Watch: Improv Everywhere Encourages New Yorkers to ‘Say Something Nice’

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Ari Scott / Improv Everywhere

Notoriously gruff Big Apple residents actually took the time to appreciate their fellow humans. This warms NewsFeed’s heart.

NewsFeed is based in Manhattan, and we get it — New Yorkers can be a bit rough around the edges. We avoid eye contact on the subway. We walk fast and talk faster. And the hustle and bustle of the urban landscape can leave little time for appreciation of our fellow city dwellers.

So when famed stunt-pullers Improv Everywhere installed a podium and megaphone in the middle of New York’s busy Union Square with the message “Say Something Nice,” did they expect anyone to actually use it?

(WATCH: Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride)

The wooden lectern and megaphone spontaneously appeared around 2:30 p.m. on August 7 in Union Square, a bustling green space and popular hangout for many New Yorkers, especially on that Sunday afternoon. The five-foot-high podium stood there, looking ominous and confusing. A few brave, though timid, souls tested the waters – and once the crowd caught on, the enthusiasm picked up.

Ari Scott / Improv Everywhere

There were sentiments of love and birthday wishes proclaimed to the masses, niceties shouted to friends and strangers, and even an a capella group that shared their comments in song. Dozens of people shouted something nice through the megaphone in the half hour it rested in Union Square before it was moved to two other locations.

Improv Everywhere’s skit teaches us all an humbling lesson. It all comes down to the iconic words of two great dudes, “Be excellent to each other.

Nick Carbone is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @nickcarbone. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

MORE: Improv Everywhere’s Other Stunts