The New York City-based group Improv Everywhere is known for its out-of-the-box ideas in the form of skits throughout the city.
According to their official Web site, improveverywhere.com, Improv Everywhere is a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 100 missions.
Their latest video Say Something Nice became a YouTube sensation and attracted more than 135,000 views within hours of uploading. The group set up a wooden lectern with a megaphone holster and a sign that reads, Say Something Nice and placed it in public spaces around New York to capture what people said into the megaphone.
We wanted to see what would happen if New Yorkers were given the opportunity to amplify their voices to 'say something nice'. This project was produced by Improv Everywhere as part of the Guggenheim Museum exhibition stillspotting nyc, the group wrote about the latest video.
Improv Everywhere has published a book titled, Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere, written by Charlie Todd and Alex Scordelis. Their other missions and videos are available on their Web site.
One woman used the megaphone as a way to promote an event she was working on, Improv Everywhere wrote on their blog. Someone else thought the megaphone was a good opportunity to give a lengthy monologue about Christianity. So while a few were opportunistic, we were pleased that the vast majority of the people who encountered the lectern got the spirit of what we were going for.
The reactions to the lectern varied. Some folks ignored it. Some stopped, but decided to take a picture rather than following the instruction. Of the people who chose to speak, there were many recurring themes with I love you, I love New York, and Have a great day being the most common responses, volunteers said.