Food Court Musical

Featuring: Agents Campbell, Cowan, Brister, Caldwell, Sutton, Ahn, Park, Nwaeze, Jervier, Thorn, Fair, Costelo, Grimm, Perube, LaBarr, Appel, Todd
Digital Video: Agent Carbone
Choreography: Agent Tallaksen
Song by: Scott Brown and Anthony King
Arranged by: Jamie Laboz

For our latest mission, 16 agents staged a spontaneous musical in the food court of a Los Angeles shopping mall. We used wireless microphones to amplify the vocal performances and mix them together with the music through the mall’s PA system. We filmed the mission with hidden cameras, mostly behind two-way mirrors. Apart from our performers, no one in the food court was aware of what was happening. Enjoy the video first and then go behind the scenes with our report below.

Watch all of our other musicals!

We’ve had tons of ideas emailed to us over the years. Out of all of them, one stands out as the absolute most suggested: “You know how it’s weird in musicals that people just break out into song for no reason? You guys should stage a musical like that in a public place.” We’ve probably gotten over 100 emails just like that. Well, we finally decided it was time to make it happen.

It should be noted that staging a musical in a public place is not a new idea. It’s been done before by several groups, the most popular of which took place in a lecture hall, staged several years ago by the old Columbia University group, Prangstgrup.

We wanted to create an original song for this mission, so I turned to Agents Brown and King, longtime Improv Everywhere Agents and writers of the hit Off-Broadway show, Gutenberg! The Musical!

Unfortunately there are very few photos from this mission. It took place in Los Angeles, so our normal photographers were not around. We decided to focus on getting the best video possible, and photography was sadly left out. We do have a few photos of our rehearsal process.

Agent Tallaksen leads rehearsal
We met the day before to rehearse the song and learn the choreography. Agent Tallaksen did an excellent job as the choreographer, bringing the song to life and adding in ridiculously hilarious blocking. Since we are not based out of LA, and this mission took place before our new global site was launched, we had to do a bit of searching to find the right agents. A few were personal friends of mine, a few were actors from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in LA, and some answered a casting call on craigslist. The mall we chose is in the middle of downtown LA and is very racially diverse. It was important to us to have an equal amount of diversity in the cast.

Typically Improv Everywhere does not ask for permission from the location where we are staging our mission. This was a rare exception. By working with the mall we would gain incredible access and be able to make the experience for the food court patrons all the more awesome. The mall let us rehearse the song the night before after they had closed.

We were able to test out our blocking and make sure it worked with the food court layout. The mall let us patch the performers microphones and the music into their PA system, which would make the performance loud and clear for everyone there. We were also able to install two-way mirrors in several spots to enable us to film the mission with our cameras completely hidden, again making the experience for those who would witness it all the more unique.

There is a hidden camera hiding behind the tinted glass in the door above.
The mall got us in touch with the folks from Hot Dog on a Stick, a west-coast corndog chain that had a location in the food court. The chain loaned us one of their uniforms for Agent Campbell to wear, and gave her access to behind the counter. Hilariously, Agent Campbell ended up having to actually help several customers as we were waiting for the mission to begin.

While the management of both the mall and Hot Dog on a Stick were aware of what we were doing, they kept the mission a secret from everyone else. All of the employees of the other food court establishments had absolutely no idea that our musical was going to take place.

The execution of the mission itself was tons of fun. It was awesome to watch the reactions of the folks sitting and eating as one by one people started joining in on the song. The coolest moment happened when Agent Caldwell broke into song. He was playing the role “janitor” and had actually been clearing trash off of people’s tables for a half-hour leading up to the mission. It was fun to see people realize that the man who had cleaned up their table five minutes ago was now singing in the middle of a musical.

Agent Caldwell
The security guard moment also worked really well. Agent Sutton wore a black “security” jacket that was identical to the real mall security. You could feel the tension grow after he entered, with everyone assuming he was there to shut down the performance. It was a great misdirect.

Agents Brister and Sutton
There were several agents who got cut out of the video (you can hear their parts in the song included above.) We had three skater punks skate in and sing, a group of young girls did a cheer about napkins, and several more agents posing as regular folks eating joined in for the finale. By the end there were shoppers lined up watching us from the second level, and we got a nice round of applause when we finished. However, there was no bow. Our agents returned to whatever they were doing before the song broke out, as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

Mission Accomplished.


– Our second musical: Grocery Store Musical
– Our third musical: I Love Lunch! The Musical


  1. This was hilarious! In a lot of sitcoms, musicals just break out, but seeing one in real life has got to be a little weird. The best part was when Agent Sutton(security) come by and has a serious look on his face, but then starts singing. Great mission.

  2. This title sounds like a cross between two Disney films: High School Musical and Full Court Miracle. It’s really funny just for that.

    Who came up with the “napkins” topic? That made it even funnier, because even musicals usually have more serious reasons to sing. :D

  3. You guys are seriously amazing; I am always impressed! At the end of this song, I actually clapped as if I were there!

    Keep up the great work!

  4. amazing job!

    this is hysterical!!

    i’ve sent it on to many friends! (many who love high school musical and other disney comedies where they also just randomly break out in song!)

  5. This is by far one of the best missions you guys have ever pulled off. The only way it could have been better would have been if the mall and HDoaS had not been in on it, but that would have been very risky.

    I’d like to see the Craig’s List ad.

