Romantic Comedy Cab

Featuring: King, Spencer, Todd, Kula, Becket

Digital Photography: Agent Becket
DV Cam: Agent Kula

Lately I’ve been very interested in the idea of pulling off a mission that involves multiple agents taking the same cab consecutively. If we came up with a detailed plan for the drop off points, we should be able to ensure that a cab driver picks up a series of agents, without realizing that they are connected. There are endless possibilities with this device, but in keeping with Improv Everywhere’s philosophy, I decided to stage a very simple mission with the goal of giving the cab driver a wonderfully happy experience, straight out of a romantic comedy.

At around 7:00 PM, the three of us reported to our designated street corners.

Agent King was stationed at 14th and Union Square West. Agent Todd waited in front of Peter McManus Cafe on 19th and 7th Ave. Agent Spencer waited in front of the Chat ‘n’ Chew restaurant on 16th Street near 5th Ave.

We used two DV cameras. One was operated by Agent Kula across the street from McManus. The other started with Agent King and was passed from passenger to passenger in the back of the cab, to pick up audio from the cab driver. Additionally, we had Agent Becket stationed at McManus with a still camera.

Agent King would go first. He had the task of hailing a cab with a good driver. A good driver for us would be someone who spoke English well, and wasn’t talking on his phone (which almost all cab drivers are). He would then explain his situation to the cabbie: He met a beautiful girl named Kate in the bar McManus the night before. They talked for hours, and he really fell for her. At the end of the night, she wrote down her number and the address of a restaurant where they would meet the following night at 7:00 PM. He was drunk, and foolishly lost the cocktail napkin she had written everything on. He had been walking around the Union Square area all night trying to find the place. He could remember the neighborhood, but nothing more. He would say it was driving him crazy thinking of Kate waiting alone at a restaurant, thinking she had been stood up. Agent King would then ask the cabbie to take him to McManus. He knows Kate is a regular there as it’s near her apartment; maybe she would show up there at some point in the evening.

At McManus, Agent Todd would hail the same cab. He would simply tell the cabbie “16th and 5th”. He wouldn’t say another word until the cabbie dropped him off in front of the Chat ‘n’ Chew restaurant. There, Agent Spencer would hail the cab and ask to be taken home to 8th and 20th. She would complain to the cabbie that she had just been stood up by a guy she met at a bar the night before.

Would the cabbie make the connection? Would he save the day?

Agent King

I got in the cab a little after 7pm. I had spotted him at the corner of Union Square West and 14th Street. He had his window down, so I asked him if he could make a right turn. He said, “Hurry up!” Then just as I got in, he started screaming at people walking in front of him.

I figured I was going to have to try with a different, less angry cabbie. But I launched into my sob story about missing my date and he perked right up. And was actually really nice. I asked him where some good restaurants were and he said, ‘There are a lot on 16th street’ – which is where Agent Spencer would be waiting for him. I told him I had already checked there and had no luck. He was very interested in what she looked like. When I said she was tall, he said, “Oh! She was tall? Nice.” And I said, “Yeah, she was perfect!”

He also told me I should have saved her phone number in my cell phone. Which is very true.

Agent Todd got right in the cab as I got out at McManus – and I waited… for a long, long time.

When he dropped me off, I was pretty sure that if this guy didn’t bite we weren’t going to find anyone who would actually take Agent Spencer to McManus to meet me. He seemed totally on board.

The cab pulls up to McManus

Agent Todd gets in and Agent King gets out

Agent Todd

My ride was pretty uneventful, as planned. I had no idea how it had gone with Agent King. I asked to be taken to 16th and 5th, and sat silently in the back. I sent Agent Spencer a text message letting her know I was on the way. Disaster nearly struck when the cabbie took a wrong turn. He forgot to turn on 5th Avenue. He tried to get me to leave the cab at Union Square West and 16th, but I knew I had to get out directly in front on Agent Spencer in the middle of the block. I insisted that he go around the block, which irritated him because it meant going all the way to 6th Avenue due to the one-way streets. It added an additional ten minutes to the trip, when I could have walked 30 seconds instead. He was talking on his phone the whole time in another language. I was worried that he hadn’t paid any attention to Agent King. I also thought that perhaps the extra time this detour was adding would make the whole thing more believable. It gave him more space between his two star-crossed passengers.

He finally made it to 16th Street and I had him drop me off right in front of Agent Spencer, who was standing right there in front of the Chat ‘n’ Chew hailing him. I apologizing for making him go around the block and admitted, “It was stupid”. He apologized for making the wrong turn. I paid and walked into the restaurant.

