Founder, Improv Everywhere
For over 20 years, comedian Charlie Todd has been creating big moments of unexpected joy in everyday public spaces. In 2001 he founded the comedy collective Improv Everywhere, a New York group that pioneered large-scale surprise public performances, long before anyone had heard of the term “flash mob.” Charlie’s projects are site-specific, hugely uplifting, and uniquely hilarious.
Who doesn't want to live in a world where high fives are offered at the top of a subway escalator, a broadway musical breaks out in the produce section of the grocery store, and random people are given the chance to conduct a world-class orchestra on the streets of New York City? Charlie was one of the original YouTubers, and Improv Everywhere was one of the very first comedy channels on the platform in early 2006. To date the channel has over half a billion views. With viral hits like the legendary Grand Central freeze and the absurdly silly No Pants Subway Ride, Improv Everywhere has created iconic projects that have entered the zeitgeist and spread to all corners of the globe. Charlie’s success with Improv Everywhere has led to a career in television, recently serving as executive producer and director of the Disney+ series "Pixar In Real Life."
"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
"I love Improv Everywhere. Look at the peoples’ faces. You cannot be unhappy. I love it." — Gayle King - CBS This Morning
"Improv Everywhere has heightened public spectacle to an artform. Hilarious." — Faith Salie, Public Radio International
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 book Causing A Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere and the subject of the documentary We Cause Scenes, which premiered at SXSW. Charlie 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 taught and performed improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York for nearly two decades.
The Power of Unexpected Laughter Copy
Charlie shows how he's managed to take his comedy off of the stage and into the real world, breaking people out of the stress of their daily routines with an unexpected laugh. Who doesn't want to live in a world where high fives are offered at the top of a subway escalator, time suddenly freezes in Grand Central Terminal, and random people are given the chance to conduct a world-class orchestra on the streets of New York City? Charlie discusses the power of laughter and how a healthy dose of surprise and delight can make people see the world around them through a different lens. After the past few years, creating human connections through comedy is more important than ever.
Causing a Scene
In this laugh-out-loud presentation, Charlie tells the story of how Improv Everywhere got its start and how it grew from a small group of comedian friends into an international phenomenon. Charlie discusses the importance of life-long play, the unique joy of being a part of a happy crowd, and how our shared public spaces can be put to much better (and funnier) use. Improv Everywhere’s decades-long work to turn cities into playgrounds for people of all ages will leave you inspired to see new possibilities in your community.
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. What drives 3,000 people to show up to take their pants off on the subway in the middle of winter for Improv Everywhere’s annual event? It’s a yearning for being a part of something bigger than yourself. Charlie explores why it is so infectious to be a part of a huge, happy crowd all working together to make something beautiful. There is a unique euphoria that comes with doing something silly with complete strangers, and Improv Everywhere has figured the formula out.
Our Shared Public Spaces
In the past 70 years, American cities have given over so much of our shared public space to the automobile. Our cities were slashed in half by giant highways and our downtowns have more spaces for parking than they do for people. Charlie discusses how his work with Improv Everywhere highlights the importance of public spaces and gives out-of-the-box ideas for how communities and companies can create shared experiences that celebrate these spaces.
Epic Christmas Caroling
The Mannequin Mob | Improv Everywhere
Conduct Us | ImproveEverywhere
Seeing Eye People for Texting and Walking | ImprovEverywhere
No Pants Subway Ride 2016
The shared experience of absurdity | TEDx
New York’s Most Socially Distanced Office | ImprovEverywhere
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I am sooooo glad we leaned in and did this. You were awesome — and the tom foolery proved a huge hit. :-) It truly inspi
Charlie was amazing! Those that attended the event truly enjoyed their experience. We were thrilled to see how engaged t
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