Produced by: Agent Powell
Video Edited by: Josh Glaser
DV Cams: Agent Powell and Agent Mark
Digital Photgraphy: Agent Kula
Mission Inspired by: Andy Kaufman and Bob Zmuda
Featuring: King, Todd, Keech, Roche, Camper, Berman, Gemberling, Kinney, Spencer, Powell, Kula
On October 18th, 2003 Improv Everywhere returned to Washington Square Park to stage a revival of The Amazing Hypnotist. Since the logistics of the mission are fully detailed on the report of our first conquest in July of 2002, this report will tell the story primarily though photos. Enjoy!
IE Agents meet at Astor Place
The Amazing Hypnotist (Agent King) arrives in
Washington Square Park and his assistant (Agent Todd)
draws a crowd and takes Agent Keech as the first volunteer.
Agent Keech is hypnotized into thinking he is an ostrich
Agents Roche and Camper (posing as strangers who do not know
each other) are taken from the crowd and interviewed by Agent Todd
The Amazing Hypnotist hypnotizes them into “falling in love” while the crowd grows
After their code word, “Pink”, is given by the Amazing Hypnotist,
the two begin showing signs of love
The two strangers get closer as their significant others
(Agents Kinney and Spencer) watch from the crowd
Agent Powell (far left) covertly films the crowd’s response
Agent Todd takes the next volunteer, Agent Berman
Agent Berman is hypnotized into thinking he is in a desert
The Amazing Hypnotist says Agent Berman’s code word
He takes off his sweater (it was around 50 degrees)
After drinking an entire bottle of water, he begins to chug Gatorade
Drenched in red Gatorade
The Amazing Hypnotist hands Agent Berman a towel
and brings him back to reality.
Agent Gemberling is the next volunteer. Agent Todd informs him
that he will be hypnotized into thinking he’s a stripper.
Gemberling undergoes the hypnosis
After the code word is said, he immediately sheds his jacket.
The Amazing Hypnotist begins to call the code words of
the previous volunteers.
The Amazing Hypnotist and his assistant flee the park, running as
fast as they can, leaving all of the volunteers behind, still hypnotized.
Agents Kinney and Spencer try to get their significant
others back while Agents Roche and Camper continue to kiss
Agents Todd and King sprinted away from the park, leaving behind a chaotic scene. The hypnotized agents stayed in character as shocked audience members tried to figure out how to help them. They began shouting out the code words for each individual. People were coming up to Agents Roche and Camper and yelling “Pink! Pink! Pink!” at them while they continued locking lips. One man chased down Agent Keech, shouting “Ostrich!,” hoping he could snap him out of his animal state.
Agent Gemberling continued to strut his shirtless body through the crowd as Agent Berman desperately asked crowd members for water. He nearly tackled one man who held his ice cream cone above his head out his Berman’s reach. Other members of the crowd shouted, “Give him the ice cream! He thinks he’s in a desert!” The man refused. Desperate, Agent Berman ultimately resorted to licking up water from a puddle on the ground.
Agents Kinney and Spencer eventually became fed up with their significant others and left the park exasperated and alone.
Berman, Gemberling, and Keech slowly trickled their way out of the park while Agents Roche and Camper continued to kiss. The two wound up sitting on a bench together staring at each other, lovingly. A man who had witnessed the event approached them:
Man: Do you two know each other?
Roche: We just met.
Man: Do you know you have a girlfriend?
Roche: What are you talking about?
Man: Do you two know that you are hypnotized!?!?
Pause (Roche and Camper stare at him blankly).
Man: You are going to think I’m crazy, but you have been hypnotized.
Camper: (patronizingly) Ohhh…ok. Thank you very much, sir.
Man: I know you think I’m crazy. You are hypnotized right now!
Camper: (with a smirk) Thank you very much for telling us.
Man: I’m not crazy!
(Man walks away.)
What makes this mission so great is (a) having Improv members planted in the audience; (b) having Improv members stay in character as “hypnotised” after the hypnotist flees. Brilliant! Having two Improv members apparently fall in love and start kissing, to the horror of their “actual” boyfriends/girlfriends is a great way to get the crowd upset and emotionally involved, and thinking to themselves “I can’t believe this is happening!” Brilliant! I love reading audience reactions, keep getting down as many quotes as you can, they are what make reading these accounts so priceless! Great video too – this is a must see!
Couldnt agree more. Public misconception coupled with your planning made this quite amusing to read.
wow !! i started watching all the missions from the bottom and thought the 1st hypnotist one was gr8 i cant wait to see the vid for this one !!
Brilliant. Thats all I have to say.
