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.

No Pants 2016 Recap: We All Hate Pants

No Pants 2016Close to 400 people shed their modesty and their pants at the 8th annual No Pants Light Rail Ride!

On Sunday, January 10, 2016, our pantsless group boarded the light rail at four main locations throughout the valley. Lucky for us, it was the same weekend as the festivities for the national college football championships. This meant we had an influx of out-of-town guests who were shocked by how we roll in Phoenix. One person remarked, “This is almost as cool as Vegas”.

Valley Metro did a great job of crowd management by adding extra cars to the trains and providing security that helped our group spread out throughout the cars. The Phoenix Police were on hand near the downtown area, checking the cars for dubious characters, sweeping for radiation, and even brought a bomb dog through the cars. One of the officers asked us, “Aren’t you freezing your asses off?”

Our group converged on Angels Trumpet Ale House for a beverage and a bite and to share stories from our adventures. It was definitely a family affair this year – pantsless people of all ages and walks of life. One of our captains did the ride with her mom in tow. There was one particularly adorable couple on this year’s No Pants Light Rail Ride – an older duo who did the ride as part of their first date! The gentleman of the pair said, “Now we have a story to tell the grandkids. On our first date, we walked around town not wearing pants.” (We assume they already have their respective grandkids and were not planning to start popping out two more generations after meeting today.)

The No Pants Light Rail Ride is always a spectacle. Our favorite shirt of the day said, “I hate everyone (and pants).” We were so happy to see that our friends who wear animal heads, paws, and tails joined us again – sans pants of course. Their ability to play cornhole at Angels Trumpet, while wearing their giant heads was impressive.

Thank you to everyone who came out for the No Pants Light Rail Ride, and a huge thank you to Angels Trumpet for hosting us. The owners and servers did an incredible job taking care of everyone.

Be sure to check out the photos from this year’s ride on Flickr.

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.

Who needs pants? We definitely don’t!

Courtesy Devon Christopher Adams

Courtesy Devon Christopher Adams

On a gorgeous and warm Sunday, January 12, 2014 over 500 people rode the Phoenix area light rail for the 6th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride. We started at light rail stops all over the valley with a shared destination of Central Avenue and Roosevelt Street. From there, the group walked to Angel’s Trumpet Ale House to have a beverage, share stories from their respective legs of the ride, and take photos.

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nooccar/11923680546/lightbox/

Courtesy Devon Christopher Adams

The West Side ride started with a hiccup when a light rail security guard tried to tell the photographers in the group that they could not take pictures on the light rail. Thankfully we had a few legal eagles in our group who were able to explain the law to him that photography is permitted as long as it does not disrupt the light rail itself, which was confirmed by his supervisor.

Our group filled multiple trains.  Some panted passengers joyfully joined in our fun. Others looked at our bare legs with shock and confusion. One couple boarded the light rail at the airport stop and was so engrossed in their conversation and their phones that it took them two stops to realize that the majority of people around them were in their underwear. On another train, a family was traveling with small children. When the father saw the pantless group board the train, he sternly told his kids to close their eyes.  At one of the platforms, a German tourist requested pictures with several pantless riders and asked if public pantlessness was normal given Arizona’s conservative reputation.

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nooccar/11923976956/sizes/c/in/photostream/

Courtesy Devon Christopher Adams

Of course the media showed up. The cool ones took their pants off and joined in the fun. Some of our organizers tried to shame the photographers from the Arizona Republic into taking their pants, but to no avail. One of our organizers and one of our photographers were interviewed by Fox 10 prior to the ride and made it on the local news.

https://secure.flickr.com/photos/nooccar/11924123266/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Courtesy Devon Christopher Adams

This event was started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002 and it has since become a global phenomenon. People in 60 cities and 25 countries participated in this year’s event, including Phoenix. You can see some of the photos from the No Pants Rides in other cities on Mashable.

Thank you to everyone who came out and joined us for this year’s No Pants Light Rail Ride, and thank you to Angel’s Trumpet Ale House for hosting us. Please share your photos on the event page. Our photographers have started posting their photos from the event on Flickr and will continue to add more as they process all their footage.

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

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.

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!

Zombathalon – Zombie race training flash mob

We’re back! After being on hiatus for much of the year, Improv AZ is back in action. It feels so good to be doing flash mobs and pranks again!

