Frozen Grand Central

Hidden Audio Actors: Agents Osteri, Rodgers, Sommer, Todd
Digital Video: Agent Carbone
Digital Photography: Agent Nicholson

On a cold Saturday in New York City, the world’s largest train terminal came to a sudden halt. Over 200 Improv Everywhere Agents froze in place at the exact same second for five minutes in the Main Concourse of Grand Central Terminal. Over 500,000 people rush through Grand Central every day, but today, things slowed down just a bit as commuters and tourists alike stopped to notice what was happening around them. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our mission report and photos.

The Main Concourse before we arrive
Back in 2006 we had around 200 people shop in slow motion at a Manhattan Home Depot. For part two of that mission everyone froze in place. As it turned out the slow motion was subtle, but the freezing in place was absolutely striking. I wanted to recreate the frozen idea, but this time in a larger, more open space. Home Depot had many aisles and multiple floors so you could never see more than a handful of frozen people at a time. At Grand Central’s enormous Main Concourse, we would be able to see everyone simultaneously.

We met in nearby Bryant Park and synchronized our watches. We would freeze at exactly 2:30 PM. A nice mix of people of all ages and races showed up, so we would look like any random sample of New Yorkers before we froze.

The room starts to fill up moments before go time

The clock strikes 2:30
Another thing we learned at the Home Depot mission is that it’s really tough to convey this idea through photographs. Everyone is frozen in place in a photo. Our chief photographer Chad Nicholson toyed with his exposure a bit to help compensate. Those not frozen are blurry.

Where’s Rob?

Where’s Chekov?
We filmed this mission discreetly from the upper balcony and with a roaming agent on the floor with a camera sticking out of a cart of luggage.

Agent Hurn films
At one point a guy driving some type of maintenance cart entered the concourse and was stopped in his tracks by our frozen agents. Fortunately there were just a few seconds left in the mission. We unfroze before he got too frustrated.

We got great reactions from the folks who encountered us. Strangers started talking to each other, trying to figure out what was going on. With wireless microphones hidden in our shirts, a few agents and I struck up conversations with folks. I convinced one guy to grab a cell phone from a frozen woman’s hand. He did it, laughing uncontrollably as he gently put it back in her hand. My favorite reaction was from a female cop who witnessed the whole thing from behind her NYPD recruitment booth:

Me: Do you know what that was?
Cop: I have no idea! That is the craziest shit I’ve ever seen in my life, AND I’M A COP!
Me: Ha. Yeah, it was weird.
Cop: You wanna sign up to be in the NYPD?
Me: No thanks.

Folks gawk and smile
It was fun to see all the different choices people made for their frozen moment. I didn’t give any instructions in advance. I just told everyone to be doing something realistic and not jokey. One guy dropped an entire briefcase full of papers the second before he froze, leaving his papers scattered before him for five minutes. Many froze midway through eating or drinking. A few froze while taking off a jacket. One couple froze kissing.

I’ve put together some animations of a few of my favorite moments. It’s fun to watch each one through multiple times, focusing on different parts of the image. You can try to figure out how many people in each image are actually frozen. Agent Nicholson was not shooting from a tripod, so on some of these the image shifts slightly from frame to frame. I’ve spaced them out so you can focus on one at a time.

Notice the agent spilling the papers left center, and the agent taking his jacket off right center (this animation may not work in all browsers, get Firefox.)

Several agents froze looking at maps and train schedules

I love this woman’s expression

These agents froze taking a photo, complete with “bunny ears”

A five-minute kiss

I can only spot four agents in this photo: two black males just above the truck, the woman with the red scarf towards the left, and the white male at the bottom with glasses. Everyone else moves.
Mission Accomplished.


See these photos in their full resolution at Agent Nicholson’s Flickr Set.

If you participated, leave your agent report in the comments.


  1. There was one rather exasperated luggage-buggy driver who must have honked at me 30 times as I stood frozen, examining my ticket to Yonkers.

  2. Wow. Just… wow. Seriously. I wish I could’ve been there for that one… hopefully by this time next year, though, I’ll be back in the game. :) Bravo! This one was fantastic. I love how everyone applauded when you started going again. :D

    To the couple who froze mid-kiss – BRAVO. I love my girl to bits and pieces, but I don’t know if we would’ve been able to hold a kiss (without moving, of course) for five minutes.

  3. Such a great stunt. I like how Agent Todd went around engaging the audience. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

  4. I was wondering when you’d finally put this one up! The video ends with my girlfriend and I unfreezing.

    Easily my most exciting and best mission yet!

    Thanks as always, IE!

  5. This I think equals the quality of the mission, “The Moebius”. Everyone did their jobs so well, I couldn’t believe some of them were able to hold their positions for 5 minutes. None of their positions were unnatural, which made the mission even better. Oh, I wish I lived in New York.

  6. When I entered the terminal, I immediately noticed two sets of escalators, one that was working, and one that sat motionless and closed off. I walked up the broken stairs out of sight and waited for a few minutes. Then I walked down and, at the specified time, I froze in the middle of the steps. From the terminal, I wagered it would look like even two of the escalators had frozen in place, while the two next to them dutifully continued taking people to and from the street. I thought it was pretty clever. I also thought there was a good chance no one would notice. Still, I thought, what are the odds that the side with the escalators won’t appear in the background of at least one or two shots?