Agent Spencer

When Agent Todd first told me of the plan for the mission, I wasn’t convinced it would work. Do cabbies ever listen to what you say to them. Half the time I can’t even get them to take me to the right address, they’re so busy chatting into their cell phones. On Friday night Agent King and I dressed like we were going out on a date, grabbed our respective cameras, and headed down to the Union Square area to get in position.

I took my spot outside of Chat n’ Chew and Agent King headed to wherever he was going. I paced back and forth on 16th street waiting anxiously. It wasn’t long after that I got a call from Agent King alerting me that Agent Todd was now in the cab and that the cabbie had responded well. Agent King told me he had told the cabbie how we had met at McManus, totally clicked, and I had written down on a napkin where to meet him for dinner the following night and he had lost the napkin and couldn’t find the place. It sounded good to me and easy to extrapolate on.

At 7:28 PM I got a text message from Agent Todd: “In cab. Will call when close.” Thinking he was nearby I sprung into action, standing in the street ready to hail “our cab.” It took him about 20 minutes to get down to me. When he did we made the switch easily, I hopped in the cab and immediately asked the cabbie how his day had been going. I informed him that I had been stood up by a guy I had met last night and he immediately asked me where we had met. When I told him, he reacted immediately, “I just dropped him off!” he exclaimed. We bantered for a while and I kept pressing him with questions to “make sure” it was the right guy. He was insistent; he had listened to everything Anthony had said, and even asked me how tall I was, when I responded “5’9″, very tall”, he said “It’s definitely the guy, you’re just his type, he likes tall girls!”

As we got closer he was so sweet, he told me he was “hoping and praying for me that the guy is there.” He was absolutely positive that he knew my man, and without me even asking took me right to McManus.

Agent King

Finally, I got a text message from Agent Spencer that said, ‘all good.’

Agent King making a call in front of McManus

In a few minutes, as I pretended to talk on my cell phone, a cab pulled up honking. Agent Spencer jumped out and the cabbie was saying, “I have her! This is her!”

Agent Spencer

As we crossed 7th Ave on 19th street to the bar, we both got excited. “There he is!” I shouted.

He honked the horn. When I hopped out of the car he said something to Agent King like, “I got her! I got her!” His excitement was so sweet.

After Agent King and I embraced our cabbie readily agreed to take a picture with us, in which he proudly displayed his Taxi Medallion. I tipped him 40% and he went on his way he was truly a hero.

Agent Becket, posing as a random stranger, takes a photo with Agent Spencer’s camera

Agent Becket

When Agent King got out of the cab, he seemed really confident that the cab driver was into his story and would take the bait. It was very suspenseful and exciting waiting for Agent Spencer to return in the cab, and the spectacle that ensued when they were finally reunited by the cabbie was heart-warming. The driver came through the light honking his horn and flashing his lights and there was much shouting and laughter as Agent Spencer hopped out and hugged Agent King. Once I had snapped a few pics and snuck the camera back into my bag, I tried to look surprised and confused at the all the commotion. The happy couple spotted me and asked if I could take a picture of them and the cab driver, who’d gotten out and come around the cab holding his big driver ID cards and smiling. “What happened?” I asked, as I took a picture of the happy couple and their driver. “We’ll tell you later!” Agent Spencer shouted, still seemingly flustered over the incredible stroke of good fortune and coincidence she’d just experienced. After some heavy tipping and sincere thank-yous, the driver got back in his ride and drove away.

Agent King

He was really excited and we were screaming and hugging. As he left, we kept it going, just in case he glanced back in his rearview mirror and saw us. It was really awesome to see him so happy about us being so happy.

Our cabbie drives away


Edited by Agent Kula


Using a video camera hidden in a bag in the back seat of the cab, we were able to record an mp3 of the conversation between Agent Spencer and the cabbie. Listen to it Here.

Mission Accomplished.

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128 Responses to Romantic Comedy Cab

  1. Andrew says:

    Ahhh, how cute!

  2. Sami says:

    That must be the cutest prank I’ve ever head of. the guy must be feeling like quite the champ.
    I loved it!

  3. GWing_02 says:

    That’s quite the heartwarmer… it’s really what I needed JUST now.

    Thanks, IE, you made my day!

  4. Jamey says:


  5. Betty says:

    That is soooo great. I bet you guys made that cabbie’s day. You guys do such a good job…keep up the great work.

