Harry Nugent, Old-School Subway Conductor, Made Riding the Train Less Miserable


“My man tells the best jokes,” explains a kid toward the end of the clip above. He’s talking about subway conductor Harry Nugent, the subject of the segment from Robert Lipsyte’s The Eleventh Hour on Channel 13, who added color commentary to his underground announcements. The report is from New York City in 1990, but might as well be Shining Time Station because it’s brimming with positivity in a way that’s hard to imagine if you rode the train to work this morning. Even at the time, Nugent was an anomaly — “I suppose there’s something about me that’s little unlikely for the subways,” he admits — but five minutes of carefully crafted nostalgia never hurts on a Monday afternoon.