Who You Gonna Call?

For our latest mission, we brought the movie Ghostbusters to life in the reading room of The New York Public Library at 42 Street. The 1984 movie begins with a scene in the very same room, so we figured it was time for the Ghostbusters to make an encore appearance. Enjoy the video first and then go behind-the-scenes with the photos and report below.

Agents Hines, Purnell, Lathan, and Scordelis
The New York Public Library approached us about a month ago and asked if we would want to stage an Improv Everywhere mission on their property. The library is facing serious budget cuts, and they thought having us do something awesome there might serve to remind people of how great the NYPL is. We couldn’t say no to the opportunity to do something in their gorgeous, 100 year-old Rose Main Reading Room.

Panoramic photo by David Iliff
It actually wasn’t the first time we staged something on the NYPL grounds. Back in 2002, we held a ridiculous protest claiming to be a group called Writers Against Piracy. That mission was, of course, unauthorized. It was nice to get invited by the library this time around and to have their permission to set up our cameras. When brainstorming ideas for the mission, I immediately thought of Ghostbusters. The NYPL is heavily featured in the beginning of the movie, opening with a crane shot of the lion statue outside and cutting to the reading room. The thought of bringing the Ghostbusters back to the library 25 years later cracked me up.

Agent Lathan and his binocular glasses

Agent Purnell puts on his fake mustache

Showing the ghosts a map of the reading room
We met on the steps out front and got organized. Agent Adams came up with a plan to spread our team of six camera people discreetly around the room. Most of our operators used DSLR cameras, which allowed them to blend in perfectly with the constant stream of tourists taking photos of the historic room. I went over all of the blocking and timing with the actors. They then headed inside to a staging area and got into costume.

Agent Rodgers was the first ghost to enter. He grabbed a book off of a shelf on the way in and started heading for a seat. He was quickly stopped by a security guard, who had no idea what was going on.

Guard: Sir, what are you doing?
Rodgers: Um… haunting the library.

The guard allowed him to take a seat, and then went over to the information desk to laugh about it with another employee.

Rodgers takes his seat. Notice the girl in pink’s reaction (behind the girl in white)
The first ghost got some nice reactions from the folks he sat by, but they eventually went back to working when it became clear the ghost was just going to sit and read a book. That is, until ghost number two entered.

Agent Walker enters as the second ghost
(note the same guard reacting in the background)

Ghost working in the middle of the crowd

Closeup of the ghost’s computer screen
After about five minutes, the final ghost made his entrance. He walked down the aisle and headed over to the dictionary stand.

Agent Vernon
With three ghosts spread out in the reading room, who you gonna call?

Ghostbusters surveying the room

Tourists and library patrons take notice (and photos!) of the Ghostbusters

The first ghost reads, unaware of the danger he’s in
As soon as the Ghostbusters spotted the ghosts, Agent Lathan shouted, “Get ’em!”

The ghost leaps to his feet
All three ghosts leapt up and immediately started running around and making ghost noises.

Agent Hines finds the computer-using ghost
While the ghost-phase of the mission was pretty low-key, as soon as the chase started the room came alive. The room full of library patrons and tourists all started laughing, smiling, and frantically getting out their cameras and camera phones.

It was cool to see tables full of people taking off their headphones and laughing with each other.

Agent Scordelis follows a ghost out the door
The whole chase lasted less than a minute, as we didn’t want to be too disruptive to the people trying to get their work done. The Ghostbusters weren’t able to get their hands on the ghosts and ended up following them out of the reading room. After they left, the room broke out in applause.

The Ghostbusters chase wasn’t quite over yet. They followed the ghosts down the stairs and out the front door of the building!

The chase continues down Fifth Avenue
The Ghostbusters rounded the corner onto 42nd Street and disappeared out of view in pursuit of the ghosts. My guess is that they were successful, as the Ghostbusters were spotted later in the day in good spirits posing for a photo with a young fan.

Mission Accomplished.


