illustration)
O. J. Simpson is a former football player and actor accused of killing his wife and her friend. In 1994, he was chased in a white Ford Bronco during a "low-speed pursuit" by police. This prank call happened at the conclusion of the chase. Simpson is currently in prison on other charges.
"Baba Booey" is the nickname of Gary Dell’Abate, the producer for controversial radio personality Howard Stern’s program. Many crank calls have been made by Howard Stern fans trying to work the phrase "Baba Booey" into the call.
News anchor Peter Jennings died in 2005.
Here’s an account of the gag from the March 1996 issue of Reason Magazine. Howard Stern thought the call exposed both racism and the whorish nature of the news media.
The ultimate coup came when a caller got through to Peter Jennings of ABC News during the conclusion of O.J. Simpson’s Bronco chase. While Simpson’s truck was parked outside his Brentwood home, the caller got on by posing as one of Simpson’s neighbors. The caller, as Stern tells it, "slipped into a thick black dialect that made Kingfish seem like a Rhodes scholar," complete with observations along the lines of "Oh, my Lord, this is quite tenses" and "Now lookee here, [O.J.] look very upset. I don’ know what gon’ be doin’." While such shenanigans are in undeniably bad taste, Stern correctly points out, as with Stuttering John’s questions, that the media get what they deserve: "If Jennings wasn’t a wooden Indian, he would have realized that this guy is a fake. First of all, his dialect was obviously phony. Second, a shucking and jiving black man is obviously not O.J.’s neighbor. All Jennings could see was his exclusive!"
The O.J. Simpson prank call to Peter Jennings
Transcript of the fake call
Jennings: We have on the phone with us as well Robert Higgins, who lives in the neighborhood and is on the ground and can see inside the van. Mr. Higgins.
Caller: Ah, yeass, ah, how are you?
Jennings: Ah, just about as tense as you are, sir.
Caller: Oh, my Lord, this is quite tenses.
Jennings: What can you see?
Caller: Ah, what I’m lookin’ at ri’ now is I’m lookin’ at the van, and I see OJ kinna’ slouchin’ down lookin’ very very upset. Now lookee here, he look very upset. I don’ know what gon’ be doin’.
Jennings: Can you… can you… can you see him doing anything specific? Is he merely sitting there?
Caller: He is just a-sittin’ ’round, you know, just a-lookin’ like he be very nervous
Jennings: Can you hear anything, Mr. Higgins?
Caller: It’s just too much commotion, I here in the back of a news van, so I can’ really hear that goo’ but I can see it all. An’ I see OJ. I see OJ, man, and he looks scared. An’ I would be scared ’cause there’s cops all deep in this.
Jennings: Thank you, Mr. Higgins.
Caller: An’ Bobba Booey to y’all!
Jennings: The driveway of O. J. Simpson’s home in Brentwood… Clearly an effort being made to have him come out of the vehicle… In the doorway of the house: his friend, Al Cowlings…
Michaels: Peter, by the way, just for the record, this is Al Michaels. That was a totally farcical call.
Michaels: Lest anybody think that that was somebody who was truly across the street that was not. He said something in code at the end that’s indicative of the mentioning of the name of a certain radio talk show host.
Jennings: OK, thanks.
Michaels: He was not there.
Jennings: OK, we have them on every coast. Thank you very much.
– Howard Stern, Wikipedia>>
– Gary Dell’Abate, Wikipedia>>
– American Scream, Reason Magazine>>
– The "I See OJ" Phony Phone Call (transcript), 2000 Clicks>>
– The Howard Stern Show for December 12, 2005, Baba Booey to you all, Howard Stern.com>>