Bravo, fooling people into feeling compasionate! Hilarious but at what cost?
I’m curious as to how long it went on after the hypnotist left and how they went about the transition to going back to normal without giving anything away.
Just as good as the first one!!! (which was AWESOME!!!!) I also liked the fact that they where actual gf and bf cause otherwise i would feel realy sory for the 2 strangers that showed up to help out IE and have to make out. It was also more convincing this way. I loved the vidio and just the mission in general i guess!!
That sweet man at the end was classic.
I think I just pissed myself laughing.
I can’t see the first one or the video. The linkS to the first one all lead to “404 Not Found” and the YouTube video doesn’t respond to my cursor :( It looks like fun, though. I always wondered what it would be like if that happened, if the hypnotizer didn’t take them out of the spell. I can’t believe the desert guy licked a puddle! That’s dedication!
wow this is the fith story i have read it is the best i saw the best gig ever on THIS AMERICAN LIFE and i got hooked thinks for what you do.
I found your website today and I’ve been addicted to it, I can’t get away. This is probably my favorite video, haha
ROB! that’s the one
Damn… You guys are making me late for work!
oh my god FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!! un believable, just incredibly well done. i want to try this in my town hahaha
Haaaa this site is SO addictive, I love all your missions! I’m actually supposed to be working on homework right now ^^” I should probably do that…
Anyways you guys are great!
So far, this one is my favorite. I love it! I can’t stop laughing! Bravo!
LOLL thats so cool XD Can you come to Canada :D LOL
“Desperate, Agent Berman ultimately resorted to licking up water from a puddle on the ground.”
HAHAHA. I burst out laughing.
You guys REALLY get into your roles. I think I killed my diapragm…
You. Guys. Are. Fantastic.
very original interesting ideas, i first started watching with the Food Musical and just kept going from mission to mission after that.
we just had a time freeze here in perth a couple weeks ago, it was POURING and heaps of people froze but it wasn’t as well done as your Grand Central one. (: KEEP DOING WHAT YOURE DOING!
In case my name doesn’t give it away……… i love Improve Everywhere
Wow, that’s just soo great! i saw the previous one, and i loved it! this one was even better, what with the whole love thing.
i think the desert guy is the same in both the first and second tho…
Reminds me of the upright citizens brigade. They had a amazing hypnotist gag too.
OMG. This one was even better than the first. I really love the fact that you used a real couple for the making-them-fall-in-love part. LOL! And the ostrich…that was priceless. I laughed out loud when I read that the desert guy had actually licked from a puddle. LOL! I would have been scared to! And the stripper…LOL. Classic.
“They broke up a goddamn couple!” <–BEST. REACTION. EVER. (Even though presumably they had broken up 2. LOL.)
Oh man! This is even better than the original! Insanely hilarious! “you might think I’m just a crazy New Yorker, but you’re hypnotized!” is my favorite line. That’s awesome awesome awesome. I SO wish I lived in NY!
Dear lord. I really really really want to participate. In anything. This is great.
this is incredible and i love it. hope i can join one of your missions when i get to new york next jan 2009.this is a great performance art.
Hysterical. Absolutely HYSTERICAL.
Poor Gemberling! i could never even think about
taking my shirt and pants off in the middle of a park! still, this
happens to be one of my favorites.
That was great, him running away was genius
OMG!! that was sooooooo funny!!!!!!!!! I laffed soo hard!!
This should be done again… but next time, take some unwitting people from the crowd, pretend you have hyp-notised them, and have the audience be rigged to keep laughing at them, as though they are hypnotised.. that should freak them out. Or just say a code word, and have the audience make out they have just broken out of a trance, so they have no idea what just happened…!
I am doing a re-enactment of that exact same thing in Portland Oregon! I’ll send it to this website and see if they’ll post it
Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bunch of strangers jump on Charles when he started making out with her.
That was tooooo funny you should try that agian! I laughed too hard. The agents played thier parts well. This is just as good as the Food Court Musical.
This is a great one! My friend and I are plotting a burst-out of singing on a bus in my town, and this is a great way for us to get inspired. I heard of the redhead protest from a (gullible) friend of mine, and since i’m a redhead she thought I should watch the video and she was talking carefully because she didn’t want to “offend” me, lol! Wish I could become an agent!
Oh man that was priceless.. When they ran away that was awesome!!! Everyone was freaking out.. Keep up the good work guys!!!
Wow…how freakin HILARIOUS and GENIUS. You guys are so incredibly brilliant and incredible at what you do. Bravo **standing ovation**
To any of the negative comments left- I say this, “Lighten UP!”
Thanks for making life interesting