Jar Jar Subway Car: April Fool’s

Photo by Katie Sokoler

If you haven’t figured it out by now, the Jar Jar Subway Car “mission gone wrong” was faked for April Fool’s Day. The three guys who “attacked” our actor in the Jar Jar Binks costume were actually our friends from The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Everything was completely staged, and everyone on the train was told what was going on beforehand.

On Monday we’ll post a behind-the-scenes video that will show how the fake mission came together, as well as some funny outtakes. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you won’t miss it.

As with the Best Funeral Ever and the No Underwear Subway Ride, many people believed the video to be real. In order to prevent people from spoiling the joke, I disabled comments on the post on our site, but don’t worry, there are hundreds of comments you can read on our Facebook page.

And here’s the original video in case you missed it:

(View it larger on YouTube) | Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Produced by Charlie Todd and Matt Adams

UPDATE: We’ve posted the behind-the-scenes video.

Read the behind-the-scenes report and see the photos.


  1. Wow, you had me fooled… which is saying something, because I wasn’t fooled by your last two April Fool’s Day videos.

    I guess because it’s such a realistic possibility that some guys would react badly to a prank.

    Did you do a “reveal” so quickly because you weren’t getting the worried/concerned reactions your were hoping for?

    • Nope, we always reveal at the end of the day on April 1.

      And every year people are always worried, concerned, angry, outraged, etc. It’s part of the fun.

      • I don’t see why it’s funny to make people concerned and upset… You guys have REALLY disappointed me on this one :S I was one of your biggest fans until this, but this just disgusts me, it’s very mean-spirited and not funny AT ALL :S You’ve lost my support with this one…

        • You forgot to say “April Fools” Holly–that’s the only way your post makes any sense.

          • April fools! There I said it 4 u holly, ur welcome lol Im a fan of improveverywhere all the way! U guys just keep making my day :{D

          • My mom died on april 1st. She collapsed on the floor. I phoned 911 but they thought it was a prank. I always thought that if it wasn’t for this stupid day my mom would still be alive.

            APRIL FOOLS!

  2. You guys really know how to bring out the crazies–or were the ugly comments I read earlier part of the joke?

    So glad your actor is okay–I was fooled…o_0

  3. I have a pretty good sense of humor, but when you fake a person getting hurt, and I see a child in the subway car watching, you lose me.

    • Read what I wrote. Everyone on the subway knew what was happening. We announced it before each take that we were shooting a short film and we were all friends. All children and parents on the train were fully aware of what was happening.

      • I get that everyone was informed and all, but to beat someone up, even fake beat someone up, in front of a kid and say it was all in good fun tends to give out a bad message :/

        Also, I hope you get the word out to *everyone who watched this video* that it was a fake, or your actors might end up accused of assult while walking down the street, by people who have only seen the original.

        I liked your previous April Fools – once you realised it was a joke, it was pretty funny because if it had been real, it would’ve been tasteless. It was a relief! But this one, there’s no feeling of relief, just that it was a bad idea all together :/

        • As someone who works with kids on a daily basis, I can reassure you that it probably won’t affect kids that much. Not that we should expose them to lots of violence, but in this sort of situation, it would be fine because they know fighting is bad and would see the video as showing what one *shouldn’t* do. The people being violent are perceived as the “bad guys” to a child. And they wouldn’t want to imitate that.

  4. Didn’t fool me for a second because you wouldn’t post it. Butttttt if I ever saw Jar Jar, I would beat him down too! Seriously not the funniest thing, even though giggle worthy.

  5. How cool to find this out! I was afraid the negative element in society was trying to ruin all the good things you guys do! :)

  6. Damnit this was the only April Fools joke I fell for. Kudos guys and the strangers on the subway as well because they sold it brilliantly.

    • Thanks! Three of the “strangers” were also friends of ours. And everyone else either just played along and laughed, or ignored us.

    • Drunken: Same here. I was so aggravated later in the day when a friend pointed out my gullibility. Grr. Well played, Charlie and IE. Well played! LOL

  7. Ha, I figured it out it was your friends from The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater BEFORE I saw this post. lol.

  8. I was at work and in the middle of posting this on FB with furious, righteous indignation when my coffee kicked in and I realized it was probably an April Fool’s joke. Personally, I thought it was pretty damn funny guys as April Fool jokes go……but, I have to agree with Jason, I probably would’ve joined in Jar Jar’s beatdown!!! ;- ) Kudos to the actor for donning the costume!

  9. Do you really think a little child can make a conscious decision to watch someone getting kicked and punched ‘for fun’? What about when that child goes out and does this to his classmates? This is how our society is desensitized to violence. I am the parent of a bullied child. This is the senseless violence that children are exposed to daily at home, in school. I thought you were better than that.

    • I’m pretty sure obvious fake punching between friends laughing and having a good time didn’t harm the one kid on the train too much. His mom sitting next to him certainly didn’t give a shit.

    • Well, yeah actually. Do you think that no one should ever be allowed to portray violence in any way? That would be way more unreasonable than anything IA has ever done. Just because the 90-second video was cut in such a way that it looked serious doesn’t mean that it was like that the whole time.

      Also, there’s pretty good evidence that shows that kids who are bullied typically have overprotective parents; I think this is probably the case here. Kids, regardless of what you seem to think, actually are people, and can make conscious decisions without their mothers or other adults telling them what to think. And even that doesn’t apply here, as the kid was explicitly told that they were just pretending to hit the guy. Simply never exposing a child to even 90 seconds of pretend violence in an attempt to protect them is ridiculous.

  10. Gah! For the last two years, I’ve been trying to catch the April Fool’s Day joke before the reveal, but you guys are just way too fast!

