Ode to the Comedic Conductor


Call me crazy, but I actually enjoy riding the subways.  And after 11 years of almost living here, I’ve finally nailed down why:  you never know what you’re going to get.  Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced a cute Latino guy with his guitar who I’m sure will be the next Juanes, witnessed a very loud lover’s quarrel between two drag queens in their day clothes – one of whom was called Divine – over a misplaced comb and the aforementioned composing genius and his wild pen at work.  I’ve run into old friends, avoided old boyfriends and seen (sometimes even talked to) people who were so cool-looking I wished they were friends.

Yesterday, I experienced one of the more colorful subway characters: the Comedic Conductor.  This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill guy trying his hand at a joke.  He had an act.  He sounded Southern and from Long Island, high pitched and soprano-ish, and robotic and melodic all during one F ride from Broadway-Lafayette to 15th Street/Prospect Park.  

Here were some of Comedic Conductor’s best lines:

  • “For those of you that have been holding your breath since 2nd avenue, feel free to exhale now.”  (Side note:  If I were to do a Top 5 Stinky Subways list, 2nd avenue would lead by far.)
  • As the doors closed at Delancey:  “Now, aren’t you glad we got rid of those guys.”
  • As we pulled out of East Broadway:  “We will be crossing the border to Brooklyn in 3-2-1, blastoff!  Please have your passports ready.”
  • He told us that York Street in Dumbo was named for Darrin Stephens’ of Bewitched fame in 1968.  (Is this true?  And, if it isn’t, can he just lie?  What will the tourists think?)
  • And, at Jay Street he said:  “Surprise, surprise!  More people.”

Who was this masked conductor?  Any idea?  I hadn’t heard him before and I haven’t since.  But here’s to hoping that soon I’ll get another chance to see rush hour commuters smirking, giggling and making eye contact the whole way home.  

Posted by: Mariela


One response to “Ode to the Comedic Conductor

  1. Oh man, that is genius!! I love it when the conductors have a personality. I love it when they mess up, or get confused and just let it all out over the loudspeaker. I especially love the sassy ones that yell at people to stop being idiots and let the doors close.

    I have a personal fave conductor of the G train. I don’t know who he is, and he doesn’t do anything out of the normal “you are at this stop, next stop is blah blah blah”. It is the tone of his voice. He is like a computer recording. He’s like the live version of the automated lady on the L train. I love him. I always smile and curl my toes when I hear that I caught his train to my destination.

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