Save the Date: No Pants Light Rail Ride 2014

courtesy of nooccarLast year 350 people took to the Light Rail in Phoenix and took off their pants – and we’re doing it again!

The 6th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride is coming up on Sunday, January 12th at 1pm. This is part of the Global No Pants Subway Ride started by Improv Everywhere in 2002. What started as 7 people doing a prank on the New York subway has expanded into an international event involving tens of thousands of people in dozens of cities all over the world.

The rules of the event are pretty simple – show up at the designated place and time with your light rail pass, take off your pants, get on the light rail, and act like nothing strange is going on. You have no idea why other people around you aren’t wearing pants. If you have trouble keeping a straight face, you may want to bring your earbuds and listen to your music.

Warm or cold, rain or shine we’re doing this. As the date gets closer, we’ll bring you in the loop about where the starting points will be and where the group is meeting up. We had an awesome time last year riding the rail sans pants and meeting up at Angel’s Trumpet Ale House. Check out the photos and video from last year’s event to see for yourself.

If you haven’t done so yet, please RSVP on our Facebook event – we’ll update it with the details of the 2014 No Pants Ride once we have them ironed out.

Flashdance Flash Mob rocks the Fashion Center food court

image (cc) sheiladeeismeImprov AZ teamed up with ASU Gammage to do a flash mob inspired by Flashdance – The Musical. About 30 dancers, some amateur and some pro, kicked it up in front of a confused lunch crowd at Chandler Fashion Center to a song instantly familiar to anyone who lived through the 1980s.

This was one of our most work-intensive flash mobs to date, with three rehearsals and a practice video to get everyone up to speed on the moves. Many in the group donned their 1980’s best, with side ponytails and cut up shirts. Gammage hooked everyone up with pink Flashdance leg warmers and shirts to complete the ensemble.

Oh, What a Feeling!

We cut loose next to the food court at the beginning of the lunch rush on Saturday, April 13th. Things got off to a promising start, but as sometimes happens in flash mob, things didn’t go as planned.

Check out our video to see what happened, and how our intrepid flash mobbers (and the audience) responded:

We had one spectator try to join in in the middle of the song. She jumped right into the center of our group and did her best to follow the moves. She was awesome, and huge props to her, whoever she is. We also had a small boy get his groove on right after we dispersed, proving that good music will get your feet moving at any age.

You can check out some great Flashdance flash mob pictures on Flickr, and a big thanks to Chandler Fashion Center mall and ASU Gammage for making this happen!

If you want to make sure you don’t miss any other flash mobs, join our email newsletter!

Photography: Sheila Dee / Patrick McLeod
Video: Evo Terra / Debbie Walker / Alex Quitugua
Editing: Jeff Moriarty
Choreography: Weezy

Update! Tips and reminders for No Pants Ride

This is an update with some last minute tips and information for the No Pants Light Rail Ride happening in Phoenix is this Sunday, January 13th! You can read all the main details on our original blog post.

Remember – Act like nothing weird is happening!

If people ask you about not wearing pants, act surprised! Wow, how did you not notice that before? Other people without pants on? That’s a pretty weird coincidence!

Do not tell people it is a flash mob or a prank. The more confused they are, the better!

It’s gonna be chilly!

The trains should be nice and warm, but it’s gonna be brisk on the platforms and walking to the mid-ride party. Bundle up nicely, and we suggest bringing a pair of sweats or pants and a backpack you can stash them in. We originally said show up at the train in your underwear, but if you want to depants inside the train that’s fine.

It’s still not going to be nearly as cold as it will be for the people doing this in Chicago and Minneapolis, so no excuses!

Three starting locations

There are three starting locations along the light rail. All will be boarding the first train leaving after 1:00pm sharp!

All of them should have about the same amount of time on the train, and two of them are switching trains during the ride to help confuse the most people possible! All locations have a Park & Ride to leave your car, so join whichever stop is closest to you. When you get there look for the ride captains with a red scarf/bandana tied to them somehow.

And arrive early enough to get your Light Rail pass!

Mid-ride party

Our mid-ride party will be at Angels Trumpet Ale House. They will have a special, shortened menu for us (so they can get things out fast), and will have $1 off pints. This is an all-ages place, so minors are welcome. We’ll stay here for about an hour or so, but you are free to leave early if you need to, or stay later if you’re having fun.