  11. This isn’t humour. At all. Regardless of whether the child knew what was happening, it is still “faux violence” of a situation that happens in New York City at least once a day. It happens for reasons far, far less valid than getting in someone’s face too. Something has simple as the colour of a shirt, or the perceived sexual orientation of someone.

    How can you justify this as a humourous “joke”? Honestly. Why is it funny when realistically it could happen to any of you on ANY of your missions?

    • I’m pretty sure the funny part was that one guy was in a Jar Jar Binks costume and another guy was in a Darth Maul costume with a plastic lightsaber.

    • Yeah, seeing this a couple days after a video of someone picking a fight on the subway for people eating…
      This wasn’t funny at all.

      • uh… can you post a link to the fight in the subway over eating video. That would be hilarious. The world spins, and people live. Things happen and if you want to get all hell bent out of shape about it, you are going to live a short and miserable existence.

  12. Gah! You got me on this one. ‘Course, it was still pretty early on March 31st when I saw it, ’cause of the time zones. Still, glad it wasn’t real!

  13. Funny, but you still didn’t get me! Seriously, guys, just keep trying, I’m still waiting for something to top Best Funeral Ever!

      • I have some qualms with your initial prank, but I have more qualms with the way that comments criticizing the spirit of this video are being responded to.

        The majority of people commenting on your website are your fans (or at least were your fans). Your sarcastic responses come off as mean-spirited and are not what I thought ImprovEverywhere was about. I’ll probably keep watching your videos because overall I respect what you do and think you make the world a brighter place for the people involved in your community, but this whole situation has just made me uncomfortable.

  14. Ok, good one, but it really did sadden me that you lost your touch.
    Make sure this is labeled joke, and not stupidity. You have done such great work.

  15. Yeah, I didn’t think it was real, sorry. Not many jump someone unprovoked when there’s an actual camera directly there, nor would it make sense to yell for the cameras to be turned off when someone is being attacked since that’s evidence you’d want, also while we’re at it if someone says “get out of my face” you don’t really get back in it unless you are looking for a fight of some kind. Just a few of my tiny opinions/first reactions while watching it. I do LOVE many of your other videos, this one not so much, but to each their own!

  16. I thought it was funny. Not as cool as some previous april fools pranks but funny. I love you guys. You bring joy and laughter into my life with every new adventure. Rock on IE!

  17. im still a fan of you guys
    but ya not funny
    seriously u think u could come up with something better
    like have ur actors pull pranks and jokes on random people
    like just for laughs kinda thing

    this just bored me and annoyed me

  18. as someone that’s witnessed a couple actual subway muggings, I fail to see any humor in this. line was crossed when you asked for people’s help. hope nothing like this ever happens during a real stunt cause I’m pretty confident that you’ll get a lot less help and support. karma’s a bitch.

    even knowing it’s a joke, it just isn’t funny. worst video you’ve put out. at least prior april fools videos were creative & funny.

    • watching the video left me feeling horrible.. dont see any humour at all – the opposite .. very disappointed in improv :( aftre loving what they do >>>>>

  19. How was anybody fooled by this? Seriously. It was posted at midnight on April Fools Day. That just screams joke. If it was real I would have expected it to be a day before or after. And really I think it was in bad taste. Just stupid.

  20. Fake events are funny. Especially when they have a component of satire or deadpan. I think that this was so plausible, that it just missed the humor element. Can’t blame people for being critical. Sorry. But I still love you guys and your efforts.

  21. I, too, was fooled by this one… for about 2 minutes. I felt outraged as I got further into the post, and then, just as I was about to move on to the next news item in my RSS list, it suddenly dawned on me what date it was…

    Even though this year’s joke can’t quite top Best Funeral Ever (as far as April 1 missions goes), it still ranks up there somewhere.

    I’ll be looking forward to the behind-the-scenes footage/story on this. :-)

  22. You almost had me, but there were one things that tipped me off that it wasn’t real. When the actor dressed up as Jar Jar started touching that “random guy” and it really unprofessional and rude and I know you wouldn’t do something like that. Then I looked at the date. :)

    Wen Darth Maul came through the doors I just lost it, it was so silly. :D

    Great job can’t wait to participate in another IE this summer!

    • Agreed with Sarah with an h, thats definitely why I wouldn’t have bought it. Jar Jar should not have touched him. It’s like a Haunted House, don’t touch the patron, too much drama potential with it. If the “thug” wasn’t in on it,Jar Jar wouldn’t have touched him.

  23. After watching this video, because of the feelings of disappointment that followed, I checked back on the last IE video that really made me laugh. It was the Where’s Rob posted back in 2009! I LOVE your old stuff, it’s all really good, but the newer stuff just doesn’t seem that great. There’s not an awful lot of originality! Pretending to beat someone up on a subway ride? Come on! That’s not interesting! If I were brainstorming ideas for an event, that would be on the first draft of ideas that ended up in the bin, not the final project. It feels like this was something thrown together because you knew people would expect *something* for April Fools.

    This isn’t the IE I know and love. So, if this is the sort of thing I’m going to expect from IE in the future, then please let me know so I can unsubscribe. Otherwise, perhaps reassess why you started IE and reconnect to that, so that maybe I, and other disappointed fans out there, can continue watching and laughing at what was once a great website.

    • You seriously want the IE people to evaluate their future missions to your unknown standards and then take the time to tell you specifically “why yes, I do believe that we will be bringing things up to par by the standards you’ve set, sorry to have inconvenienced you”? I’m pretty sure unsubscribing is your decision.

      • Not MY standards. Their previous standards. Which have obviously been forgotten over the years. But if these are new standards that have “evolved” to create these new videos that I don’t find funny, I’ll be heading for new grounds.

