Suicide Jumper

Actors: Agents Whines, Rodgers, Skinner, Shelktone, Ace$Thugg
DV Cams: Agents Kula, Cragg
Digital Photography: Agents Nicholson, Todd
Undercover crowd members: Agents Simmons, Montague, Lathan, Purnell, Rainswept, Becket, Shafer, Hart, Appel, Pally, Moore, McMullen, Cavin


A few weeks ago I was walking down 31st Street near 8th Avenue and noticed a four-foot tall ledge protruding from a seemingly abandoned building.

The next logical step was to stage an Improv Everywhere Mission with a suicide jumper on the absurdly small ledge.

At around 3:30 in the afternoon, a somber man crawled up the far side of the ledge at the edge of the building and began carefully inching his way towards the center.

Agent Nicholson brought his fisheye lense

The view from across the street

Many cars slowed down as passengers gawked at the jumper

A crowd looks on at the taxi-line across the street
Someone must have called the police, because Officer Randy McNabb soon arrived to talk the jumper down.

“It’s ok. Everybody gets a little depressed around the holidays”
Officer McNabb soon ascertained that the jumper’s name was “Will” and that he was devastated after not receiving a Christmas bonus. He couldn’t even afford to buy his kids presents this year, and suicide seemed like the only way out. Suddenly a cab pulled up to the scene and Will’s wife, Eliza frantically dashed out.

“We got your wife here. She says she loves you very much.”
As the scene gets more dramatic, more people join the crowd to figure out what’s going on.

Out of nowhere a shout is suddenly heard at the far edge of the ledge. “Will! What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Will’s coworker, Nate, had braved the dangerous ledge in attempt to save the day.

“Sir, don’t try to be a hero.”
As the plot thickens, the crowd grows larger.

Much to everyone’s relief a fireman appeared on the scene. He sprinted down the street with a trampoline, ready to save the day.

Man watches the fireman do his duty
The fireman moved the trampoline back and forth as Will paced on the edge.

“You got a lotta people who care about you, Will.”
Officer McNabb encouraged the crowd to cross the street and come closer to show their support for Will.

Will looked deep into the eyes of Eliza and realized he was about to make a huge mistake. “I’ll come down. I’ll come down,” he shouted as the crowd gasped with relief. It was determined that jumping down to the trampoline would be safer than walking back along the narrow ledge. The fireman instructed Will to aim for the “x” in the center of the trampoline and the crowd cheered him on by chanting “Hit the x!” Just before Will was about to jump a huge gust of wind caused him to lose his balance.

Unable to regain his balance, Will bravely pushed off the ledge.

He hit the “x” right in the center and collapsed on the street.

The fireman quickly covers Will with a warm blanket as Eliza rushes in to hug him. Officer McNabb announced on the megaphone, “We got him! He’s ok!” It was a true Christmas Miracle.

Nate jumps to safety.

“Use your head next time.”
Agent McNabb broke the crowd up. “Show’s over everybody. Let’s give these folks some space.” The crowd dispersed as Will and Eliza slowly walked off together.


Agent Whines (“Will” – the jumper)

When Agent Todd contacted me to play the suicidal businessman, I was surprised to find myself completely flattered. I’d always believed that I could project sadness; I just hadn’t realized I was proud of believing that until I got this assignment.

Executing the mission felt extremely simple. About fifteen minutes before we started, the principal agents and I sketched out a very simple back-story: (the names of my children, name of the fictional company, the fact that I had not received a Christmas bonus). Then Agent Todd and I walked over to the site. I spent five minutes or so preparing myself, and then hopped up on the ledge. After that, I simply had to react to other agents as they entered the scene.

I’ve been impressed with the acting commitment of IE Agents in previous missions, and wanted to live up to that standard. Agent Todd instructed me — and all other agents agreed — that we would play the suicide near-attempt as realistically as possible, except for the four-foot ledge. The only time I felt close to breaking character and laughing was 1) when I first saw Agent Shelktone nervously stepping towards me, since watching him once again revealed how absurdly close to the ground we were and 2) when Agent Ace$Thugg told me I should not kill myself because “you gotta good-lookin’ wife.”

The ledge was narrow enough that shifting along it was difficult. That helped generate actual nervousness and panic — since if I really did fall off the ledge too soon, I would drop harmlessly three feet down, ending the mission.

The moment I first stood up on the ledge, a passerby laughed and said “Don’t jump.” This encouraged me that our scenario was visually very recognizable.

At first I avoided eye contact with people walking by underneath me, since I was trying to pretend that I was hundreds of stories in the air, and unable to see pedestrians. But after a few minutes, I decided that a big part of the mission was interaction with non-agents, so I let myself make eye contact if it happened naturally. Most people hurriedly looked away as if they didn’t want to interrupt me, or didn’t want me to talk to them. A second guy said “Don’t jump” and laughed.

I was really excited for the “accidental” fall which happens after my character decides that he’s going to get down safely. I was hoping for three or four really big buckles forward and backward before jumping onto Agent Ace$Thugg’s trampoline. I think I got three before actually losing balance and having to jump off.

Agent Rodgers (Officer Randy McNabb)

1445h: I met up with the other agents and changed out of my civilian clothes, into my police uniform.

1530h: Agent Ace$Thugg and I lean on a truck near the ledge, and watch as
the crowd grows.

I saw several police officers eyeballing me. I figured when I start talking on the megaphone they’re gonna give me a hard time, and it might cut things short. So at the last minute I decided to take off the badges on my arm, the only thing that said NY PD. This did not affect the mission at all, and I doubt if anyone but myself noticed, but it was a personal defeat, I felt it almost immediately, and it made me a little depressed. In the end no police officer gave a shit, they watched as confused as anyone else, it was too cold for them to care enough.

I made my move away from the truck and took my first glance at Agent Whines on the ledge. As I brought the megaphone to my mouth, two girls grabbed my arm and asked, “What is the fastest way to 45th St. and 3rd Ave.?” I told them a cab is the fastest route, but I also told them how to get there by subway. I noticed one of them realizing the unnatural quality of my mustache, while the other girl pressed on with more questions. I pointed behind me and asked, “I’m sorry girls, how long has this guy been out here? I think we might have a situation on our hands.” They said they didn’t know, thanked me for the directions, and walked away. I asked the crowd how long he had been up there, a horrified Agent Simmons came forth and said, “like fifteen minutes!”