  6. Johnamon says:

    Really awesome guys. That was well planned – a good way to make sure you keep the same cabbie through the mission, and keep him unaware.

  7. judgezman says:

    Nice one! Good to see that being used in a prank can make someone feel good. Excellent planning on keeping the same cabbie.

  8. Chris Topher says:

    Wow, it’s amazing that such deception can let the world know that there is some good in this world.

  9. Demian says:

    Excellent job! And so cute too! A perfect example of why IE is a part of what makes this city so great.

  10. annie says:

    that is so sweet. :) and i’m glad some cabbies are nice guys.

  11. Erik van Maanen (NL) says:

    Very nice work.
    Keep them comming :)

  12. lcsaison says:

    That’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever seen!

  13. ers says:

    Cheezy – yes.

    …but it made me smile the entire time I was reading it.
    (Fighting…urge…to rent…sappy….romantic comedy…)

    Thanks, IE! As usual, you guys rock.

  14. Gab - Montreal says:

    I made girly giggly sounds I didnt know I could make…

    good stuff

  15. Conor says:

    I certainly hope that guy gets invited to the wedding.

  16. Adam says:

    this was a great story. y’all do great things!

  17. McGruff says:

    Nice one! There are KIND Cabbies!!!!

  18. Michael in Seattle says:

    Adorbable! Thanks IE!

  19. Peck says:

    This is why IE is so much better than all other imitators.

  20. Gail says:


  21. TINO says:

    This is a good movie material. Exciting,clean and heartwarming.

  22. amanda says:

    That’s one of "my" cabs! I work for the company that put the ad on top of that cab. I promise I won’t tell him his great story was engineered!

  23. Dave says:

    What a cute prank! It made my night reading about it.

  24. David says:

    What fun, you people are great, keep it up.

  25. mat says:

    video link doesn’t work! help! i’ve got to see this.

  26. Croaky says:

    The poor cabbie, what if he finds out the whole thing was a fake? That he had been manipulated and used to produce content for a website?

  27. Roger says:

    This was a good idea. Very similar to some of your earlier stunts that were hearwarming, these are my favorites. However, I’m very suprised that you didn’t include 1 more agent to follow-up the matching to ask questions about what just happened to get his feelings on the event straight from his mouth. Maybe you should run this prank again?!

  28. Natalie A says:

    You guys rock!

  29. Mily says:

    awww, that’s so nice! i love how the guy didn’t find out that it was a prank…he has an awesome story to tell people for the rest of his life!

  30. robin says:

    the cab driver is my hero. i just hope he doesn’t find this webpage, or else his story will be ruined.

  31. Booga says:

    Hopefully this puts the "Ted’s Birthday" and "Best Gig Ever" naysayers in their place.

  32. Paul says:

    Great stuff. I love your missions.

    And to those naysayers who think that the people involved in the IE pranks are "victims", how so? Not once has a mission targetted someone to make them a joke. They do not finish their missions by revealing the truth, and showing the person how they have been "had". In most cases, the people come out of these missions feeling good, which is far better than any of the Candid Camera style programs which make the people they involve someone to be laughed at. If anything, this has shown the cab driver in this mission to be a really nice guy, and I frankly doubt he would be offended at being publically acknowledged for that.

  33. Jason says:

    You guy’s are brilliant. Utterly brilliant.

  34. Roger says:

    Paul is "Spot on Target" with his comment. Well said!

  35. Nathon says:

    Bugger candid camera, there should be reality shows like this on tv.

    That was so such a beautiful story. Keep up the good work. You really should try and get some sort of tv series together, even if it’s just on community tv.

  36. Sam says:

    Awwwwwwwww. Good on you guys!

  37. LadyLenny says:

    Sweet you guys stuff that I wish wasn’t planned because it so nice and we need more nice things in the worls

  38. Andrew says:

    You all are awesome! I would love try doing this stuff out here in L.A.

  39. ZachsMind says:

    I think if a web site was devoted to just doing this: finding the taxi drivers with hearts of gold, that’d be cool enough all by itself. I don’t think that’d ever get old.

    You may have just touched on the real solution to insuring future missions are taken as more than mere pranks. In the aforementioned "Best Gig Ever" and "Ted’s Birthday" missions, the problem was those guys didn’t do anything. They didn’t have a part in what was happening to them. They were just doing what they were supposed to do. HERE, you set up the clues and gave the "victim" the punchline. That doesn’t make him a victim. That’s what makes him a hero. Whether it was staged or not, he didn’t know, so he came through. Though it wasn’t technically scripted, you gave him his ‘sides’ and he found his spot and said them, because he was a swell guy. Future missions (shouldacouldawoulda) can have this same motif: where the ‘mark’ isn’t a potential Goofus but rather a potential Gallant, provided he rises to the occasion.

