Celebrities tricked on tape -- An unknown prankster convinces Lily Tomlin, Gregory Peck, and Richard Dreyfuss that he's someone he's not

By Alan Carter
Updated April 01, 1994 at 05:00 AM EST

The hottest audiotape making the rounds in Hollywood these days can’t be found in stores. It’s a 45-minute cassette featuring an unknown prankster in a Spy– like mode making late-night nuisance calls to various Hollywood celebrities. How he got their home numbers is intriguing enough. But what makes the tape especially interesting is that the caller, who sounds to be in his 20s, has many of the stars-Lily Tomlin, Gregory Peck, and Richard Dreyfuss, among others-actually believing that he’s either director Norman Jewison, screenwriter-comic Buck Henry, or ”Murray Kais- er”-someone they’re told they’ve met at a recent party. Brazenly, he even tries to convince Tina Sinatra he’s her father, Frank.

To those who know Jewison (as Tomlin does), the caller explains that he sounds different ”because I have a cold.” Some of the stars (Alan King, Chevy Chase) catch on fast and hang up. Others (Roddy McDowall, Carl Reiner-”I’m sorry Mur- ray, I don’t remember you. I must be senile”-and, ironically, Buck Henry himself) speak at length. In fact, pretend-ing to be Henry, the prankster tells McDowall he’s writing a sequel to Planet of the Apes and wonders whether Roddy’s ”interested in climbing back into the costume.” ”Absolutely!” McDowall burbles. Maybe the celebs caught up in the hoax are tired of talking on the phone: They all declined to comment.