Improv Everywhere's biggest annual international stunt went off with only a few hitches yesterday, as thousands of travellers in 42 cities over 15 countries took part in the 9th Annual No Pants Subway Ride (mass transit trains, buses, and trolleys also accepted).
New York City again headlined the day, with an estimated 3000+ participants (known as Agents) taking part in the massed 'flashmob' event. The NY stunt was spread right across the city, departing from 6 different locations.
Leaders/captains were appointed as participants were split into smaller groups, and allocated their travel route. The rides finished off in Union Square with activities reportedly including a break dancing competition, a pants-less pyramid, pants-less game of duck-duck-goose, and a pants-less conga line! ;-)
In the US capital of Washington D.C. a few hundred riders hit the Metro, while about 350 people took part on a similarly cold day in Toronto, Canada.
In London, sub-zero temperatures and weather-related travel warnings reduced the 200+ intended participants to just over 30. The Londoners renamed their event the 'No Trousers Subway Ride', to avoid any confusion as to whether 'Pants' meant underpants or overpants ;-)
Participants are encouraged to give a simple and innocent explanation if questioned about their lack of pants. One London rider, Ryan Miller blogged about his experience yesterday...
I just leaned up near the door, at the end of the car. Reading. Finally the guy next to me (after a few stops) asked me why I took my trousers off.It was substantially warmer in Australia, the closest place to New Zealand to take part in the No Pants Ride 2010. Summery southern hemisphere temperatures brought out a good group of riders in Sydney, as well as Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne.
“It’s hot in here,” I explained.
“But what about them?” he asked, gesturing to the other bare legs in the carriage.
“Yeah, they took theirs off too,” I agreed.
For some reason this seemed to satisfy his curiosity.
Like in other cities, participants had to remove their pants while riding the Metro, and stay on until a pre-determined station. The task was then to get off and switching trains before completing the journey.
Sydney agent SexyNinjaMonkey reported that some of the group tried to go for a drink afterwards but noted it was "amazing how many pubs won’t serve people without pants."
Riders around the world got a range of reactions from their fellow travellers. Boston agent Maya reported one guy got pretty angry at participants, "yelling that we were all sick". She says her favourite response to the situation was "walking up to several bystanders and innocently asking why so many people were wearing pants today."
* Improv Everywhere: No Pants 2010 Global Reports
* Improv Everywhere: No Pants 2010 NYC Reports
UPDATE: Improv Everywhere - Full summary of No Pants Subway Ride 2010
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Posted at 4:01 p.m.