Urban pranks
June 11, 2008 10:46 AM   Subscribe

From the Improv Everywhere people comes the Urban Prankster blog to keep track of delightful shenanigans around the world.
posted by CunningLinguist (21 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
As long as the pranks are pulled in air-conditioned, well-lit spaces, I'm all for it.
Crazy kids.
posted by Dizzy at 10:56 AM on June 11, 2008

These seem pretty awesome. Brings a little bit of whimsy to one's life. I hate these kind of things that leave a huge mess, though (Union Square pillow fight, I'm looking at YOU).
posted by piratebowling at 11:05 AM on June 11, 2008

There's a lot to be said for making the world a happier, better place.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:07 AM on June 11, 2008

Having spent too much time at rallies and demos in my time, I especially liked the protest against protests.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:10 AM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I love that there’s more and more of this but I’m afraid it might get so big that it will lose it’s effectiveness. Rather than be surprised, when a party breaks out on a subway people will just shrug and say “there goes those improve folks.” One of the last IE events, the bridge flash event, had thousands of RSVPs.

Also, the more quantity the lower the quality. I’m on the Boston SoS list but so far their events haven’t quite lived up to the IE stuff.

One of the greatest things I’ve ever witnessed in my life was when someone tossed a box of laundry soap into a fountain at Copley Place. I don’t know what the environmental impact was, but seeing kids, hipsters, homeless and businessmen all frolicking in a giant mountain of suds was awesome. Such a simple, yet wonderful thing. I’m only surprised it doesn’t happen every day.
posted by bondcliff at 11:13 AM on June 11, 2008

Fuck Improv Anywhere.
posted by ghastlyfop at 11:16 AM on June 11, 2008

Did you have trouble with the audition, ghastly?
posted by Dizzy at 11:20 AM on June 11, 2008

posted by ghastlyfop at 11:23 AM on June 11, 2008

I guess I'm that This American Life episode left a bad taste in my mouth.
posted by ghastlyfop at 11:27 AM on June 11, 2008

My best prank was in D.C. It was a Saturday night ,on the last car of the metro subway.
The driver was holding the train because it was the last train for the night and it was after 3 in the morning. I was with some friends and out of the blue, I started yelling about a possible chemical accident that was turning people into zombies. I got a few laughs so I went on about how people would suddenly freak-out and thirst for brains and human flesh. As if on cue, a drunk guy ran into the train with his buddies behind him. The drunk guy was covered in blood. He must have fallen down or something. I pointed to him and asked was he just attacked by zombies. Being a good drunken sport, he laughed and replied, "Yeah". I then said,
"Oh my gosh..they must have gotten hold of the driver...that's why we're not moving!" The humorless, more sober riders began getting agitated. The cool ones laughed as I tried to recruit some unwilling passengers to join me in my quest to gain control of the train away from the zombies. Anyways...after a few more minutes of laughter...the train started up and the joke was over....but..was it? Who was driving the train? A zombie!?
posted by doctorschlock at 11:47 AM on June 11, 2008

Just for the record, the Internet did not think of _everything_ first. Using "The Google" (GWB), feel free to check out the late, great "Allen Funt" or "Candid Camera" or "What do you Say to a Naked Stranger?"

I understand bell bottoms, ironing your bangs and, with the soaring price of gas, even Mods and Rockers are all back, too.
posted by Mike D at 11:48 AM on June 11, 2008

Re: "What do you Say to a Naked Stranger?"

Sorry. "What do you Say to a Naked Lady?"

It's been a while and I was muddling it with "Naked Came the Stranger".

Resume regular programming.
posted by Mike D at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2008

I thought the whole FlashMob thing was an experiment intended to demonstrate the gullibility and mob mentality of hipsters. Are they just really really intent on underlining that point?
posted by anazgnos at 11:57 AM on June 11, 2008

They were at IKEA.
Eating. Dinner.
In the "dinnertable diorama" section.
NOT the cafeteria.
Step away, man.
Some people just. don't. get. it.
I can't wait to get back to my basement and blog this.
posted by Dizzy at 12:08 PM on June 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I guess I'm that This American Life episode left a bad taste in my mouth.

The Sound of Young America interview with Ira Glass discusses it, and helped decrease my love for TAL (along with Lynda Barry, a spot on Onion article, and some general decrease in quality).
posted by drezdn at 12:38 PM on June 11, 2008

And Candid Camera wasn't the first either (in fact, Allen Funt started with a radio show titled "Candid Microphone"). But ol' Allen may have been the pioneer of turning practical joking into media content and making money from it. The "new" part is using the Intarwebs as a means for organizing large group efforts and including otherwise-total-strangers in executing the prank. Which, I'm sure in time, the Homeland Security Department will classify as 'terrorist organizing' and shut down.
posted by wendell at 1:24 PM on June 11, 2008

Fuck Improv Anywhere.

Thanks for posting!
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:00 PM on June 11, 2008

I endorse these activities.
posted by tkchrist at 5:05 PM on June 11, 2008

Flashmobbing was a plot point in a Law & Order episode which guest starred Robin Williams.

In other words, it is time to start a new underground fad for NBC to render utterly lame.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:27 PM on June 11, 2008

Union Square Fight Club

There's no way THAT could have gone badly.
posted by empath at 10:03 PM on June 11, 2008

Human Mirror
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on July 7, 2008

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