"improv everywhere"

New Yorkers plug in giant boombox found in Manhattan, surprise holiday party ensues

Improv Everywhere's latest mission? Place a giant red boombox at Pier 17 in Manhattan for passerby to discover and plug in. Read the rest

Phone booths in NYC turned into co-working spaces by prankster group

The good folks at Improv Everywhere made a couple of old phone booths in New York City a "little more useful" by converting them into co-working spaces. Read the rest

NYC (and beyond) Peeps: The No Pants Subway Ride is happening again

Hosted by the New York City comedy collective Improv Everywhere, the No Pants Subway Ride is an annual New York City tradition where folks go pantless --together-- on the subway. Now in its 17th year, the group has just announced that the 2018 event will happen on Sunday, January 7th. If you're interested in joining in on the fun, be sure to sign up for their mailing list. They'll be sharing more information there closer to the event's date.

The event happens outside of New York City too, but Improv Everywhere doesn't specifically run it. People like you do. They write:

Once again we are encouraging folks in other cities around the world to stage their own No Pants Subway Rides on the same day. Regional organizers must fill out this registration form to have their event included (that form is for organizers only.) The week before the event we will publish a list of all participating cities along with links to Facebook events. Groups have staged the event on trolleys, light rails, and buses in the past, so don’t let a lack of subway system stop you! 60 cities participated last year. Check the list on this page to see if one happened in your city last year as preference will go to the prior year’s organizers...

Here's a look at last year's event:

Full details can be found on Improv Everywhere's site.

(If you go, I want to see pix!)

photo by Katie Sokoler, via Improv Everywhere Read the rest

Improv Everywhere 'lights up' random New Yorker's sentimental holiday messages on a 30-foot screen

"Light Up Someone's Holiday" is Improv Everywhere's latest mission and it's a heartwarming one.

...We created a custom-built set that allowed random New Yorkers to instantly deliver a card and light up someone’s holiday. Participants were surprised as Christmas lights lit up the plaza and their message was displayed on a 30-foot wide screen above.

This project is a collaboration with Hallmark, who provided us with an assortment of Hallmark Signature Cards for the project.

See how they pulled off this stunt on their blog. Read the rest

Pranksters create fake Apple store at subway station with 50 people waiting in line

The good-natured prankster group Improv Everywhere had some fun a few Sundays ago when they converted Manhattan's 6-train glass elevator at 23rd street into a fake Apple store. They told people it was a pop up to replace the iconic glass Apple store which is closed for renovations until early 2018.

From YouTube:

We placed giant Apple logos on the sides of the glass cube structure, added fake Apple Store employees plus a line of 50 people waiting in line for the new iPhone X. With the famous 5th Avenue Apple Store under construction, we felt NYC needed a new glass cube Apple Store.

It was more like performance art than a prank, since the people in line were all in on it, making it a spectacle but not a harmful hoax for passersby. Some innocent bystanders were interviewed by "reporters" who were in on the gag (and these bystanders did not like this pop up as much as the original glass Apple store), but if these people wanted to actually stand in line to wait for the new iPhone X – which were really just empty iPhone boxes – an Improv Everywhere crew member would tell them they only had enough phones for the 50 people already in line. A few people insisted on standing in line anyway, and here is one couple's reaction as they find out they've been pranked. Read the rest

Sweet 16 on the Subway

This cute video is circulating which shows a group of people, led by a young woman, who want to throw a very brief birthday party for a friend on a subway car in New York City. The friend is unknowingly being guided into this situation by an accomplice. Banners and balloons, blow-ticklers, sashes, and whatnot, are all prepared in the space of a few minutes (two subway stops) before the birthday girl enters the car and suddenly it’s all surprises, hugs, kisses, music, dancing, and cupcakes.

Isn’t that heartwarming? Doesn’t it just make you feel great about New York.

It’s fake. Notice that none of the birthday partiers are older than, say, 25, and they’re all so incredibly attractive.

The so-called “friends” in the subway car are actors and actresses who work for a company called Improv Everywhere.

Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based comedy collective that stages unexpected performances in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere aims to surprise and delight random strangers through positive pranks, or “missions.”