People were confused. A woman pushing a stroller and fighting with her husband said something along the line of, “I want to watch this crazy bootleg shit!” Most people walking by didn’t realize anything was going on until they got between Agent Whines and myself. I would try to tell them, “Don’t worry we’ll get him down.” A few in the crowd started chanting “Jump! Jump!” This deeply hurt me, I turned around and shouted, “This is a mans life your joking with!” They stopped the chanting.

Agent Ace$Thugg’s firefighter had an interesting take on things. He was pretty bitter, asking the jumper, “What do you just need some attention?” and saying “Come on, you got a real good lookin’ wife down here, r-e-a-l good lookin’.” After the trampoline was put down, I think Agent Lathan started a ‘hit the X’ chant, which the entire crowd and myself joined in on.

1615: The jumper was down, Will hugged me and I realized my hands were just about frozen. So if you ever pretend to be a cop talking down a suicide jumper, wear gloves! Also remember most people get depressed this time of year, never kill yourself!

Agent Skinner (“Eliza” – the wife)

Agent Whines and I were an easy package deal. He’s my real-life boyfriend, so we have the emotional connectedness required to convince a cabstand full of strangers that we were a married couple on the brink. Before we started, we worked out a back story including two fictional children, Tristan (9 years old, our little scientist) and Elliot (6 years old, just started violin lessons!)

We were waiting behind a parked truck for our entrances, and Agent Rodgers – “the cop” – was the first to go out. As soon as he walked away from the rest of us, he got stopped by two girls who needed help with directions. I wonder how far into their question they realized that he was wearing a fake mustache.

After Agent Whines assumed his position on the ledge and Agent Rodgers made contact with him, I was supposed to join Agent Rodgers in trying to talk him down. At the last minute I decided it would be more dramatic to ride up in a cab, so I borrowed $3 from Agent Ace$Thugg and ran through Penn Station to get to the cabstand on the other side. When the cab pulled up, some cops were there but Agent Rodgers was still on the bullhorn, so I figured I should go down with him. I jumped out of the cab yelling, and generally freaking out, as I assumed I would in such a situation. From then on out I just stood by Agent Rodgers worrying and saying, “Don’t do this! We love you!” and that sort of hoo-haa. We frequently pleaded on poor little Elliot’s behalf, but apparently dropped Tristan from the family entirely.

When Agent Whines finally jumped onto the trampoline, I covered him with a blanket and we hugged heartwarmingly for a while. When we had all collected ourselves Agent Whines and I bid the crowd goodbye to go start putting our family back together (perhaps to find our poor forgotten Tristan). At this point Agent Shelktone stopped us, locked eyes with Agent Whines, and said very intensely “HEY…I’ll see you.” Which was hilarious.

Agent Shelktone (“Nate” – the coworker)

I had never seen the building that Agent Todd had referred to in our mission briefing so I was curious to finally get a look at it. It is quite an oddball building. In fact, it looks like how I imagine the book depository in Dallas to be. Which makes it all the more humorous that this is the place that Agent Whines and myself supposedly work at.

Agents Rodgers, Skinner, Ace$Thugg, and myself huddled behind a parked 18-wheeler truck. We were remarking how it felt like some sort of wings for the stage. Nobody seemed to notice that each new character in the ‘jumper’ drama emerged from behind the truck. A crowd started to gather, part plants of agents, and part genuine onlookers. The choice of location was clever as it was in front of a cabstand. So there was a built-in crowd.

The moment that Agent Rodgers emerged as the cop, two women asked him immediately for directions. Agent Rodgers had been worried that he might be mistaken for impersonating a policeman but I assured him that the giant fake moustache he was wearing could never be taken as real. Apparently these two women felt that fake moustache or not, he probably had a good idea of directions.

Agent Skinner came up with a great idea to arrive on the scene from a cab. There was a nice New York moment when she came up and got out and started yelling, and the person next in line for cabs pretty much just gave a nonchalant look and got in the cab.

Finally it was my turn to enter the scene and I crawled up on the side of the building and began edging my way towards Agent Whines. It proved to be more difficult than I imagined because every four feet the wall jutted out a little more and then went back to normal and then thinner again. I was wearing a heavy jacket too so this compounded things. I felt was I was going to fall a couple of times. I wondered what I would do if I fell but it never came to that. When I got to the last thin section near Agent Whines, I noticed that it was covered with bird crap. So I decided to flip myself around and inch that way so I didn’t have to touch the bird dung. I almost broke when Agent Whines scolded me for being out on the ledge what with my heart condition and trick knee.

I got to hop down on the rescue trampoline and hugged my co-worker and his wife. I waved them goodbye and then decided to get a cup of coffee with the Officer McNabb.

Agent Ace$Thugg (Fireman)

I was waiting at the end of the street before I came around the corner as the fireman. Every passenger in every car that drove by had their head turned back trying to get a glimpse of the suicide as they drove by. Then they saw me with my trampoline and fireman hat, pretending to be one of NYC’s bravest and the passengers all seemed to make the connection right then and laugh, even without witnessing the whole event.

Agent Lathan (bystander)

The first thing I saw when I got there was a guy laughing hysterically who had just walked past Agent Whines. He was talking on his cell phone and was like, “Check this out, some dude is threatening to jump to his death… off a three foot ledge!”

Some highlights included:
-Eliza racing out of her cab pleading with Will not to jump.
-Officer McNabb making the name connection to Will: “Your name’s Will? Well I have a son named Bill. That’s pretty close right?”
-Nate’s concerned and scared look on his face as he shimmied his way across the ledge.
-The fireman’s instruction to jump on the X. (Which led to the chant: “Jump on the X!”
-Will’s commitment and believability to a depressed man about to jump off a three-foot ledge. Plus his jump on the trampoline was highly dramatic. I actually wasn’t sure if we would really land on the trampoline. But he did!

I remember at one point a drunken old man came over and demanded to know what was going on. I gravely informed him that someone was about to jump. This made the drunken old man very angry. “Awww who cares? What’s gonna happen if he jumps?! It’s not even that high!!” To which I sincerely replied, “I’m not sure. He could twist an ankle.”

Agent Simmons (bystander)

A very intense vagrant stopped and stared at the scene in disbelief. He said “What’s this idiot think he’s gonna do from that height?” I replied “We’ve had some ice lately and he could slip on that marble”. He shot back “It’s made of granite–like his head. Good BYE!” And he stormed off.