    Answer: Better than you’d think!

  7. This was really fun, I had a great time when me and my friend did this- I had her pose for a photo, and I was a few feet away taking it when the freezing started- so it seemed to passers by that we were only still for taking a picture- until it lasted longer than a few seconds. Most went around us after waiting anyway, which was cute.

  8. Oh damn, I remember this. My lower back got so sore afterwards because during the first freeze. I was bending down, but it was so awesome. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

  9. This was my first Mission so I figured I had to make a good impression… I was the guy who dropped the papers all over the place!!! It was hilarious hearing all the comments going around, and the few agents who got down to “try and help me” pick them up made it even better. I think the 2nd freeze was even better after we freaked people out by moving for 30 secs! Had a great time, and wish I could take part in more, but I now live in L.A. Good Luck…

  10. On the second to last picture, I found five agents. There is one in the bottom left corner wearing a black and yellow coat.

  11. My last mission before moving to DC. And we got paid to freak out the tourists! My newfound partner and I had one dude come up and stick his camera right in our faces and snap a photo and he was like “They didn’t even BLINK!” and then at the end, a woman asked us what we were doing and we both said “Trying to get to Connecticut. What are YOU doing?” So much fun!

  12. “This is so weird” “I just wish I knew what they were doing” were a few comments from passersby. It was really nice when everyone applauded after we broke from our first freeze. It was like everyone in Grand Central was saying to us, “Job well done”.

  13. This was such a fun one to take part in. I was on the stairway coming down onto the main floor and the view of the event was spectacular!! I wish there had been more video taken from above. Even more interesting was the abrupt decrease and later increase in the volume in the terminal. Amazing. I heard all kinds of great comments like “uh oh, somethings going on”, and in reference to another agent who had “tripped” and fallen just before the freeze: “somethings wrong with her”. I also had to remain frozen while a homeless person worked the crowd and came over to me staring right into my face repeatedly asking for money. Whew!

  14. Oh, how badly I wish I lived in New York! I’ve read through all the missions, and I think this is one of my favorites. You all are awesome!

    How does everyone know when it’s been exactly five minutes, if you’re frozen and can’t look at your watch?

  15. Kisser # 1 (I’m # 2) and I just found this and are alternately laughing and blushing, I think. Only real problem was seeing a clock/watch in the process.


  16. To those who asked how we knew when the five minutes were up: it worked much like the Home Depot mission. You tried to freeze in a way where you could glance at your watch, but if not you would keep an eye those around you who were frozen and move when they move.

  17. Clever Clever! A fav!

    Next time, after the five minutes up, move for two minutes and freeze again for 1-2 minutes to do the double freak on the public.

    This video was really great with the music and everything. I think you are on to something! haha

  18. Beautiful and inspirational.
    I’m impressed that people held still for so long.
    Some of those positions must have been tough.
    So glad for the applause at the end.

  19. That was a well produced video.

    I can completely see how you could market this as a recurring show for TV (or for the web…if you’d rather maintain full control of it).

    You’ve got a perfect story arc setup.

    Conception, Planning, Meet-up, Execution, Reaction

  20. Hey, you can’t fool me, you overdubbed footage from the No Pants Subway ride for the bullhorn scene at the opening. Then you overdubbed the voice of the maintanance guy on the radio . . . a few other tricks . . .
    Altogether though, it made a nice video! Well done. Thanks for making life in NYC the adventure that it is.

  21. I am loving the recent rash of “people as entertainment” stunts in the past handful of years, from the ZombieWalks to the Thriller dance troupes. And now this – like a fairy tale moment. Kudos to whomever came up with the idea, and the participants who did a fabulous job. Wish I’d been there to see it live.

  22. the idea, the execution, and the video (coming from a cameraman and editor) just outstanding!
    wish I knew about it, would have been there

  23. very well done!! so amusing, long enough to be noticed yet short enough not to inconvenience anyone (much – that maintenance guy was a good sport after all)

    Well executed.

  24. Performed against Grand Central’s stunning backdrop, this looks to an outsider like Christo without his orange gates (or his budget)–a New York experience that nearly defies description. Good job and great video! It looks like it was memorable and fun for both agents and spectators.

  25. I was cracking up when I saw this. The freeze poses were creative and realistic; good job for taking the mission seriously. I love the guy who dropped his papers!

  26. How cool!!
    In the 70s, these were Happenings, and later, Performance Art. Now, apparently, they’re Improvs!
    I think they’re great; it can’t be anything but a good thing to amaze people and invoke wonder … as proven by the spontaneous applause from onlookers. Glad to see the form isn’t dead. Carry on!

  27. That was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I just watched the video and I wasn’t there, but that was super clever. Well done!

  28. That is FANTASTIC. The concept by itself is great enough, but the fact that the whole lot of you were able to pull it off so well is just amazing. And I love the responses from passers-by.

