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These iconic New Yorkers should be the new voices of the MTA

From Rosie Perez to Jerry Seinfeld, New Yorkers want these people to record announcements.
Written by
Shaye Weaver

New Yorkers have certain people they think of as "iconic New Yorkers," and this week, we found out who they are.

@NewYorkNico (Nicolas Heller), the "unofficial talent scout of New York City" and NYC's favorite Instagrammer, announced earlier this week that he has teamed up with The Metropolitan Transportation Authority to find the most iconic New Yorkers to record announcements for all to hear aboard the subway and bus systems.

They're asking everyone to identify who they'd love to hear tell people to "stand clear of the closing doors," wear a mask and give up their seat to the elderly while riding the subway. We also asked our readers to let us know who'd they'd like to hear.

RECOMMENDED: Iconic New Yorkers will be the new voice of the MTA

Most of the people that readers picked are celebrities: Rosie Perez, Spike Lee, Michael Rappaport, Alec Baldwin, John Mulaney, Lady Gaga, Jerry Seinfeld, Leah Remini, Jennifer López, Billy Joel, Kevin bacon, Barbra Streisand, Jay-Z , John Leguizamo, Lin Manuel Miranda, Sarah Jessica Parker and Christopher Walken were the most requested.

Heller says some of his favorite New Yorkers have already expressed interest, but his dream list includes names like Robert De Niro, Desus & Mero and Debi Mazar. That being said, not everyone needs to be a celebrity. Heller says local legends, recognizable voices, unsung heroes and others could qualify.

On his Instagram, users suggested other names like Pat Kiernan from NY1, Bob the Drag Queen, 50 Cent, the Wu-Tang Clan, Larry David, Cardi B, Gilbert Gottfried, Paul Sorvino, Fran Drescher, Michael Rapaport, AOC and Steve Buscemi 

"There is no real determination for who is iconic," Heller told us on Monday. "It's really just who the people think is worthy of the honor! I want the people of New York to be a huge part of this whole process."

Heller is putting together a list of those who were recommended on his Instagram post from Sunday and will reach out personally to these people. Once all the logistics are ironed out, Heller and his team will write the scripts and record the announcements. 

Heller nor those who provide the voices are getting paid to do this—they are "doing it for the culture!" Heller says.

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