Improv Everywhere

Common Sense Media says

Candid Camera-style improv tests social boundaries.

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

"Causing scenes of Chaos and Joy in public places" is the site's mildly anarchic theme. It's creative, it's fun and it shows what happens when people take an interest in what's going  in their surroundings in everyday life, which is better than having your head buried in an iPod all day. On the other hand, the actors in these scenes sometimes fib (or outright lie) to keep the skit moving. Still, depending on your kid's age, it might be important to have a conversation about the importance of time and place when making jokes.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Not many, but a few, videos contain images of people dressed in just underwear from the waist down -- some of which is "barely there" underwear -- in subways. Some of the posted comments include frank discussions about homosexuality and religion.

Language

A few, rare uses of the "f--k" and other mild swearing in a couple of videos. Some isolated instances of swear words and negative, mean-spirited banter between viewers on comments boards.

Consumerism

A few Google ads. Ads for the ImprovEverwhere book. Links to T shirts and other participants' sites who are in the videos. Lots of brand-name places associated with where the improv videos are made, such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Abercrombie & Fitch, but not directly promotional.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Mentions of bar hopping. One skit shows college kids handing out free "alcoholic beverages" in the middle of a college campus (which actually contained no alcohol).

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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.

Website details

Genre:Video Sites
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Improv Everywhere was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous June 6, 2010
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Pure genius...

Amazing and wonderful mass-ideas are performed in Downtown Manhattan bringing joy and wonder. Enough said... check it out...
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 10 years old March 20, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
iffy for 6 to 8
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old May 4, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

The best place on the web, no interactivity.

I just love this place, love it! This is something so amazing that you have to see it to believe it, with nothing bad at all, but I guess I may have biased opinion on this, but I really like it, that's all.
Teen, 15 years old Written byBrando804 November 3, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Creativity, Clean Laughs, Lots of fun.

These hidden camera public scenes are very funny, and can inspire creativity in anyone. I took part in a Freeze Mob once, and it was one of the most fun experiences I've ever had.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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