28 February 2008

We Are All Witnesses

I'm sure something like this is way old by Internet standards but I just got around to viewing it. It's Improv Everywhere's "Frozen Grand Central" mission and I think it's their best one yet. Simple, effective, and very viewer friendly. Heck, the damn thing got Charlie Todd (the founder of Improv Everywhere) on The Today Show recently.

There's really only two reactions to something like this: "awesome!" or "that's retarded." I mean, it's hard to stay indifferent to the antics, especially when it's done on a grand scale. Some of Improv Everywhere's gigs are classics, like the one targeted at Abercrombie & Fitch, and most of them are pretty funny. I'm impressed by the intricacy of some of the missions too. I mean, check out "The Moebius," which is a pretty neat idea and had to be executed with precision and dedication. Best of all, the crowds and surrounding people get into it on many of the missions -- sometimes spectacularly.

I'm most impressed with the commitment level on display here. I mean, pulling a prank or creating comedy usually requires 110% staying in character and committing to a cause even when it seems really stupid. You ever get that feeling of doing something that seemed so incredibly funny five minutes ago but is currently just making you look stupid? Well, that must happen on some of these missions but the Agents plug on and in the end, get a few laughs and a cool story to recount.

"It's only in a camera-crazy tourist haven like New York that you can go into a public bathroom, snap photos of men standing at urinals, and not only will they NOT be angry, they'll often take out their own camera and snap a pic of that same urinal, thinking, 'Huh, this toilet must be famous.'"
-McDonald's Bathroom Attendant-