  24. Wait, wait, I’m confused. That was not really Jar Jar and Darth Maul?

    You guys just lost a fan.

  25. If I ran into a crowded mall and started yelling “Help!! Can someone help!? My girlfriend was just hit by a car and the driver sped off! Can someone please take us to the hospital?!” and then when someone follows me outside I’m like, “ha hah, just kidding, SUCKER!” I’d look like a huge ass. That’s kinda how this looks.

    All you did was screw with people’s compassion and the only people who were pranked where those who were legitimately concerned (regardless of whether or not they’re a bit slow for not being able to figure it out), which makes them the brunt of the joke. The whole message comes across as “You have compassion? You must be a fool.”

    Badly done.

    • I TOTALLY agree with you, I was so upset by this I was almost in tears, and then to find out it’s all a joke?! Charlie, you used to be my hero, now you just make me want to vomit :S :(

    • Agreed.

      I thought it was real, despite the date. And the reason I thought it was real was because I couldn’t believe that IE would create something so unimaginative, mean-spirited, manipulative and plain stupid. There was nothing funny or clever about this prank.

      The good news is that you’ve lowered the bar the bar for next year.

  26. All I can hope is that this video teaches real New Yorkers to be less tolerant of the transplants, yuppies, and art-student type who are trying to homogenize our city. I would really like to see one of these actors being beat down by real gang members because it happens to real people in real life and silly white people like to emulate such things in good humor. Oh how quaint. Lets press charges. :) Go back to your own state.

    • Really? You’re turning this into a race issue? All types of people participate in IE missions. Notice one of the “thugs” from UCB wasn’t a “silly white person.” This state is for anyone who wants to live in it. Unfortunately, that includes you.

      • Sorry, but when I said “silly white person”, that meant you. But I know a lot of white people live in NYC. But they would be able to distinguish between what I meant and what you understood. This state is for anyone who wants to live in it, but if you ever get mugged (which I hope you do,) maybe you’ll see what I mean. :) Here’s a drink to your health.

        • Jojo is clearly a troll. But that shouldn’t excuse the fact that he is also a race-baiting, xenophobic, cowardly asshole making violent threats on a comedy site. You suck Jojo. I’m glad I don’t know you in the real world. You must be a really unpleasant sort to spend time with. Good luck with the whole being toolbox thing.

  27. It’s pretty amazing that there are people who are actually TOO liberal for even the Improv Everywhere folks, LOL.

    Giving them a hard time for faking a beating? Come on.

    It’s a joke. I wish I would’ve seen the video before the reveal to know my initial reaction, but I with hindsight, I didn’t buy it at all. I thought the Darth Maul touch was awesome.


    Your friendly neighborhood Tea Partier

    (and Improv Everywhere fan)

  28. I also think this was tasteless. There is nothing funny about someone being violently attacked. A LOT of kids are going to watch this, and even if it is labeled “joke” they are being taught that this kind of thing is funny. I think it’s disgusting and am so disappointed.

  29. I suspected it was staged because of the way the bald guy reacted to Jar-Jar. It wasn’t authentic annoyance, and escalated too quickly.
    This struck me wrong because it seemed to perpetuate the image of heavy, blue-collar-ish men as ignorant jerks who only know how to use violence to solve things. In fact, your own post calls them “idiots.”
    It’s just more of the same “I’m-a-hipster-Manhattanite-who’s-better-than-average-Joe-so-I-look-down-on-anyone-who-isn’t-as-‘enlighted’-as-I-am” attitude.
    It’s just plain wrong for _any_ class of people to be unfairly stereotyped.

    • I’m pretty sure they’re stereotyping guys who are quick to get violent when someone infiltrates their personal bubble as… jerks who will beat the living hell out of you if you get too close.

    • Didn’t you… just stereotype these actors as “blue collar idiots”?

      I didn’t even consider the stereotype until you mentioned it. Now I wonder how you look at people…

  30. Seems to me like April 1 is a perfect opportunity to shake off a few lame, uptight fans.

    This was awesome. Keep it up!

  31. When I first saw this, i knew it was a joke. But at first I was disappointed. It wasn’t *nearly* as good as the last two. But then I started reading people’s comments on youtube, and they were pretty funny. Also, the 1911 setting made the video hysterical! So, well done. It would be hard to top last years anyway. And to everyone whining about the kid, as someone who works with kids and is quite familiar with child psychology, I can assure you that if anything, it taught the kid that violence is bad. But more likely, it had no effect. I mean, to the kid, you guys were complete strangers! Who ever heard of a kid learning a life lesson that alters his life, from people he has never met, and has no emotional attachments to?

  32. I reposted your video to my blog, and shared it on Facebook, TWICE, because I was so upset that someone would attack one of you guys, and would have done anything to help you catch them. April Fool’s jokes are supposed to be funny and make the person falling for them feel foolish. You didn’t “fool” anyone, you just upset a lot of people, lied to them, got them riled up on YOUR behalf, and then, even when you realized that people went out of their way to help you and express concern for you, you just laughed in their — no, I mean OUR — faces and walked away. Fuck you, I’m done. There is currently a search on for people who bashed a gay man in the West Village a few nights ago. Video has been released and the police are looking for leads. I wonder how many people who see that video on Facebook, where it is widely circulating, will think it’s a stupid joke and skip right past it because you guys chose to act like assholes. Color me disgusted.

    • I think why this joke has turned some people off so much is how it has played on people’s sense of compassion. I know some will say, “hey, chill out, it’s just a joke, and if you didn’t realize it was a joke, then you’re an idiot.”

