The stakes were high and the bets were flying. Too bad the horses didn’t actually race.
Step aside, Churchill Downs. With the year’s major Thoroughbred derbies now behind us, mischievous acting troupe Improv Everywhere tried to reprise the enthusiasm of horse-racing season right in the middle of New York City. Improv Everywhere brought their showmanship to a carousel in midtown Manhattan, spinning it into the newest sporting attraction no one’s ever heard of, the Bryant Park Stakes.
A hard-riding jockey, boisterous announcers, and fans sporting seersucker suits all turned up this weekend for the race. But despite the crowd’s excitement, the horses looked a little stiff. That’s because they were made of plastic.
As the trumpeter signaled the Call to the Post, the small gathering of fans who were obviously in on the gag threw down some serious cash on the horses, much to the wonderment of the unassuming public who simply wanted a quiet afternoon of carousel riding. But the improv group’s humor quickly drew in the masses to their clever stunt.
And what would a horse race be without crazy monikers for the animals? Grandma’s Folly, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang and The Frog all made their dash for the finish, but in the end it was mutant rabbit-horse Carrots on the Brain, jockeyed by an unsuspecting toddler, that took first place.
Improv Everywhere scored another hit with this prank. Who knew carousels could be so enthralling, even as an adult?