What is it with January and stripping down?
The cold weather must bring out the exhibitionist in all of us. Just a few days ago, the Coney Island Polar Bears took the plunge in their annual ritual. Well, that’s been a tradition for 113 years.
Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride 2017 is next up for us — except this one will be taking place all over the world.
The event begins on Sunday, January 8 at 3pm — “Sharp!” — as per the Improv Everywhere folks.
It’s the 16th year that you, your friends, and loved ones will have the opportunity to ride the subway in your underwear — with thousands of participants (roughly 4,000 in recent years). In addition, participants from over 60 other cities around the world will be joining you.
Improv Everywhere bills themselves as “a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places.” In recent years, the group brought their community-participating antics to Prospect Park with their Mp3 Experiment.
If you’ve been an innocent bystander in previous years, this all may be old hat to you. But if you haven’t been initiated to the annual ritual, here’s the basic idea.
Riders are organized into various departure points and subway cars throughout the city, and converge at Union Square in Manhattan.
Improv Everywhere tells the participants the following:
“As soon as the doors shut at the stop before yours, stand up and take your pants off 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. If anyone asks you why you’ve removed your pants, tell them that they were ‘getting uncomfortable’ (or something along those lines.)”
But while the event is a bit of a goof, Improv Everywhere knows that — in order for something to be as funny — participants have to take the comedy seriously.
“You can wear fun underwear if you like, but nothing that screams out, ‘I wore this because I’m doing a silly stunt,'” explains the organizers. “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.”
Brooklynites have two options for meetup points, which will take place Sunday, January 8 at 3:00pm.
While it’s optional to do so, the organizers ask that you RSVP via their Facebook event page.
More logistical information can be found on the event’s website.