No Pants 2017 Recap: Who Needs Pants?

Hundreds of people suited up to drop their pants at the 9th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride! On Sunday, January 8, 2017, we boarded the train, starting at platforms all over the valley, and headed to central Phoenix sans pants.

Photo by Devon C. Adams Photography

We had two main groups gather near the east and west ends of the rail line. As the pantsless crowd gathered, drivers started slowing down to stare, gawk, and honk their horns. Some waiting in the left turn lane got out their phones to take pictures. At the airport starting point, one person offered to get their friend to bring the group pants while an airport employee dropped trou for a quick photo with the pantsless group before scuttling back to work.

As we boarded the trains, we got the standard reactions: shocked looks, giggles, and the occasional scowl. One person asked a pantsless rider what was going on, and she responded with, “I was hot and I convinced all these people to take their pants off too.” The panted man looked down at his own shorts, as to consider joining in himself, before deciding otherwise. Some people seemed completely unphased by our band of pantslessness. Perhaps we’ve been doing this so long that it’s become “normal.”

Photo by Ben J. Ammon Photography

We disembarked at the Roosevelt station and took our parade of legs to Angel Trumpet Ale House, which is always happy to have our pantsless patronage. We shared stories and took pictures over drinks and snacks before taking our group photo and heading back from whence we came. It was a fun time had by all . . . well most of us at least. The scowlers never like us.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the No Pants Light Rail, and especially to Angels Trumpet for hosting us. Be sure to check out the photos from this year’s ride of Flickr.

We heard some people missed the announcement for this year’s ride. (You missed a fun time.) To make sure that doesn’t happen again, we’ve already created a Facebook event for the 2018 No Pants Ride. We won’t know the official date until next fall, but if you add yourself, you’ll definitely be kept in the loop.

Make sure you’re on our mailing list to stay in the loop on our next flash mob and all our shenanigans.

The No Pants Light Rail Ride is part of global No Pants Subway Ride, founded by Improv Everywhere.

Details for the 2017 Phoenix No Pants Light Rail Ride!

Photo by Devon Christopher Adams

The 9th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride in Phoenix is this Sunday, January 8th. This is part of The No Pants Subway Ride, which is a global event started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002. Dozens of cities around the world are expected to participate this year!

Here are the details for the Phoenix ride:

  • When: Sunday, January 8th at 1:00 pm (Over around 4 pm)
  • Where: 2 starting locations – details below
  • Bring: A backpack/bag and a Light Rail pass
  • Wear: Normal winter clothes (jacket, hat, etc.)
  • Facebook EventRight here. Please RSVP.
  • Mid-ride Meetup: Angels Trumpet Ale House

Rain or shine, warm or cold, we’re doing this and we hope you’ll join us!

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 recommend you to wear briefs underneath them in case your fly separates – you can get in trouble for indecent exposure if you reveal too much!

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 it’s trickier and more crowded. If you wear pants to the event, bring a bag or purse to carry them once you drop your drawers.

HOW TO ACT

Do NOT tell people you are doing a prank! While you’re riding, act as if nothing strange is going on – no matter what. Do what you’d normally do on the light rail – 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.

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 discreet and only take a few pictures. It’s supposed to look like a normal train ride.

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

STARTING LOCATIONS

We have just two starting points this year – one on the east side and one on the west side. Both groups will board the first train that arrives after 1 pm. Make sure you arrive in time to get a Light Rail pass from one of the machines at the stations! Each starting location will have at least one member of the Improv AZ core team to provide last-minute instructions if needed.

  • West Side – riders will board the first eastbound train from the 19th Ave./Montebello stop at/after 1 pm.
  • Sky Harbor Airport – riders will start in Terminal 4 (while wearing pants). Before 1 pm, remove your pants (publicly or in a bathroom) and meet your fellow pantsless riders next to the A-Z Kids Store at 1 pm. We’ll walk to the Sky Train and take it to catch the light rail at the 44th Street/Washington Stop.
  • East Side – riders will board the first westbound train from the Sycamore/Main stop at/after 1 pm.

WHERE TO STOP

Everyone will exit the train at the Central Ave/Roosevelt Light Rail Stop. Our mid-ride meetup will be at Angels Trumpet Ale House (about a 5-minute walk from the light rail). They will have some specials for us if you want to grab a bite or a pint. 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.

UPDATES AND PICTURES

Please RSVP for the Facebook Event – that’s where we will post any last minute updates and where you can ask questions.

You can follow us on Twitter (@ImprovAZ).