    Also, letting him DRIVE AWAY before the jig is up (as opposed to just walking away?) that helped in this case too. =)

  40. Junior says:

    Oh my god! This was soooo great! I know if the cabbie saw this, he’d be disappointed, but I hope he’d feel like he came off showing really well. He sounds terrific! I’d like to see you guys explore this coincidence-in-a-cab thing more!

  41. Paul says:

    The fact that the "prank" wasn’t mean spirited doesn’t reverse the fact that you exploited him to produce content for a webpage or a DVD without his consent. The reason that these "pranks" are novel isn’t because they are original as much as they are unethical and social scientists are barred from taking similar actions. Check out Milgram experiments from the 1960. Check out the Stanford Prison Experiment where the participants were actually informed of the parameters of the experiment and things still went wrong.

  42. carmen says:

    this was a great mission, i loved it. it nice to see that there are people out there, that love to see other people happy.
    I loved it.

  43. Kathy says:


  44. David says:


  45. shinyplum says:

    Has anyone noted that the url for this webpage, when read casually, looks like "improve everywhere"?
    Is that intentional?

  46. Ninebreaker says:

    Very endearing. Nice story.

  47. mikal says:

    This is both beautiful and sad. Yes, you probably made the driver really excited and happy for a long time, and a memory to treasure. How do you think he will feel when someone points him at this web page?
    And even if should never find out, it feels very wrong that his happiness should be based on a lie. Wrong like happiness from Soma.

  48. Terence says:

    I don’t think it makes a difference if he finds out or not. He came through as a mensch, and that’s what matters.

  49. Sarne says:

    This is DEFINITELY my favorite one!

  50. Jeff says:

    This is much less worse than telling your 3-year old kid that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus really exist. It’s a great story and I’m sure he had a wonderful time telling other people how he helped the forces of the universe come together to unite two people meant to be together.

    If he does find this website, I hopes he reads these comments and realizes while he didn’t actually unite two lovers, he did bring smiles and good feelings to hundreds and hundreds of visitors to this website.

    Tell me how this is a bad thing?

  51. Dave says:

    A lot of people wouldn’t have bothered. It’s good to know there’s still people in the world who care and pay attention instead of just hearing words people say. If the cabbie ever does find this, I hope he understands that regardless of the truth of it, what he did was a good thing.

    I think that’s the real point here.

  52. matt says:

    perfect use of texting too to discretely keep agents informed. one of my favorite missions.

  53. Suzanne says:

    That was so incredibly sweet. I bet that brightened that cabbies’ day.

  54. hannah says:

    I love this prank. It’s like the perfect romantic comedy movie. People love it when things have a touch of fate and serendipity to them!!

  55. Steve says:

    I especially like how the missed turn from the cabbie’s perspective must have seemed like fate, "If I didn’t miss that turn, this wouldn’t have happened."

    Great mission, keep up the good work IE.

  56. Kristin says:

    I find it interesting that a few people have commented on IE ‘using people to make content for the website’. But thats not the point. The point is getting out there and having fun. Having a record of the event and sharing it via the internet is secondary, and done so that everyone who wasn’t there can get a sense of the fun that was had. It is not simply ‘content’ to fill up space with!!

  57. MinnesotaDave says:

    Given the proliferation of mindless trash and mean-spirited pranks on YouTube and cable TV it’s refreshing to see such thought go into the making of a hero.

    If this cabbie does find out that he was part of a well orchestrated hoax I hope he feels vindicated by his actions. He was not played for a fool, he proved that, even in New York, people are still basically good. And let’s not forget the smiles he has put on the faces of perfect strangers.

    I love your work. From the pantless subway rides to the syncronized swimming, I get it, and it’s pure joy. If you ever decide to work in Minneapolis, count me in!

  58. RedLiver says:

    Paul – How is this unethical? Nobody was going to get hurt, no pyschological wounds could have possible been inflicted. Comparing this to Milgram, which was an NWO pavlovian experiment to test how far people could be pushed to hurt others, is PREPOSTEROUS – and btw, the Milgram test subjects were NOT aware that they were not really electrifying people.

    IE – we salute you. Keep making us laugh and smile and think.

