For our latest mission, over 1,000 people rode the subway without underwear or pants in New York City. Our annual No Pants Subway Ride has been a tradition for years, and we decided it was time to up the ante. Riders spread out over four different subway lines to surprise and delight everyday New Yorkers riding the train. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos. We have blurred out the private parts of all the riders to keep the documentation safe for work.
For our latest mission we had several hundred agents spend a day at Coney Island / Brighton Beach wearing black tie attire. We covered a mile-long stretch of beach with a diverse group of people of all ages (from babies to sixty-somethings) laying out, playing games, and swimming in the ocean, all in formal wear. Agents were instructed to find cheap tuxedos and ball gowns at thrift stores for the occasion.
On Sunday, January 10th, 2010 over 5,000 people took off their pants on subways in 44 cities around the world. In New York, the 9th Annual No Pants! Subway Ride had over 3,000 participants, spread out over six meeting points and ten subway lines.
For Improv Everywhere’s latest mission, over 2,000 people walked “invisible dogs” down the streets of Brooklyn on a Sunday afternoon. The leashes were on loan from the current owner of 51 Bergen Street, the factory space where the invisible dog toy was invented in the 1970s. Participants of all ages spread out from Red Hook to Brooklyn Heights, very seriously walking their very silly dogs.
There were supposed to be four armies: Madagascar Institute, the Toyshop Collective, the Greenpoint-based art collective WAMP, and “the bloodthirsty public, banded together in an Irregular Militia.” (Several civilians also posed as pacifists, meditating in the Lotus position even as they were pelted.) The teams were demarked by the color of their armbands (civies in yellow) and stationed in opposite corners, but as soon as the schnitzel hit the fan, all was chaos.
Noise makers and blow horns filled the air, as did a dizzying plethora of condiments. Suddenly I felt like I was in Saving Private Ryan. Men and women in plastic coveralls ran around spraying each other, or throwing chunks of hot dog, dough, pretty much anything edible. A woman wheeled an ice cream cart into the center of the staging area and pulled a hose out of it, spraying everyone around her. Another combatant hid her condiments in a baby carriage disguised as an elephant. Someone with a Super Soaker pumped vinegar into my eye.
From the rooftop of an adjacent 10-story building, people threw balloons full of god-knows-what onto the street below. At one point I looked up to see an operative rappelling off the side of the building. The figure stopped halfway down to drop a cluster of condiment bombs. All the while I ran around squeezing my wimpy squirt bottle of ketchup, feeding off the thrill of soiling total strangers while trying not to slip on a lava bed of spent ammo