  29. Brilliant bit of social vandalism. Friends and I used to attempt this kind of thing at Disneyland, where we would show up in striped shirts and straw hats, stand on a street corner in Main Street, where several of us played kazoos and harmonicas, while others danced in a spastic fashion in the street. After ten minutes we were asked to leave.

    Grand Central Station. Bravo!

  30. This is the most brilliant idea I’ve ever seen.
    I’ve been wanting to do things like this for years.
    I wish I lived in NY so I could join in.

  31. That was really fantastic.
    Makes me proud to be a human.
    That’s the kind of nonsensical images one would never see in a Muslim country

  32. It’s sort of coincidental that the number on the guy’s cart is 207, the same as the number of agents.

  33. great job guys, maybe I’ll do something like that here..don’t think I could stop from laughing though

  34. Was that Josh Frick at the end saying, “that was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen” – cuz it sure as fuck looked like him, even though he lives in Germantown, MD

  35. Awesome guys, but you weren’t at a postal facility, you were at a train terminal. Grand Central Station is a postal sorting facility, Grand Central Terminal is where all the trains are.

  36. I love these things! Makes me wish I could move across the country. Well, maybe just get the wherewithal to fly out to New York for a stunt sometime…

    I think I’ll subscribe to your RSS feed now, rather than relying on other blogs to post about this stuff. :)

  37. Wow! That is so awesome! People must have totally spun out. I would love to see this sort of thing here in australia.
    2 kudos!

  38. I like this kind of stuff a lot. Hopefully the next one will be in an airport – better have a bail fund set up first though.

  39. This is brilliant. I always forget about you guys then come across a stunt you’ve done every six months or so. Whatever you do, keep it up!

  40. Fabulous! Absolutely Fabulous! It is this kind of thing (and thinking!) which makes New York-> NEW YORK!! – Jesse Califano

  41. I love the worker with the car in the video. He is trying to explain what’s happening and then, just as he asks for help, BAM! it’s over.

    Great event, very nice presentation.

  42. great work,

    amazing video. you should do more like act out an impro. i.e where the actors have there brief but the public have no idea. happened in a restaurant once, a group of actors sat downa nd ate there meal during this they were really nice to all the surrounding tables. they came to pay and then made a big scene about how they didn’t have enough money. the customers they were nice to all chepped in and they got there meal paid for. would have been a joy to watch.

    love it

  43. Awesome. One suggestion: If you do another freezing mission at any point in time, set up a hidden camera somewhere in full view with a long exposure time – then you’ll have an awesome photo with all of the frozen people surrounded by blurs of onlookers.

    (Though I suppose some of the onlookers froze long enough in shock to be captured in said photo.)

  44. This is awesome!!!!!!!

    hopefully vancouver will have one soon :)

    two questions though, for all of the agents do you guys know when to start, and it has been 5 minutes?
    you guys obviously didnt stare at your watch all the time.
    2. how did you KEEP STILL???????

    This is great, keep it up :)

  45. Great idea!

    A similar thing was done in Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Stanno Tutti Bene” (1990) movie. The old grandfather calls his son from the train station, and when the automatic machine answers, everyone in the station, except for himself, freeze in place.

  46. I love the bit, but I really don’t care for the video on this one. The fast editing gives it a very “sound bite” quality and I’d have preferred to see longer sections of raw footage.

    But that’s just one opinion and as I said, the bit was awesome.

  47. Ir’a been said before but “brilliant”! I know I could be a good participant — but in the summer, please.

  48. Christopher Reeve running thru New York in a Superman costume could not stop or distract New Yorkers for even a NY minute- but alas, what has even more power than Superman?

    Once again, performance art rules the day!

  49. This mission was pure magic and absolutely stunning. I can’t stop watching it (or the other missions, spent 8 hours yesterday checking them out) and have shown at least 50 people. Everyone watches jaws dropped, smiling and eyes bright. It must feel amazing to bring that kind of wonder and joy to so many.

    Signed up and ready for the first LA mission!

  50. I was interviewed during this, you can actually hear my voice in the video haha. Probably the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced but me and my friends will never forget it.

  51. I came across this blog while searching for blogs on improv as I am venturing in that wonderful art form. I just watched this video and it freaking awsome. I am a New Yorker by heart and I try to visit as often as I can. I will be coming sometime in June and I would love to participate in one of your missions.

  52. This sort of thing allows the world to be percieved in an entirely new context! Take one of the busiest places in the world…..And make time stand still! You should always get a good reaction from the public, because nobody expects the unexpected! Absolutly inspirational!! Keep up the good work agents!!!

  53. What a great way to expand consciousness and show people that they can think outside of their logical mind.

  54. I found your site 6-8 hours ago and I’m already adicted. This is really great. Should you have any agents in Germany or a mission thereabouts, contact me, please!

  55. So fantastic! And beautiful.
    I’ve been thinking of starting up a chapter of IE here in Vancouver, B.C. and haven’t had the full push yet to go through with it but this has most definitely inspired me.


  56. this was by far the most intriguing thing i have ever seen. great concept. well executed and damn entertaining to watch. just wow!

  57. wow beautiful act, creative weird and smart, keep rocking. And maybe you can export this idea to some different place in the world at the same time.