  6. Well done. Too bad there’s no complete video – I’d love to be able to see the missing parts.

  7. I can only say Amazing! I have to give props to the Mall and Hot Dog on a Stick for having a sense of humor and really working with you guys to put on this “production”. I hope you’ll consider doing more spontaneous musicals in the future, in different venues, and closer to home (I’m in New York myself!) Great job. I’d say more, but I’m dying to watch that video one more time! :)

  8. Oh my god, I have said for YEARS that the world needs to be more like a musical. Thank you for proving me right. This was amazing.

  9. you guys are great!!! I LOVE what you are doing! Can I be on your mailing list? And I’d love to help out, be included if you need more people involved!!!
    The best!!!


  10. That’s awesome! I love that the mall, hot dog on a stick, etc all went along with this. It was so great!!!!

  11. I’m guessing this is for the TV show you were hoping to do. I’m somewhat glad it fell through; while the idea is amusing, the Hollywood editing, voice over, and general Candid Camera knockoff style make it seem much less authentic than your previous missions.

  12. I love reading your missions! This was one of the first to have me giggling throughout. I loved the people’s reactions. Brilliant!

    My only wish is that someday the full video goes online someday.

  13. WAIT WHAT?! YOU DID A MISSION IN LOS ANGELES?! AWWW MAN! I MISSED OUT! (That said, I was really looking forward to hearing about this one!)

  14. I’ll second the fact that I’d love to see the full video.

    PS. Still totally love all your missions. I forwarded this to my friends at the Boston Conservatory (a music / dance school).

  15. So proud to have been a part of this! I’d been admiring the movement from the left coast for so many years, it was really an honor to get an invite to participate in a mission from Charlie!

    Sorry to see that my big solo (OK, half a line) was cut, but I thought the standout performance was definitely Caldwell as the janitor. Nice guy, too.

    My favorite part was working with Agent Talleksen! What a fun guy; he really embraced the broadness of musical theater.

  16. Hey can we get a link to actually download this song?
    iMeem just links to non-existent iTunes and Amazon pages to buy it even though you aren’t actually selling it(Although considering the sheer awesomeness of this song I would gladly pay the 90c to buy it from amazon XD)

  17. Holy wow… that was utterly brilliant! I laughed out loud when the janitor joined into the fray. I’m a huge fan of musical theater, and you guys nailed the whole genre absolutely perfectly. I’m amazed and awed at the writing, the performance, the choreography… everything!

  18. I’ve been following the IE missions for years now, and I’d been dying to see something like this. Great job guys!

  19. Wooow that was amazing. I wish something like that would happen in London. I can’t wait to see what you guys do next. Maybe you should do an impromptus football match in a supermarket…lol the look on the custoemrs faces would be priceless!

  20. LOL!!!

    if u liked that u should check out ‘if life were a musical’ on youtube, by an australian comedy group called the chasers war on everything…its pric4eless!!!!

  21. I had my initial doubts, but after watching the video… That’s the most beautiful thing you guys have done yet. Others still hold the ‘funniest’ title, though. ;) Way to go!

  22. This is the greatest thing I’ve ever dream about !! I wish I was living in America to join you and make things like that ! I love that… Tell me if some stuff like that is done in Europe :-D (I’m a swiss girl living in Switzerland)

  23. Well just wached the food hall musical from here in England. I must say it was absolutely terrific it brought tears to my eyes, you folks over there have got something good going, don’t lose it.

  24. Did that guy say ” he’s the most singingest janitor i ever saw” ? lol!

    fantastic guys! I love how everyone was throwing napkins at them but they only stopped when charlie handed them a napkin

  25. Totally Awesome!! But I feel a little cheated. Why not make the full version available. We didn’t even get to see the ‘singingest janitor ever’ dance!

  26. You guys are amazing (yeah I know it’s been said before but I wanted to say it too ;) ), I adored this one! I think I’ll steal your idea and stage something like that at my university :P

  27. Truely Awesome. I Love this Site You bring improvatinal comedyn to a new level. I love it. I would like to see the whole video in it’s entirety. Keep doing what your doing, creating smiles.

  28. Yesss! That was incredible!! As a musical theatre major, that just made my week. Those lucky patrons…if something like that happened while I was out, that would have made my life…lol.

    Anyway, very inspiring. I’ll have to round up friends and put on our own original musical… :)

  29. You guys always manage to amaze me, this was absolutely hilarious, I loved it! I’d love to have something like this happen while I was around, yet I’m surprised how many of the patrons in the video seemed annoyed rather than amused.

    I think the highlight of the clip was the janitor joining in, came out of nowhere. :D

    Great job as always!

  30. Love love love. I second the commenter who said he burst into applause at the end, just sitting here and watching online. And I third/fourth/fifth the commenters who are begging for the full-length video. Please? I really want to see the singinest janitor I ever seen become the dancinest janitor I ever seen.

    You guys’ work makes me so happy. Seriously, people say “[x] made my day” all the time but this really did. Keep it up. Awesome stuff.

  31. I’m not sure, but the guy at the end who says it’s the “singingest janitor I’ve ever seen” looks a LOT like Chester Whitmore, who lives in LA and who is one of the best tap dancers in the world. It’s totally possible that he happened to be at that mall. That would have been fun if he had tap danced too.

  32. I love how the audience reactions in LA and NY are totally different. In this video, people seemed annoyed or confused but in NY they get really excited and happy.

  33. best stunt yet, I’ve watched this 4-5 times now and can’t get the song out of my head — love it!!