      Either you’re not smart enough to have had catch on it was not real, or you’re too uptight to just accept after the fact that it was a joke.

      I don’t buy into those arguments, because the whole thing wasn’t even funny. If you’re going to be mean spirited at least be funny, and I’m a huge IE fan, since the days before there was even a youtube account for them. I remember watching and reading about their exploits on their website and was so happy when they put up a youtube account I could subscribe to.

  33. I’ll just leave some of the Facebook comments here and be on my way then.

    “I didn’t want to believe that you guys would make a joke about one of your actors being attacked, and I’m unimpressed that you chose to do so. I like your light-hearted spreading of joy far better. This was neither fun nor entertaining, it was just hurtful, concerning, and ultimately disappointing.”

    “I fell for it but I was actually really apalled by the fact that Jar Jar thought that HE was the victim. I was hoping that he would have got in trouble for being an idiot.”

    “The reason the fake funeral was funny was because it was so over the top that there was no it way it would have possibly been staged for real (unless the team was just monumentally stupid). Assault while out on a mission is a very real possibility, especially in a city like New York, where citizens aren’t exactly well known for their calm demeanor and willingness to tolerate strangers getting in their face.

    I’ve got to fall on the “not funny” side of this coin – you guys do awesome work, but I don’t see what’s so funny about messages of concern from your fans.”

    “I think this was an awful prank to pull. To make it up to those who hated the joke, you guys have to make another improve! One with dancing!”

    “After the fact I do think it’s funny. Watching it last night I found it was disturbing”

    “There’s absolutely nothing funny about street crime or violence. This was in the poorest taste.”

    “Yea, to go with what everyone else was saying that’s really not a smart thing to do let alone cool or funny. Someone could easily have gotten hurt or something. We don’t fuck around like that in NY.”

    “This just proves how hard it is for a comedic website to pull off an April Fools joke.”

    “Not cool guys, I was seriously worried about the guy in the costume. Plus if somebody actually did recognize those three guys they could have called the cops and gotten them into big trouble. I’ve got not problem with you guys making a scene for laughs, but faking violence in a public place it not a good idea, especially since the news seems to always have stories about bullying and attacks like this.”

    “I don’t follow the movie/TV/video game violence comparisons. You go into those with something called a “willing suspension of disbelief” – you know it isn’t real, that there are stuntmen and precautions being taken and that people are rarely hurt.

    But, IE builds all their scenes in reality – what we see on the videos is usually the real reactions of the people that happen to be part of the prank at the time. It’s not unreasonable to think that an actual assault could take place and that’s why people are upset – it’s not that they don’t have a sense of humor. It’s that they love this group and were worried when they thought a part of the team had been injured. Finding out that IE has manipulated that love for a prank would make anyone upset.”

    “Saw this in the morning at about 6:30. Terrible way to start the day and the comments that people posted made me feel even worse. Don’t really feel like it fit the spirit of Improv Everywhere. Hope next year’s April Fools is better. ”

    Seriously though, I hope the team uses all this negative feedback in a positive way. You’re an AWESOME team that pulls off some really great stuff. Don’t channel that creativity into stunts that make people feel emotionally manipulated. Shows like Punk’d already do that FAR too well. IE is better than that – you’re all about making people’s otherwise ordinary lives a little brighter. Keep doing what we all know you’re good at, and leave the tasteless pranks to Kutcher.

  34. i t wasnmt the best, but i was sorta fooled too. even if it was “out of touch”, that doesn’t mean they have “lost their touch”. can any of you guys honestly say that every idea is a good idea? you can’t please everyone. to me, having one not as great idea doesn’t mean they should lose any respect or admiration.

    and with the kid thing, i’m sure if the mother didn’t think her kid could properly understand what was actually going on she would have said so and gotten off the bus. people fake fight and wrestle all the time, that doesn’t mean they are subjecting someone to violence. having a clear understanding of what’s happening can easily keep a kid from being mistaught about things, i’m sure they were very careful over their explanation.

  35. The funniest part to me was that even after every other post said “April Fools,” people were still convinced it wasn’t a joke and were very concerned. Personally, I’ve been looking forward to what IE would do on April 1st for a few weeks, so I was ready.
    On a side note, I have a six-year-old girl. She loves IE and she knows that play fighting is not real and nothing to be concerned about. We play fight frequently and it’s fun and silly.

  36. You totally got me! The funny thing is that, before the joke part even started I was totally disappointed by how shitty the concept of the Jar Jar subway car was…

    Also, I’m sure that once the behind the scenes and the outtakes will give a better idea of what the kid on the subway car actually saw- which I’m sure wasn’t as horrible or convincing as what we saw.

    No underwear subway is still my favorite though!

  37. you fooled me i was hoping to see a sequel thts what i get for not being careful today hhahah all well u shuld do a second star wars vid though

  38. Sorry, but this one wasn’t at all funny. I love your stuff, but this one just didn’t cut it for me.

  39. I won’t lie, when I first watched it at 2AM April 1st I totally fell for it and felt really bad for you guys. I just couldn’t believe a mission had gone this wrong. But now finally after reading all the comments and posts, I get that it was a joke. But I don’t really see why we have to be hating on it. I mean sure these things happen in real life, and yes we need to set a good example to kids in terms of violence, but hey, I enjoyed it and I think you guys did a good job. So keep doing what you do! I always enjoy the videos!

  40. I could tell it was staged because the “thugs” had unusually clean language. Dead giveaway.
    Still, well done. I love a good April Fools mystery.

  41. The joke had me fooled, but I don’t understand how it’s supposed to be funny. I didn’t laugh when I thought it was real, and now that I know it was a joke, I don’t find it funny now. I just feel really manipulated.

