Spreading Love Like Butter

There’s a lot of anger and frustration out there, so we thought it would be nice to remind people that they are beautiful and the world is also filled with lots of love. So last Saturday, 60 amazing people braved the Phoenix heat to share some joy with unsuspecting drivers with our first Love and Compliments Rally!

courtesy Kenny Muzzey

We made signs created to make people smile and they drove through the intersection at Central Avenue and Indian School Road. Here were some of our favorites:

  • I like your face.
  • You deserve tacos.
  • You could survive the zombie apocalypse.
  • You are beautiful.
  • Kevin loves you.
  • Honk 4 love.

This event had nothing to do with politics or any causes, and not even sarcasm. We just wanted to let people know how much they are loved, and that they all help make the world a better place.

People loved the love

courtesy, Amy Larsen

We stood at the intersection for about 45 minutes, getting lots of honks, smiles, and waves from cars. The best was an older couple where the wife in the passenger seat was nudging her husband the driver to honk the horn, and when he refused, she reached over and did it herself. They were adorable.

Toward the end of the rally, a car pulled up next to us. It was people from Kneaders Bakery and Cafe. They had extra box meals from an event they supported that morning, and they wanted to give us the leftovers to share some love for us. We happily took their leftovers and shared most of them with the homeless people in the area.

Check out just a few of the great pictures in our Facebook album.

We will do it again

Special thanks to everyone who ventured out into the blazing sun to share some love with us. We’ll definitely do this again.

If you want to join us, make sure you sign up for our email list so you don’t miss it!

You are beautiful!

 

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.

 

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!

 

Save the Date – No Pants AZ Light Rail Ride is Jan 8th!

(cc) MrAnathema on Flickr

It’s that time of year again when all the good boys and girls start looking forward to Christmas, and their slightly naughtier friends start looking forward to the No Pants Light Rail ride in January!

Improv Everywhere has set the date for the 11th Annual No Pants Subway Ride as Sunday, January 8th, and as we have done for the past three years we will be representing Phoenix on the Light Rail.  We will be one of the many no pants rides on subways, trains, and public transporation around the world that day.

The Where, When, and Whatnot details for Phoenix are still being sorted out, but starting shopping for some spiffy new underpants!

You can also RSVP on Facebook, or join our mailing list to make sure you don’t miss any details.  If you are interesting in helping videotape or photograph, let us know.

If you’re really in the holiday spirit and can’t wait until No Pants, there is another event coming up you might want to consider…

Santarchy – December 17th

The AZ Cacophony crew is doing the 2011 mass Santa extravaganza on Saturday, Dec 17th. They have costume prizes, a toy drive, and some free drinks if you bring a few cans of food. Grab your Santa suit and check Phoenix Santarchy page for all the details.

Getting Involved

We always get asked how people can get involved with our pranks and flash mobs.  Here’s the scoop – if you want to just attend events, subscribe to our email list.  If you want to help organize or be a Lieutenant at an event to help us out, drop us an email.  If you’ve contacted us and didn’t hear back for some reason, remind us!

Cheers!

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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!

Where’s Waldo Flash Mob this Saturday!

Have you seen this shirt?

Do you remember the Where’s Waldo picture books from when you were a kid? Improv AZ is creating a real-life Where’s Waldo scene!

We will supply the actual Waldo. What we need is a group of people who look similar to Waldo, but don’t have every aspect of Waldo’s look.

Waldo has a very distinct look:
1. Red & White Beanie
2. Glasses
3. Red & White Striped Shirt
4. Blue Jeans

We want you to wear up to three elements of Waldo’s look, but NOT all four. Do not dress exactly like Waldo. Just look a little like him and have fun with your Waldo-like outfit. You can wear strange variations of the outfit, too, or any combination of red and white clothes! Don’t sweat it if you don’t look like him exactly.

When: Saturday, April 23rd, at 1:00pm

Where: Tempe Marketplace (McClintock & Loop 202)
We will be in the open area in front of Dave & Busters and California Pizza Kitchen!

You should not plan to be at the location area earlier than 12:45pm otherwise it could become obvious what is about to happen. At 1:00pm, go into the designated core area and act normal – mingle with others, talk on your phone, walk around, and act like you normally would in a public place.

Act as if there’s nothing unusual about how you are dressed and if asked, you have no idea why others around you are dressed similarly. At 1:30pm, disperse from the area and continue on with your day as if nothing unusual had happened.

You can also RSVP on Facebook for the event, and tell your friends!