  34. How nervous do you get when you are performing for people who aren’t waiting for a performance?

    The performance was brilliant. Thanks for sharing.

  35. Every time I watch this I like it more! What a great stunt and it’s even a really good song. Love the janitor–what a wonderful voice. Security officer was terrific. So was the Mother, the Paper Hat Girl, the guy with mustard on his pants…did I forget anyone? Wow. You all deserve Tonys.

    Thanks for the big smile on my face,


  36. Seeing this made my day. In all honesty, it has restored my faith in America. Someone keyed $2k worth of damage to my car at a children’s event for Thomas the Train. I was about to go postal or lock myself in my house. You all are doing gods work.

  37. That was great – My favorite part was the “uhoh” moment when the security guard shows up, but then starts singing and everyone in the audience seems to relax. Hoping for the full-length video!

  38. I’m sorry to say that I am not a fan of musicals. Whenever I see one in a movie, I tend to roll my eyes and pray it’s not too long to give me hives. But this looked like it was tons of fun, not only to put together but to have been able to see it in action as a spectator.

    I’m sad we missed the cut bits, I would have loved to have seen that!

  39. Ahhaha, I loved the janitor part. Man, I’ve noticed how great the video quality’s been getting. The years really fly by, don’t they?

  40. Wow, that was amazing! I only wish I was one of the people sitting there wondering what was going on.


  41. Man that was great. You guys have to do this one in NY too, I want to participate!

    Kudos to the mall guys for playing along, and I’d like to add my voice to the requests for the full video! I love the things you guys do. Count me in the next time you do some random fun in NY!

  42. I love how Agent Todd just sits and takes it all in, like a father watching the birth of a child. Congrats on a great IE mission.

  43. I started watching this expecting to hate it, and actually loved it. Clever, witty — just plain fun. Thank you!!!

  44. Should my faith in musicals as entertainment wane, I will look on this and be restored. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  45. THANK YOU, Thank you, for making life fun! My kids thought I was the only one who broke out in song.

  46. …not quite the same improv as usual but funny as S@$t!!! nun the less, kudos to the whole improv team for this 1 keep it up guys!

  47. How did you guys that is my secret fantasy to have my world suddenly turn into a musical? My God, I wish I had been there.

  48. Awesome I was cryin I was laughing so hard. Sorry I missed it I am not far from LA. Wish you would do more out here.

  49. Just like that episode of Buffy — “Once More with Feeling”.

    The mention of mustard is even a bit of an (unintentional?) homage to a particular little number in that show.

    Great job!

  50. this is the best mission you guys have ever done. hands down. even beats the big freeze which was awesome. i would love to see the full video!!

  51. Lemon for Lemon, Straw to Straw, Fork to chopstick, look for look, pound for pound, note for note and serviette to serviette, this was a great fast food operetta! Ting! Should have wrapped with a triangle! Too bad Moon Unit Zappa wasn’t there for a nosh. My napkin flies for you!

    Like TOTALLY!

  52. Here are some ideas that we get all the time and will probably never do for reasons indicated:

    1. Do a spotaneous musical on the streets or some other public place (This has been done before way too many times.)

  53. I used to perform in Food Court Musical Improvs when i was a homeless rodeo clown but not any more. Now I am a world class magician !

  54. I love your stuff but… doesn’t this defeat the idea of ‘improv’? Maybe it’s my west coast bias showing, but this looks like a pilot for a reality show. It was more like ‘Cameras Everywhere’.

  55. I can’t believe you had an LA mission and I didn’t even know about it. And a musical, no less! Wish I could have been a part of it because this was truly hilarious.

  56. You are such an inspiration! I was going to do a massive fake marriage proposal with tons of people at a local mall until someone who works at mall security found out about it and I had to cancel the event. Thanks for doing what you do and creating exceptional experiences!


  57. Fantabulous! What’s up w the peeps eating tho? many of them look almost upset, if I had been there I probably would’ve broken out singin myself! (then the crowd would really have been angry) Super Awesome-O!!

  58. This was why I came to America – the land of the Musical! Apparently I should go to the mall more often though… can’t believe I missed it (though in my defense LA is a big place). Brilliant stuff. More please!

  59. Nice work, guys!

    Reminded me of that scene in ‘Enchanted’ when a full-blown musical breaks out in Central Park.

  60. Best part… the janitor! I thought he was one of the “unaware” until he bursted into song… that was definitely one of the funniest!

  61. I really hope I’m an unsuspecting spectator for an IE event at some point in my life. What a blast! This one moves right up my list of favorites, great job guys. Thanks for doing this Charlie & gang and thanks for making them better and better (well, except for the Moebius, they don’t get better than that).

  62. Finally someone pulls off something great like this! Bravo guys! The funniest part was watching the WTF faces of all of the people not involved.

  63. You should put out a long version of the video. It sounds like the other parts would make it a lot cooler.

  64. The first thing I thought of as well was Buffy – “Once More With Feeling.” Love it. I don’t think the permission factor torched this at all. I would just consider the mall connections honorary agents. It’s all about the people’s reactions. I think everyone did a fabulous job. Thanks for sharing.