It will be about a 5 minute walk from the Roosevelt station, so bring those (temporary) pants if you need them (see above).

Twitter and Hashtag

You can follow us on Twitter for any last minute news or updates as we go. The hashtag to use for Twitter (or Instagram, Flickr, or anywhere else is): #NoPantsPhx

Everything else you need…

…should be in the original blog post. So please give it a read so you know how everything works.

But if we missed something or you have any questions, let us know!

See you Sunday!

Break out your fanciest underpants – 2013 No Pants Light Rail Ride is coming!

No Pants AZ by ousooner44

No Pants AZ by ousooner44

The 5th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride is coming up on Sunday, January 13th. This event is part of the International No Pants Subway Ride started by Improv Everywhere. On this day, tens of thousands of people will be riding their public transportation without their pants. We expected hundreds of people to participate in the Phoenix ride. It’s going to be a ton of fun – we hope you can join us.

The Basics Rules

There are only 2 main requirements for participating in this flash mob:

1) Be willing ride the light rail without your pants.

2) Be able to keep a straight face about it.

Now for some details…

When: Sunday, January 13 at 1:00 PM, Sharp! (Over around 4 PM)
Where: Three starting points along the Light Rail – details below.
Bring: A backpack/bag and a Light Rail pass.
Wear: Normal winter clothes (jacket, hat, etc)
Facebook: You can RSVP to the Facebook Event
Mid-ride party: Angels Trumpet Ale House

How It Works

You can wear almost any type of underwear you want – except thongs or g-strings. If you’re going to wear boxers we encourage you to wear briefs underneath them in case your fly separates.

Take your pants off on the light rail platform or before you get there. If you’re worried you will be cold on the platform, you can take off your pants on the train, just be aware that’s a little bit trickier and more crowded.

If you are wearing your pants to the event, bring a bag or purse to carry them once you de-pants.

Starting Locations

We will be starting at 3 locations this year. Notice that 2 of the groups will be changing trains before arriving at our final destination. If you want to really surprise the greatest number of people, start at one of those stations.

1) East Side Group: Will be starting at the Sycamore/Main station in Mesa and riding to the Roosevelt/Central station. This group does not switch trains.  Google Map

2) Middle Group: Will be starting at the 38th St/Washington station and riding west to Thomas/Central station where they will get off and catch the eastbound train back to the Roosevelt/Central station. Google Map

3) West Side Group: Will be starting at the 19th Ave/Montebello station and riding east to 3rd St/Jefferson station where they will get off and walk a block to the 3rd St/Washington station and catch the westbound train to the Roosevelt/Central station. Google Map

Each group will board the first train that leaves their station at or after 1:00pm. We will have captains for each group (identified by a red scarf tied to themselves or their bag) that will help direct you.

Plan to arrive early to purchase a light rail pass ($3.50 for round trip) and get last-minute instructions from your group captains. There are park and rides at each starting station.

During the Ride

While you’re riding, act as if nothing strange is going on. Do what you’d normally do on the light rail – listen to your iPod, read a book, etc. You have no idea why others are not wearing pants. If anyone asks, have a simple excuse prepared for why you’re not wearing pants – you were hot, you forgot them, etc. Do NOT tell people you are doing a prank!

We will have photographers on hand to take pictures documenting the event. We need everyone else to just act casually. If you bring a camera, be very discrete and only take a few pictures. It’s supposed to look like a normal train ride.

Don’t disrupt the Light Rail! While the Phoenix Police Department said that wearing your underwear in public isn’t illegal, don’t do anything dumb. You are responsible for all your actions during this event.

Our Final Destination

No Pants 2012 Crew, by Devon Christopher Adams on Flickr

No Pants 2012 Crew, by Devon Christopher Adams on Flickr

Once we arrive at the Roosevelt/Central station, we will be walk a few blocks to Angels Trumpet Ale House on 2nd St. All ages are welcome here. We’ll hang out, exchange stories, have a beverage, and take pictures before heading back from whence we came. We expect to be done at Angel’s Trumpet around 3:30pm.

If you don’t want to stop at Angels Trumpet Ale House you can just take the train back when everyone else gets off, and you’re welcome to leave earlier if you need to.

Please RSVP

We look forward to seeing you on January 13th! Please RSVP on our Facebook event page so we know how many people to expect. Feel free to share this event so all your friends can join us too! If you have any question, post them on the event page wall.

