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Impractical Jokers is an American hidden camera reality game show with improvisational elements. Produced by NorthSouth Productions, Impractical Jokers premiered on truTV on December 15, 2011 starring the four members of The Tenderloins: Joseph "Joe" Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn, and Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano.

Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers Logo.png
Genre
Directed by
  • Peter Fowkes
  • P. J. Morrison
  • Andrew Hood
Starring
Narrated by
  • Drew Patterson
  • Bill St. James
  • Erik Falcon
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes197 (+ 30 specials) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Charlie DeBevoise
  • Mark Hickman
  • Brian Quinn
  • James Murray
  • Joe Gatto
  • Sal Vulcano
  • Pete McPartland
  • Simmy Kustanowitz[1]
Production location(s)New York City
Camera setupHidden camera
Running time
  • 19–21 min. (seasons 1–5)
  • 23–24 min. (seasons 6–7)
  • 40 min. ("Live Punishment Special")
  • 82 min. (season 5 finale)
  • 47 min. ("Universal Appeal")
  • 48 min. ("Paradise Lost")
  • 49 min. (season 6 finale)
Production company(s)NorthSouth Productions
DistributorWarner Bros. Television[2]
Release
Original networktruTV
Picture format480i (season 1)
1080i (season 2–present)
Original releaseDecember 15, 2011 (2011-12-15) –
present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website

An episode of Impractical Jokers is a series of competitive games of dare in which each joker receives either a thumbs up or thumbs down for his performance. At the end of the episode, the joker who tallied the most thumbs down is the loser and is thereby subjected to a "punishment," which he is contractually forbidden from refusing. The games are contrived scenarios in which one joker is challenged to embarrass himself by engaging with unwitting members of the general public, receiving commands from the other jokers who are orchestrating and surveying the bizarre scenario from behind the scenes with covert recording equipment. The most common premise is "you refuse - you lose." The intro of Impractical Jokers describes the show as, "scenes of graphic stupidity among four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other." The games are loosely structured, relying heavily upon improvisation. The show's comedic themes range from witty dialogue to slapstick routines, with the reactions of both the jokers and the members of the public serving as punchlines.

Impractical Jokers' eighth season premiered on March 28, 2019.[3] An Impractical Jokers feature-length movie began filming in April 2018 and is expected to premiere sometime in 2019.[4][5] Moreover, Impractical Jokers has been renewed for a 26-episode ninth season, which is scheduled to premiere in 2020.[6]

DevelopmentEdit

 
Intertitle used since Season 3. From left to right: Q, Murr, Sal, and Joe.

Joe Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn, and Sal Vulcano, four high school friends who attended Monsignor Farrell High School, from Staten Island, New York, formed the live improv and sketch comedy troupe The Tenderloins in 1999.

After a long and successful history, including winning the $100,000 grand prize in NBC's "It's Your Show" competition, the group went into television. In 2008, they filmed a pilot episode for a scripted sitcom for Spike TV, but the show did not go to series. TruTV announced Impractical Jokers, originally slated to be named Mission: Uncomfortable, on April 12, 2011, eight months before the show's debut. Murray explained how the hidden camera format made sense based on the jokesters' skills. "We needed to find the right format... thing is, we've been doing this for years, but when it's on camera, the embarrassment is amplified."[7] Quinn and Vulcano have said when they gave their pilot episode to TruTV, it was recorded on their iPhones. At the time they pitched the idea to TruTV, Murray was VP of Development for NorthSouth Productions, the company that has produced the series since its inception.

