Man Dressed As Giant Rat Takes New York Subway Mask Requirement To Next Level

by : Cameron Frew on : 15 Nov 2020 13:26
Man Dressed As Giant Rat Takes New York Subway Mask Requirement To Next Leveljonothonlyons/TikTok

Picture the scene: you’re a New Yorker riding the subway. Suddenly, a man dressed as a giant rat appears. 

Masks are a common sight wherever we go, whether it be the supermarket, out on the streets or on public transport. However, some have gone to extra lengths with their headwear.


Meet Buddy the Rat, a human under the guise of a massive (albeit well-dressed) rodent who’s been seen next to the Big Apple’s commuters quite frequently recently.

Equipped with a big mask, a long pink tail and a suit, Buddy can be seen in videos boarding the carriage and perching atop a seat. In a tweet with a clip, comedian Alison Williams wrote: ‘Oh NYC is dead? Explain this.’

Hilariously, the passengers don’t seem to be bothered by Buddy whatsoever, maybe taking a quick glance before going back to their phones. Fortunately, he’s been receiving a lot of love online.


Buddy is brought to life by Jonothon Lyons, a performance artist with a long career in physical theatre, including credits with the Blue Man Group. The character was first created 11 years ago for a video in Times Square, which amassed more than 70,000 views.

The large rat will soon appear in a short film this Thanksgiving from Todd Strauss-Schulson, the director behind Isn’t It Romantic and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. The short synopsis reads: ‘Lonely rat finds love and dances the night away.’


Lyons, originally from Arizona before moving to NYC in 2005, told the New York Post: ‘Most New Yorkers are totally indifferent… I don’t have to worry about people staying six feet away from me.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Viral, New York, US


New York Post
  1. New York Post

    Man dressed as giant rat takes subway mask requirement to new heights