This is a fun event and we hope you can join us. The video from the 2012 No Pants Light Rail Ride is on YouTube and there are over 400 pictures on Flickr from last year’s event.

Bonus: Help needed with video!

We could use help from people who have video cameras and know how to use them. Extra points if you do video editing. If you would like to get involved, and can help us make some great video documentation of this (or any) flash mob, drop us an email!

Gifts for Strangers handed out some holiday cheer!

On Saturday, December 15th, Improv AZ and over a dozen agents braved the cold and rain to spread some unexpected holiday cheer in downtown Phoenix as part of Gifts for Strangers.

Started by Improv In Toronto in 2010, “Gifts for Strangers, is a world-wide cause to spread kindness and goodwill around the world, just through simple acts.” Groups in 33 cities all over the world gave small gifts to strangers in their communities on the same day. Our agents were motivated to make others happy and give to others with no expectation of anything in return. Several people came with bags of gifts to give and their children in tow.

Gifts for Strangers Phoenix crew

Gifts for Strangers Phoenix crew

Our agents walked around downtown Phoenix and greeted strangers with “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” and offered them a gift. Some of them were leery of the surprise gift, but many of them were happy to take our gifts. The children who were offered gifts were ecstatic. Some people were so touched by the gift their eyes filled with tears and they hugged our agents.

One agent included money in her gifts. She saw a gift recipient take the $10 that was in his gift and give it to someone else who needed it more than him.

We walked the streets giving gifts for about 30 minutes before regrouping to share stories from our gift giving adventures. From all accounts, this flash mob was a huge success.

Happy Holidays everyone from the crew at Improv AZ! We hope to see you at our events in 2013!

Gifts for Strangers flash mob location chosen

We’ve set the time and location for our Gifts for Strangers flash mob, coming up on the 15th!

It turns out there are a bunch of shows and events going on downtown that day, including Christmas shows like the Nutcracker. So we’re going to meet at the Light Rail station at 3rd St and Washington, and walk a loop around downtown past the Convention Center, up by Herberger, and hand out our gifts!

Be there at 1:00pm, and we’ll start handing out our gifts shortly afterwards.

Everyone will need to bring about ten small gifts, all wrapped up, ready to give away. These should be small, inexpensive, personal things. If it is something you make, like a CD mix of your favorite songs, that’s great. They should be things that will make people smile and feel good, and that’s far more important than how much you spend.

We’ll post more information this week, and if you’re on Facebook, RSVP on the event page and share it with your friends.

Join our Gifts for Strangers flash mob to spread a little holiday cheer!

Gifts for Stranger

presents (macro) via found_drama

For many, the holidays are a stressful time and a lot of people get away from the joy of the season. Gifts for Strangers was started a few years ago by Improv Toronto to spread cheer to others. Twenty-three cities participated in this last year. We’re joining in the fun this time around!

So here’s how it works – we’re going to gather on the afternoon of December 15th in a location where we will likely run into lots of random people (specific location TBA) and give small gifts to people we don’t know.

Everyone who wants to participate is expected to bring 5 – 10 small wrapped presents to give away. Don’t spend a lot of money on them. These should be small, personal gifts that you think will make someone smile. Maybe you make it yourself, like some art or a mix CD. Think about what might make your day a little bit brighter if a stranger gave it to you out of the blue?

We just want to spread some holiday cheer to people who may not be expecting it!

If you want to join us doing it here in Phoenix, let us know in the comments and watch our blog for more details. You can also RSVP at the Gifts for Strangers Facebook event!


We are meeting at the Light Rail Station at 3rd Street and Washington at 1:00pm! Read more.

Recap of the Tale of the Epic Super Hero Battle!

Epic Super Hero Battle - Villains Attack!

Epic Super Hero battle courtesy of Sheila Dee

On Saturday, November 17th Improv AZ had its first Flashmob Fiction event – The Tale of the Epic Super Hero Battle! We’ve done Epic Super Hero Battles before, but this one had a unique twist. We gave our agents an mp3 of instructions to download and play during the event.

Dozens of agents donned a colorful array of wigs, masks, capes, and spandex and gathered in Old Town Scottsdale. At the appointed time, we all pressed “play” and followed the instructions as it led our group down 3rd Avenue. At our first stop, it became obvious that there was not one but two recordings – 1 for the villains and 1 for the heroes! Unlike past battles where participants got to select their team we randomly assigned agents into alliances with good and evil.

