Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Urban Prankster Network and Improv Everywhere - Bringing Smiles to Everyone

Urban Prankster is a website which publicizes  pranks, hacks, participatory art, flash mobs, and other creative endeavors that take place in public places in cities across the world.  The site is hosted by Charlie Todd.  Charlie Todd also organizes the group Improv Everywhere, which according to it's web site:
Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions involving tens of thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City.

I tripped upon the Urban Prankster site some time ago and noticed it again last week as April Fool's Day brought with it a new prank.

Last week's prank aside, Improv Everywhere has organized some pretty incredible events. You can go here for links to their more than 100 "Missions".

My favourite is the "Frozen Grand Central Station".  It is well worth watching the Video if you could use a good belly laugh.   I would have loved to be there when this one happened.  Watch the maintenance worker who is trying to drive his runabout through the mob.  You can hear him shout into his cell phone, "They are all frozen, I need help!".   I could watch this video ten times and still fall off my chair laughing! 

If you liked that one, go here to see the World's biggest freeze mob which was held in Paris on March 10, 2008.
In this video about 3,000 people froze for 5 minutes

Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)
For another "feel good" video go here and see an incredible staging of a performance of A Sound of Music at the Grand Central Station in Antwerp in Belgium.  It was a promotional stunt for a Belgian television program, they were looking for someone to play the leading role, in the musical "The Sound of Music". I love watching the faces of the lucky folks who happened to be there when this took place - particularly the grey haired old lady who is beaming from ear to ear. 

April Fool's Day Prank 2010
This event, staged in New York last week, was a spoof on the annual "No Pants Subway Ride" event which is another organized prank held annually on January 10th in Cities around the world.

In the Jan 10th event,  organizers send volunteers into the subway to get on a car to take off their pants whilst they ride to their destination, which causes a bit of a stir and a lot of smirks. (Go here to see the No Pants Ride Toronto or here to choose another location to view the antics).

The event of last week extended that to a lark which involved going without both pants and underwear - or did it?  It was April's Fools Day after all.  You be the judge of what is happening as you watch the video - I will fill you in on the secret in my next blog.  When you view this video do focus on the bystanders not the naked bottoms (Don't worry the bits are blurred out - as indicated in the Video it is "Faked for April Fool's Day" )... Some of the looks and reactions of the other subway riders are priceless!

If you haven't had enough - here are a few more which are entertaining:
Ninja Mob here.
Break dancing pregnant ladies here.

If you have enjoyed the videos and are curious to get involved - either as a participant or as a bystander who "happens" to be in the neighbourhood of an event - there are Improv Everywhere groups in most major cities.

In Toronto we have Improv In Toronto, which is based on the Improv Everywhere group and like Improv Everywhere (from NY), they try to shake up people's day by pulling pranks that are totally random or out of the ordinary.  I have June 5th marked on my calendar and am planning to be around for the 4th annual subway dance party!  Should be a hoot!

1 comment:

  1. The videos were good, Peggy. I had seen the dancing video before, a few variants of it in fact. I enjoyed watching it again. The last video is hilarious! I watched it both ways, censored and uncensored. I forwarded your blog to my husband. He should enjoy them too.


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