Rocky’s Famous Trip up the Art Museum Steps Spoofed by the Pranksters of Improv Everywhere

I believe some movies are so classic, they should be considered untouchable, an opinion I wish more Broadway producers shared.

Brace yourself. Rocky, Sylvester Stallone’s heartwarming tale about a small-potatoes boxer in 1970s Philadelphia, has been turned into a musical.

No! Why!? Adrian!!!

It’s likely not as bad as I fear. Stallone himself is co-producing, young director Alex Timbers is deservedly hot, and lyricist Lynn Ahrens is responsible, in large degree, for Schoolhouse Rock.

All the same, prank collective Improv Everywhere’s take on one of Rocky’s most iconic scenes falls more squarely within my comfort zone. The first installment in the group’s weekly Movies in Real Life series, this Rocky features lookalike comedian Dan Black running through the streets of Philly, a crowd of kids tailing him on the final leg. (“So, uh, you have parents?” he gasps, atop the art museum steps.)

As with the annual No-Pants Subway Ride and many other Improv Everywhere stunts, a great deal of fun comes from the reactions of unsuspecting passersby. Some of my favorites are viewable in the prank’s Mission Report, a follow up with less need to stick to the script. Still in character, Black demands royalty checks from street vendors selling Rocky t-shirts and screws with tourists posing in front of the famed Rocky statue. Small wonder Improv Everywhere’s motto is “we cause scenes.”

For those in need of refreshment, here is the original:

The most recent Movies in Real Life features a boulder chasing Indiana Jones through Central Park to the Museum of Natural History. Tune in to the collective’s Youtube channel every Tuesday this fall for another fresh but faithful take on a familiar film.

Related Content: 

What Happens When Everyday People Get a Chance to Conduct a World-Class Orchestra

The Do’s and Don’ts of Improv Comedy with Liam Neeson, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Del Close

Whose Line Is It Anyway? The Complete Improv Series Now Free Online

Ayun Halliday‘s most recent book is the graphic novel, Peanut . Follow her@AyunHalliday



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  • Paul Tatara

    That’s not from the original “Rocky.” The running clip you’re showing is from “Rocky II.”

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