Charlie Todd is the founder of Improv Everywhere. He has produced, directed, performed and documented the group’s work for over nine years. Based in New York, Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places.
5:37:57 pm - Wed 23 Feb
Charlie talks about creating out-of-the-ordinary moments that make people smile. Like “Star Wars subway car”, where actors dressed as Star Wars characters played out the movie’s first scene in front of commuters in New York’s subway.
5:28:18 pm - Wed 23 Feb
“Food Court Musical” had actors pretending to be serving staff and bursting into song at food courts. The bewildered and amused Americans looked on over their hamburgers and milkshakes at this live “muscial”.
5:23:32 pm - Wed 23 Feb
Most well-known project was “Freezing Grand Central”, where actors froze mid-action at Grand Central Station, confusing and intriguing passers-by. Some people even thought it was a “political protest”.
5:18:26 pm - Wed 23 Feb
The “Look Up More” project saw actors doing a choreographed dance in 70 shop windows in the same building. It was completely unauthorized. Some stores didn’t notice; some “freaked out”, telling the dancers “jumping jacks aren’t allowed in this store.”
5:14:41 pm - Wed 23 Feb
Charlie: “I like creating moments that get strangers to interact with each other in a funny and positive way… To give people a story they’ll tell for the rest of their lives.”
5:12:04 pm - Wed 23 Feb
It gave Charlie the opportunity to act, which is what he’d moved to New York to do. So instead of waiting to be cast in a production, he began doing his own projects.
The most famous is his “No Pants” subway experiment, where he and his friends rode the subway without wearing pants, pretending they’d forgot them.
5:08:48 pm - Wed 23 Feb
Charlie started doing improv when a friend said he looked like musician Ben Folds. So they went out to a bar and pretended he was. Strangers started asking for his autograph and the barman gave him free drinks.
5:05:28 pm - Wed 23 Feb
Charlie Todd opens with video of Cape Town mob attacking each other with balloons. This is improv people.