Vancouverites taking transit could be chuckling along to the voice of comedian Seth Rogen as early as Friday afternoon.
TransLink announced the Vancouver-born actor-director as its new “guest voice” for transit on Thursday, and the star himself seems to think the idea is as funny as everyone else does.
“I thought it was hilarious. It was one of the things that really made me want to do it,” Rogen told CKNW’s The Simi Sara Show on Friday.
Never one to miss the chance at a gag, Rogen quipped he also had an ulterior motive: eclipsing Vancouver’s other famous Hollywood export.
“One of my main goals also for doing this was to defeat Ryan Reynolds,” said Rogen, following it up with his trademark guffaw.
Rogen’s stint as the voice of Vancouver transit was born from a Twitter joke by a Vancouver reporter that prompted a series of back-and-forth tweets with TransLink.
But the actor said in all seriousness, he was thrilled at the chance to represent his hometown.
“I’m just proud of being from Vancouver,” said Rogen.
“A lot of people try to get as far away form the city they were born in as humanly possible, and I’ve grown to really appreciate the fact that I’m from a great city, a city that I look for every opportunity to go back to. Like, a city that people go to on vacation.”
Rogen grew up in Vancouver, attending Point Grey Secondary School, and said the city had a massive impact on his development — including his breakout film Superbad.
“It just is, like, so personal, and like, so reflects our actual high school experience in so many ways,” he said.
“I will always have a very soft spot for that movie.”
His sister, nephews, and parents still live in Vancouver, and he said his grandparents lived their whole lives in the city.
“It’s just always a big part of my life, and it’s always been a very positive presence,” Rogen said.
As for what makes him an appropriate voice for the transit system, Rogen said he’s fully qualified as a regular TransLink user when in town.
“I take the Canada Line mostly. But I do take it, 100 per cent. I live downtown, I live a few blocks from a stop. I go to Richmond a lot. I have friends that live close to Cambie Street. I go to movies, they opened that theatre down by Southwest Marine,” he said.
“Weirdly when people ask me what Vancouver’s like, I’m always like ‘They have a very good public transportation system that I always have used,'” he added.
Robert Willis, social media manager for TransLink, said he was working to get a few of the clips onto the transit system as early as Friday.
He said Rogen recorded about 40 clips for the transit service, some written by Willis and some by the comedian himself, which will initially start on SkyTrain, but could eventually end up on buses as well.
Willis said the voice-overs will focus on transit etiquette, such as not leaving your food wrappers on the bus, along with information like what time the last train leaves.
“We just want to make the transit experience even better. We have one of the fastest growing systems in North America. We think it’s a really great system and we want more people to use it,” he said.