  59. Dionna says:

    That’s too sweet. I’d love it if something like that actually happened. Maybe that guy believes more strongly in fate now or something, or true loooooove.

  60. Brynn says:

    Paul, it’s funny that you should mention Milgram because this prank made me think of the new line of research that Zimbardo (who ran the Stamford Prison experiment) is currently pursuing. Now that he and Milgram have shown how far people will go to toe the line and even perform vile deeds when allowed by circumstance, he wants to find out what makes people do the unusual thing of stopping cruelty and helping others without reward (or even with possible harm befalling themselves) – what it is that turns a normal person into a hero. This is a fantastic example of someone being just such a hero, and I think Zimbardo would greatly appreciate this “prank”.

    To the cabbie, if you ever see this, know that even though this was an invented scenario you still demonstrated that you have a hero inside you. Thank you, the world needs more folks who have that in them.

  61. Sammie says:

    Awww! That has got to be one of my favorites! In school (yes, I’m in middle school)we have a Media Literacy class and we watched a few. Later, I told my dad about it turns out my uncle is part of IE! that’s soo awesome!!! I can’t wait to share this one with my friends. I also agree that even if the cab drive found out, it wouldn’t hurt, because he still did bring smiles to a lot of faces. I wish this stuff happened more in reality! It’s so awesome (yet to some extent mushy) You should definately do more with cabs!

    YOU ROCK!!!

  62. daniel yi says:

    you guys are true artists!

  63. Michael says:

    The driver felt great.
    The agents felt great.
    And then the manager from Best Buy leaped out of the trunk screaming, “YOU’RE VIOLATING MY CIVIL LIBERTIES!!!”

  64. Bart says:

    That was great! There truley are good Pure hearts everywhere!

  65. Pete says:

    G’day all :)

    I’m a night shift cabbie in Australia – 15 years and counting (get less for murder)…I’ld be almost be willing to bet every cent I’ve made in the game that all those complaining here combined have never driven them that long…or even at all :)

    Come on people, considering some of the idiots cabbies have to deal with we wouldn’t care if something like this is real or not, it’s still a great story to pass on to the next fare :)

    Great work!


  66. Joe says:

    I agree with Paul. I think it’s a wonderful prank and probably made the cabbies week, but I don’t agree with it being made public. What if he finds out? Then it becomes a cruel joke on him.

  67. Cameron says:

    That is awesome!

    Please, IE, Come to the U.K.!!

    And give me a shout if you do :)

  68. TJ says:

    I think a follow-up mission would be cool, but have another agent hail the cab down the block after the final drop-off so that they can get the cab driver’s view of what happened.

  69. DP says:

    This site is great – I think these pranks(if you can call them that) are very interesting. I think it would have been interesting to have the cab driver pick up Agent Spencer(the girl) much later on in the evening, or even the next day. That way we can see if he makes the connection to the conversation with Agent King earlier in the day. (we tend to forget things very easily) It would then be interesting to see how far he would go to get the two reunited. in any event, the cab driver seems like a really cool dude.

  70. Starstuff says:

    I’ve been reading up on your missions for quite a while now and while I find most of them very entertaining and amusing, I too have to voice some concerns. I have a degree (almost) in sociology and psychology and while we as scientist would love to do some of your missions in a more exprimental setting, we can’t. There are ethical guidelines we are bound to obey and I think for good reason.

    Yes, the cabbie felt like a hero; yes, he wasn’t exploited but helped a lot of people to feel better when they read about the mission. But that’s not the point.
    Basically, he was used for an experiment without his consent. At the very least, he should have been de-briefed after the event. He still could have felt great, because he did what you guys were trying to find out: He helped and he cared. That alone makes him a hero, as someone here already said.

    But leaving him in that unknowing state of mind, without telling him what really was happening … I don’t think that was the wisest choice. It would have been better you told him what was going on rather than risk having him find out on his own some day.

    So, while I admire your creativity and look forward to many more missions to read about, I stronly encourage you to re-think the way you are incorporating “civilians”.


  71. Erin says:

    I love you guys!! I bet you totally made his day… week… month. If only those things REALLY happened.
    And “Mr. Psychology,” I really don’t think it’s that big of a deal. He would never find out what happened. What’s wrong with letting someone have a good day? Sorry, but we’re doing science experiments. It’s just improv. Lighten up.

  72. Starstuff says:


    That would be “Miss Psychology” ;)

    And like I said: The ideas are great and the intention is too. I like what the people at IE are doing, I was just pointing out that one should be careful about how far you can go when using people in missions.At some point you might come across someone who doesn’t appreciate the humor of the situation. And to that person it will make no difference if is a science experiment or “just improv”.

