Buddy the Rat takes a slice to go.
It’s a meta performance that explains New York City better than any guidebook.
For the past two days, the internet has been enthralled by a viral video of a man dressed like a rat — complete with mousy brown suit, papier-mâché mask, long tail and whiskers — dragging a larger-than-life pizza slice up the stairs in a New York City subway station.
The video brings together several of the city’s quintessential elements — a slice of pizza, NYC subway rat and subway platform performer — all in one scene. Note, also, the nonplussed reaction of onlookers, particularly the guy who nonchalantly climbs over the railing to give the artist more space.
To get the joke, you need to recall a 2015 viral video of a real NYC rat heroically carrying a giant slice of pizza down a subway station staircase, only to abandon his bounty on the third step. That rodent, dubbed “Pizza Rat,” quickly became an internet star as well as fodder for comedians like Conan O’Brien and Nick Offerman.
Since then, making videos of rats lugging a meal to go has become something of a sport for city commuters. Subway riders have spotted “Pretzel Rat” at Columbus Circle station, a hipster “Avocado Rat” at Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Avenue station and, earlier this year, “Egg McMuffin Rat” had his 15 minutes of fame.
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