The hashtags to use on Twitter (or Instagram, Flickr, or anywhere else is) #NoPantsPhx and #NPSR.

SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR THE MEDIA

We know you might show up at the No Pants Light Rail Ride. Please note, we tell our participants not to give interviews or pose for pictures unless you’re participating in the event. This is a “No Wallflowers” event so we hope you’ll don your favorite fancy undies and join in the fun.

 

Cartwheeling to Federal Pizza

Federal Pizza's Billboard at Central & Camelback

Federal Pizza’s Billboard at Central & Camelback

When a billboard went up saying it took only 50 cartwheels to get to their restaurant from a major intersection, it was a statement that needed to be tested! Federal Pizza’s billboard is at Central and Camelback; the restaurant is four blocks away at Central and Oregon. Would fifty cartwheels cover the distance? We had to find out!

So on Sunday, May 3, 2015, a small but determined group teamed up with Improv AZ to cartwheel to Federal Pizza. We gathered at the base of the billboard and made the end-over-end journey to the restaurant. Four cartwheelers completed the trek along with four supports who cheered us on, laughed at us, and carried our phones.

Let me tell you – turning cartwheels for four blocks makes you dizzy.

And it’s not always pretty.

And the people at Postino look at you funny through the window.

But we made it!

Final Cartwheel Counts

Final Cartwheel Counts

We determined early on that that statement about 50 cartwheels is hogwash. According to data gathered by our slightly wobbly group, it takes an average of 161 cartwheels to get there. By the time we reached the restaurant, we were sweaty, tired, and glad that the world had finally stopped spinning.

Federal Pizza had caught wind of our stunt and welcomed us to their patio to relax and treated our group to pizza. It was the perfect reward for completing the quest and solving the mystery of “How many cartwheels does it take to get to Federal Pizza?”

Thank you to everyone who came out and made this such a fun event and a very special thank you to Federal Pizza for feeding us delicious pizza and inspiring this stunt.

If you want to stay in the loop on Improv AZ’s shenanigans, please subscribe to our mailing list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too where you can see some of our past events.

Photo Credits: Amy Donohue

No Pants 2013 Recap – The temperature dropped, and so did our trousers!

courtesy of nooccar

courtesy of nooccar

The overnight freeze warnings did not deter our 350+ participants from dropping their pants at the 5th annual No Pants Light Rail Ride. This event is part of the Global No Pants Subway Ride, which was started by Improv Everywhere in 2002.

A balanced mix of newbies and veteran pantsless riders braved the cold and started the ride from three different locations. This was the first year we had groups switch trains mid-ride. Every time a group disembarked and boarded a new train, they ended up on a train with another group of pantsless people from our group – talk about awesome timing!

courtesy of nooccar

courtesy of nooccar

We had our usual reactions from people who were shocked and surprised by the display of legs around them. Our group did an excellent job of maintaining the front that we weren’t part of a larger event but that it was just a coincidence we all forgot to put on pants that day. There were a few pantsed people who were frustrated that they couldn’t figure out what was going on, and some even made disparaging remarks to our groups’ captains. They didn’t understand that nothing they could say would make us put on pants or feel bad about rocking our undies in public!

We also had at least five people who didn’t start the ride with the group drop their pants and join in the fun. We love growing the group as we roll across town.

One interesting thing to note – the group that started from the west side encountered light rail security at back-to-back stops. They said they were there to do random ticket checks, but we’re pretty sure they wanted to check out everyone’s underwear.

After all the riding and changing trains, our group met up at Angels Trumpet Ale House, a great place in Phoenix for craft beer and having fun. We had a blast mingling, sharing stories, and taking pictures for over an hour before dispersing. Some people stayed at Angels Trumpet while others moved on to other downtown establishments and the rest of us hopped back on the rail and headed for home.

No Pants Light Rail 2013 group shot courtesy of noocar

No Pants Light Rail 2013 group shot courtesy of nooccar

Kudos to the photographers from Phoenix New Times, College Times and AZ Central who dropped their pants and were not obtrusive in their coverage like we ask (check out their photos!). Sadly, other news outlets weren’t quite so considerate, and seemed a little surprised when we told them to get lost. You’ve got a whole year before next time to get some nice underwear and more discrete cameras, guys – get on it!

Behold, the most excellent video from the ride!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this event a huge success and a special thank you to Angels Trumpet Ale House for hosting us. Please check out the photos from the 2013 No Pants Light Rail Ride on Flickr and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you get videos on future pranks and flash mobs.

If you want to stay in the loop about our future shenanigans, including our secret flash mobs and pranks, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Fake Protest #2 – Down With Sequels!

