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”.