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Why Do Crowds Do Absurd Things In Public?

"I like to create things that are so unusual and hopefully spectacular that it gives strangers a reason to communicate and share a smile." — Charlie Todd
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"I like to create things that are so unusual and hopefully spectacular that it gives strangers a reason to communicate and share a smile." — Charlie Todd

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Power Of Crowds.

About Charlie Todd's TEDTalk

Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows. "Ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library. The annual no-pants subway ride. All of these are the hilarious and unexpected public scenes Charlie Todd creates.

Todd is the creator of Improv Everywhere, "a New York City-based prank collective that causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places." At TEDxBloomington he shows how the group uses these scenes to bring people together.

About Charlie Todd

Bored by a temp job and tired of waiting for someone to give him a stage, comedian Charlie Todd decided to make his own. He started by walking into a bar and pretending to be musician Ben Folds. His success there led to Improv Everywhere's creation.

Todd has produced, directed, performed and documented the group's work for over 10 years. In that time they've run over 100 "missions," some involving hundreds or even thousands of "agents" to stage each experience. He is also a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and the author of Causing a Scene: Extraordinary Pranks in Ordinary Places with Improv Everywhere.

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NPR/TED Staff