Agent Moore (bystander)

I had a friend in town on Saturday, and I was showing him around the city. Agent Todd had briefed me about when and where the prank was to be (3:30 at 31st Street and 8th Ave), and I tried to casually end up at the location with my friend. Unfortunately it was pretty cold out, so I had to tell him that yes, there was a reason I wanted to stand nonchalantly on a street corner eating a pretzel. I didn’t tell him the reason, but he knew something was up.

I recognized a few agents standing around us also being nonchalant, which reassured me that things would eventually start and that I hadn’t somehow missed it. After a while, though, I started shivering, which is decidedly un-nonchalant, so we ran to get a cup of coffee. When we came back, I found that all the agents were moving away from the street corner on which we’d been loitering. We followed a familiar back that was disappearing down 31st street. I saw a couple of cameras flash ahead of us, and knew things had begun.

We joined the small crowd of what looked to be mainly agents and people queuing for cabs. Across the street, there was a policeman with a bullhorn talking down a well-dressed but obviously agitated businessman threatening to jump from a four-foot ledge. “My God,” I exclaimed. “My God, I think he’s going to do it!” My friend laughed momentarily, but immediately played along, putting on a very serious face and trying to shield me from what would obviously be a sad, gory ending for the poor man.

A middle-aged couple walked by, and the woman asked her companion what was going on. He glanced briefly across the street, and replied, “It’s theatre.” They kept walking. Some people stayed to watch, though, and a small crowd was growing. Several people asked me what was going on, “He’s threatening to jump,” I would respond worriedly. “I think he’s going to do it.” My favorite reaction came from a girl who approached me and asked, “Is this…funny?”

We cheered when the fireman approached with his tiny trampoline, and moved across the street when asked. I encouraged several passersby to come with us. There was another big cheer when the poor man finally agreed to come down safely. I got a little teary. My friend – an excellent sport — didn’t laugh until we moved far away from the site. “I always trust you to show me the best things in the city,” he told me.

Agent Montague (bystander)

I think this mission was best suited for cars passing by. I saw a couple of camera phones stick out of cab windows to take pictures. A couple of cars halted in the middle of the road. Without any time to really take everything in, these people might have gone home truly believing the stunt. People standing on the sidewalk were drawn in, and it wasn’t because they were concerned for the jumper or wanted to watch a film shoot, but they just wanted to figure out what exactly was going on. I heard a lot of people saying, “Is this a movie?” and “What is this?” We were near the crowded taxi line at Penn Station. I actually saw one guy put his family in a cab and tell them, “I’ll meet up with you later. I’m sticking around to see what happens.” As a planted audience member, I knew few details about the mission. The real highlight for me was watching everything unfold, not knowing what would happen next. Originally, I assumed the cast of characters consisted of nothing more than one guy on a tiny ledge, which would’ve been sufficient. To my delight, a whole cast of characters slowly entered the picture. For me, it was like watching a play unfold on a random sidewalk, which was a unique experience.

Agent Pally (bystander)

I think the funniest thing that I heard or saw by far were the nurses in the dentist office on the ground floor. I was hanging back faking calls on my cell phone to try and make the people in the cab line believe it was something real as opposed to a movie, and I heard a banging on the glass and when I turned around I saw three nurses looking through their ground floor window miming to me “what’s going on”. This was particularly funny because I would imagine that if this were going on in a building that was on a high floor, you would have people from the building across from it looking on and wondering what was going on. Only in this case, we were all standing on the ground looking at someone four feet up.

Agent Pally and the nurses
Mission Accomplished.


In September of 2006, Officer McNabb and Will gave us an update at the IE 5th Anniversary Show:


  1. That poor man being so far up!
    I would have fallen just being on that ledge. :(

    Hilarious, you guys are so great.

  2. that was a riot
    your really have gone and done it this time
    amazing houw many people stopped to watch. hmmm what does that tell ya ‘-)

  3. Awesome! The photos are so dramatic. Great photography. I can’t wait to install QT 7 and see the video. Bravo!

  4. Don’t worry, Petey. It was all in good fun. I enjoyed it from here in heaven with Johnny Carson and Dwight Eisenhower. Well done!

  5. When I saw the first photos and read the first few lines, I got an eery feeling. How could this be funny, especially at X-mas time. But as the mission unfolded and more characters entered the picture, all I could think of was: BRILLIAAAAAAAANT!

  6. Not to take anythign away from a truly good, funny idea, but I think either you don’t read the news, don’t pay attention to things that happen in the relatively small, well linked comedy community here in NY or you’re simply insensitive and selfish. A ‘Daily Show’ employee recently commited suicide by jumping off a building. I understand timing etc. seemed good for this mission and I know it’s just a joke but a lot of your readership & fans are probably aware of this event and/ or was personally effected by this event, so I must say this is pretty tasteless. Learn from your contemporaries, like Jon Stewart and the crew at TDS who took off a day (and the money and inconvience THAT must have cost).

  7. Anonymous,

    I aware of the fact that the TDS receptionist killed himself last weekend. In addition to reading about it in the news on Monday, a student in one of my UCB classes works there, and he told me on Thursday what an awesome guy he had been and how everyone was shocked and upset at what had happened. Your comment here is the first I’ve heard that his suicide was by jumping off of a building. None of the news articles related to the story mentioned his method. You also have to keep in mind that we executed this mission on December 10, before the suicide (or at least before anyone found out about it.) Suicide is obviously a senstive subject to anyone who has dealt with it on a personal level, and I’m sorry if our mission offends anyone.

    • OMG! Yes it’s a sensitive subject but surely by now you know the gist of this organization. You have to just laugh!

      My gosh! Stop being so serious!

      I tried to commit suicide twice and I found this ‘mission’ fucking hilarious! Way to go! I’m so glad the Today show did that segment so I discovered you guys! Wow!

  8. There is always a connection to someone else in everything an artist attempts to do and unfortunately it can strike a sensitive nerve occasionaly. I’m sure there’s a relative of Chekhov out there or a restroom-attendant that’s been offended by the stuff these guys do but that’s life. This was great as always.

