If you find yourself riding a subway somewhere in the world Sunday, you very well could spot a fellow passenger taking the trip without pants.
That’s right. All over the world…but especially if you traveled in New York City.
You see, Sunday, January 12, between the hours of 3 and 5 p.m., marked The 13th Annual No Pants Subway Ride. And NYC expected about 4,000 of its subway riders to be missing…pants.
While the above photograph may indicate some participants “get away with” wearing boxer-type shorts, others sport briefs, bikinis, even thongs.
The stunt started very small in 2002 courtesy of a NYC comedy group called “Improv Everywhere.”
In the first No Pants Subway Ride, only seven pants-less participants were part of the bit. It was all captured on video, but not uploaded to the Internet until 2007.
The woman seen as the first “victim” in the video had no idea what it was all about. She didn’t give it much thought until years later when the video went viral and friends started seeing her reactions.
Since the initial, seven-man stunt, Improv Everywhere claims their mid-winter lark has grown exponentially and expected the pants-free silliness to take place in as many as 60 cities around the world Sunday.
Last year’s No Pants Subway Ride started with thousands gathered in Manhattan, including passengers in their 70s and 80s.
As you can see from the below video posted Sunday from Berlin, the phenomenon does seem to have gone worldwide. Among the other cities with YouTube clips up and running from today’s rides are Paris, Montreal, Milan, Prague, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and of course, New York.
The official press information page from the organizers talks about not wanting it to become a “media circus.” (As if.)
Their official statement makes this very clear: We strongly encourage participation of everyone, including the media. As I say every year, “If you’re not here to take your pants off, you’re in the wrong place.”
For the ultra-committed, there’s an “after-party” in New York City, too.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @Stuntbrain