A publication by the Auto Safety Alliance
|Volume 1||November 1997||Issue 1|
people find traffic safety about as glamorous as taking out the garbage
or going to a funeral. Most people, that is, except Kenny Morse. In his
cable show, Ask Mr.Traffic, Morse put glamor
into traffic safety by adding the missing element: humor.
When comedian Kenny Morse took a temporary job as a traffic safety instructor, he recognized it as a golden opportunity. He realized he could plunder the terrain of traffic safety for his comedy material. Better still, as Mr. Traffic, Morse discovered a hungry audience that appreciated his knowledgeable advice and sage philosophies.
“Ask Mr. Traffic” live on cable
He has also appeared on national TV shows including Good Morning America, The Home & Family Show on The Family Channel, Extra, and E!'s Talk Soup. In 1995, Morse turned his traffic safety program loose on the Web (http://mrtraffic.com), where it has won a fanatical following.
Morse never expected to find himself as a traffic safety expert. He admitted “it just kind of happened. I don't intend to be Mr. Traffic forever. I still act.” As if to hint at his other ambitions, his Web site opens on a starry background in which a Star Trek spaceship warps back and forth across the screen.
Sense of humor helps
For Morse, his impact as Mr. Traffic has proved rewarding. “Now and then I actually save lives.” He relayed one such case: “I walked into my traffic school office one day, and I saw this person, in a full body cast, pointing at me.” Morse reeled in terror, thinking, “Oh my God, what did I do?” “Then, this person starts yelling ‘that's the guy I'm talking about! That's him! That's the guy who saved my life!’ ” Morse explained.
The man had crashed his car when someone ran a red light (one of the biggest causes of car crashes in this country). Just prior to the crash, he had attended Morse's traffic school for a speeding ticket. Before that, “he never wore a seat belt;” later, he did.
Morse's initial moment of horror turned to elation when he realized that his advice had actually saved the man's life. “Now and then people listen,” Morse sighed.
An antidote to road rage
Morse conceded that he has not reached his goals in acting. However,
his TV show has won a rabid cult following. And the media awards continue
to stream in—confirming that, Oscar or no Oscar, Kenny Morse is
the answer man for traffic safety.