EpisodesEdit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
116December 15, 2011 (2011-12-15)May 3, 2012 (2012-05-03)
228September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06)December 12, 2013 (2013-12-12)
331January 2, 2014 (2014-01-02)October 30, 2014 (2014-10-30)
426January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29)October 22, 2015 (2015-10-22)
526February 11, 2016 (2016-02-11)November 3, 2016 (2016-11-03)
626February 9, 2017 (2017-02-09)November 2, 2017 (2017-11-02)
726February 1, 2018 (2018-02-01)December 6, 2018 (2018-12-06)
826[8]March 28, 2019 (2019-03-28)TBA
Specials30February 2, 2012 (2012-02-02)TBA

Prior to every challenge, the Jokers explain where they are, what the challenge is, and what will happen if they fail. Often (but not always) the cast member(s) performing the prank wears an earpiece, while the others have a mic in a covert location. Cameras are hidden near the area to capture the action. The challenge location is usually a public area in or around New York City such as a city park, or store. The criteria of each challenge are the same for each of the Jokers competing in the round. If the Joker cannot complete their task, they get a thumbs-down. At the end of the episode, the Joker(s) with the most thumbs down receives a punishment, and the punishments are usually more embarrassing, humiliating, disgusting, painful, scary, or dangerous than any of the challenges. Punishments cannot be refused, or the Joker will be kicked off the show.

As of the 2017–18 television season, the series is syndicated to American broadcast stations by Trifecta Entertainment & Media, with a clearance rate of 85% of television homes.[9]

Punishment countEdit

As of Season 8, Episode 19

Season (episodes) Murr Q Joe Sal
1 (16) 5 4 5 5
2 (28) 8 7 6 10
3 (31) 9 7 6 10
4 (26) 9 5 6 8
5 (26) 8 7 7 10
6 (26) 9 8 4 9
7 (26) 7 7 5 9
8 (18) 6 5 3 5
Total (197) 61 50 42 66

CastEdit

 
The Tenderloins in Times Square in 2010

The cast consists of four long-time friends, collectively on the show referred to as "Jokers".

MainEdit

  • Brian "Q" Quinn (born March 14, 1976) is an improvisational comedian from the New York City borough of Staten Island. He attended Monsignor Farrell High School, where he was involved in numerous activities including drama and sports.[10] He attended Brooklyn College and later went on to join the New York City Fire Department.[11] He is the third host of the podcast Tell 'Em Steve-Dave! which was formerly on SModcast.com.
  • James "Murr" Murray (born May 1, 1976) is an improvisational comedian from the New York City borough of Staten Island. He attended Monsignor Farrell High School there, and was also part of a community theatre.[10] He continued his education at Georgetown University where he received a BA in English.[12] He continues to work at NorthSouth Productions, where he is the Senior Vice President of Development.[13] In 2018, he released a sci-fi/horror book called Awakened, which was co-written by Darren Wearmouth, and revolves around a monster that lives in the subways of New York City. A sequel, called The Brink, is planned to be released in 2019. As of September 2019, he is engaged to Melyssa Davies.
  • Sal Vulcano (born November 6, 1976) is an improvisational and stand-up comedian from the New York City borough of Staten Island. He attended Monsignor Farrell High School, where he took part in various sports such as hockey, basketball and football. He received a degree in Finance from St. John's University.
  • Joe Gatto Jr. (born June 5, 1976) is an improvisational comedian from the New York City borough of Staten Island, where he attended Monsignor Farrell High School.[10] He studied at Long Island Post University where he received a degree in Accounting.[14] He founded the Tenderloins comedy troupe in 1999 and worked at the baby retail store Giggle, until January 2012. He is the only married Joker, and has two children with his wife Bessy.[15]