Watch other Movies In Real Life episodes:


    • The only thing that would have VASTLY improved this is if you had contacted some of those uber-Ghostbusters fans out there who have absolutely PERFECT costumes and proton pack props, etc. Those things light up, make sounds, etc.

      The fact that you guys just wore off-the-shelf Halloween costumes with inflatable proton packs kinda’ knocked it down a notch or two, but it was still fun!

      • My feelings, too. In fact, the guy who owns the comics shop I frequent owns an astounding GB outfit, like Scott said, with lights and all.

        It may not jibe with the IE style, but why not do it again? I’m mostly concerned with, “Is this enough to boost the NYPL?”

        Nice work, tho.

      • I agree. Using high quality replicas would have made it even more side-splitting than it already was. I’m sure there ought to be 4 GB-uberfans in NY that would have been willing to lend them for the video. An equal number of ghosts to ghostbusters to make the chase look more convincing and the ghosts throwing some paper poltergeist-style would have turned up the epicness even more.
        Brilliant video, nevertheless!! xD

    • This may sound stupid but I have to say I actually cry during some of your missions. Usually it starts from laughing so hard but the real reason is because you have the ability to touch people in such a short amount of time. Making people laugh, bringing smiles to unknown people’s faces, brightening people’s days, and more.
      You never know what someone is going through. The person who is rude to you on the street, may have just found out she had 3 months to live. The person who cut you in line at the store checkout may be on her way to take something to her grandfather who is on his deathbed.
      When you pull these missions, you may never know how it made someone happy in a tough time in their life and it makes everyone enjoy each others company in laughing at the show. Thanks for such a great job.

      • I’m glad it’s not just me who sometimes cries during these! I don’t know why, I guess it’s because it just makes me so happy that you’d take the time and effort to do something out of the ordinary, to make people laugh and to brighten up strangers’ days. Keep up the good work :-)

  1. This is awesome! I would have loved to be there! Ghostbusters, the library… and isn’t it cool to be disrupt the quiet a bit? Excellent job!

  2. Wait, wait, wait, wait. So you’re telling me that the one day I get invited to NYC by friends and have to take the bus alone and arrive hours before they do and decide to wait for them at the library is the day you decide to hold your mission that I would have seen (a life goal) if I only turned left instead of right into the other room? How incredible unlucky of me. I did here the odd ghost sounds, shuffling, and applause from the other side, but now that I hear that it was an Improv Everywhere mission, I feel kind of heartbroken but not enough to compliment you on yet another good performance. I just wish fate hda turned me in the other direction.

      • I know. At least a personal reply from you is a plus. :) Thanks, and I await the next mission (I’ll at least try to make the next MP3 Experiment, if there is one.)

    • Aww that really sucks… hopefully fate will guide you to another mission someday! I want the same to happen to me!

    • I can understand how you feel! That IS unfortunate. But they say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, so since you missed this one, maybe it will strike you the next time?

      I really hope I get to see an Improv playing out one of these days too!

  3. I love that you caught some patron very clearly mouthing the words “What the F—” around the 1:00/1:05 minute mark.

  4. Awesome apparitions, but if Improv Is Everywhere, will your next mission please be in Pittsboro!? We need some ethereal intervention down here…

    • I guess I have to point out that the Library scene only has 3 Ghostbusters in it because its before Winston is hired and they all went in civvies as it was pre getting the uniforms or proton packs as well.

  5. AHHH, JEALOUS. Haha, wish even more than usual that I’d managed to witness this. Fantastic idea, and it looks like it was enjoyed by all!

  6. FABULOUS. My heartiest congrats and applause! Dang, I wish I lived in NY. Or, you know, within 6000 miles of it.

  7. From Rhode Island: love it….love it…love it!! Thanks for making us all take a break in our day to just sit back and laugh!! Keep ’em coming.

