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Paul Marcarelli smiling
Why You Don’t Hear From Verizon’s ‘Can You Hear Me Now’ Guy Anymore
In 2002, Verizon’s catchphrase "Can You Hear Me Now" — voiced by actor Paul Marcarelli — premiered in the cell phone service provider's "Test Man" ad.
When Verizon saw an uptick in business during the ad’s run, the "Test Man" remained. Due to its success, Marcarelli was typecast as the "Can you hear me now?" guy for years.
In 2012, Marcarelli officially retired from the role. He told Wealthsimple Magazine, "The work is well-paid, but you may be surprised to know that it’s actually a lot of work."
He added, "[It’s] the kind of thing that requires lots of travel away from friends and family, and I never know where I'm going to be from one week to the next, year after year."
In 2016, Marcarelli surprisingly unretired for a different provider — Sprint. In the Sprint ads, Marcarelli referenced his former "Can you hear me now?" character with a twist.
Verizon trademarked the "Can you hear me now?" slogan, so rather than say "Can you hear me now?" in the new Sprint ads, Sprint called their Marcarelli campaign, "Paul Switched."
Marcarelli’s first ad with Sprint received millions of views on Youtube, and in that quarter, Sprint beat AT&T and Verizon in new subscribers.
In the years between his jobs with Verizon and Sprint, Marcarelli worked in film. He co-wrote and produced "The Green," "Clutter," and co-produced "Boulevard! A Hollywood Story."