    I hope that will never happen as I too enjoy the missions. I just wanted to say that this aspect should not be forgotten completely. People out there are not just props to be used at will, they are humans.

  73. Stephanie says:

    Thats a pretty cute prank!
    I bet the taxi car driver felt really good about himself! :]

  74. This is the sweetest thing in the entire world!! It really makes me want to do something like that. I mean, there’s practical jokes out there that are funny… but it takes talent to do -nice- things, and be funny! I’ve been watching all the improv’s on youtube, and they’re just so cool. Really makes me want to participate or start my own.

  75. mykol says:

    i’m a research psychologist (and another “miss” psychologist, btw). i agree with starstuff that ethics are important, whether we’re talking about an experiment or everyday life. however, formal research ethics are extremely strict, stricter in fact than we would expect in most non-research settings. and that is as it should be.

    in addition, even if we expected improveveryday to follow APA ethical guidelines, the debriefing rule has exceptions. in some cases it’s actually more ethical not to debrief. if ‘romantic comedy cabbie’ were an experiment, i would argue that it would be one of the exceptions. absolutely no harm was done to the cabbie in the experiment itself, but a debriefing would probably have embarassed him and would certainly have deflated his great mood. furthermore, the debriefing would not have helped him in any way. to me the ethics are clear–no harm was done in the first place; debriefing wouldn’t help and could potentially hurt; don’t debrief.

    LOVED the prank.

  76. nmichael says:

    i thought this was a VERY sweet prank.
    to the person who said the debriefing was needed: why would you shatter the man’s good feeling a few minutes after getting it?
    to the cab driver (if you read this): You are AWESOME! and you proved that there are good people

    PS: I wish IE would do one of their antics here in the Philippines! :D

  77. Jackie says:

    oh my gosh that is sooo adorable! I feel happy for the cabby he must feel like the man! oh how cute! Brought a smile to my face :)

  78. Kimi says:

    This was one of the best pranks they pulled in my opinion! It’s great how everyone can get a few laughes out of this, without laughing AT someone so much as laughing at the sheer plot of it all! Great idea for the prank and that cab driver has got a heart of gold! Karma’s gonna give him wonderful things in life!!

  79. Mr. Brightside says:

    To all those complaining about the deception involved in this prank, why not put that energy and those questions where they really count, towards the leaders that rule over us and deceive us EVERYDAY. And not the type of deception that makes us feel good at the end of the day but the type that keeps us walking around asleep and enslaved while we keep believing that we’re free. there.

    Keep up the great work you bunch of mad scientists.

  80. Agent Al. says:

    I though that mission was really awesome… I was so moved

    And now,… What about that?? you make the follow up…

    You look for the cab and track him down, then you make the couple take the cab, the same people,… I am sure you will think of some nice story like they are getting married the following week, or he received a call 5 minutes ago that she is giving birth to their first baby… I dont know,… something that involves him being a hero again with the same couple…

  81. lookleap says:

    I would have loved to hear the audio of when the girl and the cabbie got back to the bar and saw the guy. I bet the cabbie got so excited inside the cab!

  82. Hande says:

    You made that man very happy that day! You are like sunshine!

  83. Jessebied says:

    That is SOOO Aweomd!! I love these guys because that make people feel good and puts smiles on faces =) This is my fav. act because its so hartwarming, that cabbie probably felt sooo good after words and made his day =) Thank you IE for doing what you do =)

  84. James says:

    imagine what the cabbie would feel if he found this site and this prank.

  85. Justin says:

    He would still be able to feel heroic as he made the right choices and had the right ideas which the prank was all about.

  86. PaulieB says:

    Awesome. You should do more film clich├ęs like this, stuff that only happens in the movies.

  87. mario says:

    I agree that this is great and lovely, but we don’t have to villainise paul who likens this to social experiments of Milgram and Zimbardo. “Exploiting” a person’s innate desire for heroism or appreciation can come off a little condescending. I at first thought it was a cute story, but seeing the picture of the cabi proud to have reunited the two I felt really guilty and hoped that he never sees this page. I love most of your projects and your work. One of the most beautiful part of your projects: they present a situation that leads onlookers to question everyday realities or discover new possibilities through humorous or incredible actions. The reason they are so beautiful is that the agents and onlookers alike are amused, educated, startled, and have a chance to reevaluate a commonplace situation or expectation. It seems that it is not only a prank on the onlookers, but a beautiful piece made in their honor or for their benefit. They are able to believe in it or not, be frightened or amused. The lie is indirect: as is the lie of any public spectacle of human behavior. Spectators are part of the piece, but we are all with them, sympathizing with their reactions. In this experiment there were only those who were amused, and one who was unaware, and yet he is the source of the amusement for the agents and for us now. And to top it off he’s now the subject of an ethical dilemma being blogged about online!

