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Thousands of riders ditch their pants for annual subway gag

No Pants Subway Ride

No Pants Subway Ride Photo Credit: Jesse Good waits for a downtown C train during the 11th annual "No Pants Subway Ride" (Marc Beja)

There was an odd silence on the downtown C train Sunday afternoon when Jesse Good got on at 96th Street.

A woman shot him a glare and covered the eyes of a small child sitting beside her. A man across the aisle made eye contact with Good, but his gaze quickly returned to Good's lower half.

Good, an organizer with prank group Improv Everywhere, was one of an estimated 4,000 people who got on the train pantless as part of the group’s annual “No Pants Subway Ride.”

Good acknowledges that the event is not much of a secret anymore, but said it’s still just as fun as the first time he did it 11 years ago.

“It’s really for the people who don’t know what’s going on,” said Good, 33, wearing white boxers with polka dots. He discouraged participants from admitting anything was askew if they were asked. “It’s almost like breaking the fourth wall,” he explained.

Most of the pranksters were played along as they read a newspaper, fiddled with e-readers or chatted with friends.

“I forgot to put them on,” Mike Cannon, a 78-year-old actor from Long Island City said as he donned white boxers and a leather jacket outside the subway entrance at Union Square. “It’s hard to believe so many people forgot too.”

Khadine Adams, a 27-year-old actuarial consultant from Long Island City, wearing white boy shorts had a more practical excuse: “It’s laundry day.”

At the group’s meeting Union Square end point, Michael Rieselman of Hell’s Kitchen admitted his ride was a little different.

“I didn’t get my crossword puzzle done,” said Rieselman, 42, in black boxers.

“I usually do,” he said. “I was distracted a little bit.”

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