  9. Wow. To compare a recent suicide of someone in the community to a restaurant attendant being offended, or a relative of Chekov (who died over 100 years ago) being offended is absurd. CTodd’s answer was professional and sensitive, although I disagree that they should have been out with the mission so soon after such an event. Of COURSE something is always going to offend someone, but this kid jumped off a building a little over a week ago and he is linked to the community, and people close to him are even more linked to this community. So for many of us, who would usually have a sense of humor about these things, this was not "very fun."

  10. Everyone loves to be a victim…. This mission had nothing to do with the "Daily Show" employee’s suicide. Accept that, and quit trying to make yourself feel like you’ve been a victim of insensitivity.

  11. No shit it has nothing to do with TDS suicide. However, this is a finely linked community. And it’s not about loving being the victim, but it IS about actually being a mourner. I’m sure if some UCB person (take any of the agents on the mission) had commited suicide in the manner of TDS employee, this mission would have been ignored with the fear of it being too close to home– NOT because of the fact that the prank had been done, but the fact that it had been publicized at this point in time. This could have waited. Try stepping away from the comedy of things and look at the tradgedy of what actually happened- I’m not saying forever, I’m saying for a little while. Some sensitivity to your supporters in the comedy (and not just the swelled bubble that is the improv) community would be respectful. I think you guys are great, and funny and like I said– CTodd handled this well, the people who are trying to kiss his ass– not so much.

  12. See, I just thought of <i>It’s a Wonderful Life</i>, and the appropriateness of the mission during the holiday season for this reason, etc.

    Suicide is always a sensitive subject, no matter what. That doesn’t mean that art should always bow to sensitivity.

  13. That’s not funny; my brother died that way. Sorry, I can’t help myself when I get the chance to steal that line from the Onion. You needed to have a hysterical woman screaming, "Won’t someone please DO something?"May a police sniper to shoot him on the way down.

  14. By the way, that was hilarious. It’s amazing to think that such genius was inspired by a four foot ledge.

  15. Sorry, I didn’t find this funny at all. What a downer that so many find the pain of others amusing. This "mission" and its video footage completely trivialize a serious mental health issue. I was hoping for something that didn’t make fun of those who are already rock bottom.

    The way the actors relished their roles, as evidenced by their post-mission essays, also gave me a sick feeling.

    I’m not sure what made me sadder – the "mission" or its many positive reviews. Gladiators, anyone?

  16. Wow people were accually being serious about it. The only way you could get hurt falling from that height is if you fell flat on your face. Still liked this mission though.

  17. You guys rule! I personally cannot wait until the DVD comes out, this should definetely be on it. Also, has anyone ever considered starting a forum or message boad in which people could brainstorm ideas for improvs? That could help produce even more cool scenes.

  18. I think what most people are completely missing, is that in this improv, the guy DOESN’T JUMP TO HIS "DEATH". He Listened to the "Authorities"… I could go on a rant about how selfish suicide is, and how the tragedy is not in the loss of life, but in how that loss affects others, but somehow I think that that rant would be lost on the people who really need to hear it…

    … the fact that it’s a 4 foot ledge is what’s funny. If you think jumping from a 4 foot ledge is tragic, you’ve got issues. I agree, joking about suicide is not exactly good taste, but then again, neither is taking your pants off in the middle of a subway. But you probably laughed at reading that…

  19. It’s amazing how ignorant and insensitive people can be. No one is saying that they think that this could have caused the "jumper" physical harm. WE know. It’s a joke. But it’s in poor taste due to the circumstances previously noted. You seem to be aware that suicide really hurts the loved ones of this person and yet you’re still being mean and insensitive to those exact people. People are mourning this person’s death. Because there was a person who did die.
    I’m sure if that person was Chris Kula or Katie Dippold and not someone on the periphery- then this mission would not have been publicized so soon. You are the one this is lost on. People are still reeling from this and you’re basically calling them ignorant for what you think of as not understanding, when it’s just that this lost IS still new and affecting his loved ones.

    Also.. laughing at suicide and people removing their pants. Any intelligent person wouldn’t have to think of the difference.

  20. Comedy and tragedy – such close inhabitants on this plane. Reminds me of the Mary Tyler Moore classic show from the funeral home after the clown dies, "a little laugh, a little dance, a little seltzer in your pants" and Mary crying and laughing at the same time.

    Anyone watching this "attempted suicide" would recognize its absurdity and in that recognition would be the realization that at all times, we are all closer to death than we would care to believe. Sorry, folks, but this IS funny – and not in any way that is disrespectful of those who actually choose that route for their "endgame".

  21. Amen, Pat. Dick Van Dyke trips and falls–right on musical cue– and we shouldn’t laugh because people fall and break their necks every day? Johnny Carson taking a pie in his face isn’t funny because children are starving in India? Comic bits parallel serious counterparts, but the funny version serves it up with devices like irony and exaggeration. Anyone who can’t see the funny in this mission should take a break and look for humor elsewhere. This mission had me laughing out loud—because the story elements were so doggone silly and harmless. Thanks IE.

  22. Every week or two i get to enjoy a nearly nauseous laughing spell thanks to web-postings from my friends at oodagroup ; this time it was you all doing the suicide stunt, which really was both genius and funny, ridiculous and true. when you bring the show to Paris just be sure to let me know!

  23. Many of these comments shows the usual american stupidity, which have caused other such stupid "sensitive" actions when it comes to censorship. People complain because a comedian died by jumping and this was published close to that. What’s the point? People die ALL THE TIME by jumping off the buildings. Humor is same as being a ruler, if you don’t offend someone by your actions you are NOT doing your job. Being completely PC is not funny. There is no such thing that you can’t make a joke about, period. Not that Improv did a joke of the suicide. Some people are oversensitive and just way too stuck up to appreciate this. That said, I enjoyed the trick. I have relative who died by jumping, it still didn’t stop me laughing my ass off when I got the idea of this prank.

  24. "It’s amazing how ignorant and insensitive people can be. No one is saying that they think that this could have caused the "jumper" physical harm. WE know. It’s a joke. But it’s in poor taste due to the circumstances previously noted."

    I admitted the joke was in poor taste. So is walking on a subway without pants. It’s still funny. And I know suicide hurts others… But we shouldn’t feel sorry for the guy who jumps. I do feel sorry for the families. They can’t tell the jumper how much of a n insensitive jerk they were for going though with it… and that’s what’s hard.

