The big buzz in the world of comedy this weekend is the thoughtful email back-and-forth that comedian Paul F. Tompkins published on his website yesterday between himself and Charlie Todd, the creator of the public prank comedy troupe Improv Everywhere, those people who spontaneously sing in supermarkets and stuff. Since the debate, over whether or not Improv Everywhere's public pranks are unfair to the regular people upon whom they're played, is polite and neither guy comes off as an ass, it's not very sensational. (Unlike the World's Best Comedy Email Fight of All Time, from 2001, in which That '70s Show creator Mark Brazill urged Judd Apatow to "get cancer," and which is basically worth reading on a twice-weekly basis.) Anyway, the exchange is valuable because it raises all sorts of interesting questions about the ethics of comedy, and also because, for once, nobody tells anyone to get cancer. Maybe online comedy feuds have come a long way in the past decade, or maybe these two dudes are just civilized. It's a draw.
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