In the first collaboration of its kind, a celebrity has taken over the announcements on one of New York City’s subway lines, the 7 train. Awkwafina, the Chinese-Korean-American comedian and rapper who recently won a Golden Globe for her performance in The Farewell, is starring in the Comedy Central series Awkwafina is Nora from Queens which premieres next week. We took a ride on the 7 train and recorded some of the funny announcements.
Above the screeching of the trains on the tracks, you might hear things like “Next stop is in Manhattan! So we’re going underwater. Hold your breath! Just kidding. The next stop is Grand Central-42nd Street.” Or “This is Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue. Hey fellas! Stop manspreading! Thanks and have a great day.” Or “Welcome to Queens! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s connected to Long Island. It’s not!” Or on the more sarcastic side: “The next stop is Times Square-42nd Street where New Yorkers go to relax” and “The next and last stop is Hudson Yards-34th Street. Hope you like weird architecture!”
This new collaboration with Awkwafina, who will be guest announcing along the entire 7 line for a week, adds a bit of color and sass. The 7 line is near and dear to her, as she grew up in Queens in Forest Hills. The scripted comedy show is semi autobiographical, with Awkwafina as Nora Lin as a young adult growing up in Queens with her grandmother (played by Lori Tann Chinn from Orange is the New Black) and father (played by BD Wong).
The New York City subway has about five official voices of the subway. Charlie Pellett, who you will recognize from “Stand clear of the closing doors, please!” was the voice for the R142A series of subway cars, which came into service in 1999. Bernie Wagenblast you’ll recognize from the announcements on arrival to the platforms of the numbered trains: “There is… an uptown local… 1 train to… Van Cortlandt Park-242nd Street” and the like.
The whole effort is technically a partnership between OUTFRONT Media, the advertising partner of the MTA and branding agency Posterscope. Based on the reaction so far, we’re going to bet there will be more of these on the subway coming…
Join us on our upcoming underground tour of the NYC Subway!
Header photo courtesy Comedy Central.