For the last 20 years, we have staged outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment.

Now we're back for our third film, The Yes Men are Revolting, and well into our 40s, taking on the biggest challenge we've ever faced: climate change!The film is now playing in theaters and available on iTunes here: and On Demand.


UPDATE: Thanks everyone for joining the AMA! We love talking to you. Enjoy our new film, and stay tuned for some breaking actions... but now we have to go back into our bunkers! Thanks!

Comments: 91 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

UnderwritingRules28 karma

Thank you for doing an AMA.

I've really enjoyed your last films and look forward to seeing the next one.

My question is: Do you think that the hilarious antics you pull actually result in change or are you just pissing people off without any lasting effects.? What changes have you seen happen as the result of your efforts?

TheYesMenOfficial82 karma

Our actions are teensy-tiny parts of much bigger movements—which do actually win. - The Chamber of Commerce did reverse position on climate-change legislation. - The NYPD did stop using stop-and-frisk. - The governor of NY did ban fracking. - etc. None of these were due to our actions—but they WERE due to the movements that are actions were a little part of. That's the thing about ANY action, not just ours: each action seems to fail, but cumulatively, movements always seem to win. - Andy

SebastianMaki27 karma

Is there a way to watch the film without contributing to Apple's revenue? Have you considered ?

TheYesMenOfficial41 karma

YES! Please go to Vimeo on demand. WAY better cut for us, thanks so much for asking!

wulkes23 karma

Wow, thanks so much for doing this. I've never planned ahead of time for one of these before. Nervous!

You guys have been huge to me. When working at my college newspaper in 2007 when news broke of your ExxonMobil piece.(Performance? Action? What do you call it?) The gall and righteousness I saw in that, the manner of strategy and planning and bravery involved, I felt alive seeing it.

Nearly everyone in the newsroom thought it was a bad way to bring attention to an issue, and I was appalled at how anyone with a conscience or sense of humor could come to that conclusion. That said, it was a pretty bad school.

Recently I quit my job selling widgets and gizmos to start my own culture-jamming project/organization/Super PAC in Washington D.C., inspired in large part by the work you have done and the potential I see in activities like yours continuing in other forms and modes.

I've never done anything like this before, but I've never been happier doing anything else.

Is there any specific advice you could give to someone starting an activist organization with a very specific mission like yours? Rubber-meeting-road kind of advice? Books to read? People to get in touch with that can be gotten in touch with?

And is there any chance I could connect with you via email for any follow up questions?

Thanks Men!!

TheYesMenOfficial17 karma

Oh wow! Thanks! There are a few recommendations for things to read: Yes, let's connect by email - [email protected] - Andy

blah_blah_STFU20 karma

What hoax caused the most backlash towards your group from the organizations you protested against?

TheYesMenOfficial25 karma

None! The Chamber of Commerce sued us, but that turned out to be great. - Andy

blah_blah_STFU10 karma

Nice! That's actually good to hear! Can I get some more info on what happened with the Chamber of Commerce?

TheYesMenOfficial5 karma

Yes you can! But you have to watch our movie. (Hint: it turns out quite funny.) -Andy

blah_blah_STFU9 karma

Always a catch... haha

Mclively2 karma

This line of dialogue may have sold out for me.

sigh Now to scrounge yup some money

TheYesMenOfficial8 karma

I know a good bank you can rob. Opps, i spelled that wrong. Meant to say something more like you could sell the family jewels...

ToTheDark13 karma

Most successful one?

TheYesMenOfficial48 karma

To my mind, it's the BBC action, posing as Dow, taking responsibility for the Bhopal catastrophe - got that issue into 600 US newspapers where it belonged. - Andy

TheYesMenOfficial14 karma

Final scene in our new movie, where we infiltrate a homeland security conference. Its not the most widely covered action we've ever pulled off, but it is super funny, and the seeing defense contractors get up and dance for renewable energy is something we are really excited about.

UnofficialRedditor11 karma

What do you think your most elaborate hoax was?

TheYesMenOfficial14 karma

Maybe the polar bear / marching band / barge in Amsterdam canal project you'll see in the film. Also one of our least successful ones ever. -Andy

allygory8 karma

First - I went to see the movie on Sunday - as always it was great. I am still blown away that I got to be part of a Q & A with Julian Assange! My question is: With so many things to be up in arms about, how do you, or how should someone (in this case me) maintain enough focus to make any real difference on any one of them?

