Charlie Todd

Founder, Improv Everywhere

Social media, viral marketing, and creativity from the founder of Improv Everywhere.

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Biography

Charlie Todd is one of the most successful video creators in the YouTube age, with an astonishing 250 million views to his name. A master of viral communication, Charlie has been churning out million-view hits since the dawn of web video. In 2001 he founded the comedy collective Improv Everywhere, a New York group that pioneered public performances in the digital age. Unlike the “flash mob” craze that grew in Improv Everywhere’s wake, Charlie’s projects are site-specific, uniquely hilarious, and continuing to break new ground.

From the legendary Grand Central freeze to the annual No Pants Subway Ride, Improv Everywhere has created iconic projects that have entered the zeitgeist and spread to all corners of the globe. Charlie now regularly stages simultaneous international events in over fifty countries at a time, garnering massive news media coverage. His style is constantly mimicked by brands and advertisers around the world, but his ability to pull off projects with thousands of synchronized performers remains unmatched.

“Improv Everywhere tramples the lines drawn between spectacle and spectator, theatre and real life, public and private, performance and protest, and reclaims the streets for ordinary people.”
— Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Improv Everywhere is reliably hilarious to millions of people. The masters of mischief. [The Frozen Grand Central stunt] is one of the funniest moments ever captured on tape.”
— Martin Bashir, ABC News Nightline

“Improv Everywhere has heightened public spectacle to an artform. Hilarious.”
— Faith Salie, Public Radio International

“The largest network of pranksters ever assembled, Improv Everywhere is the leading light in the Golden Age of the Prank. YouTube gods.”
Maxim

Charlie’s talk tells the story of Improv Everywhere and shares what he’s learned about crowds, viral media, and the importance of play through his personal experiences and hilarious video clips. Charlie’s presentation is both laugh-out-loud funny and thought-provoking. His talk will energize your audience and get their creative juices flowing.

Charlie has spoken at high-profile conferences around the world, including TED, and has given lectures at institutions like the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. He is the author of the recently released Causing A Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere. He has been profiled by The New York Times, The Today Show, This American Life, and New York Magazine, to name a few.

In addition to his talk, Charlie is available to collaborate with sponsors to custom-design an event that will surprise and engage your audience. He can also be booked to teach an improv comedy masterclass, sharing the tools of successful improvisation with your attendees and demonstrating how the skills can be translated to the real world. Charlie has taught and performed improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York for over a decade.

Books

Causing a Scene

Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere

Charlie Todd

A fake U2 concert. A deranged hypnotist. A book signing by a dead author.

Welcome to the wild world of Improv Everywhere.

From the infamous No Pants! Subway Ride to the legendary Grand Central Freeze, Improv Everywhere has been responsible for some of the most original and subversive pranks of the Internet age. In Causing a Scene, the group's agents provide a hilarious firsthand account of their mischievous antics. Learn how they created a time loop in a Starbucks and gave Best Buy eighty extra employees. Join in on the fun with this irreverent, behind-the-scenes look at Improv Everywhere's world-famous missions, and get inspired to create your own memorable mayhem.

William Morrow; 1 edition (May 19, 2009)

Topics

Charlie tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Causing a Scene

A behind-the-scenes look at Improv Everywhere through videos, photos, and stories of the group's most hilarious performances in public spaces.

The Shared Experience of Absurdity

Charlie discusses the importance of play for people of all ages and shows the power of creating positive, shared experiences in public spaces.

Greenlight Yourself and Get to Work

Charlie shows how he went from an out of work 22-year-old actor to professional prankster by harnessing the free production and distribution resources the Internet provides us all. He discusses how, with persistence (and a little talent), anyone can turn their passion into their career.

Best Practices in Online Video Marketing

Improv Everywhere's Charlie Todd discusses his success on YouTube and how brands can take advantage of the power of the web by creating content people actually want to watch.

Videos

No Pants Subway Ride 2016

ImprovEverywhere Trailer

Epic Christmas Caroling

The Mannequin Mob | Improv Everywhere

Improv invite | Pop!Tech

Conduct Us | ImprovEverywhere

The shared experience of absurdity | TEDx

Seeing Eye People for Texting and Walking | ImprovEverywhere

Improv Everywhere

Interview

Feedback

A premier performing arts festival:
Charlie was amazing! Those that attended the event truly enjoyed their experience. We were thrilled to see how engaged the patrons were in both his talk and the Mp3 experiment. We had some die-hard fans present — they are the best!

The largest global consumer products company:
I am sooooo glad we leaned in and did this. You were awesome — and the tom foolery proved a huge hit. :-) It truly inspired our teams to see that a creative, clever idea, often with little or no financial support, and with some courage thrown in, can delight and engage thousands, or even millions of people around the world. The teams are excited — and I thank you for the inspiration and fun.