  65. very incredible and funny, i like all your videos, i have only a petition, you would be able to put subtitles (in english) to some video? the deaf people and the people who can read english but can´t understand a conversation will be thanked

  66. My son directed me to your site because I’m extremely stresed right now. He said I needed a laugh and boy did I get one. Loved this video and I plan to watch the others soon. THANKS

  67. As a huge fan of musicals, I’ve often wished that real life were like a musical… people singing and dancing over simple everyday matters. This performance was awesome, I loved every minute of it. This is my first time to your site, and I look forward to seeing more improve projects. Great job.

  68. Bravo!! Bravo!! Bravo!!

    So beautiful, so funny, so uplifting.

    You guys are so dear.

    Thank you for spreading happiness around. “Engaier” in French, which translates to, well, “gayifying.”


    Thank you for proving that even a place as dreary as a shopping mall can be gayified.

  69. beautiful! I am SO proud to be a human right now, and this is a rare thing feeling indeed! I hope you do a sequel. Or 4.

  70. Congratulations guys. I love these artistic perfomance. In fact, for me it directly links with the very essence of Middle Age minstrelsy and jongleurs. Keep up the good work!

  71. Odd, I was just saying to my mates at the weekend how much better would the world be if people just spontaneously broke out into song and dance for no reason like in movies.
    Loved it.

  72. Good work,
    But I’ve got to say that an Aussie TV show has been doing this since 2005-6.
    The show is called The Chaser’s War on Everything, it’s probably one of the best comedy news satire programs ever made.

    Check out

    for there segment “If life were a musical”
    Cheers all

  73. The sad part for me is that I live about 2 minutes away from Baldwin Hills mall, and I’ve been kicking around the idea of trying to do an IE:LA type event for a few months now… and I MISSED THIS!

    I want to cry.

    GREAT job everyone! I hope you do more stuff in LA and that I can find out about it in time to participate.

  74. @John: Very good. “Gay” is not an appropriate term to use to describe things you wouldn’t do yourself. As one Facebook group puts it, “‘Gay’ is not a synonym for ‘stupid'”.

  75. I love this video, it’s defintly one of my favorites along with the MP3 expirament, and the grand central station. What would make it better would an extended version, where we could see the skater dudes and the cheerleaders, and the dancing part. Please do that!

  76. This was absolutely amazing! It has been my dream for something like that to actually happen in front of me! I love it! I am so sad that I wasn’t there at that mall wondering what the hell was going on! Great job guys!

  77. HO MY GOD!! That’s SOOO good!! I always wanted to see something like this!! SOOOO HOT!!!! I need to do this one day! Is there a way that we could see the whole clip? With the skaters and the girls! PLEASE!!!!!

  78. Great performance!! The janitor was the best character out of the ‘musical’ – hilarious with a really good voice!

  79. OMG! just AWESOME! i wish i could see you on live someday jajaja keep on with the great job!

    greetings from spain!

  80. I think i might have been one of the people to email you the idea (i thought you should do it in a grocery store)
    Awsome job!!!

  81. You guys should at least credit the dudes that had this idea. Ok I will! .. in like 2002…

  82. Thank you so much for this! This is my absolute dream, to just have this sort of thing at any place. I wish I could do this here in the Philippines, but I don’t think they’ll get it. People here seriously need this kind of fun.

  83. That was very nicely filmed and exhilarating to watch and listen to! Once again, great job! Thank you!

  84. Wow !

    Not only is the idea brillant ! but the performance was brillant too !
    I’m in Montréal. If anyone wants to do this, I’m in ! (by the way, I’m a singer).

    Well done !


  85. A wonderful creation in a most banal location. Very touching to see the diners clap and cheer. You lit up peoples day, more please!!!

  86. That was really immpressive!… I’m thankful that you grant us to see a live motion musical… the janitor sings very well but the security guard stole the show… LOL =)

  87. @ Nikolaj –

    I too live in Montréal and I wish to do such a thing like this!!!!!! Are you in the Improv Everywhere global site?

  88. Great mission, guys!

    Charlie, I love the way you mingle with the audience and act all surprised! Great work, guys!

    Andries (from the Dutch Improv Everywhere-like group Shoqs)

  89. Fantastic!!! Loved it.

    I wonder what a subway musical would be like. Just like No Pants mission, People entering the subway train at different stations and join the musical and leave the train while others continue. I guess it might be a tough mission.

  90. jajaja muy gracioso felicitaciones desde españa por esto que haceis

    haha very funny congratulations from spain for this videos and this website

  91. Fabulous! Congratulations to everyone involved, I had a lot of fun watching that, you guys were amazing.

  92. This is probably, by far, your most popular mission! I see this everywhere on YouTube!! I love musicals (especially random ones!) so this drove me to tears in laughter! Please do more stuff like this in Michigan (more specifically Grosse Pointe areas..!!!)!!!!!

  93. This is probably, by far, your most popular mission! I see this everywhere on YouTube!! I love musicals (especially random ones!) so this drove me to tears in laughter! Please do more stuff like this in Michigan (more specifically Grosse Pointe areas..!!!)!!!!!

  94. This sure beats the spontaneous Irish seisun we pulled in a Burger King
    at 11pm one night (Bank holiday and the bar we were playing in wanted to close).

  95. Lol that was awesome, though Its really not improv at all if its choroeographed and rehearsed. its just inclusive theater

  96. I am still laughing. I have waited for years for someone to just “do a musical” somewhere crowded. I am still laughing. BH Mall is close to me so it made it even funnier. You should try a Trader Joe’s next time ( like you did Best Buy).

  97. Oh My,as One that truly believes our world is God’s little prank on the Cosmos…This proves that we are able laugh at the absurdity of our reality…. This was THE BEST!!! Thank-You for a good laugh.

