A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is video site contains mostly silly, well-planned Candid Camera-style comedy. But there are a couple of videos that may be too over the top for some parents to feel completely comfortable with their tween or teen viewing without some parental commentary on the subject. The "No Pants Subway Ride," annual series video, in particular, shows hundreds of men and women who ride subways with nothing but boxer shorts (mild) to see-through, teeny lacy underwear (wild) and everything in between.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Is it any good?
For anyone who finds humor in mixing up everyday life with some silliness, Improv Everywhere will delight. This is a fun video site for parents and teens to watch together because most adults will relate to the Candid Camera aspect of these planned (but secret to most observers) public stunts, while today's real-time video teens will love how it's all captured on video. Mostly based in NYC, the 100-plus "missions" as they are called include everything from a surprise wedding reception for a newly married couple outside of city hall to a beautiful handbell choir showing up to boost the business of a Salvation Army Christmas bell ringer. The improv actors who plan these events are pros, and the people who show up to participate are enthusiastic, if a bit zany. The spectators for the most part enjoy the unexpected zaniness, too.
Online interaction: It's fun when viewers can post their ideas and reactions to the events, and even more fun when the creators post responses to viewer comments. Occasionally mean-spirited comments crop up.
Talk to your kids about ...
What's funny to you? Why is people wearing no pants on a subway funny? What about synchronized swimming in a city park fountain? Or shirtless, out- of-shape men in Abercrombie & Fitch? Is a fake suicide jump (from a building ledge five feet off the ground) funny? Is it okay to offend some people in order to make others laugh?
Would you or your teen participate in any of these staged events? Would they like to make a funny improv video of their own? Read CommonSenseMedia's How to Upload a YouTube video for tips.
Furthermore, help your teens learn about responsible videotaping. The creators of Improveverywhere are adult pros and know how far they want to go with their antics. For kids who are still learning the rules of life, fifteen minutes of video fame may not be worth it if they don't think through the consequences.