Paul Marcarelli, the actor known either as "The Verizon Guy" or "The 'Can You Hear Me Now?' Guy', surreptiously reveals that he is gay in an interview with The Atlantic.
Speaking with the publication, Paul says that he kept the closet door shut for a decade because of self-imposed pressure that stems from such an iconic, recognizable role.
Marcarelli has a home in Guilford, Connecticut, and five summers ago, kids in an SUV began driving past at night, yelling, “Can you hear me now?” Later, says Marcarelli, “they started screaming ‘faggot’ up at my house. It got progressively more profane as the years went by.” One night, it happened while some friends were over, and he decided to call the police. “As soon as I hung up the phone,” he says, “I realized that in order for them to do anything about it, it would have to become a report that would go into a police log.” Worried about the publicity—and the questions that might ensue if it came out that the actor playing Test Man was gay—he declined to file a report.
In retrospect, Marcarelli thinks his silence during the Test Man years was largely self-imposed. “I definitely think that my reticence to have any kind of persona outside of this job was that I didn’t want to be put in a position to have to answer any uncomfortable question that would affect my income stream. And I never tested it, so I don’t know.”
Better late than never, Paul. Welcome to the team!