Produced by NorthSouth Productions
December 15, 2011 to present
- Brian “Q” Quinn
- James “Murr” Murray
- Joe Gatto
- Sal Vulcano
In this hidden camera show, four friends from high school try to embarrass each other. You refuse, you lose.
This show works in large part because while their ultimate goal is to make the audience laugh, they do it by trying to make each other laugh. They have been friends since high school, so they know ways to embarrass each other. They are not afraid to use their many years of knowledge of one another to get a laugh.
The audience is laughing with the guys as they make fun of their friends. The joke is on the joker and not on the unsuspecting person. We are participating vicariously as they do their best to humiliate their friend in a way that only friends can.
The show is divided it segments called “challenges” where each member is sent into the field to perform in a certain scenario. They have to do or say as they are told by the other Jokers (with instructions relayed via an earpiece) or they lose. Rack up enough losses in the episode and you get punished. Punishment is humiliating and difficult. They are usually planned situations but occasionally can happen right when the final loss of the episode occurs. Q painting a red X on all the pictures in a phony art class when he refused to do it on just one or Murr having to take selfies with strangers when his tooth fell out come to mind.
Sometimes they dig into personal information like the bodybuilding punishment where Murr interviewed his childhood crush Danika McKellar while oiled up and wearing a speedo or when Murr was hooked up to a lie detector and is asked in the auditorium of Monsignor Farrell High School in Staten Island, New York in front of his high school girlfriend, his high school Spanish teacher (whom he had a crush on) and the current student body embarrassing questions.
Or they could involve long-term planning when Sal was tricked into believing his touching of a nose had screwed up production of the series or Murr having to wear a wig made of Q’s hair for the remainder of the season.
Sometimes the cast, knowing the score beforehand, conspires against a particular individual in order to punish them immediately during a challenge. Murr being forced to show his dad what is in his phone is a good example.
They have even brought in family and friends with a few being frequent collaborators/conspirators. There is nothing off limits here. You get this “we are just having a goodtime” vibe. It is casual and fun.
Over time they have had some celebrity guests which is impressive for a microbudget hidden camera series. This show does not have the budget or prestige of other series but has pulled in the likes of Danika McKellar, Gary Busey, Jeff Daniels, Rosie O’Donnell, Joey Fatone and a slew of Broadway and wrestling stars for skits. I find that impressive and demonstrative of its appeal. Fatone has become something of a Fifth Joker and has been in a few skits and even hosts Impractical Jokers: After Party.
They have developed catch phrases such as “Hey moustache!” or the popular “Larry!” They even developed recurring “characters” such as Q’s alter ego Tony Gunk and Joe who slips into a vaguely foreign character.
As I recall stumbled upon this show randomly. I heard of it, but it was nothing I sought out. It came up as I was scrolling because there was nothing on and I was hooked. I laughed so hard I could not breathe. And I have been coming back ever since.
Impractical Jokers is a show that will always give you a laugh even if it is just once during its 30 minutes. You will have a smile on your face, and you will enjoy yourself. Tune in. You will not be disappointed.