Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
Improv Everywhere doin' that thing they do.
The group, founded by Charlie Todd in 2002, calls itself "a prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places." You may have seen their "Frozen Grand Central" video, which has more than 31,000,000 views, or be familiar with the internationally recognized "No Pants Subway Ride."
On Friday, a hundred participants feigned a round-the-block camp-out for bargains on bargains. ("Agents Susan Lindquist and Shelton Lindquist found a great deal on dish towels.") An actor posing as an NBC reporter interviewed unsuspecting bystanders. The manager thought the line was for Rite-Aid!