Charlie Todd on Improv Everywhere

Founder of Improv Everywhere, Charlie Todd, talks about creating scenes of joy and chaos in public places to make people smile.

Part of the Project

For more than 10 years now Charlie Todd has been coordinating pranks and stunts in public spaces through Improv Everywhere. Aimed at causing scenes of joy and chaos in public spaces, Todd simply wants to give people something to smile about. The videos of his pranks have gone viral on YouTube and Todd draws on a base of more than 1000 volunteers to help facilitate his pranks, with the ideas coming from everywhere.

In Todd's very first prank back in 2001 he pretended to be the musician Ben Folds in a New York bar.

Todd soon started doing larger-scale projects that involved more people, such as coordinated dances in the street-facing windows of large retail outlets. 

Todd tells of a subway prank where the characters from Star Wars came along for the ride. He also tells of how the famous No Pants Subway Ride came about. And then there was that random photo opportunity in a gallery in New York... 

Talkng about his Mp3 Experiment in Cape Town, Todd shares where he gets his ideas from and emphasises that it’s all about giving people something to smile about. 

Many of Improv Everywhere's pranks have since been replicated all over the world.