The groups split up to dominate separate areas of Old Town. The heroes sang the worst rendition of the Spiderman theme song ever and tried to engage with the patrons at Dos Gringos, despite their best efforts to ignore the wily colorful group. The villains leered and sneered their way up another street intriguing the nearby children, patrons, business owners, and one uncomfortable-looking armed security guard outside a high-end jewelry store.

The battle culminated with a massive face-off between the groups. The heroes initially tried to quell the villains with an onslaught of bubbles, but had to resort to stronger powers if they were going to have a chance at victory. Eventually the heroes and villains grew tired long enough to look at each other and realize that they were fighting the people who were once their friends. Instead of continuing to fight, they clasped hands and skipped off into the imaginary sunset.

Of course this flash mob had its fair share of onlookers and paparazzi who grinned, laughed, took pictures, asked us what we were doing, and even began to follow us in a mini-parade to see how the story would play out.

Pictures, Write-ups, and Thank Yous!

Check out some of the great superhero battle pictures on Flickr! A big thanks to Sheila Dee and Patrick McLeod for being our roving (running) photographers. We’ve had some problems with the video, but are hoping to get it sorted and get a video up soon.

We also had some excellent coverage in the Phoenix New Times, who posted a Super Hero slideshow, and their take on the Seven Most Interesting Heroes/Villains. Did you make the list?

Thank you to everyone who helped make our first Flashmob Fiction a huge success, including Evo Terra for recording the tracks, and Debbie Walker for doing all the audio editing.

Be sure to add yourself to our email list and follow us on Facebook to keep up with our future events

Download the mp3 for the Epic Super Hero Battle flash mob!

The mp3 file for our first Flashmob Fiction story, The Tale of the Epic Super Hero Battle, is now available!

You can download the mp3 from our Flashmob Fiction page, but do not listen to it until the flash mob starts. That would spoil all the fun!

All the info for the flash mob is on the same page, and we hope to see you there!

Bust out your spandex and join our first Flashmob Fiction story!

Remember the awesome mp3 Experiment we did a few years ago? We loved it and had a lot of people ask us to do it again, but that idea is really the baby of Improv Everywhere so we wanted to try something new.

Epic Super Hero Battle courtesy of patrickem

Epic Super Hero Battle courtesy of patrickem

That new idea is something we’re calling “Flashmob Fiction“, which is part flash mob and part interactive storytelling. And the first episode of our Flashmob Fiction will bring in an idea from another popular project – the Epic Super Hero Battle!

The Tale of the Epic Super Hero Battle

For those of you who haven’t participated in an Epic Super Hero Battle, it’s a fake battle between heroes and villains where agents create their own characters for the cheesy epic face off. This time you will still dress up, but you will also download an mp3 in advance and press “play” at a designated time and location. You’ll be following the instructions provided by the magic voice to help the story unfold.

How It Works

As with all our events, participation is mandatory! We are already covered for photographs and videos, so only show up if you’re going to play along with the group.

When: Saturday, November 17th, 1:00pm – watch for the sign to start!

Where: 3rd Ave, west of Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale (NW corner). The linked map shows where to park and where to go.

What to Do: Show up at the location with the mp3 on your player and press play at exactly 1:00pm! Do NOT listen to the mp3 in advance!

RSVP: Please RSVP on our Facebook event if you so desire, but all you’re required to do is show up!

What to Bring: Your mp3 player, headphones, and your costume!

What to Wear: Dress as a super powered hero or villain of your own creation. Don’t come as Superman or Wolverine – make up your own crazy idea and have fun with it. Decide your secret hero (or villain) name, and show up in costume ready to go! If you need costume components, be sure to hit the Halloween shops before Halloween or Easley’s Fun Shop in Phoenix always has a great selection of costume pieces.

Wandering About: The instructions may require you to temporarily separate from your friends so please make sure everyone in your group is old enough and mature enough to walk down the street by themselves where you may not have your eyes on them at every moment.

How to get the mp3

The mp3 will be available on our Flashmob Fiction page late on November 15th. We don’t want people listening to it in advance, so come back then to download it. (We’ll be posting TONS of reminders!)

If you know how to subscribe to an RSS feed for podcasts, we have the RSS feed already live. You can subscribe to that and just refresh the feed before you come to the flash mob.

In the meantime, just mark it on your calendar, shop for your costume, and tell all your friends!