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MTA, New York Comedy Festival Team Up to Bring Top Comedic Voices to the Subway System

Updated Oct 27, 2023 12:30 p.m.

Announcements from Popular Comedians Encouraging New Yorkers to Take Mass Transit to This Year’s New York Comedy Festival Set to Play in 25 Subway Stations Starting Friday, Oct. 27

Campaign Includes Digital Signage in Subway Cars and at Commuter Railroad Stations

Listen to Subway Announcements 


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and New York Comedy Festival today announced the launch of a new batch of subway announcements encouraging New Yorkers to take mass transit to the festival. Comedian announcements will be promoting both the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) and using the MTA to get there. The announcements, which will start playing in stations Friday, Oct. 27, are part of a multifaceted joint promotion with the MTA and NYCF ahead of this year’s event.

In addition to the announcements, the NYCF will also be featured on digital screens in subway cars, and at Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad stations including major transit hubs Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station. The NYCF will feature MTA on their website, social pages, email alerts, and have a public address announcement about using public transportation before every show.

“The subway system, no stranger to having comedic moments of its own, will have some of its funniest riders reminding everyone the best way to get to this year’s comedy festival is mass transit,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “There is a little truth behind every joke, so I hope riders get the message—the easiest way to catch every show happening across the city is the subway.”

“The New York Comedy Festival is thrilled to help brighten up New Yorkers’ commutes as our headlining comedians will soon ‘take the stage’ and share some special announcements with subway riders,” said Caroline Hirsch, Founder and Owner of the New York Comedy Festival. “We thank the MTA for this partnership and encourage everyone to take mass transit to get to over 100 shows in all the boroughs in time to laugh and enjoy.”

“I wish I had handrails, stanchions and grab poles every moment of my life and not just on the subway,” said Margaret Cho. “They make me feel safe and statuesque at the same time. Rider - you live my dream!”

“As a lifelong subway rider, it's an honor to be the voice of the MTA for the three people on the train not wearing headphones to hear,” said Sam Morril.

“Ooh baby! I love riding the train,” said Nicole Byer. “So, this is fun, isn't it?”

The New York Comedy Festival is a ten-day festival featuring more than 200 comedians performing in more than 100 shows at venues throughout all five boroughs. The festival will run from Friday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 12. For more information on upcoming shows, visit https://nycomedyfestival.com.

In the lead up to the promotion, MTA Away also held a sweepstakes offering tickets to the festival, with one lucky VIP winner receiving a "Meet and Greet” ticket. For more deals, offers, and guides, visit mtaaway.com. 

The announcements will play at 25 stations across the New York City Subway system from Oct. 27 through Friday, Nov. 10.

Sample Scripts

Margaret Cho

Hey, you with a huge backpack, make some room for the rest of us. This is Margaret Cho. See me live and even more livid than I am right now when I headline Townhall on November 8 as part of the New York Comedy Festival.

Sam Morril

Hey guys, this is comedian Sam Morril. I’ll be playing the Theater at Madison Square Garden November 4 as part of the New York Comedy Festival. Thank you for riding the subway today and every day. The subway connects us all, and we’re glad you’re here. Except for you with the toenail clippers. You’re gross. What are you doing?

Nicole Byer

Hi, hi, hi, it’s Nicole Byer. Hey, you with the phone in your hand. Did you tap to pay your fare with OMNY? Better get started! MetroCard is going away soon. Be sure to see me live at the Apollo on November 10 as part of the New York Comedy Festival.

About the New York Comedy Festival

Launched in 2004, The New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) is produced by Carolines and created by Caroline Hirsch. NYCF brings together the country’s top comedians including Judd Apatow, Bill Burr, Margaret Cho, Larry David, Kevin Hart, Jo Koy, Nick Kroll, Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Tracy Morgan, and many others to venues throughout the five boroughs of New York City. In 2007, NYCF launched the “Stand Up for Heroes” event to benefit The Bob Woodruff Foundation, which has featured performances by Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, John Mayer, Seth Meyers, John Mulaney, John Oliver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jeff Ross, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, and many others. To date, Stand Up For Heroes events have raised over $65 million. For more information, visit https://nycomedyfestival.com and follow on social media Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MakeNYLaugh.