    I imagine there were more than a few people who were seriously unnerved by this, maybe even a couple who thought it was a manifestation of “The Rapture.” How I would LOVE to participate in something like this.

  59. To Agent Hunter-(should you ever read this):

    You and your girlfriend were my favorite freeze-the beauty with which you flowed back into motion was GENIUS. Bravo to both of you!

  60. I swear that was the BEST stunt ever. And the coverage of this one was magnificent! The camera on the upper floor really gave a fantastic vantage of the scene, and brilliant roving agent work by the mic’ed agent.

    I just sent this to everyone I treasure, it honest to god made my day! Hope you have something good planned in August, so I can perhaps jump in for one on my visit. I would be honored!

    YEE!! THANKS for giving me a killer laugh today!

  61. Frozen Grand Central completely blew me away! I absolutely LOVED it!
    You guys not only made a great video, with incredible acting … but we also considered it some beautiful Art!

  62. Cool idea; although, Shinjuku station is the world’s busiest and second largest. The largest is Nagoya.

    Too bad you can’t do the same in the world’s busiest intersection, Shibuya, in Tokyo (shown in Lost in Translation and Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift).

    Cheers from Japan.

  63. Why not recruit folks who do Tai Chi? When I was in Japan, I stood and watched practitioners for 20 minutes. I’m thinking of taking it up myself. It is beautiful, graceful, stress-relieving, and promotes balance and muscle control.

  64. I just wanna say good work on the Grand Central Station. I just think it’s amazing how a busy place like Grand Central Station where everyone is so impersonal and just in a hurry to get on with their lives decided to stop and interact and connect with other people in order to figure out what’s happening. You guys truly define what public art is!

  65. One of your best! Well done to all who was involved. Freezing for a minute or two in theatre class is hard, but FIVE WHOLE MINUTES? Brilliant poses.

  66. This was so entertaining and fantastic. Each of your “Agents” did a superb job at freezing. This had to take some serious determination! Kudos to all of you for a wonderfully thought out play!

  67. Not really relevant to the event itself, but I hated the musical choice and the whole style of the video. As a means of documenting the event from an insider’s point of view it was fine, but it in no way captured the impact for the audience. The music said “check this out, these people are gonna freak, it’s gonna be so cool!” when it might have been better to underscore the surreality of the event, the bizarre otherworldliness that the witnesses clearly experienced. I found myself envying them, as they received the project’s intended impact. I certainly didn’t.

  68. is so curious how to stop motion in this civilization times annoys and disrupts the “normal” behaved hurry in the cities, is more “supernatual” to stop for a while than be running and rushing :P good idea

  69. WOW! Amazing – both for what you did and also that you didn’t have security agents in a major funk all over you asap!

  70. That is so cool…………. I would really like seeing more of these, oddly enough it ws very entertaining

  71. It’s great, really lovely to see you shake things up so innocently. We’ve been doing that for some 5 years here in UK, with mobile clubbing and mob events but it’s such a great initiative it should be everywhere ; _).

  72. Loved the vid.

    Gotta show it to my kids. They’ll love it too.

    What a great performance piece. Wonder if we could do somthing like that at the mall in our small Ontario town?


  73. just awesome
    i whish i could be part of these things but living in belgium is a little to far away
    maybe time to do this over here

  74. As a former New Yorker, I used to come through Grand Central all the time. I certainly I wish I was there on that day! Fabulous – Loved it!! When are you coming to San Diego?

  75. I got high from watching this. I am thrilled that you guys exist and create this kind of wackiness. Our world needs ittttttt.

    Lookin forward to future missions (and perhaps joining!)

    Thanks to all those involved. Lotsa luck!!

    p.s. the spilled briefcase–brilliant!

  76. -everyone else can get involved in their town at Improv Everywhere Global

    the link isn’t working, please fix it, i want to join here in IT!!

    Great !!

    Best Regards


  77. hallo there! just heard about your project via a friend, and it’s funny, i participated in the same kind of project before during the conflux festival. it’s really amazing because you guys have achieved a larger scale than the one that we did, and the results are beautiful and compelling. it’s nice to see where ideas can go! have a look, if you get a chance, at the PAUSE project that was part of conflux ’06.

  78. This is awesome. You’re so creative and original: it’s like Land Art.
    Let’s call it PEOPLE ART !!

  79. I had a similar experience following the death of the alleged Princess, Diana. I emerged from a toilet in the local mall and everyone was standing still, looking at the floor. I wandered through them thinking about ‘the invasion of the bodysnatchers’ and eventually made a bolt for my car. I had no idea this was a silent minute for the ‘dont need a seatbelt’ ‘princess’.

  80. Absolutely superb ! I too applauded when it was all too soon over. This is creative modern art at its very best. Look forward to more.
    Keep a’trucking ‘Improv Everywhere!’ Love you guys …

  81. La vache !!! Tout simplement génial…
    Cela me rappelle des improvisations d’acteurs dans les wagons du métro, à Paris.
    Cela aussi c’était bluffant !!
    Bravo !

  82. Out of curiosity, what’s the song in the video? If it was created specifically as incidental music for this, is there any chance of it being made available for download?

