This Sunday, it’s time to take your pants off. It’s the 12th Annual No Pants Subway Ride, sponsored by New York City’s Improv Everywhere (and sponsored locally by the Guerilla Los Angeles Improv group). According to Improv Everywhere, nearly 4,000 people participated in New York and tens of thousands more participated around the world last year, after beginning with just seven dudes the first time around.
It’s a prank on your fellow subway riders, with the insanity of riding with no pants exacerbated by it taking place in the dead of winter. It may have less of a dramatic effect in sunny L.A. than in New York (or Chicago), but it’s still subversive enough, even in L.A.
Improv Everywhere describes it thusly:
Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.
Feel free to drop some of the winter garb in the L.A. weather — though, to be fair, even without our recent cold snap, many Angelenos would still be busting out their winter gear once it dipped at night into the 50s.
Now to be clear: This is not a No Underwear Subway Ride. Keep your underthings on. (It is also important to note that it is not related to No Pants Day, which is another opportunity to not wear pants in May.)
Watch this oral history (is this too silly a topic for an oral history?) of the first No Pants Subway ride in 2002:
Here’s video of 2012’s ride here in Los Angeles — 2013 represents the 5th annual L.A. event, known locally as the No Pants Metro Ride.
Watch video of the 2012 event in New York City:
If you want to participate in the Los Angeles leg of this event, you can find out more at the official Facebook event page. To you who ride pantless: Godspeed.