  88. ILuvImprov says:

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww… so cute. I’m tearing. I can’t believe there was no trial and error. You found a NICE CAB DRIVER. In ONE TRY. Cute though.

    btw, haha Micheal. You’re like Daniel Pinkwater.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Wow. You guys can do /anything/. I’d be absolutely nonplussed on how to soften up a cabbie like that.

  90. Stephen Portman says:





  91. Thanks for this article. It makes one think about this more.

  92. me loves ny says:

    To the cabbie driver: There should be more people like you in this world! Cheers!

  93. Martin says:

    I’ve read all the responses and it made me think. This kinda reminds me of the conflicts in the book Brave New World. On the one hand, you did make the cab driver really happy. However, it is based on a false truth. Putting myself in the cab driver’s shoes, I would be disappointed to find out that part of my ‘reality’ wasn’t actually true. I agree that it’s his action that should be the focus and not the end result but I still would feel deceived/cheated. However, if you never know the truth does it matter? I’m sure there are a lot of false stuff in the world that we perceive as real but will never know the truth. Is it bad that we don’t know all of the reality behind our lives, I mean ignorance is bliss.

    Wow, I think I’m analyzing this too much. But it’s great, who knew that such a simple act could have such deep meanings.

  94. nancy says:

    Of all the people commenting I can’t believe no one has ever been in the cabbies shoes. I feel I have.
    I love practical jokes and at age 55 I have learned to enjoy even being the victim,
    BUT when I was young, in college I participated in a psych experiment in which I was temporarily deceived. After I was debriefed, even though INTELLECTUALLY I understood the need to be deceived or mislead, I still felt foolish and wounded and embarrassed. You have to be careful and use empathy.

  95. Kirara says:

    Awwww, what a good cabbie!! =D That is so very cute. <3

  96. Princess Consuela Bananahammock says:

    What does it matter the cab driver didn’t know it was a prank? The fact that he, as a human being, did *something*, should be worth it all. He helped the “couple” reunite; that’s all that matters. No de-briefing, no pranks, no jokes- just pure helpfulness. If everyone in the world can do that, do something to help another fellow human being, even something as little and cute and sweet as this, it’d be a much better place.

  97. Magnus says:

    Great idea, guys! And what a day for the driver!

  98. Kat says:

    This is my favorite I think. :)

  99. TyTy Luv says:

    I don’t think the cabby would be mad!!! He tipped the hell out of the cab driver…… He got extra money!! Man it wouldn’t bother me one bit. In a way he was paid for the prank……lol

  100. Sahilian says:

    That was, to put it simply, brilliant. Good work, ImprovE.

  101. Drew says:

    I am blown away by the posters who have expressed negative feelings about this prank. I hold degrees in psychology and political science (not “almost”… i hold them).
    I know that you like to hear the sound of your own keypad, but, please, your ethical qualms should best be saved for things that matter. The cab driver, should he ever find this website (it was 3 years ago), I promise you, will feel nothing but pride. It would be akin to finding out that a vast number of people, unbeknown to yourself, watched you perform a good deed and display good character in an orchestrated situation in which you could have chosen good or evil (apathy).
    Your fears hold a significance, perhaps, at best, purely theoretical, like mine. But one thing you will hopefully learn before you get your degree is to “use your head”, and really “boil the situation down”. If you did that, you would realize that this IS NOT MILGRAM.

    This… is love for the human spirit and its triumph for love and justice!! well done, IE.

  102. Hollie says:

    This is so awesome! Can’t believe you pulled it off!

  103. hunter says:

    I’d like to start off on thanking IE for bringing forth such an amazing video.

