No Pants Light Rail Ride recap – amusing and confusing in our underwear

courtesy of Joe Abbruscato

Another great day of pantsless fun achieved!

Approximately 150 people dropped their pants on January 9th across the Valley as part of Improv AZ’s 3rd Annual No Pants Light Rail Ride. The event was part of Improv Everywhere’s Global No Pants Subway Ride.

Our pantsless participants boarded the light rail more or less at 2pm at three stations around Phoenix. Passengers were confused and maybe a wee bit shocked, with many pulling out their cellphones to take pictures. New passengers entering the cars did double takes and tried to find the spot on the car furthest from the leg-showing throng. Some asked us what we were protesting.

Our group was a diverse lot. One woman was a mother whose sons did the No Pants Ride last year… and this year she wanted to join in. Two people wore awesome animal hats complete with paws. This also seemed to be the year to wear argyle socks and to have verbiage on your undies. We had “Cheers,” “Follow Me,” and “I’m blogging this” to list a few.

This was also the chilliest No Pants Ride in Arizona to date. The high for the day was 61 degrees,which was too cold for some thin-blooded (e.g. wimpy) Arizonans and they backed out at the last minute. Others coped by layering tights underneath their underwear. One guy rolled in with underwear that had full legs – almost like girls’ leggings. It was a fashion extravaganza!

All the riders exited on Mill Avenue in Tempe and walked three blocks to the great pub Robbie Fox’s Public House. When a street musician saw our pantsless parade walking down the street, he removed his trousers and continued to play. Lots of cars honked and pulled over to take pictures, and the Auburn and Oregon fans in town for the BCS championship game were quite baffled.

We hung around for about an hour drinking and having fun, then took a great group picture and headed back to our trains, our cars, and our pants.

Check out all the pictures from the No Pants ride on Flickr, and there is a No Pants slideshow on the Phoenix New Times site.  Here is the first video, but we hope to have another one soon.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the No Pants Light Rail ride this year, and much love our photographers Devon Christopher Adams, Joe Abbruscato, and Michael Ging – and videographers Bob Marquis and Lorin Thwaits.

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Save the Date – No Pants AZ 2011 is Jan 9th!

On the Platform
Image by Moriartys via Flickr

Oh, hi there!

Things have been a bit quiet around these parts for assorted reasons, like day jobs and reality making their demands, but we’re set to start off 2011 with some fun!  Improv Everywhere has set the date for their No Pants Subway ride for Sunday, January 9th, and as we have done for the past two years we will be representing Arizona on the Light Rail.  The Where, When, and Whatnot 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.

There are two other prank related events a’cooking, organized by other groups in town, that may be worth your consideration.

Santarchy – December 18th

The AZ Cacophony crew is doing the 2010 mass Santa extravaganza on Saturday, Dec 18th. Grab your Santa suit and check Phoenix Santarchy page for all the details.

West Side Improv Freeze – January 15th

Happening Saturday, Jan 15th, at Westridge Mall, this freeze is being organized by someone on Facebook.  Check out the event page for all the details and to get involved.

Getting Involved

We’ve had a lot of emails lately from people asking how to get involved.  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 recently watch for an email clarifying how you want to be involved in 2011.


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NoPantsAZ 2010: Legtastic Videos Online

No Pants Group Photo

Image by Moriartys via Flickr

Just letting you know that the videos from the NoPantsAZ Ride are now on our YouTube Channel.  There is a longer version (below) and a short version if you’re the impatient sort.  Sorry for the delay in getting them online, but we had some problems with the footage and it took a while to sort out.


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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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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!


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



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


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

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

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

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


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:

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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Recap: 2009 Arizona No Pants Ride

The following is a recap of the 2009 No Pants Ride that happened nearly a year ago.  It was the event that got ImprovAZ started, so I didn’t have a place to post it at the time. It’s been a fun year since this happened, and if you’re interested in the No Pants Ride coming up January 2010, join our mailing list or watch this blog!

