Comedian/filmmaker Mark Malkoff first got everyone's attention three years ago when he attempted to visit and purchase an item in each of the 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan. Malkoff followed that up by living and sleeping in an actual IKEA store in New Jersey for a week. In 2009, he spent a month on an AirTran airplane to conquer his fear of flying, and later, with the corporate help of Ford, drove around America doing whatever he could to get as many ceremonial "Keys to the City" as he could.
So what's he up to this time?
Malkoff's latest task was much simpler, which, naturally, made it much more difficult to accomplish. His task: Traverse the length of Manhattan, from the southern tip of the island north. Not by subway, by taxi, by bus nor even by foot — but on the backs, shoulders and arms of his fellow New Yorkers. Yes. You got it. Malkoff wanted to test the kindess of New Yorkers — they're not really that rude and mean, are they? — by asking them to carry him uptown. He did this over the course of two cold and snowy days in December. Seemingly helping his case: He's not that big (130 pounds), and he had a microphone and a cameraperson with him, so the innocent bystanders knew they were being filmed, although not necessarily for what.
Let's roll the evidence.
In the end, Malkoff convinced 155 people (and a couple of friends via Twitter when he felt most helpless in his cause) to haul him 188 city blocks (9.4 miles) from the Staten Island Ferry terminal north via Broadway to the corner of Broadway and 141st Street.
"All I did was ask people if they'd be willing to carry me, which they did," he says. "To me, that proves the people of New York are indeed a friendly bunch."