Down With Something!

Grab your posterboard and Sharpies! It’s time for another fake protest!

This Saturday, September 24th at 10am, we’re going to let loose with another round of ridiculous signs, chants, and overall silliness.

Remember, don’t protest anything real – just have fun! We had some awesome signs at the first Fake Protest earlier this year.

  • Stupid Should Hurt
  • Don’t Worry – I’m From The Internet
  • Cap’n Crunch Hurts My Mouth
  • Honk If You’re Horny
  • Mona Lisa Was Framed
  • Why Not?

Have fun being creative. These signs need to be easily read by people driving by. It’s best to use bold colors and lettering, and at least a 22”x18” posterboard. Feel free to coordinate your outfit with your cause. Check out the video from the first protest for more inspiration.

Feel free to chant during the fake protest. It’s fun to have everyone chanting 3-word chants in unison and have all of them be different.

Spread the Word

Please Tweet about this, RSVP on Facebook and please share it will all your friends! Bring out as many people as you can!

When and Where

We will be protesting at the intersection of 20th Street and Camelback Road. We had such a good experience here at the first protest, we decided to use it again. Parking is available in the shopping center on the southwest corner of the intersection, near Best Buy.

Show up around 9:45 for last-minute instructions and to divide everyone up into teams, get the cameras going, etc. We’ll protest for at least half an hour, and take it from there to see how well it’s going.

See you on Saturday!

Flash mobs are for fun, not crimes

#eshb09 - Epic Super Hero/Villain Battle 2009

Image by sheiladeeisme via Flickr

This summer there have been numerous robberies and assaults that were committed by large groups of people that the media claims were organized via social media. Unfortunately, the media has dubbed these activities “flash mob crimes” and “flash mob violence.” We think these terms are completely inaccurate. A flash mob is defined as “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment and/or satire.”

Flash mobs are not crimes. They are innocuous, fun events. The only similarity between flash mobs and these crimes is the fact that both can be coordinated using social media.

The organizers of Improv Arizona do not condone these criminal behaviors, and we offer our support to the communities dealing with these problems. We are dedicated to keeping our events fun and legal.

Before announcing any event, we consider the potential legal implications involved, and select activities that are safe for everyone involved. Our goal is always to entertain and inspire both our participants and the unsuspecting audience.

We’re excited to have just finished planning for several new flash mobs for the Phoenix area, and hope to remind people how much fun these things can be!

If you want to be a participant in an upcoming flash mob, be sure to follow us on Facebook or join our email list. We will be announcing new events soon.

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Where’s Waldo Was Wonderful, Wacky, Weirdness

photo (cc) Sheila Dee

The crew at Improv AZ decided to relive their childhoods and create a living version of Where’s Waldo at Tempe Marketplace. Nearly 100 people donned red and white striped apparel and gathered outside Dave and Busters on Saturday, April 23, 2011. Like the pictures in the Where’s Waldo books, we had one true Waldo in the official Waldo costume, and dozens of red and white lookalikes.

The group began to assemble just before 1pm. Security was concerned by the abundance of red and white striped shirts and it took some reassurance from the organizers that it was a short, innocuous prank in order for us to proceed. For about 20 minutes, the group chatted and mingled while stunned shoppers looked on. Many of the onlookers instantly got the joke, while others took some prompting. A few of our cohorts moved through the crowd of onlookers with a flyer showing a picture of our “real” Waldo and asking the strangers if they’d seen our friend. Anyone who didn’t understand what was going on before instantly smiled, giggled, and got the prank.

We had all kinds of Waldos – Dog Waldo, Gnome Waldo, Steampunk Waldo, Jester Waldo, Musician Waldos, Baby Waldo, and more! In preparation for this event, many participants flocked to stores in search of red and white striped shirts. One participant said that the clerk at their thrift store remarked that asignificant number of people had come to the store that week on a similar quest. Others opted to make their own shirts by applying red tape to white shirts or vice versa.

You can check out Flickr to see all the great Where’s Waldo flash mob pictures!

Big thanks to everyone who came out, to Sheila Dee Photography for capturing some of the great pictures, and to David and the crew at FlashMobAZ for helping us spread the word!

At the end of the prank, we took some group photos and dispersed. Many ventured in to Dave and Busters for a drink or a bite. The wait staff was completely oblivious to what had just transpired outsideand looked bewildered at all the red and white shirts in the dining room. When we explained what occurred, they couldn’t help but laugh.

After all, who doesn’t love Waldo?

No Pants AZ 2010 Recap: No Trou For You!