  98. It’s to bad you cut the others out. It would have been cool to see them. This was great! I would LOVE to be in a spontaneous musical.

  99. I LOVE this. I would absolutely come unglued if I happened to be at a place where an impromptu musical number took place. I hope to be so lucky in my life!

  100. What’s with all the tight-assed literalists grumping about “oh well it’s not reeeeeally IMPROV, now is it?” Who cares? If you want to get all hair-splitty about it, the slow-mo Home Depot wasn’t improv either because they planned it to happen at a precise minute; the Best Buy infiltration wasn’t improv because it was no accident (dun dun DUN!) that everyone showed up in blue polos.

    Whatever you call it, the food court musical is still 1) a blast and 2) a most effective way to shock some innocent bystanders into a little bit of unanticipated wonder. The world needs more of both, and I’m so glad IE is on the case.

  101. Amazing! I loved this video. I have always wished people would just break out in song!

  102. Funny: More often than not I used to sit in a mall and think what would happen, if a performance like this broke out. In my head it’s quite similar to what the video looked like…

    I just realized: In the complete list of the Missions, food court Musical is listed with the wrong date: 2007 instead of 2008.

  103. This is wonderful! I love to see people making others happy with their talent. BRAVO! I wish there was more of this everywhere.

  104. This one has to be one of my favorites. I love how you guys made it exactly like a musical. It played out exactly like one too! Like how everyone joined in singing, everyone was dancing, and everything was resolved at the end. Brilliant. haha

  105. Terrific–I’m a nurse in a small rural hospital. We could sure use some of your “work” out here in the country and on the OB floor!

  106. Having a bad day.. car blew up earlier this week.. stuck in the middle of nowhere. finally made it home. got to watch this.. thanks for the LOL =)

    The inclusion of the HDOAS “girl,” as well as the janitor and security really punched it up as opposed to just a normal mission. Props to teh mall and HDOAS!

  107. I’m french and i see your movie i just tell you make a great job this is awesome.

    if you come in france try to make one improvisation in public place i’m sure some people will appreciate this kind of pranks.

  108. I was a fan when I lived in NY. Now you come to LA and rock out the mall I always go to! And they let you do it. So classic. I love that foodcourt!

  109. That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!!! It reminded me of the Musical Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode!!! I loved it I wish I could have been there. Very inspiring!!!


  110. hey….this was pretty amazing…baldwin hills mall is my second home…ive been going there since i was a kid because im a local girl…i wish i could have been there that day…it was pretty amazing…i probably would have started singing myself… was great!

  111. amazing…simply amazing. I love it. Brilliant. Keep up the awesomely wicked work. Wish I could have been there!!!

  112. Oh god! This was posted the day after my birthday! Best present ever!

    I hope you’ll do variations of the real-life musical in the future, in different public locations. It’s too hilarious not to.

  113. Hi, I’m French, so sorry for my ” bad english ”
    I think what you do is very good, and when I saw the video : I loved, it was too fun to see people stop to move. Moreover, your idea is very creative.I hope i don’t speak very bad…

    All the best.

    PS : I Loved U.S.A, you’re so lucky to live in.

    Kiss. Raphaelle who loved what you do.

  114. One of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve e-mailed the URL to almost everyone I know, because this is much too good not to share. It has brightened up lots of lives.

    Do more missions!

  115. I love it. If anyone wants to watch some more musicals improv search for chasers – if life were a musical

  116. That was hysterical my church pastor and his wife told me about it! We are working on improv in our Xpress Drama Ministries Group at our wonderful church, First Assembly Of God!!

    Thanks!! It was so funny!!

  117. I have dreamed about doing something like this… how can I connect with you in San Diego!

    This was the primo of all! Loved it! You guys make this world worth living in… no kidding!

  118. I really enjoyed this… but I must nitpick on the description of the location as in the ‘middle of downtown’. Although racially diverse, this area is at least as close to the Westside as it is to Downtown (which means a very specific place here). It should more properly be called Southwest LA. Anyway props to the mall and HTOAS for allowing it!

  119. Marcelo Teson
    Mar 10th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I’m not sure, but the guy at the end who says it’s the “singingest janitor I’ve ever seen” looks a LOT like Chester Whitmore,

    Yes, that is most definitely Chester Whitmore. With all the video and stage spoofs he does at Herrang, I just assumed he was in on it. This is by far my most favorite IE to date.

  120. Yeah, the full video would be great. Also, I don’t know how you guys feel about tributes or anything, but is it cool if a couple of my friends and I try to recreate some of this stuff? We live in Ohio which is insanely boring and could totally pull this off without many people knowing what was going on.

  121. Well done!! Props probably one of the best… totally loved how the mall and hot dog stand joined in.. harsh free advertising for them!!

  122. “Brilliant” doesn’t begin to express my admiration for your work.

    I teach a university business writing class. You can imagine the heavy seriousness that pervades the class.

    So, in our computer classroom, I brought up “Food Court Musical.” Everyone laughed. Everyone loved it.

    All of a sudden students found that they can laugh and at the same time they discover that they can write, they can argue.

    My thanks for your help in defrosting young people who are so focused on careers that they forget to laugh at themselves and the world around them!

  123. Ok…. I am a HUGE musical fan! I just wanted to say that… DANG!!!! I love it! I can totally imagine going to a Broadway musical and seeing this number! Well done!

