What a Croc

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Phil Bronstein isn’t the only guy out there with lizard problems.

New York’s underground is infested with 3-meter-long mutant lizards lumbering along 976 miles of sewer, terrifying up to 30,575 people! The city is on the case, responsibly spraying a potent, crippling lizardicide. Where’s the shotgun-wielding Benny Profane when you need him?

Yes, the Sci-Fi Channel is at it again. Most New Yorkers were savvy enough to assume the warning stickers on manholes and sewer grates were a hoax—part of a stunt for Sci-Fi show The Chronicle and not proof that the old urban legend has merit. But the stunt, which saw actors in orange vests and white hardhats handing out fliers, impressed even the city’s Department of Environmental Protection.

“They looked thoroughly official,” DEP chief of staff Charles Sturcken admits ruefully. The actors even dressed in biohazard suits to spray the anti-lizard juice (which Shoptalk was willing to believe was just water). Sturcken says the DEP’s help line got calls from freaked folks in all five boroughs.

“The timing is perfect because we planned this campaign before Mr. Alligator in Central Park was caught by the alligator wrestler,” says Bonnie Hammer, president of the Sci-Fi Channel.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.