For a while, Andrew Yang’s run for mayor of New York City was going better than his run for president of the United States. He’s been slipping in the polls, which he once consistently topped. His instantly notorious appearance with comedian Ziwe isn’t helping — and the full episode hasn’t even dropped yet. The host has been releasing clips from Yang’s forthcoming appearance on her Showtime show, and they’re not flattering. First he massively flubbed a Jay-Z question. Now he’s enraged New Yorkers over his basic take on the subway system.
Ziwe — whose shtick involves pretending to be a too-online internet addict who asks deceptively simple questions that often get her guests in trouble — had a seemingly straightforward query for her latest guest: “What’s your favorite subway station?” To be fair, it’s an odd question, even as a joke. Many who live in NYC probably have no favorite station, the MTA being a necessary evil that’s often the source of long waits, overcrowded spaces, and, in the summer, crippling levels of heat.
And yet Yang’s answer was bizarre. “It’s my stop, so Times Square,” replied Yang, who took heat for leaving the city during the pandemic. “It’s big, it’s cavernous, there are entertainers there. Sure, like, what’s not to like?”
i asked andrew yang what his favorite subway station is pic.twitter.com/WKBuXy0EZK
— ziwe (@ziwe) May 24, 2021
There’s a lot not to like, many said over social media. For one thing, like his Jay-Z question — in which he struggled to come up with a favorite song — it’s clear he was stumped. But his answer, when it belatedly arrived, left a lot to be desired. Times Square is an incredibly basic answer, probably the only station most tourists could name.
And so many called him out for not seeming like a real New Yorker — a problem if he wants to be the city’s mayor.
i can't stop thinking about andrew yang saying he lives in times square. yeah i'm a real new yorker. in fact i'm enjoying a freaking digiorno as we speak
— matt (@Lubchansky) May 24, 2021
Living in Times Square is so funny. Just me and my good buddy Elmo walking down to our local, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory https://t.co/d0XctVF1aG
— Mark Agee (@MarkAgee) May 24, 2021
“Times Square” says the tourist running for NYC Mayor…. https://t.co/TTtX9njeX4
— Javier Muñoz (@JMunozActor) May 24, 2021
“After I get off the train at Times Square I like to take a nice, long walk down the glass balcony at Madame Taussaud’s and then if I have time, I’ll do some light grocery shopping at H&M and then finish the night off with a New York City classic: a fresh Dunkin Donuts bagel”
— Sarah McGonagall (@gothspiderbitch) May 24, 2021
Andrew Yang is just that scene in the office where Michael Scott says "my favorite NY pizza joint!" And he's talking about the Sbarro's near Penn station
— sawyer (@Sawyerthet) May 24, 2021
Andrew Yang’s favorite NYC pizza place is the Sbarro near Penn Station.
— A.J. Bauer (@ajbauer) May 24, 2021
Yikes…Yang def doesn’t travel anywhere remotely outside of Times Square/Penn Station/Grand Central area. Not a NYer😂 https://t.co/2bT2rIhwdr
— Nick (@NickSherrod123) May 24, 2021
This is like saying your favorite Italian restaurant is Olive Garden https://t.co/yQFraxrKr9
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 24, 2021
Anyone who’s actually from NYC knows the Times Square stop is the absolute worst stop. https://t.co/y8swjxUUJU
— José (@josecanyousee) May 24, 2021
Some, though, said his answer could have been worse.
andrew yang saying is favorite subway stop is time square and truly the only thing worse would be if he said it was penn station
— kat (@katsloangarcia) May 24, 2021
Others defended his choice, pointing to the station’s size, its diversity, its artwork.
There are plenty of reasons to dunk on Andrew Yang (and some reasons to support him) but the Times Square subway station rules! It's got like 12 lines, buses, Port Authority, stores, cool tiles, cool murals, there's always live music — it's a whole underground city!
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) May 24, 2021
Times Square is a fine subway station. Lots of lines run through there. If you're asking someone what their favorite subway station is, that's on you.
— Sridhar Ramesh (@RadishHarmers) May 24, 2021
It also inspired locals to name their own favorite stops.
The murals at 81st / Museum of Natural history are pretty great too. Much nicer than Times Square! pic.twitter.com/MibsBZUsWz
— Max Berger (@maxberger) May 24, 2021
Although others instead named the worst ones.
union square in summer is the only correct answer https://t.co/v2zure8J1P
— bonnie (@bonniemariec) May 24, 2021
my least fav subway stations:
1. the Union Square 4/5/6 (my nightmare)
2. Lexington Avenue–53rd Street (traumatic)
3. the 6th Av stop on the L (why?)
— Michael Gold (@migold) May 24, 2021
union square 4/5/6 platform is the closest i have been to hell https://t.co/CWAliFzPcV
— Michael X. Heiligenstein (@MXHeilig) May 24, 2021
Will Yang’s appearance with Ziwe put the final nail in a campaign that’s fallen on hard times? Probably not. It won’t help, though, and after dominating the polls for so long, he’s recently slipped to second place behind former police officer Eric Adams, though he’s still ahead of longtime locals Scott Stringer, Kathryn Garcia, and Dianne Morales. None of them, of course, would list Times Square — overrun by tourists and people dressed up as Marvel heroes and eye-piercing adverts and questionable eateries — as the best of anything the world’s greatest city has to offer.