  124. This video is ruining my life. I can’t stop watching it!

    Great job!!!! Here’s another request for the full video.

  125. hey gys and gas… I loved the fucking food court musical.. Im a chef and I am going to forward this on to all y chef friends and everyone in the biz I know.. I think its a great idea,,,keep up the good work… I also loved the “NO pants” Video, just wish there were more shot of the ot gals in their panties WOW… what a day off this is turning out to be….keep up the good wor… I hope their is more to come….

  126. It is so refreshing that in today’s world of wars, terrorism, economic catastrophes, and such, that there are actually groups of people who live life just to entertain and bring joy to us all. A nice reminder that there is much more “good” in this world than people think. We need more random acts of this type — bravo Improv-ers!

  127. I’ll bet I’m one of the few who had tears at this. (Now can I get a napkin please) When I was in High School and living in a terrible family a friend and I actually acted like we were in a musical often. We would dance and sing our way down the hall etc. I wanted life to be like a musical. Your show brought my dream to life and it touched me. Wonderfully done.

    I think the idea calling it Improv is that it is meant to look like it was spontaneous improv. This is what the unsuspecting audience would think, at least at first.

  128. The drama teacher at my school wants to do something like this. We just finished our performance of High School Musical, and she wants the cast to perform ‘Stick to the Status Quo’ during lunch. She gave us the food court musical to show us what it will be like. This is awesome. Keep on rocking, Improveverywhere!

  129. The guy makes a good point that this is not really improv – it’s faux improv, but it works, so why ruin it?

    I’d be interested in seeing the parts that were cut from the final video.

  130. I’ve watched this repeatedly and its still funny! Would love to see the whole video. Is there a way to buy the mp3 file? The site link to Amazon/iTunes doesn’t work.

  131. I remember when I first watched this video, the part where security came onto the scene I was grinning my head off and thinking, “Oh here it comes…” and was getting ready to hear him sing his part. Quite frankly your videos have made my day (Which I might add has hardly started.)!

  132. I’m a professional flutist and a public school music teacher in Calif. (we have 1 more year of music, then the budget’s cut again). Sure wish my students could see this, so they know what’s possible, etc.

    I did something similar in a Carmel, Calif. restaurant/bookshop with an opera called The Face on the Barroom Floor by Steve Tosh years ago, and it was pretty funny/weird.

    Jacqueline Rosen, flutist

  133. this was the funniest thing ive ever seen. i wouldve loved to witness it on my own. this was great!

  134. This is definitely one of my FAVORITE missions ever!!! You should come to my (really boring and quiet) town and do it!

  135. You should put a download link for the full video, and see if you can find sheet music. That was awesome. I fell for the security, but when she asked for napkins you could tell he was an actor. Keep it up!

  136. please do this at Sunrise Mall in Massapequa on Long Island, NY… you would DEFINITELY get an aaamazing response… better than those people who couldn’t even find it funny!

  137. I think it’s too bad that the whole story revolved around getting a napkin. The message that comes across is that these people with their banal jobs have nothing better to worry about than cleaning things up.

  138. Omg I am in love with you guys that right there was the highlight of my day. Hilarious =) Some to Toronto.

  139. This is my favoritist internet vid. I’ve watched it 10+ times and love it each time. Here’s a pledge of $5 to see the full version. You guys are great, keep up the awesome work!

  140. What country did this take place in? I know they were speaking English, but it didn’t look like America or England. You know, two primarily white countries (or at least were), but there weren’t any white people in the food court. So, it’s hard to tell. Of course, I get the same feeling walking downtown in my American suburb.
    Yay, minority status!

  141. hahahaha.
    i love this one
    but now every time im in a food court ill be disappointed when something like this doesnt happen.

  142. Fantastic! I LOVE it! Forwarding to everyone I know, made my day – and probably everyone else as well;)

  143. I lauged so hard i cried. Keep this up, we need more of this! Maybe a verison on the Chicago “EL” could be next?

  144. This is my favorite “mission” that you all have done (the other being the “frozen” one), but I was wondering if we could view the full musical? I think it would be nice to see everyone who was involved.

  145. Very, very well done. I’m sure you caught everyone off guard. Yes, I too, figured the game was up when the security guard appeared. A well executed misdirect.

  146. One of my favorite Improv Everywhere acts; like everyone else is saying (hint hint), a full version would be awesome!

  147. hey improve everywhere,
    i think that food court musical is soo kewl!! i luvv the song and how they perfomed the improve skit…i rocked :]

  148. Hi there i’am portuguese and i love your work.
    This week i saw i week version of your Food Court Musical in my country, but if i understand wrigth the Portuguese Entreprise Renova Papper Tisues didn’t pay you anything for your excelent ideia, that is true, sorry for my poor english write.

    Anyone interest on this can see the two videos, the Original from Improv Everywhere and the Copy, which they claim to be Guerilla Marketing from Renova Papper Tissues.

  149. Hey!! I love the food court musical, when i watched it for the first time i fell in love with the idea. I’m actually thinking about doing something simular as my final piece for my university degree. YOU ARE MY IDEA!! Any chance you guys wanna take a holiday to Oxford England and help me out? I have to perform it in March, so i have a while to get organising!
    I’m so excited! You guys rule!

  150. I somehow stumbled upon this awesome website through youtube and the Frozen Central video. I’m glad I did, these are all so random but hilarious!

