"You know pressing that yellow strip on the subway? When you press it, it’s like dialling 911, so make sure it’s a real emergency before pressing it!"
Encountering a celebrity on a train journey is normally something that happens to only the most eagle-eyed passengers. However, commuters in Toronto now experience the opposite, as one of Canada’s most famous comedy exports has given his time to do the voiceovers for Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)’s on-train announcements.
Seth Rogan, the star of Superbad, has lent his dulcet tones to TTC to attempt to kerb some of the less welcome habits and behaviours displayed by a minority of passengers on its trains. Maintaining his trademark irreverent style, Rogan recoded 12, 20-second-long requests for passengers not to engage in activities including blocking doors, putting feet on seats, holding trains doors and inconsiderate use of cell phones.
On the subject of fare evasion, Rogan’s recording attempts to shame those who haven’t put their hand in their pocket for the ride. “Some of you listening to me right now did not pay your fare. You know who you are and it’s not cool. And I also want you to know I can see you.”
Whereas Rogan, who made the recordings for no fee, took a somewhat more bizarre approach when pleading with passengers to keep their feet and shoes off the seats in the carriage. “Imagine if you would a world without feet. Okay don’t, as that’s a little freaky, but anyway imagine a TTC where no one puts their feet on the seat, so yea while feet are cool please leave them on the floor while riding for TTC.”
Speaking to TTC, Rogan said his reason for getting involved was to help make everyone’s riding experience as amazing as it could possibly be. “I use public transportation, myself, and would like people to not be clipping their toe nails around me,” referencing the announcement he made about the “gross” practice. For those of us that won’t be able to hear the messages on the train, the 12 recordings can be heard at the TTC website.
Not the first celebrity to have lent their vocal chords to the business of train announcements, Transport for London enlisted a number of well-known (in the UK at least) names to encourage commuters to donate to 2015’s The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal. Brian Blessed, Danny Dyer, Jo Brand, Harry Kane and Arsene Wenger all took part, with their voices heard across the Underground network, at London's biggest and busiest railway stations and also on London's trams.
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