Tommy Chong unofficially auditions to be the voice of Edmonton's transit system

Actor Tommy Chong says that if he were the voice of Edmonton's transit system, his public service announcements would give riders a "contact high."

'Please be advised .... if you must smoke pot then don't ride the train,' says Cheech & Chong actor

Tommy Chong says he'd be happy to be the voice of the Edmonton transit system. (Photo illustration by Ben Shannon with images from CBC News and Canadian Press)
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Actor Tommy Chong says that if he were the voice of Edmonton's transit system, his public service announcements would give riders a "contact high."

"There's something about my voice that saves a lot of people money and time, because when you hear my voice you automatically get a contact high — a very nice contact high," the Cheech & Chong star told As It Happens guest host Piya Chattopadhyay 

"You don't only get directions, but you get a nice little smile on your face." 

As of Wednesday evening, more than 2,200 people had signed an online petition calling for the Edmonton-born actor to be the new voice of the city's transit system.

This comes after Canadian comedian Seth Rogen recorded public service announcements for transit systems in Toronto and Vancouver.

Asked if he's interested in the gig, Chong replied: "As long as the money's there, I'm up for anything."

When Chattopadhyay noted that Rogen did it for free, Chong chuckled.

"I'm just gonna have Seth Rogen pay me 'cause he can afford it," he said.

"No, of course I would do anything for Canada for free. That's the Canadian way."

Toenails, marijuana and manspreading 

The actor even improvised few sample public service announcements for As It Happens — free of charge.

Here he is warning against clipping toenails on the bus:

"Please, this is the Edmonton Transit System. Clipping toenails is definitely not allowed on the transit system. And taking the toenails and throwing them out the window is definitely not allowed. So please, when you ride the Edmonton Transit System, do not clip your toenails — unless they're infected. Then you better clip them."

Tommy Chong records a mock PSA for the Edmonton Transit System about personal grooming. 0:29

This is how he would announce a delay:

"Commuters, please be aware there might be a slight delay. So don't get your little tails in a knot. Just sit there and be quiet and shut the f--k up."

Tommy Chong records a mock PSA for the Edmonton Transit System warning riders of a delay. 0:17

This is what he would say about "manspreading" — when men take up too much space by spreading their legs:

"Attention gentlemen, manspreading is definitely prohibited on this transit system. If you must spread your manhood, please go somewhere in private. No one wants to see your manhood spread anywhere."

Tommy Chong records a mock PSA for the Edmonton Transit System about proper sitting etiquette. 0:50

And, of course, here's his announcement about marijuana use:

"Please be advised, marijuana smoking is prohibited on the transit property. If you must smoke pot then don't ride the train. Get off. Go somewhere. Go in an alley and share it with somebody."

Tommy Chong records a mock PSA for the Edmonton Transit System about marijuana use. 0:19

Edmonton says its not hiring 

Despite the public demand and Chong's willingness, Edmonton said it's not hiring.

"There are a lot of factors that we need to consider when it comes to a voice for transit," Edmonton Transit System spokesperson Rowan Anderson told StarMetro Edmonton, citing experience, clarity and tone as examples.

But Chong wasn't dismayed.

"The guy who said that he's just reading from a manual that no one pays attention to," he said.

"Edmonton needs to update its image for sure, and having me as the voice of Edmonton would really do a lot for that city. It needs help. Edmonton needs help. There's no doubt about it."

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Katie Geleff. 

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