  8. You guys are the Best!! You always have me smiling & cracking up even when I’m not in NY. Thank you!

  9. Greate Mission!

    Though I have to admit, I was kind of waiting for silly string or water guns and a line about crossing the streams once I saw the chase go outside…

  10. dude. i laughed, then swooned with admiration, then when the ‘don’t close the book on nypl’ came up i actually cried. way to go!

    • ME TOO! She was pointing and was like MOM!!!!! :) man that was so funny….i live in New York…I only wish I could see you guys live one day

  11. Great mission guys. Speaking from the UK, if you did this in one of our main libraries you’d probable be arrested for terrorism – seriously.

  12. How Cool. Im impressed with the guard that didnt know what was happening.. allowing it to happen. ” Haunting the library ” Awesome. But nothing worse than one guy in a position of authority stopping the fun. Glad it didnt happen ;-)

  13. The Ghostbuster in the glasses bears an astonishing resemblance to Harold Ramis. Well done!

    • Now there’s a cool idea. Why not recreate some of the scenes from the Men In Black films? Alien postal workers or other street weirdness! But maybe New Yorkers couldn’t bat an eyelid? :D

  14. You could have, at least, reached out to the community and had some guys with authentic looking equipment. I feel I have lost 3 1/2 minutes of my life.

    • There’s always that one person who, when faced with something wonderful, feels the need to say something negative. Nice work, NJUKGB.

      Maybe for your next act, you can proofread the Bible or suggest ways to ‘improve’ the Mona Lisa.

  15. This is great except for one thing–the Rubies costumes? Really, guys? I’ve seen what this group is capable of and you could have done way better than that.

  16. That was pretty cool guys but I have to agree with a couple of the other comments on using the Rubies costumes. Given you had permission I’m sure you could have got accurate costumes to use. Still nicely done.

  17. You are AWESOME. Always making me smile during a rough week at work. I dream about participating in one of your scenes someday!

  18. So amazing! This was awesome to wake up to. You guys should feel so proud about helpin out the library in such a huge way.

  19. “spotted later in the day in good spirits” — I see what you did there. :-)

  20. Genius! I laughed so hard that I cried. The libraries need the attention, too. Bravo!! Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Harold Ramis would be proud! (And, to a lesser extent, Ernie Hudson, who was not actually in the opening scene.)

  21. This made my day! Sitting in class, with the flu, bored out of my mind – I was so excited to see this up! I laughed so loud! Thanks for this – it made a flu-nasty day so much better. GREAT JOB!

  22. Look, it’s Rob!!!! Agent Lathan is the coolest agent EVAR!!!!

    Gotta love the reactions in this one. I loved the guy who mouthed “WTF?!”, that was classic! This mission goes back to the roots of Improv Everywhere. It goes to show that not every mission has to be a Flash Mob!

  23. Is NO one concerned that terrorists might use this idea to bring bombs into a public place? How easy would that be?

    • @Darlene, I think we should totally give props to any terrorist who makes use of an elaboratiely staged recreation of an insanely famous comedy from the mid 80’s. May I suggest, perhaps attacking our golfcourses while disgused as gopher-hating groundskeepers. Then perhaps, the Icelandic volcano was a nefarious terrorist scheme/Tribute to Joe Vs The Volcano.

      • I wasn’t thinking of the entire thing being done by some whacko, but just the fact that one guy managed to enter the library totally covered and was not stopped and questioned. But I guess if a terrorist wanted to blow up a public library, bringing in a book bag would be just as effective and less noticeable. Sorry. I liked the “show” – just a bit paranoid these days, I guess.

  24. Great job! I was wondering how you got away with something like this in a library until I read that you were invited. So for your next mission, how are you going to get a 50-story stay-puff marshmallow man to walk down the streets of Manhattan?

    • Mr. Stay Puft is 100 feet tall, you don’t know WTF you’re talking about. Don’t encourage these guys. See a REAL GHOSTBUSTER look up Ray Stantz on facebook, look at My GB gear and uniforms.

