A New York comedy duo is sticking it to the MTA for its “preachy” new subway courtesy campaign — and announcements that they say “cross the line of morality.”
And it’s all in good fun. Lots of fun.
In a comedy skit called “MTA Shames NYC” that is nearing 50,000 views on YouTube, Megan Sass and Gianmarco Soresi land some solid punches … uh, we mean, punchlines.
Soresi, 26, says he was taken aback when new announcement started playing over and over in January.
“They need to fix their s--t before they get up in our business,” the actor, stand-Up comedian, and writer tells Metro, half jokingly.
It’s not that he disagrees with what the MTA is saying, says Soresi (gianmarcosoresi.com).
Don’t even get him going when someone on the 2 or 3 train he takes almost daily is playing Candy Crush without head phones. (“That’s when I go right up to them and say, ‘Please turn it down!’”)
Rather, it’s about tone, he says, and language choice.
Funny lady Sass (megan-sass.com) agrees.
“They cross the line into morality,” she said.
So she and Soresi (@GianmarcoSoresi), who met about a year ago, collaborated on “MTA Shames NYC” and crossed some lines themselves, says the “20-something” actress, writer, and prolific comedy sketch artist.
Sass (@Megan_Sass) credits Soresi with the idea and the two decided to answer this question: “What if the announcements just kept getting more preachy.”
It starts with a group of winter coat-clad New Yorkers, some on their phones, others with their morning java fix, listening up when the announcer comes on. It’s one we’ve all heard.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you see an elderly, pregnant, or handicapped person near you, please offer your seat. You’ll be standing up for what’s right. Courtesy is contagious and it begins with you.”
Who can’t agree with that? Everyone smiles and a man immediately stands to let an expectant mom get off her feet
Then another we’ve all heard — the one about suspicious, unattended packages. Except this one has a twist, when the announcer notes, “But be aware we have unconscious biases. So take care not to rush to judgment.”
“That was weird,” the straphanger played by Soresi looks up and says.
“I don’t remember the subway announcements being so preachy,” a woman adds.
The recorded announcements then really head down the yellow brick road of politically-correct hilarity and have passengers looking at each other stunned.
“Ladies and gentlemen, hundreds of civilians die every day in the Middle East because of American bomb. If you aren’t calling your congressman to make it stop, you are responsible.”
Passengers take that one personally, and one stammers, “I am doing the best I can!”
Announcer: “Also, dogs are better than cats.”
Then the Starbucks set are set upon -- Sass’ latte-loving character in particular. The announcer urges riders to donate 10% of their income “to fight the spread of Ebola in Africa.”
“That double shot soy chai latte is delicious, but perhaps you can just drink a f***ing cup of coffee and save someone’s life! That means you, Sheila.”
The MTA declined Metro’s request for comment.
THE MTA's SUBWAY COURTESY CAMPAIGN
The MTA launched the Courtesy Counts campaign on the subways in January with new audio announcements and graphically-enhanced placards in 2,600 cars that it illustrate the list of “Do’s” -- and a list what MTA Corporate Communications calls “No No’s.”
“The messages serve to remind the MTA’s 8.6 million daily customers that they can help make the trip quicker and more pleasant by demonstrating a personal, consistent commitment to courtesy,” the agency said in statement in December.
• “Step Aside to Let Others Off First”
• “Keep Your Stuff to Yourself”
• “Take Your Pack Off Your Back”
• “Offer Your Seat to an Elderly, Disabled, or Pregnant Person”
• “Take Your Litter Off With You”
• “Keep the Sound Down”
The “No No’s”
• “Pole Are For Your Safety, Not Your Latest Routine”
• “Clipping? Primping?”
• “Don’t be a Pole Hog”
• “It’s a Subway Car Not a Dining Car”
• “Blocking Doors”
• “Dude…..Stop the Spread, Please”
“Courtesy is always important but it takes on an added significance as transit ridership continues to increase,” NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco said in December.