TheYesMenOfficial20 karma

They're all so inter-connected! Really, action on any issue is valuable, because they're all very related. If we fix climate change, we fix a lot of other things. That said, if we obtain a living wage for everyone, or free public education, or forbid corporations from lobbying anymore, or whatever—we're also doing something about climate change. I wouldn't get too hung up on exactly what issue matters the most. Work on what fills you with the most passion, whether because of the issue itself, or because of the opportunity you happen to have on that issue: that's where you'll contribute the most. - Andy

12c276 karma

From where do you have the sheer BALLS to do all this stuff? )

TheYesMenOfficial15 karma

Seriously, it doesn't take balls, it just takes peer pressure: someone telling you it makes sense to just plow ahead against all reason.

Also, note: this stuff is NOT dangerous. Unlike activists in many countries—or in many neighborhoods and regions of our own country, the US—we do not face any physical danger, or even legal danger. We have no excuse not to try to do what we can. - Andy

terror_terror_terror5 karma

Thank you for doing this.

I'd like to ask about the moment we are going through. It seems uprisings are breaking out all over the world, bankers are not the official enemies in hollywood films and eating organic is a mainstream option. This comes with a collapse of capitalism and the environment together with the rise of the networks.

Do you see a peak moment for this movement? If so, do you believe there is a single meta meme to be embraced by all movements (greece, occupy, pussy riot, honk kong, sao paulo, turkey)?

Thank you keep up the great work

TheYesMenOfficial9 karma

Great question. I think it's really, really hard to predict, and really really tricky to try to define exactly what's going on. We know the goals really clearly: more equality, prosperity for all, distribution of wealth AND decision-making power beyond the tiny percent that's trapped it. Right? Pretty much that. But how it'll play out, what memes will come and go, what it'll be called—we just have to wait 10 years.

The Civil Rights struggle took that long (longer). So did abolition, women's suffrage, the 8-hour workday, weekends, gay rights, treatment for AIDS, etc.

This is a wider, more ambitious struggle than most of those, so it might take longer, decades. Then, 50 or whatever years from now, schoolchildren will read about it and think it all happened at once, just like today they think the Civil Rights struggle did. - Andy

TheYesMenOfficial6 karma

The peak is of course yet to come! But this is an exciting moment. It seems like people are pulling together around fighting inequality - that is at the core of so many social and environmental problems. Occupy did well to distill it to the 1% vs the 99%.

allygory5 karma

Have you found that you have any increasing difficulty in pulling public stunts off now that you are more visible? How often do you get recognized?

TheYesMenOfficial8 karma

Sometimes we do. It only adds to the effect, as we get dramatically pulled down from the stage, etc. - Andy

TheYesMenOfficial8 karma

It has not gotten harder. If we do get recognized, it makes for better video. Its so fun to see a confrontation with 'the man' like the scene in our new film where a rep from the US Chamber of Commerce barges into the room to interrupt our press conference. Zany antics ensue!

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

Hey there!

This may be a slightly different question than many are asking, but it's something about which I've long been curious.

A few years back, this video of a conference went live, following the aftermath of the BP oil spill. The media coverage on it was minimal, but the perceived impact seemed evident enough.

In the time since, however, I've heard that the entire thing was faked; that everything was staged, and that everyone there was an actor.

One way or another, the message was sound, but I've wondered if it was a hoax, or a hoax within a hoax.

Can you shed any light on that?

TheYesMenOfficial9 karma

hi. We did have a hand in this. This was something that spun off from our very early Yes Lab trainings. There are actors presenting, but the audience was from a real conference a year after Katrina. This even happened in the same hotel as the conference in an adjoining room. Real conference attendees were misdirected into this "special announcement" next door...

TheYesMenOfficial7 karma

Wow! This is interesting! I've never seen it.

RamsesThePigeon4 karma

Huh, it was attributed as being a project of The Yes Lab, which I assumed meant The Yes Men had a hand in it. Was that information incorrect?

TheYesMenOfficial4 karma

I'll look into it....

NorbitGorbit4 karma

which fellow hoaxers do you enjoy purely for the entertainment value (i.e. not necessarily any political content)?

