Everybody Freeze
February 16, 2008 7:56 AM   Subscribe

Frozen Grand Central. A little bit of Saturday fun. The folks at Improv Everywhere are at it again. This time they freeze over two hundred people in Grand Central station. (via GoodSh** NSFW)

(also, flapjax at midnite posted the youtube version in a comment in the disco thread)
posted by caddis (22 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Look for a guy in a white coat with a black stripe, next to a girl with a light blue/white coat. That's me and my girl :).

It was some good clean fun. We met at Hotel Pennsylvania early in the morning to get all signed up, as this was for the NBC pilot (that never made it). Because it was on TV, we actually got paid for two hours of 'work', $20 and change! They didn't tell us what we were actually doing till later when we met at Bryant Park. This was my 4th mission with them, and everyone always gets this silly childish smile when the mission is actually disseminated out to us masses. One of the fun parts was walking around before and after the mission, and trying to figure out who is/was in it. As far as the actual mission went, all the tourists and commuters were very confused at first. They started walking around us and looking, like we were statues at a museum. It was very silly and fun. It was also cool at the end seeing everyone scatter. The population of the main room basically halved. Highly recommended!
posted by Mach5 at 8:21 AM on February 16, 2008 [3 favorites]

Previous mention, but not as an FPP, so fair dinkum.
posted by psmealey at 8:39 AM on February 16, 2008

Okay I was about to bitch about another "two weeks ago on Digg, but today on MeFi" style post... until Mach5 added the personal touch. You shoulda told us that story orginally! :)
posted by rokusan at 8:58 AM on February 16, 2008

This was great, and indicative of Improv's earlier great exploits (much better than just repeating the same No Pants Subway thing every year) but what I really wish they'd do is take The Moebius large scale, or do more stuff like this.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:00 AM on February 16, 2008

Ever read "The Fermata"?
Seeing everyone frozen must be the closest a person could get to the experiences of that (under-rated) novel's hero...
posted by Dizzy at 9:02 AM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

That is indeed a very good novel.
posted by Miko at 9:34 AM on February 16, 2008

I hated Fermata, because I felt that Baker stole the story I wrote in my head when I was eight. It kept me busy daydreaming through many many years of very boring school. Who hasn't stared at that big clock and tried really, really hard to stop it?*

But The Mezzanine... which all crunches into a few minutes of "time"... now there's a book.

*yes, Heroes also owes my eight-year-old self a royalty check.
posted by rokusan at 9:48 AM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was there, too -- it was a blast. And it's kind of neat to think of it as my first paid acting gig (I have the W2 form now to prove it). Here I come, SAG!

If you're looking for pop culture comparisons, the reference is the original Star Trek episode, Wink of an Eye.
posted by borborygmi at 9:51 AM on February 16, 2008

Ummm perhaps a NSFW is in order on that last goodsh** Link?
posted by freq at 9:58 AM on February 16, 2008

Yes, I have already sent Mefi-Mail to Jess requesting an edit. Hopefully being the weekend no one clicks that at work.
posted by caddis at 10:02 AM on February 16, 2008

I'm not sure if it's the first, but John D. MacDonald (slightly, but not much, more famous for his mysteries) has 8-year-old rokusan and Star Trek both beat.
posted by ormondsacker at 10:53 AM on February 16, 2008

This is prolly my favorite thing I've seen them do.
posted by brevator at 11:22 AM on February 16, 2008

My friend Katie was the blonde girl in Moebius! Yay!
posted by spec80 at 12:02 PM on February 16, 2008

I'm surprised that this didn't turn into a Homeland Security kerfuffle.
posted by Dreama at 12:13 PM on February 16, 2008

ZachsMind: This was great, and indicative of Improv's earlier great exploits (much better than just repeating the same No Pants Subway thing every year) but what I really wish they'd do is take The Moebius large scale...

Thanks for linking the Moebius. That was pretty cool.

If they do it again, they should go meta and include a couple of agents commenting (every five minutes) on what is going on.
posted by sour cream at 12:20 PM on February 16, 2008

L'année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year at Marienbad), from 1961, has some beautiful 'frozen' sequences.
posted by arialblack at 1:46 PM on February 16, 2008

Charlie Todd/IE was featured in a Nightline piece a few days ago.
posted by hellbient at 4:55 PM on February 16, 2008

"They're not moving. I can't move my cart! Ah, nevermind. They're moving now."
posted by ericb at 8:09 PM on February 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

that was my favorite part...poor guy had a task so he was more serious, less curious. that is a big target of these pranks.
posted by caddis at 8:21 PM on February 16, 2008

Not to be too cynical, but i've been curious if Improv Everywhere has any viral marketing tie ins. Dows anyone know?

The question arose in me from the large number of "happenings" that occur in stores, and subsequently feature the stores brand prominently in some popular you tube video (starbucks, home depot, virgin, ambercrombie, best buy, barnes & noble, mcdonalds). In addition Charlie Todd's used to (or still does) work for a marketing company.

Are thes events subtle viral marketing or is he merely using the stores as stages in a post-modern way? I admit this one was cool, but again its was for an NBC pilot.

Anyone in the know?
posted by Merik at 8:25 PM on February 16, 2008

Merik: Wikipedia says: "Todd himself currently teaches at the UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre)".

Also, I doubt it some viral marketing thing, because it was founded in 2001. Usually those things take off pretty quickly.
posted by trevor Manternach at 4:25 PM on February 17, 2008

I kinda know Charlie. He dated my friend Katie that I mentioned above and through her, I hired him as a stand in (when a project needs work on camera angles and lighting but don't want to use the talent). AFAIK, Improv Everywhere is not commercial and has no hidden agenda. It's just a fun thing that Charlie runs and everyone is welcome to participate. It is very UCB heavy because Charlie is on a team there and he has taught/teaches classes. If IE promotes anything, it's probably the agents because all of them are aspiring actors or comedy writers.

I would consider acting (IE, UCB) his "real" job while the marketing job is for money to eat and stuff. He's a great person and I think he knows the pretty thick line of douchiness he would cross if he used IE for hire.
posted by spec80 at 9:37 PM on February 18, 2008

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