No Pants AZ
Image by ousooner44 via Flickr

I used to do improv with the Oxymoron’Z and Jester’Z troupes here in Phoenix, so have long wanted something like Improv Everywhere to get rolling locally. I know, I know… Improv Everywhere isn’t really improv, but they’re cousins enough that I longed, nay, yearned.

So last January I decided to help give it a push and organize an Arizona version of the No Pants Ride as part of the Improv Everywhere global No Pants Ride. It seemed like a great way to break in the Valley’s new fangled Light Rail. Shorthanded as “nopantsaz” on Twitter and Flickr, the ride was an almost unqualified success.


I had no idea what to expect up front, or if there would be a mass chickening out at the last minute. I secured about 10 stalwart companions to ensure I wasn’t alone, but in spite of 100+ RSVP’s on the Facebook group I figured we may top out at 30 people total. Wanted to keep it super simple since this was our first event and the Light Rail system isn’t that complex. Two starting points, one finish point, coffee, then return. Piece of cake!

Biggest worry was that Light Rail or security would shut us down. I’d checked with the police that wearing your underwear in public was legal, so it came down to whether there would be a disruption that they thought would interfere with the line operating.


The plan was to catch the first train past 3:00 at the Apache and Dorsey station in Tempe. Trains run about every 15 minutes, and one left around 2:50, so I expected one around 3:05.  Nothing. I got paranoid at one point they halted the train to get security out there. By 3:00 there were easily 90 people on the platform. I walked up and down the line a few times trying to spread people out and giving instructions. It’s a tad awkward to ask “Are you here to take off your pants” to strangers, in case you’ve never done it.

It was worse because of a local cameraman who clearly had never heard of “subtle” or “covert”. I asked the media I spoke with to meet us at the end so as not to blow our coverage, but this guy had a full shoulder camera and kept it right in my face. He asked me things like if it was illegal, which had me uttering the truly brilliant line that we weren’t “breaking the law. We were just… fluffing the law. Frosting the law.” Right. Moving on.

Ride Out

The trains were PACKED! Figuring another wasn’t coming for 15 minutes, we found space and as soon as the train began moving, dropped and hid our pants. Not easy in a full, moving train, but I think there were a lot of contortionists present. Reactions varied from shock to amusement to horror. An older woman seated next to me grumbled to anyone who would listen how terrible it was that we were being obscene in front of children, even though it was just a bunch of bare legs. You’ll see a lot more skin on the Rail in August in the Valley, that’s for sure.

After a while people began cheering when non-participants joined or left the cars, and the people riding for a while started to relax into the joke. I loved the look when people got on, pressed together with the crowd, then glanced down and realized there were a lot fewer pants than people.

We rode to the Campbell and Central station for a much needed break.

Coffee Pit Stop

The media was waiting in force at Lux coffee shop when we arrived. All attempts at being nonchalant about the affair were long gone. We strode with pride over to Lux, and the shop ambiance took a sharp dive off a cliff as the Pantsless Army queued up for beverages. “Puzzled” doesn’t quite cover the looks the patrons were shooting us.

At this point one group went to George & Dragon Pub, still pantsless, to knock back a pint. Others reboarded the train for the ride back.

Ride Back

It was less eventful overall, but had some better reactions because the train was more open. People were crowding near the doors to avoid mingling with the pantsless. One gal actually ran off the train after she asked me a question about which stop she should use, then realized the situation. She decided the current stop was just peachy keen by her without another word. Pulled back in around 5:30, for a 2 1/2 hour event.


The event was a blast, and I met some great people. There is a pile of excellent pictures and a great video (bel0w).

Also major thanks to Heather, TJ, Tyson, Clintus, David, Evo, Brian, Jill, RailLife, Lux, and everyone else who chipped in and spread the word. It was a community effort.

The media’s involvement was a mixed blessing. I think it helped show that this was intended to be fun and nothing bad came of it, but totally destroyed the covert nature of it. I got some tips from the national IE group about this, so will apply it a bit different next time.

We now have this blog, and an ImprovAZ Facebook Page that we’ve been using to organize new events. Personally, I think Phoenix needs more events like this. Shake things up, give people something to talk about, just have fun. Too many people in this town just ask Why, and I think more need to be asking Why Not?

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