  83. Is the san francisco mime still active? I think an improv known as “standing on a corner” was performed by emmett grogan et al in the 60s. Loosely written by G.Corso it demonstrates the aquisition of power by doing nothing else but stand in the street – like you guys! Love it!, am gonna look into joning here in uk. L8ters

  84. Bravo…..!!!
    You are damn genius, it’s spectacular art, I watch this video more than 50 times, awesome…..

  85. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS and the video was really well done!!!

    Donated too! This website has brought me way too much entertainment and awesomeness to others to not contribute even a little bit!
    I need to move to a city once I’m out of college xD

  86. Brutal!
    This was one of my favorite just for laughs gags! well, I guess it’s a compliment when they steal your idea right?

  87. This randomly appeared on my gmail rss feed. i never subscribed so i was confused but i clicked on it anyway… and was glad i did this is amazing.

  88. A friend emailed the video to me. I applaude you and the ability to pull this off with so many agents involved. It was wonderful to watch and so creative.

  89. This is, by far, my favorite Improv Everywhere videos. Everyones participation was so good. The actions people froze in, the people gawking, everything worked out fantastically. I really like the couple holding hands in mid stride as well as the man spilling his papers. If some of you guys reading this haven’t seen the fake magician mission, definitely check that one out, that is the funniest one I’ve seen from IE. I saw that there is supposed to be a IE Global site, maybe I can find something out here in Denver. Thanks again IE, you guys ROCK!

  90. hey ppl !!!
    this is the MOST CREATIVE thing i ever seen
    when i saw it at the first time in some TV prog IN ISRAEL i freaked out !!!!
    it was a moment of extaza…
    there is nothing better then see how somebody doing some unbelievable stuff LIKE YOU guys

  91. It says alot about human nature. Excellent idea. Awesome execution. Thanks. Please do it again elsewhere and then compare the reactions.

  92. Wow, I can’t be the only one who thinks this is totally lame and at least 35 years late. What people do to be in a group that desperately try to be “outside the mainstream”. I love how everyone comes hear to claim “freaking out the tourists” and then probably go back to their hipster apartment and complains about crime. Take a good look at each other, you the freaking tourists, you pathetic gentrifying yuppies!

  93. What an awesome thing to do ! wow
    Brigning people together in this world of individuality!
    Hats off!
    Québec Canada

  94. Please do this at my house on Sunday afternoon when all the children, gandchildren and great-grandchildren come to visit. I could stand 5 minutes of no movement and silence.

  95. Every time I watch this, I wonder how you synchronized this without everyone looking at their watches or facing the clock? Did everybody have a phone alarm set to vibrate at the same time?

  96. My biggest worry is that now that this is becoming a popular thing, the next time any group does it, the bystanders will know what’s going and some will be mean. Like pushing people over. Or reaching into their pockets/backpacks/purses and stealing things.

  97. I can’t decide if you agents are foolishly desperate or desparte fools. This is artistic as dogs humping in a busy intersection.

  98. Back in my day the way I would have described this was Pharrout, Cool man, and Really Rad!! I loved it. Just wish I could figure out this PC thingy, to find more of your great humor and skill. Hopefully someone will steer me.

  99. Great entertaintment…..for those who were there. Unfortunately your video timelapsing through the moments when everyone actually froze took almost every bit of the thrill out of watching this on the net. The intitial reactions would be the most socially fascinating. Show the video without that bit of editing and this would be much, much more interesting.

  100. HHHHHHMMMMM. Life goes on . . . .well after five minutes. Brilliant. In this world we inhabit; how perfect to think the very answer we seek was right there in front of us all the time. Art? No question about it. Art imitates life. Or does it. I wonder how many people actually stopped to smell the roses. That is on both sides of that proverbial fence. I guess hope does exist. Nice.

  101. this was so much fun to watch they all did a great job in not moving
    when are you coming to british columbia to do something ?

  102. Totally Awesome ! How can I join? Too funny. What a refreshing joke. The pepople who were present all looked like they enjoyed the heck out of it. Superb job!

  103. Beautiful!! New Yorkers get a bad rap for being rude. I love it, everyone just goes around the agents like they don’t care. I am staying in Iowa right now. If there is a crowd of people anywhere;Iowans will literally push a person out of their way if that person stops. I’ve actually been injured by a woman’s shopping cart. The worst part of it is;she was looking right at me when she did it! I was just in an inconvenient spot in her shopping trail.
    New Yorkers look like fun people! The agents did a beautiful job. Very cool.

  104. Excellent work and not an easy task! I would be a little concerned about pick-pockets now that everyone has seen this sort of thing. Thank goodness no one took advantage of anyone like that! And in NYC no less! Reminded me of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.

  105. I can not believe how many people took pictures of the frozen agents. Oh, to hear them try to explain these pictures to their friends later…

    “Look! They were all frozen!”
    “Uhm, everyone is frozen. It’s a picture.”
    “No, but those people were moving; it’s this guy in the front that wasn’t moving.”
    “Dude, that’s just a picture of a guy looking at a map. You could’ve taken that of anyone; it’d look the same.”
    “I KNOW, BUT, seriously, he was staring at it for like five minutes. He didn’t move.”
    “Maybe he was really lost?”
    “Sigh. Whatever. You had to be there.”
    “Yeah, uh, I guess we did”, while walking away.