  25. Haha! I see how you created similar but not exact copy of theme to avoid copyright violation!

  26. Boy these guys are Extremely retarded. Not only have they made a mockery of the Ghostbusters, they also made up their own scene. Ghostbusters started in the basement of the NYPL, NOT the Rose reading room. Those four morons look like Crap, you idiots want to see Real GB gear and Uniforms look up Ray Stantz on facebook, and see the GB gear he built and the Uniforms he wears. These four guys have Insulted what the Ghostbusters stand for and what the NYPL stands for, all around Garbage. Next time Call The REAL GHOSTBUSTERS not pretenders to the legacy. Those who like this trash aren’t any better this is an INSULT to Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson as well as what made the movie special.The Ghostbusters don’t wear crap halloween suits and blow up packs nor do they wear damn sneakers. I Doubt these four schmucks even believer in the paranormal, Putting on a crap suit and running around like a moron at the library doesn’t make you a GHOSTBUSTER. Surely the NYPL could have picked BETTER LOOKING people than those four, hey man Venkman wasn’t bald you guys look NOTHING like you should you suck.

    • I concur with Rory!

      You should really be ashamed of yourselves, Improv Everywhere. Those ghosts did NOT LOOK REAL AT ALL. I didn’t believe for a minute that the library was haunted! And it’s obvious the library patrons weren’t fooled either. You could have used laser projectors and fog machines, at least!

      And those were OBVIOUSLY NOT Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. What, you couldn’t take a minute to call them up in 1984 and have them time travel to 2010 to be a part of your prank? Get a grip!

      -1 out of 5 stars! I just hope you don’t ruin any other classic movies like Indiana Jones, or Heaven forbid, Star Wars!

      • Thankyou Jason for agreeing with me!

        Iheartimproveverywhere is a fucking moron who obviously enjoys half-assed bullshit. Does he LOVE these four guys so much that he’s willing to promote idiocy??

        Jason, if you like check out my Ray Stantz facebook. You’ll see me wearing my gray uniform and feel free to check out my GB gear pics. You’ll see quite a contrast to the bullshit that these four guys put on. Thankyou again Jason.

    • I completely agree with this posting. These weren’t the “Real” Ghostbusters. There should have been a guy in a gorilla costume. Ooooh and a little pink flying bat. I mean they are the only Ghostbusters worth mentioning. Not like those johnny-come-lately movie guys.

      • But not just any gorilla, of course. Tracy the gorilla (not to mention Bob Burns) would be necessary. *g*

    • I am so disappointed by what I’m seeing on this page. Just how culturally insensitive are all of you?! The blatant stereotyping shown by the predominantly uniform appearance you chose for this mission, as well as the comments that neglect even simple acknowledgement of the most egregious crime inherent in it, reveal your shallow natures.

      Most of my friends do not wear sneakers, nor are they white; in fact, many are even translucent! This world would be a far better place if everyone would just make the effort to learn about those around them and accept us as we are.

      A. P. Parition

      P.S. To the agent searching for answers, I know afterlife can be hard. We have a support group that meets Wednesdays at 6 pm; we would love to see you there.

      • Casper – It’s been a long time! How have you been? How are those crazy uncles of yours? I miss you! You know where to find me…

  27. Great one! I wish I could have been there when the second ghost walked in! So funny!

    Also, the first ghost sat next to the hottest girl ever.

    • Hey Dummy, GB3 release date has NOT been confirmed by any cast members yet. Damn you’re as dumb as the wannabe Ghostbusters. that NYPL video is TOTAL BS. Damn you and those who think like you are a drain on society and common sense. Get a Life.

      • I like how Rory’s definition of “having a life” involves obsession over a movie that came out 25 years ago. Fortunately, the definition of “having a life” for most of us on this website involves being able to laugh at a joke.

  28. Okay, WTH? This is a MAJOR INSULT to The GHOSTBUSTERS Franchise! This is the cheapest most UNPROFESSIONAL looking video I have EVER seen. The ONLY one who looks believeable (if he wasn’t in a yellow jumpsuit and sneakers) is their mock-Egon.

