I think you have the wrong number.

I’ve been meaning to bring this up for awhile, after spotting this on my new Rockford Files DVDs. Note the phone numbers (Ghostbusters on top, obviously, and a close-up of Jim’s phone from the opening credits of the show.)

There’s no evidence that this is anything more than coincidence (or at least not that I’m aware of), but statistically, it would be a one in ten thousand chance that two prop masters, then years apart, would pick the same number. Plus, you have to take into account that while the commercial footage for that Ghostbusters TV spot was done in New York at the Hook and Ladder 8 firehall, the final video may very likely have been done in LA (which would be back on Rockford turf.) For the moment, I’m going to assume it’s a nod, mostly because it’s a better story than plain old chance. However, if anyone knows more, speak now.

[UPDATE] Ah ha! It turns out it’s a highly recycled number for film and television. That same number has been used as the phone number for;

– Baretta
– The Guiler residence in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
– Det. Sgt. Rick Hunter’s number in Hunter
– Kojak
– Jaime “The Bionic Woman” Sommers

And so on. Nobody knows where the number started, but that many 70s and 80s TV/movies suggests either shared props or shared set decorators, which could then lead to continuing references (the number was recently used it Memento, for example.) It appears, with some cursory checking, that the number is one of (if not the) most recycled fictional phone numbers (not counting the easy to pick repeats or thousands – ie 555-2222 or 555-1000)

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