  151. Hmmm I need a phrase hmmm holy crab apples no been saying that for months holy cats hmm new but not good anough O I KNOW HOLY HIGHSCHOOL MUSICAL AND FRIES that was sooooooooooooo freaking funny I CANT WAIT TO TELL MY FRIENDS AT YOUTH GROUP ABOUT THIS LOL im 13 and in 8th grade along with my youth group friends (4 including me) If your ever in need of 4 8th graders in the annapolis maryland area were your group theres 3 girls and one boy in our group and we love this kinda thing HOLY HIGHSCHOOL MUSICAL AND FRIES I LOVE YOU GUYS

  152. the black guy in teh brown shirt at the end who said yes you can have a napkin
    who is he? is he a random guy
    cause im so sure i saw him on tv

  153. i have seen this so many times i have it basically memorized
    how could someone get involved with something like this ?
    like in the next improv everywhere prank

  154. Agent Campbell has a great voice and I really liked the Janitor, too.

    IE is awesome, I wish I had the guts/ideas to start something like that where I live.

  155. this is amazing.. i taught improv for 3 years… we did something like this in the annapolis mall!!! yes i live in maryland.. 20 min from baltimore 45 from D.C. can u imagine!??? ANNAPOLIS AS WELL!??? this is creative, with the napkin, plain and simple, wonderful job!

  156. OH MY GOD ! I wish I was here… I’d like so much to see and to take part in such events… I’m french, does anybody know if there is this kind of association in France ?

    Congratulations, once more. Keep on doing, and have fun !


  157. Your work warms the heart of an old social activist. I am near despaired of the challenge of who will continue the message of stop, look, and listen! Who else but the overburdened performer/entertainer/waiter&waitresses “waiting” for their breaks/iconoclasts? You give more than you know. I hope you will be as delighted with your successors as I am with you, but that will be up to you.
    I have to tell you that what you do has an impact beyond the wildest dreams of any politician because they fail to engage their audience. Please do what you do and if you do it with passion you will inspire your successors. BRAVO for your heart and engagement with the human condition.

  158. This stuff should be on TV !! Reminds me so much of the Jamie Kennedy Experiment !! Funny Stuff fer REAL !!! lmao

  159. I just found your site, totally cool. I also showed this video to my 6 year old. He won’t stop singing Lemonade. We both thought it was great. Keep up the good work.

  160. LOL that was amazing! How many people would have just been like what the hell.. it was awesome! I wanna do that!

  161. My sister told me to check out this website. I absolutely love it! Great ideas guys! And very entertaining! Keep the experiments coming :)

  162. omg i love this one its my favorite out of all your videos. I liked the camera shots your other videos dont have as good of camera placeing but this one was great……Love your work keep it up =]

  163. Bravo! Incredibly creative and brilliantly executed! I used to love the old Prangstgrup material; I must say you’ve done them proud!

  164. Awesome! Great idea. Kudos to you and all. One really minor nitpick: since you did rehearse, it was not, technically, an “Improv” event. But still, that’s really minor. My hat’s off to you folks, and the mall management, and Hot Dog on a Stick as well. Bravo!!!!

  165. This is the most beautirful thing I’ve ever seen. Keep on doing the world better and better. Big respect for everyone engaged in this project !!! :))))

  166. :D I always wondered what would happen if life were like high school musical… now I just need to figure out how to get it done in our school cafeteria, and it’s all good! Amazing work, anyway.

  167. That was really awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!Loved the Frozen Central station.
    Would love to do something like that in Barcelona, Spain.
    How can we get in touch with you guys!!!!!!!
    Have just seen the interview in “La Vanguardi” of Charlie!!
    I am a dancer and I could get a lot of people to do that here!!!!

  168. You guys are amazing. i can’t get enough of this stuff.
    I love the janitor part. I think half the people trying to eat nearly chocked. lol
    I should try doing that at school. Or at least propose it to the acting class they would love it. lolololololol

  169. I would love to participate in a mission like this. I am 13 year old so its hard to come across a chance to participate in such a awesome mission.

    This was brilliant

  170. This has to be classified as awesome. I would love an annual or encore or something, preferrably near San Diego. You should do some missions in SD.

  171. i rly like this. my sister and i would crack up if we saw something like this random musical unfortunatly we live in indiana.

  172. This made my day! I laughed for around 20 minutes even after watching the end. I have been wanting to attempt this at my school with a group of kids, and randomly break out into song during lunch. It has inspired me to ask my theater teacher if we can do this once in a local mall. It would be incredibly random and add some excitement to our mall. This is genius!

  173. Awesome awesome awesome….I had to make reference to you guys on my blog.

    Awesome awesome awesome again. Do these happen in the UK?

  174. oh Guys… this is freaking awesome!!!
    I wonder if you have crews in different cities all over the country to do this… I’ll be very glad to be part of it… no matter how crazy is this… Actually I’m from Utah… here the people is very… extremely conservative, so some prank like those will have a great impact in here… waiting to hear about you guys!!!

  175. haha, my favorite part was the janitor’s part. It just made me laugh so hard when he started singing in the video. I wish I was there when it happened. xD

  176. HI everyone.Could someone help me ? I have this f**** song stuck in my head since yesterday. when i first discovered the video, i watched it at least 10 times in a row. Now this music is playing again and again whatever i’m doing i hear it…. I even dreamt about it last night. Do you guys have a trick to get that thing out of my head ?

