The Verizon ‘test guy’ who rose to fame with the catchphrase ‘Can you hear me now?’ is speaking publicly for the first time, and now that his contract is ending, he is discussing the pain he endured from becoming a celebrity — and has revealed that he is gay.
After nine years in the role, actor Paul Marcarelli is breaking his silence. He said he was informed last September, via e-mail, that Verizon was taking its ads in a different direction
Marcarelli’s commitment entailed a strange combination of ubiquity and anonymity, he told the Atlantic magazine.
Among other things, his contract stipulated that he not discuss any aspect of the Test Man campaign, including the particulars of his contract.
Marcarelli said he endured years homophobic abuse from youths who drove by his Connecticut home, screaming “faggot,” but was too afraid to contact police for fear of being exposed as the “test man.”
“It got progressively more profane as the years went by,” he said.
Marcarelli said he is definitely glad that chapter of his life is now over.