    Suicide is stupid. I for one am glad it is being portrayed as such. 4 feet or 400 feet – it doesn’t matter. Makes people realize how silly it looks to stand on a ledge wanting to jump. Yes it’s a harsh attitude, but if perhaps more people treated the subject as straightforward and harsh as this, then maybe people will understand this point.

  25. OK, you people who are offended by this hilarious improv please stick with the things that you find humorous. I would imagine that Family Circus or Ziggy cartoons are more your speed. However, in today’s edition of Ziggy his tie is smoking and the caption reads, "His power tie overheated." I find this highly offensive as my father was killed when his tie combusted.

  26. Leftbanker, I am drafting a bill to send you for a new computer monitor, as mine is currently covered in the orange juice that sprayed out of my mouth in laughter upon reading your very astute and very funny comment.

  27. A similar ridiculous but very short prank A couple of us did repetedly was to get in a hotel elevator and stand infront of the closing door, react as if it were a guillotine, and giving a bloodcurdling scream
    slumping down holding my hands, arms over my chest. Sometimes one of us would do this alone, at other times the other would interact with the prankster. We varied our interactions. Concern over the pranksters condition afterwards, trying to jerk him out of dangers way, a horrified "DON’T DO IT", whisper, to the elevator occupants comments about the pranksters mental state etc.
    Some of the viewers reactions were extreme.

  28. Stop it, my sides are aching. Thanks for the ‘what’ll happen next’.. People are amazing at what they will stop and watch – did we really want to see Will – not make it??? I used to do these type of things as a kid; lost a contact on a crowded bus – hysterical …

  29. I was laughing so hard tears came down my face!

    I can’t wait to see more of your work sooo funny!! BRAVO

  30. Can’t please ’em all. I have flashback nightmares every time I visit this site because I was chased on a tour ride in a fountain by a Chekov impersonator without pants while listening to a mysterious mp3 track and simultaneously trying to avoid a large shark running down the street…

    …well, of course not. More seriously…there are things that are off limits and there are things that are not. The traditional "ledge jumper" has been used in comedy ever since buildings got tall enough to jump off.

    If you have any American war dead pranks in the future or anything involving burning large religious symbols or taunting the infirm, you might reconsider. But I think this was fair game.

  31. omg. i’m having stomach cramps from laughing so hard. great work IE. you gave me a reason to leave NC and come back to my native nyc to join in on a mission!

  32. It was touching and lovely. Eliza is the ideal woman that we search for.
    Will deserves her – he has the guts to fail and the guts to try again.
    I LOVED it!

    If only Canadians had this kind of stuff……

  33. This was great. I love what you guys do. I would love to be there to witness some of this stuff.

  34. my mom tried to commite suicide, twice, and even I think this is funny. insensitive, but, funny.

  35. I think this is one of the best missions or them all. After all, a core element of improv is treating the absurd as though it is real and very serious. Excellent idea!

  36. You people that are whining it’s insensitive should really get over yourselves. People kill themselves everyday and it’s a choice that they make, no one makes it for them. One person from Comedy Central kills themselves and people act like it’s a national holiday. People are dying of disease, poverty and war all over the world. People die everyday, thank god for intelligent humor like the stuff on this site. Everytime someone dies, especially someone who chooses to die, it is not cause for people to go on a pity trip.

    In response to this mission I thought it was hilarious. My favorite by far. I wish you guys were located in Texas.

  37. yo Liza! nice performance!! hey i used to do a drama class with you!! glad your hubby is ok.. ; )

  38. Is it just me or does that guy in the yellow jacket look like Tom Irwin from My So-Called Life?

  39. Of course this mission is going to hit a down beat with those who have experienced a real tragedy like it. But what has to be understood is, this mission isn’t making light of suicide in its actuality. This mission is taking the Hollywood dramaticized standard image of The Suicide Jumper and playing with that. If anything, it’s that repeated tv-movie stereotype that you should have issue with and not the IE performers. I really have to point out that, for those out there whom circumstance has brought close to an actual tragedy like this, the name of the mission itself should have been ample warning that it is not one that would entertain you.

  40. Meh. I’ve dealt with suicides among people I’ve known and have been depressed enough to wanna kill myself (with several failed attempts) more times than not over the past decade and I found the mission to be incredibly hilarious. Damn if we don’t all take ourselves too seriously. Good work IE. Keep it up!

  41. Oh everybody’s got a flippin’ tragedy conveniently in their back pocket to pull out & use as a wet blanket for throwing!

    If the IE people did a mock funeral for the company’s mascot slug, GUARANTEED there’s gonna be a whiner who cries "Boo hoo, you are so insensitive. MY pet slug commited suicide last week by crawling into the Morton salt container…wah wah wah…."

    Lighten up people!! Come out of that dark cave you call prime time television & pull back the curtains. Life is zippin’ by & you are sitting in your LazyBoy flipping the remote looking for a better life on cable.

    Hey- Pet Slug Funeral. Tell me that’s not a good idea! IEers, call me!

  42. The video for this mission is spectacular. I don’t know what the song is, but it had tears in my eyes at the end when Will comes down and hugs Eliza, even though I knew it was all staged and that it was also funny as hell.

    For bringing tears to my eyes whilst making me laugh, IE, I give you the Maelin Gold Star of Excellence. It was a well-edited video of a well-performed mission, so kudos to everybody involved.

  43. This is amazing, great work guys! I know the song is by peter gabriel but I can’t say what the title is.

  44. I found this amazingly hilarious and my friends and i are preforming it in this years talent show. Good work IE! You inspire us!

  45. Do you mind if I do this one where I live in Ohio? It was absolutely brillant. It brought a tear to my eye.

  46. i can’t wait for the new SNL digital short this season, where Andy Samburg raps about going to best buys with 80 of his friends in blue shirts and khakis

  47. This was amazing. Me and my friends are really weird like that and are hopeing to do it soon… but in a small city, it will be kinda hard.

  48. When I first read the title, I was afraid of it being acted too seriously– you know, like actually on a four story ledge, instead of a four foot ledge.
    When I saw the facts I laughed and enjoyed the scene unfolding.

    But I can’t help but admit… it can be really hard on those who have really lost someone that way…

  49. I think I saw a skit on SNL with exactly the same thing happening. Did they copy u guys or did u submit it to them?
    Cool thing BTW.

