This year’s No Pants Subway Ride has officially been canceled


New Yorkers hoping to ride the subway partly naked this year should think of other plans as, just as was the case last year, the annual No Pants Subway Ride has been canceled. 

“The No Pants Subway Ride is not happening in New York in 2023,” reads a message on the initiative’s official website. “After 19 years of producing the event, we’ve decided to take a break (sadly the pandemic ruined our plans of making it 20 years in a row!).”

The first year that Improv Everywhere, the comedic performance art group behind the effort, asked New Yorkers to commute with only their underwear and jackets on was 2002. Two decades ago, there were only seven participants, all of whom were men. “They pretended not to notice each other and, if asked, claimed that they just forgot’ their pants,” reads a history of the event on the site.

The gimmick picked up media steam throughout the years: the 2004 event was filmed by ABC News 20/20 and, the year after, This American Life did the same thing for its series on Showtime.

The last No Pants Subway Ride in New York happened on January 12, 2020, in pretty ridiculous 65-degree weather.

As explained by Improv Everywhere, the “idea behind No Pants is simple: random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants behave as if they do not know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants.”

Here’s to hoping 2024 will bring with it a revamped enthusiasm for the pretty hilarious happening.



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