  106. This is the absolute coolest people thing ever! Makes everyone wonder and step outside themselves … and in NYC, that’s not easy! Especially Grand Central… genious!!!! Wish I was there… even if I was just an unsuspecting.


  107. I forwarded your Grand Central Photo-Freeze site to my brother, who is presently a Scenic Painter at the Alley Theatre, Houston TX. He smiled through viewing these posted photos and while reading your narrative. Dave especially commented on the humongous scale on which you worked and replied that he would like someday to shake your hand in the professional world.


    P.S. Just wanted you to know a Masters in Fine Arts thinks you are WOW!

  108. what a funny & interesting idea! i participated in a “freeze” like that at a camp once…i feel sorry for the people who stopped with their arms up or holding something up.

  109. crazy beautiful thing was the scale. if 5 or 6 or even 20 people tried to pull this off it would have just been a few nuts trying to get attention. but with 200+ it was other-worldly, as i happened to be an uninformed observer on that day. my friend knew of ie and suggested what was happening.

  110. They just had a quick article about Frozen Grand Central on ABC news, and they said that it happened this past weekend! Well, yeah, this weekend a year ago perhaps. Still funny to see it on TV

  111. TEDBlog just linked you, so expect a rush. :)

    Nice work again. I really like your work. The world needs it.

  112. I don’t know what I would have thought if I was at GC when this happened. Got to start looking out for social experiments – it might be coming to a city near me! Cool video. Like the options the video offers. Never seen that before.

  113. I saw this video in my youth group, and we are planning on doing something like that at the Plaza!!!
    That was awesome!

  114. man, that was lame. What are you planning next — parking a bunch cars in a tunnel to see how badly you can screw up traffic?

  115. That looks like so much fun! I love what it does to the images to. How did you get everyone together for this? Surely not just via the web?

  116. That was awesome and scary. To think if this really happened due to a freak act of nature..Wow! This was an Eye Opener!

  117. well done guys. maybe you can show penn station some love in the future. that place is dying for some creativity/personality

  118. This mission has been email fowarded to me! As soon as I saw “Rob” and “Cheklov” I knew it was ImprovEverywhere and sent a reply email back!

  119. Hi. Brilliant! I’m in voiceovers so I’ve got too much time on my hands. I’d very much like to get involved. Is that possible?

  120. “When Creative minds think of stopping… “, will be also a creative work !
    Gr8 dudes, thanks for sharing this video !

    – imtiyaz.m.s

  121. I showed this to my high school students and they all spontaneously froze in the hall after class. One student pointed out that it was a prank that neither hurt nor humiliated anyone. This was great!

  122. That was fabulous I have never seen any thing like it I thank you for the most exceptional stunt keep up the good work

  123. What creative fun! In Boston, imagine if we had 150 people freeze 10 minutes before a Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell? (or even during a concert, if we wouldn’t get arrested!)

  124. It’s a great gag – wish I’d been there to see it.

    It’s also too bad to see other sites not only hijack your skits for their own site, but remove your opening credit as well (*cough**cough*)

  125. Man, I wish I’d been there! I’d have been speechless and mesmorized myself! Totally awesome, Dudes and Dudettes!

  126. That was absolutly amazing!!! =)

    My cousin was there when it happened and said that it was really cool!!!

  127. Saw this in Trafalgar Square in February. Confused the hell out of me being the ignorant tourist that I was..pretty cool though.

  128. Loved it. Born and raised in NYC and the guy in the cart was funny when he called back and said never mind.

    Great job. Made my week.

  129. me and a bunch of my friends did this at school me and about 30 others frozee for a minute! it was awsome!!

  130. Hey, a few weeks ago in I was driving home from school, listening to our local talk radio in Milwaukee, WI, when they started talking about Grand Central “freezing” now it was negative degrees in Milw. that day, so I assumed that some tracks were frozen over and they couldn’t use them. But then they started talking about how, what they said hundreds of people just froze and commented “that’s IE” evryone in the car thought I was crazy, but a few minutes later they started explaining IE and explaining what y’all do… local radio in Milwaukee…

    good job.

  131. That’s awesomely freaky. It’s like some strange Scifi movie or something

    You all did a wonderful jobs on the variety of natural poses, it looks like something just froze you all in time.

    It was great how everyone cheered, you made their day

  132. Freakin’ epic. So epic, in fact, that we’re trying this at my college. It’s on Thursday and I’ll be sure to tell ya how it went. ;)

  133. Hundreds upon hundreds of comments, and only four or five people replying with “that was so lame” and “you all suck,” et cetera. That really makes me feel better about humanity in general. As for those four or five people, we should pity them. They’re so hurried, or angry, or bitter, or some combination of the three that they can’t even find pleasure in something surreal and unusual. How pathetic.

  134. LOL nice work, you what you should do the same thing in like a supermarket keep making those videos im loving it. What happen to the airport human dominos ???

  135. OMG IS ANYONE ELSE WATCHING SVU?!?! did they tell you guys they were using your idea?? (and will people now assume improv everywhere is that sheep group?)