Guest appearancesEdit

Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6 Season 7 Season 8

International versionsEdit

  • A UK version of Impractical Jokers began airing in winter 2012 on BBC Three. It starred comedians Paul McCaffrey, Joel Dommett, Marek Larwood and Roisin Conaty.[16] The pilot was filmed and placed online as part of "The Comedy Kitchen" in 2012. The first series included six episodes, which aired from November 15 to December 20, 2012. The second series also included six episodes, and aired from February 24 to April 2, 2014. It was produced by Yalli Productions.[17] It was cancelled after Series 2 in April 2014, mainly due to its unpopularity. However, more recently, Comedy Central and Channel 5 picked up the rights to co-produce a third season of Impractical Jokers UK with Yalli Productions, starring Late Night Gimp Fight.[18]
  • A Dutch version was broadcast on Veronica in 2013, called De Fukkers. In 2015 a new version started at RTL 5, named Foute Vrienden, like the Flemish version.[19]
  • A Belgian (Flemish) version broadcast on 2BE in the fall of 2012, titled Foute Vrienden. James Murray appeared in episode 5 of the first season.[20] The second season, which started in March 2014, included 10 episodes.
  • A Brazilian version is currently being broadcast on SBT titled Amigos da Onça. The series premiere aired on January 7, 2013[21] and ended on August 13, 2013. James Murray appeared in episode 3 of the second season.
  • A Lebanese version was broadcast on Al Jadeed in the fall of 2013.
  • A Mexican version broadcast on TBS Latin America started on May 20, 2015 with the title Impractical Jokers.
  • A Greek version was broadcast on Ant1 in February 2014 with the title Wanted.
  • A French-Canadian version was broadcast on V on February 24, 2014 with the title Les Jokers.
  • A Swedish version was broadcast on TV6 in April 2014 with the title Radiostyrd.
  • A Spanish version was broadcast on Neox in 2014 with the title Sinvergüenzas.
  • An Egyptian version was released in 2015 with the title Al Mohayesoun.[22]
  • A Russian version started broadcasting on November 17, 2018 on Che with the title Shutniki (Шутники)[23]

Critical receptionEdit

Impractical Jokers has been well received by most critics, with Linda Stasi of the New York Post calling it "possibly the funniest, most ridiculous show I've seen in years."[24]

While it has been compared to earlier hit prank shows such as Candid Camera and Jackass, critics have offered praise for its unique twist on the genre, wherein the stars' reactions to the pranks are often equally as humorous as those of the innocent bystanders. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times stated that "the gag pays off twice: once in the reaction of the unsuspecting passer-by, once in the discomfort of the fellow doing the asking." He later wrote that the cast-members' occasional integrity [kept] these four clowns a little bit lovable."[25] Dean Robbins of The Daily Page echoed this sentiment, stating that "the friends are jovial rather than Jackass-obnoxious, even rejecting some dares as too offensive."[26]

The series has been generally well received, garnering 1.5 million viewers during its December 15, 2011 premiere.[27]

The review of the show by Variety's Brian Lowry was less positive, ending with this statement: "Nobody will ever confuse Impractical Jokers with high art, certainly, but as low-brow, micro-cost comedy in the context of TruTV's programming resources, it's actually quite practical—and occasionally funny."[28]

Spin-offsEdit

Jokers WildEdit

Jokers Wild was a spin-off of the original series in which the guys filmed a different style of skits that differ from ones that they normally film for the show. These skits are story type as opposed to live interaction with people. The first episode of Jokers Wild aired on September 25, 2014. Only 4 episodes of the 6 that were filmed for this series ever aired on truTV as the show did not do well in the ratings and was cancelled after the 4 episodes aired.[29][30]

Impractical Jokers: Inside JokesEdit

Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes is a spin-off of Impractical Jokers in which episodes that have already aired are shown again with pop-up facts throughout, including behind-the-scenes stories and facts directly from the Jokers. The first episode of Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes aired on July 14, 2016, following the mid-season British special.[31][32]

Impractical Jokers: After PartyEdit

Impractical Jokers: After Party is a spin-off hosted by Joey Fatone, in which the Jokers and surprise guests go through a deep dive of challenges, special play-by-play punishment analysis from the latest episode, and bonus content from the latest episode or the whole show. The first episode of the series aired on August 3, 2017 after the episode "The Q-Pay" had aired. After Party is filmed at The Flagship Brewing Company bar in Staten Island. When the series came back on August 2, 2018, the series moved to The Mailroom Bar in Lower Manhattan.