  42. in a time when hate crimes plague the city, for a few moments you made me scared and horrified at my fellow NYers. If I didn’t see the bottom link, or was in a hurry this would have further weighed on me. Tasteless to the many victims actually assaulted for being easy targets. I mean, assault is always hilarious right?

  43. I appreciate that people don’t want to see someone truly hurt, fine. But I’d be very surprised if anyone here has NEVER laughed at a depiction of comedic violence whether that was Looney Toons (that poor coyote!) or the Three Stooges, or just someone slipping on some ice. And if the video got an emotional reaction from you, that’s just good acting, writing, and directing. Every time I watch the IE “Suicidal Jumper” who is only 3 feet off the ground, whenever his ‘wife’ shows up on the scene and starts begging him not to jump I always get teary eyed! Seriously, I do! She just does such a great job of acting I can’t help but feel emotional. (And quite a few people agreed with me when I’d posted about this on their youtube video of it).

    So, it’s fine if you didn’t think it was funny, no joke out there is funny to everyone, but don’t go around acting like no one ever laughs at a video depicting violence. And it’s your own fault if you didn’t realize it was an April Fools Day joke. Every year IE does something for April 1st and it’s harder each year for them to fool people. So give them some credit for doing a good job, say you didn’t personally find it funny, and then go enjoy some of their other videos.

    • There’s a difference between “movie” violence and real violence. Cartoon and movies are no big deal – we know they aren’t real and that precautions are are taken to make sure no one is hurt.

      The fake suicide jumper was funny because he’s only three feet off the ground – even if he does fall, the worst he’ll come away with is a scrape on the knee. But it isn’t funny when he’s on a thin ledge six stories off the ground. The funny comes from the juxtaposition of the silliness of the situation against how seriously the actors are taking it.

      That’s why this prank isn’t funny – that juxtaposition is gone. If it WAS a real situation, no one would be laughing. The fact that it is such a plausible scenario is what’s leaving so many people feeling emotionally manipulated by the team. It’s not the portrayal of violence that most people are so upset by.

      The responses by Charlie aren’t helping much either – I can see why some are shrugging it off and moving on. I don’t see why the other side of this coin has so much trouble accepting that some fans don’t like having their emotions twisted and then being laughed at for caring so much. As an above poster said: “All you did was screw with people’s compassion and the only people who were pranked where those who were legitimately concerned ……which makes them the brunt of the joke. The whole message comes across as “You have compassion? You must be a fool.”

      The entire thing just comes off as incredibly mean-spirited towards their fans. It’s really rather sad all around on this one :(

  44. I always like what you guys do. This time not so much…. you lost me on it. At the same time it was a good April Fools joke if a little mean spirited. In truth I’m not sure how I feel besides the fact I didn’t like it. I guess part of improv is it push on what we consider as the norm. I bet some people don’t like us walking around in boxers on the train. So to end my ramble… I will just say….. ehhh.

  45. I can’t knock a good April Fool’s joke or the willingness to try something different, but I think this just misses the mark. An April Fool’s joke should be something looney, not violent. Anyway, I did have a suspicion something was off. Why? Watch jar jar. The dude’s body is suggestive. He is making a conscious effort to interact with the guys who tossed jar jar like he didn’t belong there, unlike, you know, the editors of the phantom menace.

  46. Yeah, I’m still trying to decide if I want to unsubscribe from your RSS feed or not. I saw this last night (West Coast) and didn’t make the April fools connection. Even if I hadn’t been fooled, I think this one was in really poor taste. I felt bad for the guy (a little, I mean, he was wearing a Jar Jar Binks outfit) and I was a little worried that some people out there would be so willin to just beat someone up like that and then ditch the scene. Really disappointed. Next year, I’d rather see Rick Astley (or David Hasselhoff) walk out and start singing in the middle of the presentation or something.

  47. I think to some degree this can be viewed as the actors playing out their biggest fear and then laughing at it, sort of a release valve if you will.

    I also think people are taking both sides a little too seriously.

    The joke may not have been as good as last years, and it may have been a little too realistic. But really, there’s a point to just let it go. If you think that it was too over the top, post once and politely say so, but don’t try to start a flame war.

    On the other side, respect the fact that while a joke, it may affect others differently than you. Everyone has a different perspective. It someone says that they did not like it respect that; it does not mean you have to agree. So don’t start a flame war either.

  48. You guys are:

    1. Not real improv and
    2. Not everywhere – only in NYC it seems

    but more important… you are not funny. Ever. You are a bunch of attention starved hipsters that wouldn’t know real improv or acting if it hit you square in the jaw. Ashton Kutcher’s “PUNKT” has more creativity than this senseless junk. Go back to waiting tables and do us all a favor.

    • And good on you for not giving these attention-starved, unfunny hipsters any attention…oh wait, you watched their videos and commented on their website. So what does that make you?

  49. You should append your FAQ. It currently says:

    Why do you do this?

    Improv Everywhere is, at its core, about having fun. We’re big believers in “organized fun”. Our missions are a fun source of entertainment for the participants, those who happen to see us live, and those who read this website. We get satisfaction from coming up with an awesome idea and making it come to life. In the process we hopefully bring excitement to otherwise unexciting locales and give strangers a unique experience and a great story to tell. We’re out to prove that a prank doesn’t have to involve humiliation or embarrassment; it can simply be about making someone laugh, smile, or stop to notice the world around them.

    You should add: “Unless it’s April Fool’s day, then we don’t mind making our fans feel uncomfortable by pretending one of us was attacked in public. Because we think that’s funny.”

  50. The thing that tipped me off was how Jar Jar kept bothering those guys, even though they told him to step away. You guys are usually so conscientious about not going too far that it seemed…out of character for one of your agents to keep bugging an innocent.