    Now i’d like to delve into some of the attacks made on the ethics and expiremental-like procedures used in the video.
    The first attack i see is someone saying that the fact that the cab driver was “used” without him knowing is experimental and is unethical. I’ll address this first by saying that this is entirely untrue. The cab driver was not being experimented on. Rather, he is simply an actor in this romantic comedy. Just an unscripted romantic comedy. It really didn’t matter that he saved the day. It’s just a story. It’s like a dinner theatre where you make the audience part of the show. You don’t know what the audience is going to do, that just adds to the suspense. So you cannot believe any of this nonsense that he was used.
    Secondly the matter of ethics is brought forth. Someone brings up the idea that he should be told of what has happened. How could this be more ethical? On one hand we have this man who feels tremendous about what he has done. On the other we have a man who is devastated and will feel terrible. So obviously the more ethical choice would be to not tell him. Now you may say that we should still tell him because it is the right thing to do. Well there is no bright line provided for such things. When are we being too right or too ethical. When we do these things, we are not making matters better for anyone, we’re simply, in turn, making them worse.
    So the fact of the matter is, the video was not entirely designated as some sort of an experiment, it was just a story. Anyone who posted negatively thus turned him into an object for an experiment. So if you want to blame someone for the isolation of this man, blame yourselves. You took something that was good FOR ALL AGENTS, and turned it into something horrendous. You negative posters turned this man into something that should be argued over. This was made SO WE COULD LOOK UP TO THIS MAN. We could see the good in people. Not so we could argue over the intentions of the posters. Please, just accept that this has made countless numbers happy/go-lucky and quit trying to bring it down, because even though you say you enjoy the story, you are still degrading IE and the aforementioned man.

    Once again IE, truly a magical piece and i hope you do more like this.

  104. Eric says:

    aw so sweet of you guys to make a regular taxi driver feel so good

  105. Punny says:

    If i were that cabbie, I would have a smile on my face the WHOLE ENTIRE REST OF THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You guys sure made that cabbies day, didn’t you?!? :-D

  106. Kel says:


    Maybe cabbies won’t be so angry anymore… now if we could just get the government on board we would be all set!

  107. Coraline says:

    THAT WAS GREAT! So sweet, made me smile the whole time!

  108. j0j0 says:

    awww this was waaaaaaay tOO cute! :]]
    but in a way sad, cuz if he would come to find out, it would be heartbreaking.
    anyway, great jOb guys!! :]]

  109. Nathan says:

    Nah, it was a good “prank” is you can call it that. The majority of people dont mind their face being on the internet or TV, and I have very little sympathy for the ones who DO mind their face being seen. If the guy sees the video he will probably laugh. If he doesnt he will still feel good. As for social experiments where the subjects are briefed, they know whats going on so their nature will not come out. It will just be modified to suit the situation.

    Good Job Improv

  110. Emmy says:

    That was kinda weird that her name was Kate and there was an Agent Todd because in the beginning NCIS there is an agent named Kate Todd.

    Anyway this one is soooo sweet! I loved it!

  111. f0rTyLeGz says:

    You guys are wonderful.

  112. Pingback: Weekly Blog Round-Up: Flying Chihuahua Edition | News.WBRU

  113. Mike says:

    Gob bless the human spirit. Great job guys!

  114. Raychel says:

    That was so sweet…. He must of felt so good! I wonde if he found this? That would make him feel alittle tricked and happy I bet. He must of felt such a surprise finding out he “had found Kate”.

  115. Mado says:

    I am wordless! This is so cute! This cabbie is so sweet… and must be so proud of him! You definitly made his day (and maybe more!) Good Job IE!

  116. Rachel says:

    Thats awesome!!! I know that made his day!!! Good job guys!! =)

  117. bdd says:

    Nice one. You could’ve also planned for a final agent to enter the cab afterwards, just to take note of the cabbies story of what had just happened to him!
    That would’ve been a nice bonus.

  118. angelrain says:

    I really enjoyed this. Like a mini romantic-comedy. My only question,
    “Where’s the rest of the story? I want more!”

  119. anon says:

    imagine the cabbie coming across this site. wouldn’t he be sad after finding out the truth.

  120. Sultry Pickle says:

    This was too cute!

    You can also do a prank where you have two groups of people in locations across town from each other. You would have two people from each location hail a cab and go to the opposite location. Once the cab arrives a new agent hops in the cab and goes back to the second location. You would have the agents travel back and forth and if possible have the cabs basically follow each other in a line to the location and see how long it takes your cab drivers to figure it out.

  121. Glenda says:

    Thanks for the smile:)

  122. ivt says:


  123. dee says:

    aww. this actually made me cry. haha.

  124. boneka says:

    reading suck!! arghh!!

  125. Anonymous says:

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! dats so cute!!!

  126. Liebe says:

    erst lesen, dann gucken :-)