The undead race the living

There are a lot of organized zombie walks these days, but we wondered what people would do if a zombie outbreak happened somewhere they really didn’t expect?

horde of shuffling zombies

Zombathalon zombies in training

On Saturday October 20th, we organized a small group of pranksters to invade the Arizona canal to scare and entertain unsuspecting runners. We picked a section of the trail that’s a common route for runners and bikers who are training for races this coming winter. We thought a little Zombie outbreak might give them some extra… motivation… to run fast!

Warning: Zombie Outbreak sign

Runners were warned!

Thirteen zombies gathered at 6:45 am near the canal at to put the final touches on our costumes. We paled our skin, blackened our eyes, and covered ourselves with gooey blood, fake wounds, and ripped clothes. We hung a big yellow signs smeared with blood at end edges of the zombie invasion area: Warning: Zombie Outbreak.

The invasion began at 7 am!

We groaned and stumbled towards the people who were walking, running, and biking along the canal. Some people laughed and high fived us. One woman let out a blood curdling scream. Another runner complained, “I see you guys in my dreams. Can you stay out of my run?” while someone else told the zombie wearing a tattered bloody business suit, “Hey Wall Street, you had it coming!”

Runner escapes zombies

This guy did NOT want to be zombified!

Due to the angle of the sun, some runners couldn’t see more that the outlines of our bodies shuffling towards them with arms raised as they approached. It was only when they got closer that they could see our pale skin and still-wet blood.

One guy seemed genuinely disturbed by the zombies around him despite the fact that he towered over everyone in our group. We think he might have had zombiphobia. Two runners split up when the first runner labeled him the slower of the two, and thus the better candidate for our breakfast. His friend took proved him wrong by taking off at a speed that would have put the Road Runner to shame!

We also scared a few dogs. We probably smelled funny.

The zombie invasion lasted until about 7:30 when our bodies were sore from limping and our throats hurt from moaning and grunting. We took some great zombie pictures and dispersed just as fast as we assembled.

Check out this video with some of the great reactions we got from the runners:

If this is the first time you’re hearing about this event, that’s because this was a secret flash mob that we only announced to our mailing list. If you want to get involved in future events, get on our email list!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Zombathalon, and all the runners we had fun with so early in the morning. We hope we made your run more interesting!

 

No Pants Light Rail Ride – Start 2012 in style!

(cc) MrAnathema on Flickr

Don’t miss future pants or pantsless events – join our email list!

Drop your pants and get on board!

You are hereby invited to participate in the 4th Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride in Phoenix. This is part of The No Pants Subway Ride, which is a global event started by Improv Everywhere in New York in 2002. If you’re not in Phoenix, here is a list of global cities participating in the No Pants Ride.

The event will take place at 1:00pm on Sunday, January 8th. 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. THIS INCLUDES THE MEDIA! **

Where & When to Go

When: Sunday, January 8th at 1:00 PM Sharp! (Over by around 4:00)

Where: There are two starting points – choose whichever one is closest to you. There is a map of stop locations here.

WEST SIDE START: Montebello/19th Ave

EAST SIDE START: Sycamore/Main

END AT: Mill Ave/3rd Street (then head South to Robbie Fox’s (more info below))

Be on time! Be at the West Side or East Side starting point station and ready to board the train at 1:00pm 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.

What to Wear & Bring

Show up in your underwear! We’re not waiting to depants on the train. If you’re depantsing once you arrive, bring a backpack, briefcase, or something else to carry them in. You are responsible for your own pants.

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.

Buy a fare card! Show up early if you need to. Details on how to buy a card.

How it Works

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 pantless 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 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.

Last year was a lot of fun, and we’re anticipating tons of people showing up for the 2012 ride! Spread the word and tell your friends, just make sure they read all the rules!

See you on the 8th!

Flash Mobbing a Little Heart Into the Apple Store

Photography by Devon Christopher Adams (@nooccar)

We’ve long been fans of Improv Everywhere’s Best Buy flash mob, but never had a good chance to do our own version. Clearly Best Buy had no sense of humor about the topic, and we figured most companies like them would be about the same.

After Steve Jobs passed away, this idea seemed like a great way to pay a little tribute to someone who had an enormous impact on our lives, and maybe have some fun in the process. We contacted a Phoenix t-shirt shop and had them create special custom shirts for us – royal blue with a heart shaped logo on the front. Oh, and the heart had a piece missing out of it. And a leaf. Look familiar?