    Honestly what the heck were you guys thinking? Also if your gonna have a GENERIC GHOST ATLEAST do it right and not have just a white sheet with holes for eyes, make his ENTIRE outfit WHITE! It looks better instead of cheaply done! This is a LAUGHING STOCK! Technically this scene isn’t even the FIRST scene in the movie! The Librarian getting scared in the Basement by an UNSEEN Ghost is the FIRST scene in the movie! So you guys already mucked this up! If you’re GONNA do things right DO YOUR HOMEWORK!!!!!!!

    Spend money on REAL Jumpsuits, REAL Gear (or it’s not a new concept MAKE YOUR OWN!), and WEAR BOOTS! MILITARY STYLE BOOTS! Not effin sneakers!!!!!!!

    In closing, The Effect? I’ll Tell You What The Effect is: IT’S PISSING ME OFF!

    • What were they thinking? How about, “Let’s make some people laugh today!” That sounds pretty good to me, but I guess public joy just isn’t your thing.

      • There’s a differance between public joy and public embarassment and these guys were an EMBARASSMENT!!!!
        Even the people I know have a MUCH better improv group than these guys. Atleast they LOOK like and have the same SUITS as The GHOSTBUSTERS!

        I’m sorry, actually no I’m NOT sorry but these guys SUCK! If there is one thing these guys DID succeed at it was making a mockery of one of the GREATEST movies from the 80s.

    • get the heck off of this site if you cant take a fricking joke, you dont need to be watching there videos if you cant appreciate the public joy they bring, so go screw yourself asshole

  29. this was so cute. ignore the naysayers/die hard fan boys (cilla i’m lookin at you!). i’ve never been in the ny public library, even though i’ve lived in nyc for 2 years or so now. i’ll go now, for sure, after being reminded of what a cool place it is. so the video totally had its intended effect and totally made me laugh. cilla – it’s supposed to be amusing, not a perfect remake of the movie. :) have a laugh!

  30. After Watching the movie about 10 times beating the game an equal 10 times and wearing nothing but my ghostbuster shirt and hat for about a week… This just brought the spirit of the ghostbusters Up

  31. I was wearing a ghostbusters shirt when i got on the site. you guys never cease to amaze me.

  32. What a shame. I was reading through the comments and was about to add a comment on how not one person had something negative to say – which I thought was amazing – when along came NJUKGB, Rory, Cilla et al. Why can’t someone just try to have some fun and make others laugh! I think it’s a great goal to get others to laugh – put the negativity aside and have fun – even for 10 minutes. It’s great for the soul. Thanks to Improv Everywhere for making people sit up, take notice, and laugh out loud.

    • Agreed. Awesome mission. It’s unfortunate to see all the negativity in the comments. I don’t come here for that. That said, props on this mission. Can’t wait to see more.

  33. Hey if we could all stop what we are doing in this crazed world especially in NY City, and smile, laugh and lighten up a bit this great city would be a better place, outside of the politians who are ruining it for everyone. Very well done.

  34. This is so funny ! Just loved it ! You’ve done a really great job.

    And for the “academic-freak-too-much-fanatic” : If they would have made this in the basement, well NOBODY would have seen it. Take that. What would have been the point then ? A perfect remake is not funny. Innovation is better.

    Mission accomplie !

  35. I just don’t understand how people cant seem to enjoy this for what it is. This is not intended to be a imitation of the first scene of GB or a quality re-shoot of an older amazing cult-classic movie, but instead a funny improv stunt where people will recognize what was going on.

    In no way was Improv intending on convincing people that there was real ghosts in the Library (although they did convince one) and I personally believe that the lack of technology they use on a frequent basis is what makes them great.

    Once you look at it for what it is, the general humor and simplicity, its just amazing. Leave your negativity behind and enjoy the show, if not, your welcome to never return to IE again.

    • Applaud Agent J-Mo. This is exactly what I was thinking when I read the negative comments.