  136. Haha…. Law & Order tonight just had a scene where people froze in Grand Central.

    This follows a big pillowfight earlier in the episode. I know where someone is getting their ideas…

  137. Hey, SVU just ripped you guys off. Although when I saw they were in Grand Central Station, I knew that was going to happen.

  138. I was watch SVU, too, and started laughing when they all froze. They held it for less than a minute, though. Rookies! And thankfully, Improv Everywhere isn’t headed by a psycho pushing a political agenda.

  139. Yeah, my first thought when they went into Grand Central was “OMG, it’s IE!”. It was pretty awesome, especially how he used it to kidnap Olivia.

  140. Does kissing for five minutes straight get all cold and clammy? I’m intrigued how that went. I’m not sure that that situation would come up a lot in any other circumstance, I mean in what other circumstance would you “still kiss” someone for so long?

  141. I used this for a group project in mass media class, great example of what i was trying to say. u guys did great

  142. I came across this stuff while looking around for a way to get a group to create public scenes, imagine my disappointment when I found out it was already being done and your ideas were 10 times better than mine! This is the best prank I have ever seen. You are inspirational.

    To the people who comment on crime dramas using the skits, I haven’t seen them but I know when I saw this the first thing I thought was, “What an amazing and original idea, that’s so cool” and the second thing I thought was, “What a great opportunity for criminals and …” [several highly destructive and/or evil processes which could take advantage of the situation which will be kept to oneself], no doubt this is what went through the minds of the legal drama authors. That it was seriously cool and then that it was an opportunity for malicious mischief.

    I think it is a complement to the idea creator. Genius. Pure genius.

  143. That is just freaking awesome. So cool. Keep doing more crazy stuff just like this. Seriously. I wish I could have been there.

  144. I can’t find words! This is so cool!. You guys really deserve a prize for that beautiful installment :))

  145. I absolutely loved this stunt! I would have loved to be included in this! Hopefully I will be able to take part in a future event, and, as a newcomer to the site, I’m excited to see more! :)

  146. You guys are brilliant! This is probably one of my favorite pranks ever! Keep up the good work.

  147. Hey, my friends and I pulled this off in downtown Harlan, KY, and OMG, the reactions I got were hilarious! Like, I was talking with this guy in front of a mailbox, and we were just talking, and I pulled out my soda to drink, and I froze right in the middle of the conversation for about 5 minutes. At first he was shocked, but after a while, he caught on, but this black guy on a bike came around the corner, he slows down…and gets off his bike right in front of me. He looks around, he sees me and my friends all frozen, and he’s turning around and around, and in a southern accent, he goes, “What the hell?”
    Also, I did this at a picnic with some other people in KY, and I was at a water cooler, with my cup right under the nozzle, and a half eaten hot dog in my other hand. I freeze, and like the kids behind me are trying to push me out of the way, and they had no idea what was going on. They freaked out. Like, one kid was like, “Hey Mom? Come here, this guy’s not moving! Is this natural?” And so they yell in my ear, wave their hands in front of my face, and it took all I had to not move or laugh. Then, the funny thing was, they moved my hand and arms away from the water cooler, and I still stayed locked in place, and then once I heard the signal, I got a cup of lemonade and walked away. My leader was right next to me, and she was like, “Sam! Sam! Are you having a seizure?? Are you ok??” And then she was talking with this other woman about calling 911, until she realized, and she was like, “Oh, he’s just playing a game, it’s natural.”

  148. I just stumbled upon this, and it is so amazing! I can’t believe how some of you held your poses and expressions for 5 minutes. Bravo! I will be passing this on!

  149. I have been watching flash mobs all day today b/c I am amazed by them and I honestly can say that this was the best one out there… HANDS DOWN. Flash Ninja mob was kinda funny… but this one… takes the cake man. Just the look on peoples faces is freaking awesome! Well organized and executed! Nice!

  150. I think this would be absolutely amazing to do! I’m thinking of getting a bunch of kids I go to college with and do a freeze in one of the malls or Lowes or Target or Walmart. We don’t have a really cool train station like Manhattan does.

  151. Awesome, I would like to do it too on my country (Spain) but there isn’t any organization like Improveverywhere.

    If you grow up, make it international!!

  152. OMG that was funni!!! I think that you guys dooooo a great job. this is the BESTEST website eva!!!!!!! COME TO PERTH!!!!!!!!

  153. On July 25th, 2008 we pulled together 320 participants to create the first Freeze in Israel, right on the beach in Tel Aviv. A prime junction for shoppers, beachgoers, and joggers alike, the boardwalk there is one of the social hubs of the city.

    The freeze was an enormous success. All of the agents demonstrated incredible integrity and creativity, generating pricless reactions that speak for themselves on the (rather impressive) video:


  154. that was probably one of the most amazing actors’ stunts i’ve ever seen. i would have LOVED to be a part of this or at least seen it. i might just have to pull a mini-freeze in the middle of our local mall and see what happens. WOW

  155. There is something wonderfully…human in this. This is more art than improv! Well done to all involved!

  156. increible, maestroooooooooooooooo!!!
    yo amo este tipo de cosas pero en mi pais (Chile)
    jamás ocurrira algo asi, y si fuera por mi
    me la pasaria haciendo cosas extrañas
    me encanta ver la reacción de la gente.

