Brow Beat

Call Marlo from The Wire on the Phone

Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield on The Wire (HBO)

Given the show’s commitment to realism, it’s no surprise that The Wire did not resort to the standard “555” trick that has, according to Wikipedia, been used in film and TV since the 1950s or ‘60s. When drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield gave corrupt layer Maurice Levy his phone number, for instance, he provided what sounded like some real Baltimore-area digits.

And now, more than four years after the series finale, calling that number will get you a recording of Marlo delivering his most famous lines:


The audio recording you reach is not particularly high-quality, and it’s not clear who is behind this little bit of fan service. In the comments on YouTube, the creator of the video above says that dialing the number did not always lead a caller to the Marlo recording. But it’s another testament to the show’s staying power, of course, that people are calling Marlo Stanfield long after he left their TV screens. (Via The Daily What.)

Update: Justin Newman, who manages technical operations for the Baltimore-Washington Telephone Company (BWTel) emailed me this morning to say that he had set up the Marlo Stanfield recording. He provides all the details on his website.

The Visual Style of The Wire
Slavoj Žižek and Fredric Jameson on The Wire
The Wire: The Musical