Join the Fake Protest Flash Mob in April

(cc) monkey_bob99x on Flickr

UPDATED: Location information now posted below!

People protest all sorts of serious things, and we think it is about time we protested something utterly and totally ridiculous. Or even many utterly ridiculous things!

We are having a fake protest where a group gathers with signs (BYO sign) but all the signs have nothing to do with any of the other signs. We are NOT protesting anything serious or political. All the signs should be purposely silly, so leave any real grumbling about immigration, same-sex marriage, and all that at home!

Instead let your creativity shine and come up with something that is funny, irrelevant, and will make people wonder just what the heck is going on!

Examples of Good Slogans for Signs:

  • I Hate Signs
  • Down with Sunshine
  • Math is Sexy
  • Han Shot First
  • Jill Pushed Jack
  • Save Ferris
  • I’m Lost
  • Honk if Elvis Lives

Get the idea?

Date: Saturday, April 9th
Time: 1pm – 1:30pm
Location: We will be doing this at 20th St and Camelback. Park by the Best Buy on the SW corner, and meet in the parking lot near the Comerica Bank with your signs around 12:50 for a quick briefing. Depending on how many show up, we may split up and tackle different corners.

Since we’re going to be on street corner, our signs need to be big with clear lettering. It would be best to use 22”x28” or 24”x36” poster board for your sign – available at Walgreens, Michaels, or an office supply store.

If you’re on Facebook, you can RSVP for the Fake Protest flash mob event and share it with your friends!

If you have any ideas for slogans or questions about whether your slogan is appropriate, please share them as comments below.

When Mall Cops Swarm – The Coroner Prank #2

Given the success of our first outing with the prop body bag, it was only a matter of time before we tried it again. During his time off, “Bob” had been upgraded. The three sacks of birdseed had been re-worked into a clothing covered design to better spread the weight and give a more body-like look. In addition, a mostly deflated old basketball was now in place as a head.

To complete the costume look, we decided that nothing says attention to detail like a fake badge that says “Coroner – All Access Pass”. Truth be told, they look more like something you would use to get backstage at a rock concert – and hey, “Coroner” is a fine band name!

This go around, we set our sights on Chandler Fashion Center mall. The plan was simple enough: the four coroners (including one of our newest core group members) were to be dropped off at one entrance, walk straight through the upper level, exit by the food court and get picked up and whisked away by a second driver. Since the reactions of passersby are the goal of this prank, we had stationed lots of covert videographers along the route.

Once we had the word that all of the covert agents were in place, we pulled up to the bookstore entrance and hastily unloaded “Bob”. With each of us grabbing our assigned corner of the bag, we put on our serious faces and headed in. Like most mall locations, the bookstore has very narrow aisles and so we made the most of asking patrons to excuse us to pass which, as you might guess, got us lots of double takes and “did you just see that?” stares.

Right outside of the bookstore is a walled kiddie play area. The kids played on, oblivious, since only the adults were tall enough to see us over the enclosure. And look they did, staring in disbelief as we made our way past. At the halfway point, we passed within a few yards of the mall’s info desk. We hoped that since they were faced the other way, they’d take no notice of us (one of two groups that we really didn’t want to encounter during the prank, for obvious reasons).

Things were going great until we got to the food court walkway. Here, the plan called for us to set the bag down and briefly scan the lunch choices before deciding that we couldn’t decide. We were about to pick the bag back up when a mall security guard, dressed in black and yellow and looking like a bumblebee on a Segway, approached and asked what we were doing. With the bag in hand, we answered truthfully, “We’re leaving,” and proceeded towards the exit, just 150 feet away. We found the exit blocked, however, by two additional mall security guards on bikes.

In situations like this, we fully expect to first be asked to leave the premises and to only have issues if we won’t comply with that order. However, these guys were sure we’d committed “a dozen felonies” (not clear if they meant per person, or like 3 apiece) so they decided to detain us and call the Chandler Police Department. When the officers arrived, we explained our intent and pointed out that we had offered to leave immediately. One of the officers collected our IDs and our extremely fake badges (which he immediately returned to us: sorry mall security guy, not a felony). After verifying that we had no outstanding arrest warrants, he proceeded to debate us about the merits of our endeavors, eventually agreeing that we would just have to disagree. Interestingly, with the police on scene and the body bag sitting there, it probably looked even more like there had been an untimely death at the mall.

A few humorous things came to light while we were standing around waiting. The Segway rider got a call on his radio asking when he’d be back; apparently it was somebody else’s turn to ride it around. There was also a call about some improperly placed balloons in the food court. Hope that got resolved peacefully!