  50. Ok, all the people saying this is so insensitive… deal with it. I had a friend commit suicide a couple years ago, and I found this mission hilarious. This was a sketch, a funny one, so accept it and move on. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

    People are so worried nowadays about things being politically incorrect, that nothing cool ever gets done anymore. You guys rock for doing this!

  51. This is the funniest thing i have ever seen in my life. I would love to be involved in something likethis one day

  52. Wow, looks like people took this one way too seriously. Quite frankly, as someone who’s been suicidal in the past, this sort of thing is very helpful. All humor is great, but humor regarding things that dark that we can relate to directly help bring in into focus, or at least lighten it by making us laugh at it, if only for a little bit. The extreme ridiculousness of the four-foot fall, in connection with the act of suicide, causes the act to lose some of it’s pull/attraction/power, if only for a little while. I remember actually Googling things about suicide, and anything humorous made the night easier.

    I had a friend once who couldn’t stand any reference to death because someone she cared about died. Sorry, but not every single instance of something is meant to hurt, nor does it have to be sensitive to everyone everywhere at any time.

  53. Perhaps if we would have shared his poetry on Love Across Borders (our site), then he wouldn’t have wanted to jump. :p

    Love Across Borders – Sharing Is Caring!

  54. We need more efforts like yours. Definitely a step in the right direction and yet another reason to turn off the TV.

  55. Been done before i’m afraid. Check out the video for Always my Way by the band My Vitriol, they did this years ago….sorry fellas…

  56. Oh my God. To all of you going on about how you’ve known someone who’s killed themself by jumping off a building: THEY WERE 4 FEET IN THE AIR.

    It was a joke. It only offends you if you’re trying to find a way for it to.

  57. Wow..

    You know, you’ve brought a smile to the faces of millions of people with this.. We need people like you in the UK.

    We can all put ourselves in the positions of every character you have portrayed there.. Either we’ve been there, or dread being there.. Either way, you’ve put forward a good message, you guys are all great actors+actresses, and I urge you to keep this up.

    You lit up my day.

    Thank you.


  58. well I googled jumper and found your site, I was on the 5 freeway today in Los Angeles, and was waiting for over an hour while the road was closed because of a jumper on the overpass, well over 100 feet above the ground. He jumped, and I am happy to say I missed it by 3 to 5 minutes. There were people pulled over to the side of the road videoing the “action” guess it paided off. I don’t have the heart to laugh…probably on youtube by now.

  59. You know, it’s amazing how many people just don’t get this. It’s comedy, it’s not done in any hurtful way, it’s all just done purely out of fun and it’s even really quite positive. You know, they could have done a scene where the jumper jumped and went through with it and it could have ended up really depressing but THE GUY DOESN’T JUMP, th cop talks him down and the story ends woth the crowd cheering and the guy going home with a stronger conviction that his wife loves him and he has a friend that really cares. The sketch shows people who care about someone who is having problems and acting to help save his life. If there’s something morbid about trying to help someone you love then I guess I’m just too blind to see it. This mission isn’t about suicide, it’s about heroes. In fact I have this video in my “Heroes” section on myspace. What makes this so insanely hilarious is the fact that it is all played out so seriously four feet off the ground and yet there is still a crowd that is so drawn in to it all. Excellent work! IE, you need to set up “IE cells” all over the country and really light up the nation with this wonderful insanity.

  60. So sweet to have the ppl with the courage to make this performance and so sad to make this performance about suicide jumps.

  61. lol.. that was soooo i did that..i was on a curb and i was like “im ganna jump” and my friend was like dont jummp… i jumped and when i sat down i fell backwards it was funny…i liked this video.. i was reading some comments on the way down here..


    its not all about the “suicide” but how peeps have support.. i liked it alot.. ]

  62. This may be my favorite one yet.

    It’s a brilliant piece of theatrical short film. Mixed with the unknowing crowd is a stunning laugh fest.

  63. um…hey its me i said..i liked it in all..
    yesterday my mom’s friend told a story of how this guy suicided himself.. he was divorcing his wife and she wanted the kids..

    and my mom told a story of a guy who suicided ..cuz this women..dirted his name..and stuff..

    im sorry for wut i said..if i didnt even meet these two guys and ffelt really bad..imagine families and friends of people who did..
    just apoligizing..

    though i still do like the story…i just look at it diffrently..

    umm.. though i still think it funny .. :)

  64. Hmm, awesome, LOL funny!

    Reading the comments I was surprised at all the “boo-hoo, that’s SO insensitive” comments. Then I googled ‘Suicide Jumper’ and guess what?! The first three results were for this prank & the fourth is a youtube video of a VW commercial; “three V Dubs for under $17,000!” THEN; the first related video is also IE. That’s even more hilarious. And check out “Fish N Chimps Suicide Ad” Tell me that’s not funny?!!

    Anyway, great job guys. I thought the mustached cop was a nice touch; when I started reading it I didn’t know he was an agent, but the pic made me question it. After all, it’s the 21st century, not 1970’s. Good work, all!

  65. What amuses me are those who’re thinking that those who don’t like it, are offended. All I’ve seen them mention was the fact that it is in bad taste, which it is. Doesn’t make it any less funny. They’re not angry, they’re not hating it. They’re just saying it was done in bad taste. Just as you find it funny, they’re allowed to not find it the most funny.

    By the way, I personally found it hilarious. Especially the reactions from the crowd.

  66. what i love is that you’re watching the vid for the first time, not knowing anything about it, it really looks as though someone is high up, about to jump, unil the camera pans out. :D

    and to the people moaning it’s in bad taste, lighten up!

  67. So simple, so short, SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL! My roommate and I roared with laughter with this, I bet the whole house heard.

  68. My verdict: PURE EXCELLENCE
    English or American we know what IS funny and we love it. When these PC mad do-gooders have finished whining about everything and produced a fun less world we can all wake up, work, eat, crap, sleep. MY GOD now i feel like jumping lol.
    Remember, the people who want to jump say they feel too much pain blah blah blah. Well im sure landing on a side walk is just about the worst way to go. Maybe a suicide leap under a road roller or pecked to death by a brooding chicken!! The Idiots, They usually want attention or to go down in history. The only place they make history is in their parents, partners or kids.
    Anyway enough ranting, You guys found humor out of one little ledge and some imagination. Pure genius and artists of this day.
    p.s. Don’t show those do-good busy bodies stuff like Jackass and South Park if a plain obvious prank like that offends them. Ha Ha Ha actually do then video their reaction.