    And come on, you really think a kid is going to be damaged by seeing this? Give kids some credit. I played tons of violent video games and watched tons of violent movies when I was young and other than those two bodies in that abandoned warehouse in Cleveland, I’ve never hurt anyone.

  51. Hi there,

    to be honest, when I read the title of the mission, I had the idea, that you maybe wanted to make a statement about the most annoying and misinvented character in Star Wars history.
    But when I saw the beginning of the video, I wasn’t fooled for one second.
    The reason why?
    It was the fact, that Jar Jar provoked the three men in a way, you guys from IE normally never ever do. Outsiders and passengers always have the decision to participate, look away, ignore you or maybe even walk away.
    All those weren’t possible the way Jar Jar reacted.

    Still a nice idea and at least Jar Jar got, what he deserved. ;-)


  52. Wow. I feel kind of stupid for not realizing before now what assholes you guys are. Maybe next year you can fake a rape, just in case there’s anybody who still doesn’t get it.

    • Please ignore Patrick’s comment. He’s always trying to get people to stage fake rape scenes. I’ve seen him post on other forums. That’s what he’s into.

  53. Not a fan of this prank. In DC, where we had a rash of subway beatings and fights, it’s struck a little too close to home.

    Loved your other stunts, and even participated in no underwear rides here – but this was just of poor taste.

  54. I already know that is fake yesterday because you, guys start to tease them.
    How do you justify yourself? It is completely your fault. What comes in mind is how selfish Americans are! You always justify yourself and never say sorry.
    If you keep doing such a stupid hobby, you had better realize you will be attacked in the future if you try to tease people.

  55. That kid is now going to sell her BODY for COKE, HEROIN, and SPEED thanks to the VIOLENCE you exposed her to. Improv Everywhere? More like INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER Everywhere. THANKS GUYS for causing the TSUNAMI IN JAPAN.

  56. So I watched this video on April 1st and was disappointed. It was pretty obvious to me that it was all faked just because of the day it was posted, but that isn’t why I’m a little upset.

    I’ve watched all your videos and more times than not I laugh a lot. This one just wasn’t very funny. The costumes sucked and the overall plot was lame. I think you guys can do a lot better, hopefully you prove me right.

  57. When will people understand the April fools videos are for fooling the viewers (which it succeed in for a lot of people) and the resulting reactions, not the prank itself.

    Or maybe I’m wrong and some of you find the concept of crashing a funeral or riding a public subway with your johnson out downright hilarious.

  58. I kinda of thought it was a joke at the beginning but the interuption and seach of the suspects had me “on the fence”. Very good. Of course, I’m happy it was just a joke! PS What a lucky kid, being part of the role play was great fun and he’ll have an amusing story to tell for the rest of his life!

  59. As usual, the best part about the prank was the people who fell for it. Although, I have to admit, the closing of comments made me pause.

    Nice job!! :-)

  60. I am an ardent fan of Improv Everywhere, as is my 90 year old mother-in-law. I gave her your book for Christmas. So, you can imagine our horror upon viewing that video. And to find out it was an April Fool’s joke? How tasteless. You’ve lost your edge. Shame on you.

  61. Before I was pretty disappointed, now I’m hurt and a little offended at the comment left by Charlie in response to Ryan: “Seems to me like April 1 is a perfect opportunity to shake off a few lame, uptight fans” that he “couldn’t have said it better [him]self”. If thats genuinely how you view your fans, then you simply don’t deserve to have any. I posted this on Facebook earlier, but I want to repeat it:

    Apart from the tasteless nature of the joke, this one was just unoriginal. “Fake beating someone up on a subway car”? Lame. I was looking forward to seeing what IE came up with for April Fools this year and am dissapointed, despite figuring out this was a joke early on. Here’s why:
    1. It was unoriginal, badly thought out and obviously thrown together,
    2. It was in bad taste – I got a very bad vibe from it which hasn’t been present in any of your previous videos (It also doesn’t fit in at ALL with your description of yourself in your FAQ)
    3. You concerned a LOT of people who were *genuinely worried for another human being* and laughed in their faces. That shows an awful lack of disrespect for your fans, many of which are very loyal to you. Put some originality into your acts, THINK about the message you’re trying to put out there and above all else, treat your fans with respect. These people cared enough about you to be worried when you could’ve been hurt

    I was once a loyal Improv Everywhere fan that loved everything you did, but now I’m just hurt at how I’m being treated by the very people I used to look up to. If you’re glad to be rid of a fan like me, then so be it. I want to rant enough to make you realise that you’ve actually hurt a lot of fans here, but honestly I don’t think I’m going to get through to you. So, goodbye IE, I enjoyed it while it lasted, its just a shame you lost your way.

    • Sarah,

      1. It was not thrown together. I came up with the idea about 11 months ago and spent lots of time working on it, as did other members of IE. I wanted to make it look real, and I think I succeeded. As for it being unoriginal, I have never seen a fake fight video with ridiculous costumes released as an April Fool’s prank. Maybe you have. The IE mission “Jar Jar Subway Car” would definitely not be original. It would be a very lame, lesser sequel to Star Wars Subway Car. That’s why we would never do that mission. And to me, and hopefully most of our fans, the idea that we would even attempt this idea is hilarious. Maybe you do not have a familiarity with the character Jar Jar Binks, but the notion that we would do a sincere prank with the most hated character from Star Wars is part of the joke.

      2. Taste is of course subjective. I’m sorry you found it to be in bad taste. I personally think faking someone getting shoved on the subway is not in bad taste. He was not knifed. There was no blood. There was no mention of serious injury. He was shoved to the ground.

