New York City subway riders got a surprise Thursday morning when the familiar stock voice making announcements was replaced by actress Awkwafina.
“The Farewell” actress and native of Queens, whose real name is Nora Lum, can be heard on the MTA’s 7 Line to Flushing, adding humorous one-liners after announcing stops.
At one stop, she announces: “This is Queensboro Plaza. Please remember to use headphones when you’re listening to music, even if your playlist is straight fire.”
At another, she says: “This is Vernon Boulevard and Jackson Avenue. Hey fellas — stop manspreading. Thanks. Have a great day.”
Awkwafina’s subway takeover is part of a partnership between Comedy Central and the MTA to promote the performer’s upcoming Comedy Central series, “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens,” according to a Comedy Central statement. The voiceover will last a week, ending Jan. 22.
The series is based on Awkwafina’s real life childhood and is set to star B.D. Wong, Tori Lan Chinn and Bowen Yang.
“What better way to celebrate the premiere of ‘Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens’ on Comedy Central, than having Nora herself voice the train that runs through the heart of Queens,” Josh Line, executive vice president of marketing, creative and digital for Comedy Central, said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to have such collaborative partners in Awkwafina and the MTA to help bring this fun and unique concept to New York City commuters.”
The partnership is also a pilot for celebrity train announcements on the MTA, according to the statement.
“We are exploring new and different ways to generate much needed revenue, while also surprising and delighting customers,” Sarah Meyer, chief customer officer at MTA New York City Transit, said. “Our focus will always be to run the trains safely and on time, and if a well-known voice can bring attention to in-car messaging, we are all for it.”