NoPantsAZ - 2010
Image by Art Rodriguez via Flickr

Over 300 people participated in the No Pants 2010 Ride in Phoenix, inciting confusion, shock, and joy in the local community.

On Sunday, January 10, 2010, Phoenix was abuzz with Cardinals Football fever as people gathered at light rail stations at the east and west ends of the light rail line.  The event leaders, identified by the red scarves tied to their bags inconspicuously navigated the nervous crowds, answering questions and reviewing the action plan.

At 2pm, participants began filling the light rail trains.  We had so many participants in the east valley that they had to be divided into two trains.  Even with the group split up across three trains, there was standing room only in the cars.

As the trains began to move, the pants came off.  Non-participants reacted first with looks of confusion, which turned into shock often followed by laughter.  One onlooker was inspired by the newly pantsless people around him that he removed his jeans as well!  At each stop, new people entered the trains and asked us, “Where are your pants?” An older gentleman said he enjoyed the view as he chatted with three cute pantsless women on his way to The Spaghetti Factory.

Each pantsless group poured out of the trains in central Phoenix and walked to the Starbucks at Arizona Center.  As we walked down the street we were greeted by perplexed looks, car honks, and a few people pulling out their cameras to snap a few shots to show the folks back home.

At Starbucks, more people were motivated by our fun and removed their pants. We were there for nearly an hour, talking, laughing, and taking pictures when a security guard approached us and said that we had to put our pants back on.  (Note: the Starbucks was next to Hooters where the waitresses were wearing even less than us!)  Refusing to comply, we left, either heading back from whence we came, or taking our merriment to the after party at Dave’s Electric Brewpub.  Thanks @RailLife for setting it up!

Image by Nick Bastian

As we rode towards the pub, a Metro security guard entered the packed car to check for tickets.  He was greeted by chants of “Pants Off!”  He laughed and said he felt overdressed.

One onlooker turned to Tim, one of our intrepid pantsless leaders, and asked why none of us were wearing pants.  Tim responded, “You know, I hadn’t really noticed.”  The onlooker immediately pointed to two pantsless ladies – one with undies that said, “Prude” and other’s said, “Geek” – and said, “You’re telling me you didn’t notice this?”  Tim could only smile and shrug.

While we were relaxing at the pub, a Tempe Police car pulled up and asked if we were the No Pants group.  The officer said, “That’s awesome.  We had a briefing about you.”  We’re not sure if his pun was intentional, but it was beautiful. We asked the local media to not ruin the fun, but some ignored us and spilled the beans. Others were more circumspect and we ended up with a few good mentions around town.

The No Pants Light Rail Ride was a huge success. Thanks to everyone who joined us, especially the 40 veterans from last year’s ride.  Thanks to nooccar, Nick Bastian, Art Rodriguez, and others we have a lot of great pictures in Flickr. If you add your own please tag them with ‘nopantsaz’ and ‘improvAZ’.  We will add pictures to our Facebook group as we can, and you’re welcome to post yours to the event!  We hope to post the video on YouTube shortly.

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Silent Rave

Silent Rave Sept. 27 2009

Silent Rave Sept. 27 2009

The Arizona Diamondbacks had their last home game of the season on Sunday, September 27th, and Improv AZ decided to joyfully celebrate with the fans.  With the weather starting to cool down, it seems liked a good reason to bring the Improv AZ group together.  We decided to throw a Silent Rave.

It was a sunny and sticky Sunday afternoon when I met with our new videographer.  This event was a last-minute idea, so I had not scouted the area in advance.  We scoured the courtyard and found a suitable open area for dancing next to Sliders restaurant.  It was an appropriate area for gleeful gyrations. 

And then we waited.  I saw a few familiar faces with anticipatory smiles from past events amongst the sea of red-shirted Diamondbacks fans. 

At 12:45 our group of approximately fifteen people spontaneously started to dance.  We received a number of bewildered looks from Diamondbacks fans, some who stopped to take pictures.  Apparently the host at Sliders encouraged our tomfoolery over the loudspeaker.  I couldn’t hear him because we were having so much fun.   Although our event was a silent rave, we had the music of Sliders to dance to; however I don’t think it had a negative impact on the absurdity of the event.

At 12:47, the alarm on my phone went off.  I gave the ending signal and we dispersed.  Some of us headed into the game and the rest disappeared into the surrounding crowd.           

There are some good pictures from the event on Flickr.  We were working with a new videographer for this event.  I’m hoping the footage will be up soon.   If you were there and have photos or video from the event, please post them with the tags ImprovAZ and SilentRave.