The director of “theater company,” Charlie Todd, writes on their website:

For years the subway has been our favorite performance venue. We’ve had pizza parties, talk shows, wedding proposals, and even time traveling twins. For each of these projects we create a scene that gives random people the option to say yes and be part of something awesome. If you haven’t figured out by now, this was not a real a surprise birthday party. Jenny was an actor along with everyone else in our group.

Read the rest

Improv Everywhere: Declare your love

Charlie from Improv Everywhere writes, "What happens when you leave a megaphone on the street with the simple instructions: 'Declare Your Love?' 2016 has been a rough year. It felt like time to dust off our old podium." Read the rest

Improv Eveywhere's "Surprise Press Conference" - a scrum for everyone

Charlie Todd from Improv Everywhere (previously) writes, "We set up a fake press conference set on the steps of the New York Public Library. When random tourists approached it to pose for photos, a mob of reporters ran up and surprised them with an impromptu press conference." Read the rest

Improv Everywhere: Dance Captain Wanted

Charlie from Improv Everywhere writes, "We set up 100 dancers in a park and put a platform in front of them. Watch what happens." Read the rest

Improv Everywhere: asking random New Yorkers to give a commencement speech

The fun-loving stunters of Improv Everywhere staged a fabulous stunt in New York City's Bryant Park: they set up a crowd of "grads" in caps and gowns with a stage and a podium, then sent the "dean" out into the park to beg randos to step in and serve as emergency commencement speakers, filling in for a last-minute cancellation. Read the rest

Four sets of identical twins pull an epic NYC subway car time-machine prank

Improv Everywhere (previously) keeps on bringing the hits, but seriously, this one takes the cake. Read the rest

Ballroom dancing in a busy NYC crosswalk

Charlie from Improv Everywhere sent us this video of their latest piece, "Ballroom Crosswalk," which features some genuinely great dancing in a NYC crosswalk, but even better is staged with a slow burn that pays off beautifully at the end! Read the rest

We Cause Scenes: documentary on Improv Everywhere

Today marks the release of We Cause Scenes, a feature-length documentary on the the legendary Improv Everywhere troupe, which was pieced together from over twelve years' worth of footage of daring, comic, wonderful public scenes. We've been writing about Improv Everywhere for years, and a tour through our archives reveals such delights as the annual No-Pants subway ride, the Star Wars subway car, the NYC sidewalk tourist-lane, Lost at the Knicks game, Grand Central Station mass-freeze and Shirtless at Abercrombie and Fitch.

We Cause Scenes is available as a DRM-free high-def download direct from the production company -- $13, or $15 with bonus features -- and comes with an impressive pedigree from the festival circuit, having been selected for SXSW, Hotdocs, and many others. Read the rest

Global No Pants Subway Ride 2012: gallery of photos larger than you might actually wish to view

(REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

A young boy looks up at a woman with no pants on while riding in the subway system during the annual No Pants Subway Ride in New York on January 8. The event is organized by Improv Everywhere, and involves participants who strip down to their underwear as they go about their normal routine. WTF and why?

The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year. The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.

There are reports from participants on the Improv Everywhere website. More photos follow, below. NSFW-ish.

No Trousers Day participants on a flashmob ride in London. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren) Read the rest

Improv Everywhere wedding

What happens when the founder of Improv Everywhere marries his girlfriend, another Improv Everywhere provocateur? See above. Congrats, Charlie Todd and Cody Lindquist! "Pro Wrestler Wedding" Read the rest

Improv Everywhere's "Say Something Nice" megaphone

Charlie Todd of Improv Everywhere says:

Our latest project has a bit of "maker" flair to it, and I thought you'd enjoy.  We custom-built a lectern with a megaphone holster and then placed it in public places around New York.  We put a placard on it that read, "Say Something Nice."  The resulting video was posted this morning.

   Say Something Nice Read the rest

Improv Everywhere at GEL conference

[Video Link] Charlie Todd says: "For our latest mission, a musical breaks out at the GEL Conference in New York. A speaker is suddenly interrupted by a man who refuses to turn off his cell phone." Read the rest

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