      3. In terms of the genuine concern– I did not say the actor was seriously hurt. I did not say he was in the hospital. I did not say he needed help with medical bills. I simply said he wanted to press charges. That’s also part of the joke. The fact that the actor, who obviously repeatedly provoked the “attackers” and got in their personal space, wants to press charges for being shoved is ridiculous.

      April 1st is the one day of the year where we do something that is totally out of character for IE. We do missions year round, so it doesn’t make sense to just do a normal mission on 4/1. Instead, we aim to fool our fans by making them believe something over-the-top happened. Every year there are those who get fooled and are offended, and there are also those who are not fooled but are still upset. Some were offended by the fake funeral (how dare you make light of funerals! how dare you film a comedy bit in a cemetery!) Some were offended by No Underwear (I know it was fake but it still tasteless and lewd!) So I’m sorry you fell in the category of people who had a bad reaction to our 4/1 video. Clearly you are not alone. But it’s not new. It’s not us losing our way. It’s what we’ve done every year on the day for the past 10 years. And we’ll do it next year too.

      • Hi Charlie, thanks for posting such a detailed reply to my comment. I am actually a fan of Star Wars, so share the mass hatred for Jarjar.

        I had a rethink, rewatched the videos and went through a few comments in order to organise my thoughts on this, and really, I don’t have such a huge issue with the video as originally thought. I rewatched the video, and actually it ISN’T as thrown together as I said, it’s actually very well made. If this had been posted as a real video on another day I would’ve believed it because the actors were very good and the camera moved exactly as it would’ve in a real situation. Very impressive guerilla filming :)

        I think my word “unoriginal” is inacurate, I think perhaps “easy to come up with” suits better. Considering the quality of the previous April Fools videos, this is a very simple idea and did not have the same feel as the previous IE videos. It feels like… not much thought went into the idea itself and if I’m wrong then I’m a little disappointed that this was the best you could come up with.

        Your comment on the concern actually made me rethink this a little and I realise that you’re right on this one, too. I think because you didn’t show the actors face, while that was to me the giveaway that it was a fake, to others it inspires mass imagining at the condition of the actor. Also, on Best Funeral before I knew it was a joke, I was also concerned about the feelings of the family, and on No Underwear, well, that was a bunch of people that needed to be arrested for public indecency! When I realised they were jokes, the fact that we were concerned and you’d pranked us wasn’t such a biggie. But all the previous ones were “silly”, sorts of things that most wouldn’t think of. I thought you’d lost your judgement because of the topic, “Christ, who would do that in a FUNERAL? That’s awful!”, but felt relieved when we realised that you were just pulling our leg. This time it was a serious issue that happens every day which brought up a lot of peoples real fears… and then made fun of them. This time I felt like you’d lost your way *after* I realised it was a joke instead of before. If you pulled the rug NOW and said “April fools! The joke is that this wasn’t a joke, he really did get beat up!” I’d all of a sudden feel better because IE is actually just a big tease (though obviously I would feel for the actor, even if it was his own fault for getting in their face) Does this make sense? I hope so.

        Also, (and this is a big “also”) you did NOT treat your fans nicely after the big reveal. Sarcastic comments, agreeing with rude comments, being very rude yourself to other users… THAT is the thing that has upset me the most in this little episode. You knew people were going to kick off because they’ve kicked off every year, but instead of letting them kick off and being nice about it, you rubbed salt in the wound by agreeing with people who said we had “no sense of humor” and that it’s “shaking off uptight fans”. This is the worst thing you can do to a fan, especially if those fans have helped you out by trying to help stop the “bad guys”.

        I hope this makes sense. I honestly love IE – I even have “take part in an IE mission” as an item on my Bucket List – but this one… just didn’t feel like you, in a different way to how the previous April Fools.

        • Sarah,

          I appreciate your response and your point of view (and your willingness to listen to mine.) I agree with you that it was a little rude of me to leave the “I couldn’t have said it better myself” comment. It was 4:20 AM, and I returned home from a party to see the litany of complaints. I was tipsy and tired and flabbergasted with the amount of outraged comments on this post. In the past the 4/1 outrage was over something we hadn’t actually done, and I was completely taken off guard by the outrage from people who knew it was fake.

          Ultimately we are a comedy group, and our sense of humor is not going to be for everyone every time.

          • Ahh, jee, that makes a lot of sense when you say it like that. I don’t know a creative type in the world who hasn’t gotten defensive now and then when something they created to make people happen, which they put in a lot of effort to, backfires and causes resentment instead.

            It happens to everyone at some point and will probably happen again, so learn what you can from it and maybe next time you’ll be able to deal with it better?

            Also, it might be worthing sucking up some pride and apologising, not necessarily for playing the gag (though it might be a good idea), but definately for being so rude to people after the reveal. At the end of the day, your fans are always going to be honest with you – if you’re honest back and say you were taken aback and apologise then… well, I know I’d certainly forgive and forget (I can’t speak for anyone else).

            Keep making great videos!

    • ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Huh. Oh sorry. I was in a deep sleep. I had the weirdest dream. Sarah here was on one of those public speaking boxes you find in English parks educating the world about what makes comedy valuable and funny and appropriate. Only she was doing it through a megaphone to a crowd full of mirrors. Weird right? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  62. In the times we live in and the opportunity for any April fool’s joke to be played; the joke was in poor taste and for awhile I truly believed your actor was hurt and what else could have transpired if this were real. It wasn’t funny, just a huge disappointment.


  64. You guys are great. But really why did you choose to portray someone getting hurt (even Jar Jar) as being funny? I think you can be more creative than that. Try harder next year, ok? Think of it in the terms of if you portrayed say a rape. “Oh it wasn’t a real rape.” Kind of gives you a different perspective I hope.