TheYesMenOfficial8 karma

Chris Morris! Sasha Baron Cohen! Many others too!

arunarchist4 karma

Are there any limits or pitfalls to using comedy and satire in activism? If so what are the biggest ones you've encountered?

TheYesMenOfficial6 karma

Hm.... I can't think of any! Sometimes jokes end up not being funny, but that's not a problem with it, that's a problem being good at it. Jokes to be good need to be really serious, not goofy. Here's some instructions we wrote for being funny: - Andy

TheYesMenOfficial4 karma

If you tell a bad joke, that can backfire in any context. In our movie you actually get to see something where it kind of goes pear-shaped!

TheYesMenOfficial6 karma

I forgot to tell you: it involves a life-sized polar bear costume.

TheYesMenOfficial4 karma

UPDATE: UPDATE: Thanks everyone for joining the AMA! We love talking to you. Enjoy our new film, and stay tuned for some breaking actions... but now we have to go back into our bunkers! Thanks!

UnderwritingRules4 karma

How many times have you guys been arrested? Do you always have a bunch of lawyers on retainer just in case?

TheYesMenOfficial13 karma

We've never been arrested - for this. Once we were sprung from a holding cell by Canadian police; event organizers had "arrested" us when they figured out we were fake, but the cops arrived and found it hilarious, and let us go.

We don't have lawyers on retainer, no - but there are lawyers we often ask for advice, notably from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). - Andy

TheYesMenOfficial12 karma

In the new movie you can see Andy get arrested. But there is a secret: he was only locked up because he had an outstanding bicycle ticket! we hardly ever get arrested. And we never get arrested for the types of things we do with the Yes Men. Because... get this... it is NOT ILLEGAL! Yup.

UnderwritingRules3 karma

Would you ever do anything illegal if it was supporting a good cause?

TheYesMenOfficial16 karma

yes, of course. Its important to remember that Martin Luther King was arrested more than 30 times. He was very fond of breaking the law. And he is just one of the thousands of the outlaws we look up to.

supersilvermonkey4 karma

Blaze Starr, the renowned stripper from Baltimore died today. It seems The Yes Men have a lot in common with her. (Besides looking fabulous in costumes!)Wikipedia lists Burlesque as "a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects." Do you ever think of yourselves as burlesque performers?

TheYesMenOfficial5 karma


TheYesMenOfficial5 karma

Maybe now we do!

fjord1043 karma


TheYesMenOfficial3 karma

HAHAHAHA! I do not know the answer to this question. Seems like you are more qualified that we are! We should have put Jim Carey's face on our new movie poster, then maybe it could have made a difference. Even though this movie is our third, it would have been great to make this one "Yes Man 2 with Jim Carey"

UnderwritingRules3 karma

Would you say that Andy is the better actor of the two of you? He seems to get the 'best' parts.

TheYesMenOfficial6 karma

Andy is much more fun to watch. I can say that with absolutely no prejudice, I have done it many times! - mike

TheYesMenOfficial3 karma

Andy is much more fun to watch... being nervous. Which he is. Terrifically. And boy is that hilarious to watch. I love it! - Mike (actually, Andy posing as Mike)

TheYesMenOfficial6 karma

I'm much worse. it's fun for both of us to make me nervous, though. adrenalin is an amazing drug. -Andy

sin_n0mbre3 karma

Thanks for this AMA! I really love your movies!! :)

Is "The Yes Men" more about criticising the existing political and economical system or do you have a defined ideology in your movement like anarchism/liberalism/socialism or any political concept? How are The Yes Men organised and are there Yes Women?

TheYesMenOfficial7 karma

Lots of Yes Women! We are working towards a network of disorganization through our online platform We love anarchism (as in, ground-up governance, not as in chaos). But we are also pragmatists. We'd settle for democracy uncorrupted by money and concerned with our shared future.

domith882 karma


TheYesMenOfficial4 karma

Hey, thanks! And hello to Tucson! About joining a cause and doing stuff like this - we started this for just that purpose: You can submit an idea, or jump on someone else's. Also, beginning in July, we're launching an 8-week workshop for coming up with actions and then carrying them out, the Incubator: - Andy / Jacques

terror_terror_terror2 karma

why do you two always have a sun tan?

TheYesMenOfficial10 karma

Melanocytes produce two types of melanin: pheomelanin (red) and eumelanin (very dark brown). Melanin protects the body by absorbing solar radiation. In the process, it gets darker.