Maybe you caught Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiment this morning, or maybe you’re familiar with their No Pants Subway Rides. But Charlie Todd’s merry band of pranksters have been putting together these large-scale missions for years. Here are our geekified favourites:
Imagine you’re riding the train, when all of a sudden, the first Darth Vader/Princess Leia scene from Star Wars breaks out around you. Full costume, complete dialogue, everything. That’s exactly what happened to some very luck straphangers earlier this year.
Like this year's, but replacing Bryant Park with Roosevelt Island and large-scale zombie dance with large-scale do-si-doing. Keep the overwhelming sense of joy.
You could wait around for Dan Aykroyd to finish up that Ghostbusters 3 script, but the instant gratification crowd should appreciate the this return to the New York Public Library Improv Everywhere staged earlier this year.
Not so much a prank as a large-scale tribute to the Brooklyn Bridge; a week before the landmark's 125th birthday, 700 Improv Everywhere "agents" used their camera flashes to create a wave of light to link Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Best Buy sure is fond of their blue shirts. Less so, though, when 80 people dressed identically as Best Buy employees flooded a Manhattan store back in 2006.
At the since-deceased Virgin Megastore in Union Square, the Improv Everywhere team takes over 35 adjacent listening stations and stands at attention. That would've been fun enough on its own! But then? Then with the glorious choreographed dancing.
Another retail invasion, this time at the Strand bookstore. Sixty cubbies for bags at the front of the store, each containing a mobile phone, all going off at the same time. Then broken down by brand. The only downside is the people outside not being able to hear the fruits of their dialings.
An earlier mission, and maybe my all-time favourite: In a Manhattan Starbucks, seven people repeat the same five-minute sequence of events - for an hour. It's a time and mind-twisting social experiment that left customers confused and makes me want to slow clap every time I watch it.
For lots and lots of detailed background information on these and all the rest of the missions, or to sign up to participate in future ones, head over to Improv Everywhere.