    Solo puedo decir….MAESTROOOOO!!

  157. hey! this is just awsome!!

    I hope you guy’s will visit The Netherlands to!! then my friends and I can join!! (we’re around 14 lol)

  158. very cool indeed.
    Big applause to the one who thought it out.
    Bigger applause for those participating.
    And also a small applause to YOU if you can make it through more than 200 comments (didn’t count them)


  159. That was intelligently and creatively done. It was amazing to see how organized everyone posed. I think the shock and awe says it all. It spoke to me spiritually… my pastor and I are doing an emotionally healthy spirituality initiative within our congregation (Christian based) and its incredible how well you portrayed the problem with society today and the lack of pause in their lives to be with GOD. We are from NYC and understand completely the reactions received by everyone around them… they couldn’t comprehend people just stopping for a moment, still, silent, as you should be in the presence of GOD. It is by far one of the most difficult things we can do and goes against our very being, especially New Yorkers. I applaud you and those who participated… Hope to see more in the future. God Bless.

  160. omg i cant get enough of this one, ive been trying to freeze in place in my house and my lil sis was like WTF? lol
    but i cant hold it for that long idk how you guys did it it looks like you didnt even blink!
    u guys are awesome so glad i found your videos made my day!

  161. Ohh yes! OMG I love the agent who dropped his papers.. that gave a real nice touch and the couple holding hands that was freaking AMAZING. I love how the people stopped poked and just went wild at the end. That was ORIGINAL!


  162. i traced to here through the our chinese QQ website news. i like this mission best. it is really very creative and funny. i do hope i would be the one of the frozen person, hehe~~~~~~~~

  163. This was an amazing day… So much fun and so many great reactions. The only down side was losing my redsox head band. Boo.

  164. This is by FAR the coolest thing ever… people must have thought, even for a split second, that they were in some type of time/space continuum glitch… the kids in teh video looked scared..

    I AM DEFINITELY DOWN FOR DOING ONE OF THESE>. i like 30 minutes from NYC

  165. Lol That’s awesome! ^_^ I was at Grand Central Station just a few days ago with my family. It’d be cool if something like this happened again while I was there.

  166. where’s the backstory? I don’t find this all that exciting but was hoping to read something of the inspiration or motivation behind the idea. The act itself is a bit mundane and forgettable.

  167. I just saw the video from another site. And i clicked thru to find you here.

    This was amazing. I bet you all the people who were commenting were torists. Most New Yorkers wouldn’t really have noticed we all have tunnel vision :)

    I live in NYC and i’m signing up to join now :)

  168. I love it how Agent Todd started to clap and look all innocent when everyone started moving again =P

  169. I love how strangers in NYC were actually sharing conversations with one another. Glad to see this will be happening in Phoenix this coming Friday!


  170. lol. maybe u guys should try that wit Penn Station too? in the concourses and subway stations?

  171. OMG i could never stand still that long.
    hey, who likes this idea: a whole bunch
    of improv everywhere agents walk in to a wal-mart,
    in scuba suits.

  172. I would love to see a combination of this one and the best buy prank, send agents into do the best buy prank but have them freeze in place.

  173. This I think the best of all the IMPROV scenes played out by willing participants. Great job! I wish there would be more of these (freeze) things done. I am from Indianapolis…and we could use some serious loosening up here.

  174. This is a primary example of why we are a nation of Peurile morons.This was so inovative that it left all of the young dufus’s grabbing for their phones and snapping away,like they never had witnessed someone standing perfectly still for more than a minute.A suggestion for another “art event” Take all the cell phones away from all in the scene ,Lock them down in the station for 48 hours and return to see them flopping around the floor like fish out of water having phone withdrawl….

  175. If you watch the UK sci-fi tv show ‘Torchwood,’ in their latest series they had five consecutive episodes that tell one story titled, “Children of Earth.” In the story all of the children around the world suddenly freeze for a short period of time. Then they do it again on several other occasions. Just check out the main trailer on YouTube at this link.

    Day 1 trailers
    Day 2 trailers
    Day 3 trailers
    Day 4 trailers
    Day 5 trailers

  176. I have your book and read about this, it’s absolutly hilarious! Some friends and me have done this but only in a local mall. People did touch us and try to ask what was going on. It was pretty fun! You guys are very clever.

  177. We did this today at Ottawa downtown. xD It was amazing. People were looking at us funny. My friend and I were looking up the ceiling window thing and I was pointing up. People kept on looking to see what we were looking at and wondering what the hell was going on. xD
    Twas epic.

  178. A bit of harmless fun never hurt anyone. Its great to see that people are able to get together to make others happy at least for a few minutes. Would have loved to be there to see it.

  179. so i can not ues Chinese there

    uh~~~~it is amazing and i wound like to see it in china.
    may it can come true~

    A China girl

  180. Ahoj, já sem Jirka a strašn? se mi to líbí. D?láme to u nás v LBC taky. (Hello, I’m George. I’m from the Czech republic. Your work fascinate me! I will do it same with my friends in our city.

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