Paul Tompkins Debates Improv Everywhere’s Founder

Comedian Paul Tompkins published several email debates he had with Improv Everywhere’s founder, Charlie Todd.

I am not a fan of chaos. Personally, chaos makes me nervous, because it makes things seem downright chaotic. I don’t equate fun with uneasiness. So I’ve never been a fan of IE.

I’ve also never been a fan of criticizing other comedians publicly—ape shall never kill ape and all that—but I don’t like pranks. I think they’re mean. I feel sorry for the people who get pranked. So after being sent a link to a recent IE “mission” I made a joke about them. Well, I made a couple jokes about them. Although for some mysterious reason, I was only able to find the very first one on my Twitter profile; have I been mission’d!?

That same day I was contacted in my home—my HOME– by Improv Everywhere founder Charlie Todd. We had a good debate about what he does and how I feel about what he does.

With Charlie’s permission, I have published our exchange below. Charlie gets the last word, because that’s only fair, and because I stand by all my points. And because he ends by saying something that is complimentary to me.


Thanks to Josh who commented with a link to a show of This American Life where they interviewed several of Improv Everywhere’s “victims”.

Pat Robertson Comments on the Earthquake in Chile


“Something happened a long time ago in Chile, and people might not want to talk about it,” Robertson said. “They were under the heel of the democratically elected SOCIALIST regime of Salvador Allende …and they got together and swore a pact to the chupacabra. They said, ’We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the the man we elected president, and install a military dictatorship that will make thousands of ‘troublemakers disappear.’” ”True story,” he continued. “And the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.’ Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another.”

(via J-Walk)

Church Resignation Letter


Last month, I officially resigned from the Roman Catholic Church. I haven’t been to church in several years, and I no longer follow Catholicism or Christianity (not that I really believed it to begin with). However, the Catholic church has an odd policy regarding who they consider a Catholic. If you’ve been baptized in a Catholic church, as I was, the church counts you as a member for life even if you stop attending. The only way to have this reversed is to formally defect, notifying the bishop of your local diocese that you’ve left the church. After yet another preposterous moral pronouncement from the pope, I decided to do just that:

The bishop did respond several weeks later:

Mr. ——–, with regret I will comply with your request and have your declaration noted in your baptismal record at ——– Church and a copy of your statement kept with this baptismal register. I trust you have made this declaration freely, without coercion of any kind, and clearly understand that leaving the Catholic Church makes you ineligible to receive the sacraments and that you will no longer be entitled to a Catholic burial. Since baptism is an action of Christ himself, no one can undo that; but officially you have left the Church.

(via J-Walk)

I had never given this much thought before and never even knew it to be an option. I think it’s time to send my old diocese a letter.