  177. This. Is. Pure. Genius.

    I loved it from beginning to end! I love stuff like this. It reminded me of the silliness of the Buffy musical (“they got the MUSTARD OUT!”) hehehe.


  178. Omg! This was one of the most creative musicals I’ve ever seen! My friend showed me this webtsite and I showed this particular one to my friends. Awesome job on this! Keep up the good work! =D

    I wish we could do this sort of thing at my mall! =P

  179. Was given your link by a friend in the USA.
    Absolutely awseome and I shall be watching evry single one.
    Don’t get nothing like that happening in the UK

  180. Tjis is one of my favorites. I wish you hadn’t cut the video, I would love to have seen the whole performance. I’ve watched it over and over and I still want more. Please post an uncut version.

  181. this video made me think of food court musical all over again, if it was combined with the freezing one in grand central.

  182. Totally awesome. I didn’t even come close to expecting the janitor to chime in with everyone. I love you guys.

  183. I just now found this…May 2009. You guys have me fired up. I joined the Texas group of The Urban Prankster Network. This was AWESOME. It’s the exact reason I hate musicals…which is why I love this. GREAT job.

  184. Thank you thank you thank you. I was utterly stressed out (it’s finals week at my college right now)- my friend sent me this link, and I literally spent an hour on your website. This is one of my favorites though- my friends and I have always contemplated about how extraordinary it would be to all of a sudden break out in a musical, though ours usually center around the library steps, or in a coffee shop. Thank you for restoring some of my faith in humanity- PLEASE CONTINUE TO PULL THESE AMAZING PERFORMANCES!! May I suggest a musical via train station? Or another public area? I look forward to seeing your future works!!!

  185. this video just made my day. love the part when the security guard comes in and everyone was so worried, but when he started to sing too, i burst out laughing!!
    this is the best so far!!
    keep it up guys

  186. I’m directing this in my High School cafeteria right now, and I have someone putting together some sheet music for the accompianment. If anyone needs it, I would be happy to help you out. Thanks for this wonderful idea!!!

  187. thank you so so so so much for making my day and week much more light-hearted and reminding me that laughing is the best cure for everything!!! keep up the hysterical work, i wish i could be part of the group!

  188. OMG. I just now saw this on my nephew’s facebook profile and immediately recognized “agent Caldwell” the singing janitor who happens to be my very competent colleague and LAWYER. I had no idea! but I HAVE seen him give some pretty good performances in court!

  189. Never get tired of this one. Although, I only first saw it yesterday, so who knows what the future holds?

  190. Excellent YouTube post ! thanks for sharing. I’ll be adding your blog to my reader.

  191. This has gotta be one of my favorite things you’ve done! I was laughing the entire time!

  192. i love this! its sooooooooo funny when they start and everyone’s just looking around, totally confused. And the security guard was HILARIUOS!!!!! me and my friends love this veido! we’re even thinking about doing it in school during lunch or something!

  193. I would love to do this in Winnipeg Manitoba’s food court in St.Vital. Any way this could be rearranged?

  194. It’s fantastic and soooo funny! Really. (though I do not really like musicals). Pity there is no group (and there are no events) like this in Hungary. However, I wonder there would be enough “volunteers” here in Budapest, for instance, to do such funny projects. :-D

  195. i love what has happened! i think that life should be a musical! The world needs a little music in their life!

  196. i have walked through life actively resenting that the world wasn’t a musical. and then one day at a mall you freaks exploded around me. it was fun and awesome and life affirming, dammit! i would like my tax dollars to go to you.

  197. This is hilarious!!! As someone how has lived in this area for nearly 20 years and is quite familiar with the layout and demographics of the mall, it made me wish I was there to see the reaction of people. I would have caught on quite quickly, however, as you kind of mentioned in your editorial the mall is located in a predominately/historically African-American neighborhood, and to see that many white people working in and patronizing the mall would have been odd to me. However, being the ever so culturally embracing neighborhood that it is, most likely people were not deterred or suspicious by the enhanced caucasian-nous of the food court. Well done; try downtown l.a. next time; it needs a morale booster.

  198. I like the guy at the end “He’s the most singingest janitor I’ve ever scene. I said damn boy.”

  199. First of all, I want that to happen to me somewhere, and secondly, I want to be a part of one!!! If you ever come to San Jose, CA, count me in!!!

  200. that guy sounds like he’s part of the song when he laughs
    and i love the line ‘and this hot girl too’
    is there anyway of seeing the whole thing?

  201. Once I did the same thing for a televisionprogram at a kind of mall in Rotterdam, with freezing with 20 others.

    Really, if you come to Holland, let me know, cause I love doing these Things xD!

  202. Hi,

    we are a flashmob-community in Hamburg, Germany. A part of our flashmobbers created an “Impro-Comedy”-group and we are going to make a similar musical – as your food court musical or I love lunch! – here in Hamburg, too. We don’t need a napkin, but we need help! I am thinking about tipps and tricks for the organisation.

    “I need some help from youuuuuuuuu!” (singing as “I need a napkin, toooooo!”)

    Would be glad to hear from you. You can also find me on facebook: Thorsten Gawandtka

    Bye, ThoGa

  203. Brilliant. This is exactly what America needs to bring us out of the gloomy recession. Can we train the un/under-employed to be hilarious actors and creative artists? Hooray for people with great ideas and those who do not trample on their dreams. On a much smaller scale you may also appreciate The Legendary Bush Man of San Francisco. (

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