We Cause Scenes: The Rise of Improv Everywhere is a 2013 documentary about Improv Everywhere and its founder Charlie Todd. If you’ve been on the internet in the last five years, you’re probably familiar with Improv Everywhere. They are the comedy/performance art group known for performing elaborate pranks in public places. They never break character to create a moment of amusing bewilderment for anyone who happens to be in the area. They are the guys that froze in place in Grand Central Terminal for five minutes, the organizers of the No Pants Subway Ride, and raiding Best Buy with an army of people wearing blue shirts and khaki pants.
Director Matt Adams takes you behind the scenes of Improv Everywhere and introduces you to Charlie Todd, the creator and founder of the group. Todd talks about his inspiration for Improv Everywhere. It started with him impersonating Ben Folds in a bar one night. A couple of girls bought into it and he wanted to share his story with as many people as possible, but he didn’t have an outlet to do it. So he wrote it down and created a website. He started thinking of more and more pranks and they got bigger and bigger. Improv Everywhere also had connections to Upright Citizens Brigade, which have proved very influential to their performances. Todd is quick to point out that Improv Everywhere was started two years before flash mobs were a thing and that the two have very little in common. Flash mobs are a trend. Improv Everywhere is art.
The documentary also explores some of the group’s most famous pranks. You find out how they came up with the idea, how they pulled it off, and reflections of the aftermath. It’s a very interesting film and you can find it on Netflix. It’s hard to grab the attention of the internet and go viral. It’s even harder to do it on a consistent basis. Improv Everywhere deserves all their YouTube glory. Watch this documentary and find out why.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young