One reaction from the mall patrons really stood out. One of our covert agents was near a kid’s birthday party at the McDonalds in the food court. All of the adults were discussing what was going on with us when the birthday cake arrived. As soon as the candles were extinguished, the adults immediately turned back around to watch our drama with security play out and one was overheard to say “well, I think it’s a prank, but they’re not teenagers, so I’m not 100% sure.”

In the end, the four costumed participants got banned from the mall for three months and we all received little pre-printed Code of Conduct cards that list the activities that are not allowed (we got assigned the same category as “unnecessary staring” and “sexually explicit language”, go figure). A few people have asked why we didn’t just refuse to be detained, since mall security doesn’t have any more authority to do so than a regular citizen. Well, basically, we were trying to avoid a physical escalation to the confrontation. The guards appeared to have Tasers and/or pepper spray and since they were sure we’d committed some heinous crime, we were concerned that they might not hesitate to use them. Our group is all for poking at people’s preconceptions, but not provoking violent reactions.

It has since come to our attention that this particular mall has been having a problem with, get this, gypsies. We shall have to ready the puffy shirts and head scarves for our triumphant return to the mall in June!

Grab your best underwear! No Pants AZ is coming!

No Pants AZ

Image by ousooner44 via Flickr

We’re excited to announce the details behind the 2nd Annual No Pants AZ Light Rail Ride. Once again we’re doing it in conjunction with Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride, and everyone is invited to participate!

The event will take place at 2:00pm on Sunday, January 10. Everything you need to know is in this post. Please read it carefully!

REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION

1) Willing to take pants off on light rail.
2) Able to keep a straight face about it.

**THIS IS A PARTICIPATORY EVENT. DO NOT SHOW UP UNLESS YOU PLAN TO TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF.**

DETAILS

When: Sunday, January 10 at 2:00 PM Sharp! (Over by around 4:00)
Bring: A backpack and a fare card.
Wear: Normal clothes (hat, jacket, etc)
Mid Party: There will be a mostly unofficial gathering at Starbucks at the midway point

WHERE

There are two starting points – choose whichever one is closest to you:

WEST SIDE
Start: Montebello/19th Ave
Stop: 1st Ave & Van Buren
Return: Central & Van Buren

EAST SIDE
Start: Price/Apache
Stop: 3rd St & Washington
Return: 3rd St & Jefferson

Check out the Light Rail map for more details on the stop locations.

HOW IT WORKS

Be at the West Side or East Side starting point station and ready to board the train at 2:00pm sharp. It is the same time for both stops. Be early if you need to, especially if you need to buy a light rail pass.

Watch for Team Leaders (identified by a red bandana tied to their bag): The Team Leaders may try to split people into small groups to board different trains, depending how many people show up.

Don’t take off your pants until you’re on the train – Once we board the train and it starts moving, take off your pants and put them in your backpack. If you’d like to use a briefcase, purse, grocery bag, or whatever instead of a backpack that’s fine too. You are responsible for your own pants and they should be with you at all times. If anyone asks you why you removed your pants, tell them that they were “getting uncomfortable” (or something along those lines.)

Act normal – Stay with your group. Sit in the car like you normally would. Read a magazine, listen to your iPod, etc. You do not know any of the other pantsless riders. If questioned, tell folks that you “forgot to wear pants” and yes you are “a little cold.” Insist that it is a coincidence that others also forgot their pants. Be nice and friendly and normal.

Do not tell people you are doing a prank! You don’t really notice anything odd about people not wearing pants.

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

You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, “I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt.” Wear two pairs of underwear if it makes you feel more comfortable. Don’t wear a thong or anything else that might offend people. Our aim is to make people laugh, not piss them off.

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. All responsibility for your actions during this event are entirely your own.

Disembark at your Stop station and follow your Team Leader to the Arizona Center, where we will be getting a nice cup of coffee at Starbucks.

At 3:15 start heading back to your Return stations. Try to stay with your group, but if you need to leave earlier (or want to stay later) that’s entirely up to you and your group. The same rules apply as above.

Update: There will be a group photo session at the coffee shop when both groups meet.

Update: An after-party is planned at Dave’s Electric Brew pub back at the ASU Stadium stop. Details: http://tinyurl.com/NoPantsParty

Last year was a lot of fun and we’re anticipating more people in 2010! Spread the word and tell your friends, just make sure they read all the rules!

If you talk about it on Twitter, use the hashtag #NoPantsAZ.

If you’re on Facebook you can RSVP at the event there, but that’s optional.

See you on the 10th!

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