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Don’t Be Alarmed If You See People In Their Underwear On The Red Line This Weekend

By Charli Renken

Don’t Be Alarmed If You See People In Their Underwear On The Red Line This Weekend

The 19th annual No Pants Subway Ride takes place Sun, Jan 12.

If you take the Red Line this weekend, your fellow riders might not be wearing any pants. Don’t panic; everything is under control. The annual No Pants Subway Ride is part of the comedy troupe Improv Everywhere’s mission to “cause scenes” in public spaces. While the official event takes place in New York, thousands of riders will be taking part in cities across the world including Chicago!

Improv Everywhere is an NYC-based “prank collective” that does silly, joyful, touching, and just plain weird things in public to cheer up people’s day. The group has no agenda other than to make people laugh. The No Pants Subway Ride is one of the troupe’s most popular events, something founder Charlie Todd calls “a celebration of silliness.”

The first pantless transit event took place in NYC in 2002 and had only 7 participants. This year, the event is expected to attract around 2,000 participants in NYC and thousands more in participating cities. The idea behind the public prank is simple: passengers board the train at any given stop without any pants. Participants must act as though they don’t know each other and wear everything else they’d normally wear in winter– hat, coats, scarves, gloves etc.– but appear to have left one crucial article of clothing at home.

No Pants Subway Ride in NYC. Photo courtesy of Improv Everywhere.

If you’re interested in taking part in Chicago’s unofficial No Pants Subway Ride, you can find out more by joining the local Facebook group. 

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Practical information

Jan 12
Free!

Video and photos courtesy of Improv Everywhere.