Jerry Seinfeld, Edie Falco, Cam’ron, Debbie Mazar, Whoopie Goldberg, Fran Lebowitz–these are just a few of the 25 New York celebrities whose voices were recorded by the MTA for a new set of subway PSAs. The announcements, which begin today, are meant to bring humor and some good old-fashioned NYC swagger to the subway as the city begins its recovery. The project was done in collaboration with Nicolas Heller, a talent scout who has gained notoriety for his popular Instagram account New York Nico. “This was such a dream project and I wanna give a huge thanks to my team who helped make this whole thing happen in less than 6 weeks with $0,” he wrote in a post today.
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According to the MTA, the project was conceived to bring “a dose of authentic New York swagger into the system” and to provide “a morale boost and some much-needed humor for customers returning to the system as New York begins to recover from the pandemic.”
The full campaign will include roughly 50 recordings, and this first phase will run for about a month at 400 subway stations, thousands of subway cars, and close to 4,500 buses.
In a statement, Heller said:
This is such an honor for me. Mass transit is the cultural lifeblood of our city and partnering with the MTA to bring some joy into the system after the most challenging year imaginable is the least I can do to help with the system’s broader recovery. The city’s subways and buses–and the range of characters who ride them–have always been central to my work and I’m so grateful that I could help bring some of the most recognizable voices of iconic New Yorkers to the system. The members of the MTA workforce have braved the pandemic and heroically moved essential workers throughout the pandemic. This is for them.
All of the celebrities involved in the project were asked to infuse their personalities into the recordings while putting an emphasis on mask-wearing and social distancing. The full list of 25 participants is:
- Whoopi Goldber
- Young M.A.
- Jerry Seinfeld
- Edie Falco
- Bowen Yang
- Angie Martinez
- Bob the Drag Queen
- Debi Mazar
- Michael Rapaport
- The Kid Mero
- Dave East
- Pat Kiernan
- Angela Yee
- Peter Rosenberg
- Ilana Glazer
- Michael Kay
- Eric Andre
- Abbi Jacobson
And if you’re still working from home, the MTA has put together the clip above and provided some sample scripts here:
Whoopi Goldberg: Hey, it’s Whoopi Goldberg. Please remember to always wear a mask on the train and in the station. And remember to wear it the right way. Do your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our city safe. ‘Cause, honey, everybody wants to go out. Okay? Thank you.
Jerry Seinfeld: Hi this is Jerry Seinfeld. Please do your best to practice social distancing on the train and in the station. Staying 6ft apart is not only a great way to keep our city safe—think how much you’ll save not needing cologne. Thanks, New York.
Edie Falco: Hey New Yorkers—Edie Falco here. Getting a seat on a crowded train can feel like winning the lottery, but please be courteous. Offer your seat to someone who may need it more than you. And please wear your masks—let’s make courtesy the only thing that’s contagious on the train. Thanks, New York.
Cam’ron: Ey yo check it out it’s Harlem’s own Killa Cam. Look—I don’t care if you from uptown, downtown, Harlem, Switzerland, wherever. I don’t care if you a chicken or a duck. And you know what? Covid don’t care either. Are you wearin’ a mask? Ya, well is it covering your mouth and nose? Then good, you’re doing great. Remember not only wearin’ a mask is the law—it’s the right thing to do.
Awkwafina: Showtime! Just kidding, New York. It’s your girl, Awkwafina. And no, I’m not here to do sweet dance moves or swing around a pole. Bummer, I know. But, I am here to give you an important reminder: please wear your mask at all times while on the train or in the station. Actually, just wear it whenever you leave the house. Thanks for helping to keep New York City safe, and have a great day.
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