By Mark Frauenfelder at 1:41 pm Mon, Nov 17, 2008
More photos and information about the project: Improv Everywhere welcomes strangers arriving at JFK airport
When I’d meet my parents at the airport, I’d bring a sign for someone else.. someone famous but slightly obscure, so people deboarding would think “was Kofi Annan really on my plane?” or “how did I miss J.K. Rowling?!!”
Initial I was put off by the advert at the end, but shortly thereafter I found myself buying a bottle of Absolut.
Having drunk said bottle, I really don’t care any more.
This is cool an everything. But did anyone else suffer a (vodka) sour after taste when they got to the end? I don’t think improv and advertising campaigns are really compatible.
Damned spell check. I can’t tell you how many times I have accidentally typed “improve comedy.”
Something about Improve Everywhere bugs the crap out of me as well, #6. I can’t quite place it. I think it may be the doglike follow-along-with-the-fun mentality of the improvers or something like that. Strikes me as a bunch of b-types following an a-type on his dream to bring joy and happiness (through other people’s discomfort usually – think Bennigans when they gather around the table to sing you there version of Happy Birthday) to the masses.
I’m glad for them, honestly, if that’s what turns you on. But I like it a whole lot more a concept that in execution. Too much smiling. Too much back patting. Leave me alone or I’ll poke you with my umbrelly.
Improv Everywhere hate? Wow, I’m amazed. I can understand that the “best gig” was both the best and worst thing that happened to that band (See #8), but I think their pranks as a whole are funny and charming.
Yeah, the vodka ad left a sour taste in my mouth, too. In an absolut world, there would be no drunk drivers and no alcoholics.
I’ve been a fan of IE for a long time, and they really do bring joy to my heart most of the time. The difference between them and regular pranksters is that the intent is rarely to make a fool of anyone (except perhaps themselves), but rather to bring something unusual or downright extraordinary to folks’ quotidian routines. This was no exception, although not my fav by far. Regardless, Bravi tutti!
Wow, that dude does look like Emmit Smith.
Just a nitpick, but what if somebody isn’t returning to New York? Most of the signs are welcoming the person back, but what if they’re in New York on a business trip?
Improve everywhere? I thought it was Improv.
From someone who works in the international arrivals hall at JFK…..Very Cool
I believe you’re correct, however, can’t it be both? Don’t their spontaneous acts of Improv improve our lives?
You know, the best thing about IE is that they don’t do anything cruel. Everything they do is usually fairly spectacular and always seems to make people smile.
Unlike some groups and individuals that might make people really uncomfortable or fearful.
Wow Dwotshea, that’s pretty deep.
Good thing it was JFK and not Logan.
i can’t stand improv everywhere. they’re just organized public pranksters. i’d be hard pressed to find how their actions improve anyone’s lives more than the latest, greatest youtube video.
they’re just organized public pranksters
Um, yeah. That’s the point. Humor – ur doing it rong.
@ChrisGiarmo: Bummer, dude.
Not everyone IE targets finds their attention quite so appealing…
Those Improv Everywhere people are cool. Aren’t they ones that did the statue/freezed poses in Grand Central and the Musical in a LA Mall a while ago?
It’s far more enjoyable than a hugely manipulated and set-up ‘for a fall’ pranks the likes of Borat/Bruno/SachaBaronCohen does (that I’d despise) – and pranksters they certainly are but WAY more fun.
those guys stole my idea!
@ 3:00ish Well, at least I now know what Santa is doing on his days off. That was a lot of kisses, my friend. I’m not sure if they’ve been naughty or nice. :)
This is fabulous. I sat here grinning like an idiot. What a fun thing to do.
#6 I feel bad for you. Clearly something inside you died long ago. I only hope someday you can rediscover a sense of playfulness again and re-learn to smile.
Till then, hang in there buddy.
FAKE: no way in hell a bunch of people could spend that much time in an airport without a boarding pass and not end up tazed into a coma.
IE single handedly keeps me from losing all faith in humanity. Bless you IE!
Was that Emmit Smith as the driver?
some more thoughts about why IE bugs me:
some of these ideas don’t seem to be carried out fully. using the posted video as an example, wouldn’t it be great if instead of it being an organized prank with the end user being bored people surfing the net, it was a kind of community outreach thing?
like if they organized a “greet a stranger at the airport weekly group.” or a “let’s stop moving in public places biennial.” and didn’t have to document it in such a self-serving way, just let it be what it is at that moment, without the royalty free music and vodka adverts.
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