  69. I was watching a video about suicide awareness on Youtube. And lo and behold, there was a picture of Will in the video (the top picture on this page).

    So, the video itself was very sad, and made to make people aware of suicide… The whole suicide awareness thing… yeah. But when I saw the Improv picture in the video, I started laughing.

  70. To: All the sensitive whiners:
    Just like the radio and televisions you own have a knob which allow you to choose what to watch and not to watch, God gave you an address bar in your browser which allows you to change what website you’re looking at. No one here cares about your problems or your sensitivities, if you want to be depressed, go do it by yourself somewhere. Close the door, turn out the lights, listen to depressing love songs, and eat bon bon’s until your stomach explodes. Grab some chocolate, that might help too. Either way, quit dragging us into your downward spiral. It’s your right to change the channel and watch something you like, but I sure as heck don’t remember reading anywhere that you are members of the morality and censorship committee of the USA, or that you have the authority to revoke constitutional rights. You have the right to shut the hell up and take your problems elsewhere.

    To: Improv Everywhere crew:
    Don’t let these whiners censor your actions. You guys aren’t hurting anyone, and it’s your First Amendment right to express yourselves this way. Keep up the great work! Fantastic stuff. Looking forward to the next one!

  71. “He might twist his ankle.”

    Absolute genius; my ribs hurt from laughing. This totally made my day. You guys are my heroes! :D

  72. absolutely awesome. i can’t believe u guys pulled his off. and the reaction from the viewers, it was like will was actually ten stories up. great job guys.

  73. Mind you, I haven’t seen many of these so far, but this one is the funniest one I’ve seen yet!

  74. As someone who has personally been the person staring down from several stories up, I have to say: I find this truly hilarious. Thank you.

  75. I have to wonder, isn’t trying to commit suicide AND FAILING the mark of an ultimate loser?

    You fail at life and then you fail at death, too.

    Should there be a service for such people? Not Kevorkian. They’d likely screw that up, too. But someone they can hire to gap them?

    I volunteer.

  76. I have been watching this and found this funny. Now, did any of you people who found this insensitive read the message by ctodd right after anonymous. He said this was done BEFORE anyone knew about the actual event…possibly BEFORE it even happened. So get over it. If you’re so offended by it don’t watch it then. If you can’t laugh at problems, then you must be miserable because the world is full of problems. The only way for us to cope is to have fun and laugh it off. If we let everything offend us and make us feel bad, pretty soon we will be the ones up on the ledge.

  77. i love your site; i love your videos. but being personally affected by asuicide in my family, i do not think this one was funny at all. while i understand that it was just a prank, and no one got hurt, suicide isn’t funny. it isn’t joke.

  78. I found the other improve stuff funny and interesting, however, this I found to be sad. Yes its a joke, but also, the idea of a person so diswrought that they want to end thier life to be heart-wrenching. Its just not a funny topic if you have ever seen anyone in this situation.

    I think Improve is fantastic art – but personally, I found this one pretty damn sad.

  79. there is a time to laugh and a time to mourn.

    i myself struggle with depression.

    if you take life too seriously, you’ll end up the victim, licking wounds that are actually self-inflicted.

    i had a friend who killed himself by jumping off of a train trestle. that was a time to mourn.

    comedy is a coping mechanism for a lot of people. this was a time to laugh. and for me personally, a time to remember rob in his life as the funny, sweet guy that he was. i am certain he would have laughed at this.

    some of you folks need to lighten up. and if you can’t, go pee on someone else’s parade. life is short and filled with hard, unhappy things. i laugh when i’m given the opportunity.

    there is a time to laugh…

    i laughed. :)

  80. Um, guys…I’m late to the angst party, but please remember that [1] it is acting, [2] it was a four foot high ledge and [3] the “suicide” was saved in the end.

    My father was a suicide, and I don’t see any value in being offended by references to the subject.

    If you don’t find something funny, that is your right. To piss on what other people find amusing is actually you being rude, and the moral lectures and hand-wringing are QUITE unnecessary.

    Some people just don’t have a secure enough sense of self-esteem to enjoy the absurd without being offended personally. Maybe. Or, conversely, perhaps they are extremely egocentric and think that every event is all about THEM or their loved ones or some stranger in “a community” of tens of thousands they coincidentally happen to also be a member of.

    I’m reminded of the old Bloom County comic strip about “offensensitivity,” actually.

    IE, you guys are a lot of fun and add a little surreal silliness to ordinary, routine days. Chaotic joy, indeed!

  81. Absolutely brilliant. The whole site makes me laugh out loud, but this is by far my favorite. I wasn’t too sure when I read the title, but by God you sold me :D

    The only complaint I have is that the video didn’t include all of the dialogue and from reading the Agent’s reports, it seems like we missed out on some good stuff :(

    Still great though!

  82. You guys are really the best. You brought me to tears with this. It’s so nice…

    We have such a short life and we don’t use it right… we’re just looking at eachother full of hatred and envy… all this sadness…
    But you change this world to a better place…


    (sorry for the bad english – I’m just a sixteen year old student from austria)

  83. The suicide jumper was excellent. I hope it illustrates that other people DO care about those who have given up on life…and it illustrates how much we need to care for each other, and be brothers and sisters to those who are disheartened. In a way this kind of broke me up but it was for a good reason!

  84. Dang. You know, I have depression. I’ve been suicidal before, and I’ve even attempted it myself. And you know what? I really, really, LIKED this one. Didn’t laugh, but I couldn’t help but smile. Rich, so rich. Absurdity like this is priceless.

    For some reason, this reminds me of 3rd Rock from The Sun… I don’t know why…

  85. What are we allowed to find humor in?
    We all die – so who is forbidding us to laugh at death?
    We all edure pain – illnesses, loss, addiction, ridicule, exploitation – is everything negative off limits. You want to see improv that is about only about paper cuts?

    Also, the satire here is not about “suicide” but “suicide plots in tv shows” seems to me. They played it by the book, and no one was hurt.

  86. When I first saw the title of this one, I didn’t think I’d enjoy a skit about suicide but I looked anyway. Oh! My! God! Hilarious! This is SO PERFECTLY ABSURD!