      I immediately went to the NYCL site and signed a letter to continue funding after I saw this.

      Bravo Improvisarians!

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. Some people don’t realise how that this is good humour.

  36. I absolutely LOVE you guys!!! You take what would be an otherwise typical and possibly boring day and make it fun filled and comical!


  37. This was great. But I saw a news article that did not recognize the scene from the movie. Thats because it was not in the movie. But more of a re-enactment from the recent Ghostbusters Video game. It was ALOT different than on the game of course. But thats where I remember that room from.

  38. Very funny wish i was there that day when filming it, although the library scene was filmed in LA at a library out there not in nyc. but it was a great improv

  39. AHHHH!!!!! The regret I feel for not having been there is staggering. I’m a huge IE fan, AND a huge Ghostbusters fan. I hope you put those costumes to use again real soon! Great job, as usual, guys.

  40. I watch everything you guys do…and it makes me jealous I’m on the wrong coast.

    I had the privilege of visiting the set of “Ghostbusters” a number of times, starting with the morning they shot the scene in the reading room (I was a beyond-eager 17 year old NYU freshman who had the balls to call up the Steadicam operator on the movie and he invited me to visit the set). I was too far away to hear the dialogue but I remember Harold Ramis sitting cross-legged under the table with the stethoscope. Later, I got much closer for the interrogation of the librarian and watched Bill Murray do 17 totally different readings of the line “back off man–I’m a scientist”. Amazing, amazing experience.

    Thanks IE for reviving those memories and for all the laughs over the years!

  41. Great job guys!
    It forces me to giggle on a rainy morning here in Hamburg – Germany.
    I find it very creative and hope that there is a positive effekt for the NYPL and the project of bringing back the Ghostbusters on the big screen in part III. Maybe it’s an inspiration and incentive for Bill Murray ;-)

    Thanks for a great morning!!!

    Greatings from Hamburg / Germany

  42. Being away from the City and thus not being able to take part, every mission you post still makes the best of my days! Cuz… WHO YOU GONNA CALL???

  43. I had a horrible day at work..
    Untill I saw this video..
    I haven’t laugh this hard in days..

  44. Wonderful. simply wonderful. ghosts, ghosbusters, ghost watchers, “the whole catastrophe” as Zorba the Greek would say.More libraries w/more ‘romps’ into one’s own narrative!

  45. Has someone set up some sort of meta Improv Everywhere group to conduct trolling raids on the comments of IE pages? If so, well done! The bizarre comments here made me laugh almost as much as the video itself, the idea that there are these Ghostbuster fanboys who were drawn out of the woodwork to criticize the implementation of this. Hilarious.

    • I’m with you! “You don’t look like the REAL Ghostbusters!, etc., etc.” Ha ha. Priceless.

  46. Great job, gang, this one was really well done. I am left wondering what happened to the ghost’s laptop (maybe since it was a ‘sanctioned’ mission from the NYPL someone on staff took it away) and as for that last photo you’ve got there o a kid holding Ray’s neutrona wand, I have to remind us all what Egon told a hotel doorman (eagerly played by a young Bobby Brown): “A proton pack is not a toy.”

    • About 20 minutes after we did this, I realized we had left it in the room. I ran upstairs to get it, and thankfully it was still there. People were scared to steal a haunted laptop I guess.

  47. Personally, I think the fact that the NYPL invited you in, and had the sense of humor to laugh at themselves in this time of short funding is FANTASTIC. Kudos, props, and stars to all of you for making a fun video and raising awareness of the situation libraries across the world are being confronted with.
    Thank you so much!

  48. So… a bunch of people in white burqas and a bunch of guys with satchels and strange weapons invade the New York City Library to chase the people in the burqas around… and nobody got shot by Homeland Security?

  49. The point is that the NY library system must not be neglected to the point that it’s haunted by the ghosts of researchers past. In a recession, funding for institutions like libraries should be increased, not cut! NYC officials must reconsider the $37 million cut.

