People studying and working at the main reading room of the New York Public Library were shocked to see ghosts (individuals dressed in white sheets) come into the building. Soon after, four men dressed in ghostbuster outfits storm in to save the day.
The prank was done Improv Everywhere. And if you're wondering how they were allowed to walk into a NY building with sheets on their heads and props that look like weapons, it turns out that the library approached the improv group to do this.
The group said: "The library is facing serious budget cuts, and they thought having us do something awesome there might serve to remind people of how great the NYPL is. We couldn’t say no to the opportunity to do something in their gorgeous, 100 year-old Rose Main Reading Room."
Watch the video below to see how people reacted to the prank. Clearly some had no idea what was happening.
"Ghostbusters" Scene (Sort of ) Reenacted at New York Landmark
by Mike Ryan · May 18, 2010
New York Public Library visitors got quite the surprise when comedy troupe, Improv Everywhere, dressed up as the "Ghostbusters" and reenacted a scene from the famed movie about a trio of down-on-their-luck guys who turn to supernatural-seeking in order to make some money. Check out the clip below:
Though the pranksters were easily recognizable in their specter-exterminating gear, it's not as clear exactly which scene they were reenacting. Regardless, there they were in the hallowed literary halls of the Library's Rose Main Reading Room, dressed as the team of supernatural slayers, chasing around actors draped in Halloween-costumey white sheets. Observers' expressions -- those who dared to peek up from their books and laptops -- ranged from giddily amused to frightened to the typical New York "seen it all" blase.
And let's be honest: This is just a video of four guys in pajamas chasing around a couple of guys wearing sheets while a knockoff version of Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" theme plays in the background. (Ironic, considering that the song "Ghostbusters" is, itself, allegedly, a knockoff of Huey Lewis and the News' "I Want a New Drug.") Improv Everywhere did confirm that the music playing is an original composition that they have the complete rights to (hopefully Huey Lewis agrees with them more than he agreed with Ray Parker Jr.)
Really, the idea alone of visiting the New York Public Library dressed as the Ghostbusters is what makes this appealing. And, apparently, the library thought the same thing; surprisingly, it was the library that contacted the troupe -- which is infamous for its anarchic displays in public places -- about the idea. The New York Public Library is facing massive budget cuts and hopes to raise awareness through its Don't Close the Book campaign. And this video, they hope, will help raise the awareness of the $34 million in funding that is said to be on the chopping block.
An opening scene of the 1984 comedy smash "Ghostbusters" does take place at the New York Public Library. Columbia University researchers -- Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler (aka, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) -- are on location investigating a paranormal occurrence. The scene ends with the three future Ghostbusters fleeing down the outside steps of the library after having been chased by a quite angry ghost. Unlike the comedy troupe's version, at this point in the movie, the three researchers were not yet called the Ghostbusters and did not yet wear their now-iconic jumpsuits. Also, Winston Zeddemore, the fourth Ghostbuster, had yet to join the group.