New Name

Improv Everywhere?

As of today, Improv Everywhere is changing its name due to legal action by a jazz combo from the 1980s. It seems said combo recorded and self-released three albums of improvisational jazz under the name “Improv Everywhere” in 1983.

Apparently one of the members of the long-since defunct group saw us on This American Life last week. He sent us a cease and desist letter asking that we stop using the name.

Effective today, we are changing our name to “Humor In Public Places” (HIPP for short.) While not as good as the name we’ve used for the past five years, we hope you will still enjoy our website under this new banner. As of now, we have no plans to change our URL. Rather than focusing on the negative, we’re excited to start getting HIPP!


  1. Nice try…Its funny going around all my fav sites and seeing what kinda things they come up with for today :P

  2. I was about to say “are you serious?” and then say “fight ’em” but then I saw other people’s postings that it is April 1st and then I was saying to myself, “darn it, second time today.”

  3. I’m actually a huge Improv Everywhere (the improvisational jazz band, not you) fan. And I think it serves you right stealing from their thunder like that.

    Add my MySpace fan page if you agree:

  4. But wouldn’t it be ironic if whoever that photo is of saw this and asked you to cease using their pic? Cause it looks real to me (if it was staged you get 5 stars for attendtion to detail!)

  5. I fell for it.
    You should have created a bittorrent link for the band :)

    The sad thing is, things like this happen 365 days a year.

  6. That’s pretty good news! I mean, it sucks that you’ll have to redesign your website (again) and order all new stationary, but frankly I always thought that “Improv Everywhere” was kinda lame. It’s difficult to be funny when the foundation of your work is “Improv Everywhere”. “HIPP” is great – it totally captures the essence of the work you do and I think it will just be a generally better name for you to work with. When your comedic foundation is “HIPP”, you’ll be funny. Finally.

  7. Did anyone else get the “Hipp to be square” song stuck in their head immediately after reading this?

  8. Whoa – check out that photo. Who knew the inimitable bassist Dave Holland was behind this? Or was it his management??

    Ugh … to think I was just listening to the most excellent “What Goes Around” (ECM 1777) last night too!

    Say/write what you will, but I really dug the name Improv Everywhere, man. Man! Isn’t improvisation the art of acting and reacting in the moment? Oh wait – I guess that’s exactly what this is, isn’t it. Well it is.

    Hmph = fine. No more ECM purchases for me. Doin’ a 180. Back to my Windham Hill catalogue. Take _that_ ECM.

  9. OMG, that totally sucks! I hate it when Jazz musicians become lawyers, then they’re all uppity and like, “Hey don’t step on my name, Man…even if I haven’t used it in like 30 years.” Doesn’t IE have lawyers that can fight this? It’s so unfair!

    Does this also mean that you’re going to have to change the No Pants logo t-shirt? If so, let us know when the new design is out and I’ll totally order one.

  10. I can’t believe I fell for that, lock stock & barrell!! Very good, have gained new admiration & respect . . .

  11. You definitely got me. I was thinking, “They could totally beat that suit. Anyway, Humor In Public Places is a terrible name.” Too many real lawsuits lately!

  12. Teaches me to read my emails at 3 am… thought this happened and another favorite site was being shut down. Now i can’t stop laughing at my exhausted idiocy. Anyway you guys need to make a shirt for this.. just as a joke.. (I’d buy).

  13. Yeah, you got me too. I read it last night, didn’t occur to me that it was April 1st till i read the comments here. Good job!

  14. Nice to see justice finally being done. My dad was a road manager for Improv Everywhere, and while they aren’t the most famous band in history, they had a great sound and don’t deserve their name dragged through the mud with all this sillyness.

  15. Oh my goodnesssss. I’ve been complaining to all of my friends and family about the name change. Then of course I just went on to read the comments. And guess what! It’s April First! GAH!!! I feel like such an idiot :-/ Whoops. Lol :-D

  16. Why do people always get all litigious as soon as someone starts getting some national exposure? You’re on TV and suddenly everyone wants a piece of you. Don’t stand for it, guys! There’re dozens of us here to support you.

  17. ok – i’m willing to go along with this – but i was stupid enough to get caught on the april 1st suit from macdonald’s a couple years ago – so we’ll just see how long the header stays ‘hipp’.

  18. Shucks. If it really is an April Fool’s prank, then there goes my idea that you should pay them back with a prank.

  19. I totally fell for it, until this morning (April 2), when I was thinking about all the other April Fool’s jokes… and finally put things together. Wow, am I gullible or what.

  20. Hook, Line and Sinker. It’s Monday and I was about to propagate the lie when… oh, yeah! I’m a fool. I forgot.

  21. I totally fell for it. I was really upset and was wondering what action to take. Then I opened another one of my favorite websites and I cottoned on.

  22. You got me….

    Then again, EVERYONE got me! I was holed up in my apartment all day doing homework and I forgot that it was April Fools Day.

    I believed Google and their “paper archive”, ThinkGeek and their “WiiHelmet”….and you.

    Shame on me…

  23. You should have chosen a picture from the early ’80s. The one shown is pretty recent — Dave Holland is currently playing with those other guys. Can’t say whether I’d have been duped, otherwise. But the picture gave ruse away immediately.