The Jerky Boys’ Debut is Now 20 Years Old

Posted on: April 29th, 2013 at 12:30 pm by
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Thanks to older brothers in the know, the obsession really began in the late 1980s after hearing those bootleg cassettes. At the time, the tapes were going viral around the Tri-State area, and nicknames like “sizzlechest” and “liverlips” were making the rounds on the playgrounds. A few short years later, the Jerky Boys – Johnny Brennan and Kamal Ahmed – had a major label deal and were immersed in the mainstream. Those crank calls on the fringe came together in April 1993 with the release of their seminal self-titled debut, which eventually went double platinum. Twenty years ago, already. Damn.

Before the duo hit the big time, though, Ahmed (the “Egyptian Magician”) worked security at several hip nightspots on the Lower East Side, including the “Save the Robots” after-hours party in the basement of 25 Avenue B. While working these bouncer gigs, he would dole out those early tape recordings. But the neighborhood connection goes much deeper – his father is often credited with starting “Little India” on East 6th Street with a row of Indian restaurants.

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[Photo: shapelessmass]While we’re on the topic, do you think Jerky Boys would have created such a splash if released today? It seems that with the improved technology of Caller ID and cell phones, the pranking might prove more difficult. Not to mention the threat of Big Brother in our post-9/11 world.

What’s your favorite Jerky Boys bit and/or character?

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