  50. EPIC! You see. That’s all the world needs. Entertainment, enjoyment and laughter. That’s all. Thanks, Ghostbusters.

  51. T’was awesome.
    But since you had almost everything you needed, you could’ve sparked something more.
    Like, the busters is almost an inch from the ghosts on some part. Lights or something, since you had the “authoritaee!”.
    But yeah, made me smile.

  52. Genius!!! True IE!! They will never forget that day. They took off their headphones and were all joined together for just one moment. Few things can ever do that…

  53. Great mission, but am I the only one who worried that running down the streets of NYC with even obviously fake firearms could have ended badly? I mean, the library was cleared, but the streets? That was brave. And crazy. And I love how some people can’t resist pointing fingers and saying that they could have done it better. Nevermind the bollocks, here’s Improv Everywhere.

  54. Charlie, this is just great. I’ve spent enough time working in NYC to realize that many people put on a facade to handle being surrounded by so many people. Heck, I’m a gregarious southerner, but I learned how to do it. But if something breaks through, people are people, and they have a sense of humor. You guys continually break through, and it’s frequently hilarious. As it was here. The reaction shots made it work. The crowd seemed to “get it” pretty quickly, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope the library was taking up an “offering” at the door.

  55. charlie todd,

    sexy kneecaps, gorgeous brain ;) the only man who could convince me to stand on the subway in smiley face knickers and my sam brown gel bag.

    (hi charlie! still doing awesome work 5 years later :)

  56. This is amazing! I needed to see this-brought a smile to my face, tears to my eyes, and loud laughter that brought others into the room to watch it with me! Great job!

  57. Another great execution guys! New York Public Library is an ideal setting for this set up! Really funny :) I wish you can do these great improvs here in Toronto!

  58. Great, best one of late. But I do miss the days when the missions were a lot more ‘dangerous’. Back in the time when you had to hide cameras in bags and boxes, and were frequently asked to leave. Those missions were the most exciting. Since you’ve gone ‘legit’ (ie, with the book, mostly) you’ve done a lot of preparation with the venue, hiding cameras, getting permission, etc. I think it really kills the fun, and just makes you look like another crappy prank TV show.

    • I don’t think that’s entirely fair. Our next video, coming out next month is entirely unauthorized and we definitely risked repercussions. Recent unauthorized missions include putting 20 people on the subway in skin-colored underwear, putting 3,000 people on the subway in regular underwear, sneaking camera equipment into Madison Square Garden and stealing lower level seats, and pretending to be Salvation Army workers. That’s just the past six months.

      As our notoriety grows, institutions are more likely to invite us to use their venues. We will continue to examine opportunities on a case by case basis. In this case, we realized that we could not effectively stage this mission without permission– there are too many guards in that room. And the opportunity was just too awesome to turn down.

  59. Not the best of your videos but worth the three minutes. I loved that you helped support the library though….

    And just a sidenote: Ernie Hudson was not a Ghostbuster during this scene but why be picky =)

  60. Mission accomplished. Great work; I was so close to the Library when it happened, only a few blocks away! I wish I’d seen you.

  61. Hehehe. That’s a messege to public that you work for fun and for fun only :p Sad enough I’m not american :(

  62. I’m from the tv network 141tv and we would love to air your videos on our network. Check our network out and we hope you will be interested in working with us. Thank you.

  63. My name is EGON and Harold Ramis stole it from me! (We went to the same high school-only I graduated way before he did.) But the Harold lookalike was spot on!

  64. I need to move to NYC sfm! You can only get away with this stuff in NYC. People already expect things to be crazy – down in the south – if something like this happened – there’d be riots! *how dare someone do something out of the ordinary*

    Another brilliant job!

  65. Everyone ought to send the NYC Public Library a donation just for having the incredible creativity to publish their issue in such a funny way! Great job Ghostbusters!