Impractical Jokers MovieEdit

On March 7, 2018, truTV announced that Impractical Jokers was renewed for an eighth season and a feature-length film to begin development in spring 2018, directed by Chris Henchy and produced by Funny or Die. Production on the film began at the end of April 2018.[33][34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Petski, Denise (July 22, 2016). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed For Season 6 By TruTV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "WBITVP Appoints Jean-Louis Blot to Lead Warner Bros.' Newly Launched TV Production Operations in France".
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (February 11, 2019). "'Impractical Jokers' & 'Tacoma FD' Get March Premiere Dates On TruTV". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  4. ^ "TruTV Renews 'Impractical Jokers,' Orders Feature Film From Funny or Die (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. March 8, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 7, 2018). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed for Season 8 at truTV, Set First Feature Film". Variety. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  6. ^ "truTV Greenlights #1 Cable Comedy Series "Impractical Jokers" for a Ninth Season". The Futon Critic. July 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Moye, David (December 14, 2011). "'Impractical Jokers': TruTV's New Hidden Camera Program (VIDEO)". HuffPost Weird News. TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 7, 2018). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed for Season 8 at truTV, Set First Feature Film". Variety. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  9. ^ TruTV's 'Impractical Jokers' Cleared in 85% of U.S. - Deadline Hollywood (Published May 24, 2017; accessed September 7, 2017)
  10. ^ a b c Tulloch, Katrina (August 16, 2014). "'Impractical Jokers' star Brian Quinn: April Fools' Day is amateur hour". syracuse.com. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Steussy, Lauren (October 20, 2015). "Quinn donates $50K: FDNY, not 'Impractical Jokers,' is proudest moment". SILive.com. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Fox, Joanne (March 15, 2013). "Impractical Jokers present behind-the-scenes look at comedy". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Team | North South". www.northsouth.tv. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  14. ^ "Post Homecoming 2015 - Registration Closed - Long Island University". community.liu.edu. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  15. ^ Lovece, Frank (February 4, 2017). "'Impractical Jokers' reflect on their comedy roots ahead of season 6". Newsday. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  16. ^ "BBC Three - Impractical Jokers - The Impractical Jokers". BBC.
  17. ^ "BBC Three announces series of online pilots - News - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. November 30, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  18. ^ Szalai, Georg (February 23, 2015). "'Impractical Jokers' to Get U.K. Version on Viacom's Channel 5, Comedy Central". Hollywood Reporter. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  19. ^ "RTL 5 maakt Nederlandse versie Foute Vrienden" (in Dutch). Showbizznetwork.nl. February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Euro nets line up pranks format | News". C21Media. February 22, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  21. ^ ""Amigos da Onça", novo humorístico do SBT, aposta em câmera escondida". UOL. December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2012.
  22. ^ "Stargate Entertainment". YouTube.
  23. ^ "Смотреть онлайн Шутники - все выпуски бесплатно на Че". chetv.ru.
  24. ^ Stasi, Linda. "Jokers' on you". New York Post. NYP Holdings, Inc. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  25. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (December 14, 2011). "Four Pranksters, Giving as Good as They Get". New York Times Television. The New York Times Publishing Company. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  26. ^ Robbins, Dean. "Impractical Jokers wallows in embarrassment". Isthmus The Daily Page. Isthmus Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  27. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Thursday Cable Ratings: Jaguars/Falcons Top Nigh". Renew/Cancel Index. TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  28. ^ Lowry, Brian. "Impractical Jokers". Variety TV Review. Reed Business Information. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  29. ^ "Impractical Jokers: Jokers Wild Premiere SI Live". SILive. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
  30. ^ "IMDB Jokers Wild Episode List Details". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  31. ^ "Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes". truTV. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  32. ^ "truTV to Present Mid-Season Premiere IMPRACTICAL JOKERS: BRITISH INVASION, Today". broadwayworld.com. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  33. ^ "'Impractical Jokers' movie is filming: Behind-the-scenes photos, plot info". SILive.com. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
  34. ^ Dickerson, Brad. "Portions of 'Impractical Jokers' movie filmed along Grand Strand". Retrieved June 6, 2018.

External linksEdit