This past Saturday about 25 Improv AZ cohorts donned those shirts in a flash mob at the Apple Store in the Scottsdale Quarter. The plan wasn’t to disrupt their business in any way, but just to have fun and make people laugh. We figured with 25 of us we would outnumber the employees, and maybe even the customers.

As we trickled into the store, the surprise was on us – the place was packed! We had never seen an Apple Store that busy, maybe because of the new iPhone launch, and the employees noticed us right away. They started chatting away into their earpieces, and a few security people started paying us extra attention. We just browsed and wandered around, so the employees must have decided we were mostly harmless. They kept an eye on us but didn’t ask us to leave.

Photography by Devon Christopher Adams (@nooccar)

So we had fun! We put pictures of ourselves on many of the computer’s PhotoBooth screens, but employees came right behind us and removed them. Most of us were very familiar with Apple products but referred customers to real employees whenever asked. However, one lady refused to be sent away. She was quite happy with the help she received and admonished an Apple employee that the prankster should not get in trouble for being such a nice young man! We shopped for merchandise, made our phones all Quack, and chatted with everyone we could.

Some customers were confused, and one remarked “Wow, Apple sure does have a lot of employees!” but most laughed when they realized what was going on. Most employees took it in good fun  once they realized we weren’t there to cause trouble. We heard “flash mobs” being used as an example in a Genius Bar training session, and a few employees asked where they could get a shirt like ours.

We left after about half an hour, took a group picture out front, and waved a cheery farewell to everyone in the store before heading off for coffee. We immediately began musing where else we might be able to unleash our small, blue-shirted army… hmmm…

Check out the Pictures

We had two photographers help capture the flash mob, and both helped shoot our shenanigans before. This one was trickier because we were trying to be covert so they couldn’t use their normal camera gear. They each wrote blogs about the experience and trying to take good pictures with a small camera, so if you plan to try something like this yourself see what the very talented Sheila Dee and Devon Christopher Adams had to say.

Check out all of their pictures (and a few others) from the flash mob in the Apple Store Flash Mob series on Flickr.

Want A Shirt?

We’ve had a lot of requests for other people who wanted a shirt, so you can order an Apple Heart Shirt from Brand X. We don’t make any money off these – they’re just a fun thing to wear so we wanted to pass it along.

Want to Join Us?

Want to be a part of a future flash mob with us? Join our email list! We don’t always announce them on our blog and Facebook, so our email list is the best way to stay connected.

Keep Laughing!

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Recap of Fake Protest Part Deux – Down With Sequels!

(cc) sheiladeeisme on Flickr

About 30 people came out for Improv AZ’s Fake Protest #2 – Down With Sequels! We gathered at the intersection of 20th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix and lined the street where cars waiting for the light to change could see us. Everyone made their own signs that protested nothing.

These were some of the more memorable signs:

  • Honk If You <3 Badonkadonk
  • Ask Me About My Vow of Silence
  • Down With Elevators
  • I Had Friends On The Death Star
  • I Just Spent 9 Months On The Inside (this sign was held with a baby)

We also yelled various nonsensical things at passing cars, like, “I like glitter,” “My arms are sore,” and “I’m a pedestrian.”

The responses are the most entertaining part of these things, and we had every kind you could imagine. Some people tried to ignore us. Many people smiled and honked their horns, while other people tried hard to ignore us. A fire truck stopped at the light held asked what we were protesting, then gave us a monstrous honk when they found it was for fun.

A few passersby who struggled to wrap their brains around the fact that dozens of people would spend their Saturday morning standing on a street corner with funny signs. Nearby mall security and the Phoenix Police made a few passes and checked us out, but let us carry on.

One of the best reactions came as we were wrapping things up and taking our final group picture. A woman came up and thanked us because she was having a really bad day until our display of absurdity made her smile. She turned her car around and stopped just to let us know. Perfect!

Lots of photos of the fake protest are on Flickr, thanks to talented  Phoenix photographer, Sheila Dee. If you have your own pictures on Flickr, use the tags “improvaz” and “fake protest” so they show up in our search. You can also tag yourself in our Fake Protest Facebook photo album.

Thanks to everyone who came out – another flash mob should be announced soon!

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