  65. Why was this funny?

    I mean the question sincerely: you can make up million untrue things that people will believe and then reveal them to be untrue later. That is an April Fool’s lie. But if it’s funny, it is sn April Fool’s joke. There is a difference, and thisone failed.
    Here’s how you can tell: Did anyone laugh?

    Sad. It just looks like you couldn’t think of anything funny. Maybe you should stick to your schtick: the IE stuff is often clever and funny. It must take a lot of thought and planning. But this didn’t, did it? That should to you something.

    Disappointed. This one will be quickly forgotten.

  66. You really got me,actually I was wondering if you had done an April fool’s prank like the funeral one, and I completely ignored this as being the one. I think the time difference and the fact that from where I am we don’t celebrate April Fool’s may have influenced my ignorance.

    Great work fooling people,including myself!! Greetings from Colombia!

  67. OK, not so funny if you forgot that it was April 1st but I was waiting to see what April fools joke you would do, so at least not upsetting. For all those complaining, I would agree with you that you should not offend people like this but I think it applies much more for the “no pants” events, where you have innocent people trying to ride the subway and get seriously disturbed by this animalistic display. I think that it is out of place for IE, incomparable to the other high-level, clean and funny humor and joy spread around by their thoughtfulness and care. Anyone agree?

  68. You didn’t fool me for an instant… I must say, great job at fooling so many though. I didn’t mind the joke, and like many others I don’t understand why the animosity. Perhaps it was the way it was presented, but even that was a joke, because, logically, why would a group dedicated to creating fun release such a downer video instead of just posting the pictures and telling the story?

    Not to mention that initial punch was TOTALLY staged, and having done such videos in the past, knew instantly that the punch was faked and the camera handled in that manner intentionally to hide that.

    Great job and great joke, definitely one of the best.

  69. I was not fooled by this and to be honest when I compare it with “Best Funeral Ever”, I feel the the latter is more tasteless than pretending that someone was beat up and needing help to find who did it.

    I imagine most people are just upset that they got fooled so badly.

    But I say, “Well done, and keep up the good work”. Though if I have to be honest I find your non April fools day stuff funnier. But really the humor is not really in the April Fool’s Day video… it’s in the people who get all worked up over it while you know what’s really going on.

    So I hope you guys enjoyed this prank as much as we enjoy the ones you do the rest of the year.


  70. The only funny thing here is that a performance where “everything was completely staged” is released under the title “improv everywhere.” It’s not improv. It’s just a bad joke that’s badly executed. Not funny on any level.

  71. It didn’t fool me though I did forget that it was April first. The part that made me doubt myself though was the actor in the darth maul costume. You guys really thought that through. It made me think that it was real because of that small detail that was not necessarily needed if it was just a prank.

  72. Holy crap!!!! I thought that was real well done improve everywhere you got me. It still looks like the bystanders are shocked though are you sure you told them too because it doesn’t look like it. Nicely done!!!!! HA HA HA

  73. is this a joke about the punching and prescharges or was he realy hurt and you r trying to track down the guy?

    by the way who it jar jar and the other guy?

  74. all these people are freaking out over nothing and threatening to stop watching the improv everywhere videos… newsflash, if you don’t know how to lighten up and take a joke, this group and its missions aren’t really for you….

    If you’re waiting for that one big amazing joke for you to laugh and approve of, you might be too strict to laugh at it by the time it comes. learn to laugh at the little things and stop spreading your negativity… there’s enough of that in the world without it.

  75. Why did you delete my comment from yesterday? Only positive comments about your talentless band of hipsters is allowed ? curious….

    • I didn’t delete any comments. As you can see there are many negative comments on this post, including your lovely words above.

  76. I’m not angry or think this video is “wrong”. I just didn’t find it funny because it’s IE. Faking a subway fight? Reallly? That just seems so below you guys. It lacked the creativity I expect. You’re next video better be amazing!

  77. Barely heard of Improv Everywhere before but video was pretty funny. Some of the righteous indignation on here is even funnier though, particularly the ‘think of the children’ stuff! You monsters

  78. LOL Good one :) However I think the next time it will be more difficult for you guys to ‘raise up the latter” and to get people in believing. You will need a lot of creative thinking to achieve this challenge.
    By the way … how about you guys coming over to Madeira (small island in the Atlantic) and do some of your projects (and at the same time enjoying a relaxed sunny vacation) :)

  79. Most of your stuff is really good, but this… not so much. Just didn’t seem all that funny. What makes it worst is some of Charlie’s responses….

  80. the only fools this year were the people who made the joke.

    Nice job in making Improv Everywhere look like idiots.

  81. i thought this was done in poor taste. I get harassed on the subway for dressing up and there’s a lot of bad shit that goes down in this town. Due to what I’ve seen so far in the trains, I truly believed this happened.

  82. I didn’t think it was funny at all. I was actually sad for the actor. There have got to be better ways to pull April fools jokes than this… I love all your videos, but this one was just bad.

  83. I LOVE YOU IMPROV EVERYWHERE!!! You have made so many late nights just one huge family fest of unstoppable belly laughter and real tears of happiness!!! I want to see Harry Potter, Dumbledore and Voldemort do some serious magical stuff on each other on the 3 train on my way home from college!!! ;p

    Improve everywhere, you make me happy.

    • Chaya, enjoy! machnishtchilulhashem, this is really an awesome collection of funny and mostly clean videos!

  84. i guess these guys run out of funny ideas, you would change your mind if you got beaten up in real! disappointed, i used to attend the no pants subway ride but i doubt i will do that again after this “joke”…