  66. Awwww, you guys stole my idea for next halloween at my university! :P
    Oh well, I forgive you. It was great that you did this, I’m very pleased. ^^

  67. I saw this on TV! They said it was a promotional stunt for the library, so I didn’t even think to think that it was an IE mission. GREAT job, you guys!

  68. any chance of IE coming to NH? and if it does, how do you join it or the one in boston?
    i was thrilled to discover this group, i love doing things like this :)

  69. Good vid, not your best but still good.

    @2:27 is that an agent in a green shirt filming or just some random guy that had a video camera at the library that day?


  70. I enjoyed (again) your newest project. Please keep on going with these projects. Always good to see the (happy and surprised) faces of the bystanders. One of my wishes is that you guys would do at least one mission on Madeira Island (Portugal) :)

  71. Dear Charlie Todd,

    I noticed that one ghost left behind his laptop when he fled the scene. I understand that even after death, souls still care very much about possessions. May I trust that his property was gathered up by some worthy individual? A psychic medium, perhaps? What were the mechanics of this?

  72. Hi Improv ppls,

    I’ve got to say my favourite photo out of them was the one you commented on everyone on the tables taking off their head phones and talk…that sounds like some awesome convo starters good on ya team


  73. I love this and can’t stop watching it! Genius! One of my favorite scenes is when you “ghosts” are in full-frame running down the steps of the library toward the screen. I’m amazed that you guys are so agile, with just those eyeholes for vision and all that material swirling around you. I’d’ve tripped and killed myself in the melee.

    The simple costumes are just great, wouldn’t want too much detail to distract from all the fun.

  74. Um, this totally made my morning in Sao Paulo, Brasil. When I get on the super crowded metro today, I will think, hey, maybe one day there’ll be a no pants ride in Sampa.

  75. Fun stuff! I heart the NYPL.

    I’m curious whether you guys had to get clearance from the movie studio to use the music? It sounded like a newly-produced version of the “Ghostbusters” theme done for this video, but since it was the same theme music…? I’d like to think the studio looked at your YouTube channel, etc and gave their blessing without charging you guys, but then again, I’ve worked at the studios and I know how they can be.

    BTW, I’m not passing any judgment if in fact you just went ahead and did the music without clearing it. I’m just curious… and of course, I don’t want you guys to get in any legal entanglements over something like that.

    Keep up the good work, IE!

    • That would be ironic. Or not actually ironic but whatever people mean when they say ironic before Alanis Morrisette made everyone unsure about their use of the word. I remember hearing that Ray Parker Jr. faced some legal action because the Ghostbusters theme was too similar to the Huey Lewis song “I Want a New Drug.”
      At any rate, great mission (as usual), great to do something for the library too! I love IE! Haters gonna hate, like rain on your wedding day…

  76. i swear we saw you guys when we were in NYC May 8th around Times Square… but I don’t see a date that this occurred for sure….. LOVE IT!!!!

  77. This may sound stupid but I have to say I actually cry during some of your missions. Usually it starts from laughing so hard but the real reason is because you have the ability to touch people in such a short amount of time. Making people laugh, bringing smiles to unknown people’s faces, brightening people’s days, and more.
    You never know what someone is going through. The person who is rude to you on the street, may have just found out she had 3 months to live. The person who cut you in line at the store checkout may be on her way to take something to her grandfather who is on his deathbed.
    When you pull these missions, you may never know how it made someone happy in a tough time in their life and it makes everyone enjoy each others company in laughing at the show. Thanks for such a great job.

  78. How you guys keep coming up with stuff that is so truly fun and funny I will never know. Just when I think that you couldn’t possibly do anything funnier than the previous missions you do it again! Makes me laugh my behinder off every time you post your latest mission. Awesome stuff!!

  79. If u read the intro the NYPL invited IE in to do this improv; so i assumed all the security issues were taken care of prior.

    Great job IE!

  80. Brilliant. Really made my day. I’m laughing at work where, in all semblance of professionalism, I shouldn’t be–but that makes it all the more funny. Great work!