    I have a friend who committed suicide a few years ago too. If he’d have watched this with me, he’d be laughing his A$$ off. Laughing at this kind of over-the-top humor is what kept him living as long as he did.

  87. The video background music is “Don’t Give Up” performed by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush.

  88. laughing at the comedic drama that is creatively written and beautifully performed. not a personal scoff at the subject of one really would consciously watch the video purely to critique such a sensitive subject. if you did, help yourself.

  89. That was freakin hilarious!!! lmao! very freakin hilarious! i live in nyc, i hope one of these days i could see one of ya’ll missions or maybe even be apart of one

  90. I watched this video twice. My initial reaction was that this was one of the funniest skits I had seen on the site. The reaction in the following viewing was one of understanding, it is very easy to relate to your characters and get dragged into the storyline. It was really well performed and I thank you for this experience.

  91. I might as well put in my two cents as well. Everything in this world has some humor in it. They made a serious situation into something absurd and comical. Those offended by it, either because it “hit too close to home” or found it “tasteless” or “insensitive” Should really look into why they find it as such, technically they weren’t making fun of the act of suicide but the situation. I have had more than my fair share of deaths in my life, and through those experiences I have found one truth to coping with it, finding a way to smile about it. Either you look at this remember your loved one and laugh at how the situation has been converted. Remember the person, make jokes, and in general take a sad negative situation and turn it into something positive. Thats the only way to move on. People may see you as “insensitive” but really, the alternative is to feel sorry for yourself and always get offended by someone or something because it reminds you of what had happened in the past. Just think, would your loved one want you to get offended by this “coarse” humor? or would they want you to laugh and be happy? Personally I feel that no matter what anything and everything can be converted into some humor, it isn’t offensive, but a way to cope, or to help others feel at ease about a situation.

    All in all I really enjoyed this, as well as the other Improv Everywhere Missions, and I look forward to my eventual chance to participate in one.

  92. That is totally epic. You guys are so lucky a real cop didn’t show up, though-I know people who have gone to jail for impersonating police officers!

  93. LMAO! Brilliant! I was in tears and stitches! “It’s ok. Everybody gets a little depressed around the holidays.” Hilarious to say the least!

  94. Yes, very good. I little live entertainment for everyone to enjoy. Who wouldn’t stay when admission is free?

  95. I had a friend commit suicide growing up and sure this might have been a little insensitive but it is a joke and when we stop being able to take a joke we fail as a society.

  96. This was just the funniest. I spent the entire afternoon looking at the prank videos and laughing…i bet my office mate thinks i am crazy!

  97. Great idea!
    Say, I’m interested in turning this scenario into an hour-ish long amateur play. Is there any possiblity of using the names and character backgrounds you people created? It’s really got some potential! I’ll e-mail you on this too.


  98. Loved the improv. You guys have the groove.
    Even more, I love the music. What is the soundtrak behind the scene?

  99. i’ve been to the site a couple of times before and never looked at this one because i couldn’t fathom how it could’ve been done in a good way.

    today i was going down the list in order and decided to take a look at it when i came to it.

    when i saw it i was literally on the floor laughing

    i don’t think i could pick a favorite from this site but this has gotta be one of the top 3.

    and the title conveys the subject matter bluntly. its not like they called it ‘reason to live’ or ‘how to get a christmas bonus’. like myles said, anybody who would be sensitive to it shouldn’t look at it.

  100. that was absolutely brilliant. i mean some parts were kind of stupid and could be offensive. like one of my friends just committed suicide. but it was hilarious. not all rubbish like the other ones who try to be funny. great job.

  101. I think a lot of the people who complained about this didn’t notice at the end that he decided NOT to commit suicide! Now, if they had staged his death, it would have been different. The fact is, though, that they eventually calmed the man down and made him realize that his life is still worth living. Even if this was meant as comedy, think of the positivity it sends.

  102. I respect anybody who might think it off that somebody does a schtick about suicide, but the end result (and the obvious: a frakkin 4-foot wall) tends to suggest they need to chill.

    Now that guy who pushed a suicidal off a bridge for holding up traffic…THAT was funny.

  103. I seriously thought he was going to jump my heart was pumping all the way until the end he saved his life THANK GOD FOR THE POLICE AND THE FIRE FIGHTER BEING THERE TO SUPPORT HIM I WAS SCARED!!!!!!!! PS. THAT MUSTACHE LOOKED REALLY FAKE

  104. Silly. Funny. And, above all: FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT OF EXPRESSION!
    This stunt does NOT physically hurt anybody else, does NOT FORCE anybody else to die. And, timing is absolutely irrelevant. If you don’t want to watch and enjoy it, don’t. But, don’t stop others who DO want a laugh from enjoying it.

    If you’re so offended, why don’t you protest something that REALLY matters, that REALLY hurts others: f***ing FUR COATS and MEAT? The torture of billions of innocent animals.

    Secondly, all the selfish a-holes who dare to attack or insult suiciders or those of us who have attempted it deserve to be forced to support us for the rest of our lives. YOU give up YOUR money and property and give it to US so we can do the jobs WE want to do with it.

  105. This one is definitely my favourite. You guys are SO amazing. I wish I could be part of it. They’re all genious! This one seriously is the funniest video i’ve ever seen.

  106. I was in a bad place and made an attempt 17 years ago.
    I think seeing this would have cheered me up a little, then.

    It probably depends on the person, and I understand that for family members who have lost somebody, this could be a little rough.

    But hey. It’s a gentle way of saying “don’t give up,” as the lyrics of the song say.

    Is that so bad?

    It might help someone.

  107. OMG that was so stupid.. I LOVED IT!!! All those ppl were lik “Y is everybody taking this so seriously” LOL Keep it up!!!!

  108. I didn’t want to laugh, I really didn’t. Suicide is a touchy topic, and making a joke of it seems really insensitive. But, dang. You guys managed to make it sweet and funny and lighthearted. And since the funeral one was an April fools joke, I just can’t find anything to be offended by. You folks are simply fantastic.

  109. I’ve attempted suicide before and I STILL found this EXTREMELY hilarious. sometimes u gotta make a joke out of serious things. (dont worry- I got treated and all so this isnt like a call out or anything)

  110. I find Improv Everywhere interesting. Everyone is selfish, but at the same time selfless. This all may be for laughs, fun, and jokes, but by accident they create a scene that’s meaningful and teaches you something. Only sometimes, though.

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