TruTV's "Impractical Jokers" has blown the lid off of hidden camera TV shows. Rather than trying to prank the unsuspecting public, this time the joke's on the comedians themselves - who are forced to say and do embarrassing things in front of strangers or risk an even more humiliating "punishment" devised by their peers. Always hilarious, sometimes inappropriate, and never purposefully cruel to anyone but the cast, "Impractical Jokers" has become a sensation that put TruTV on the map beginning with its premiere in December 2011.
The four Jokers - Brian "Q" Quinn, Joe Gatto, James "Murr" Murray and Sal Vulcano, who outside of the show are known as sketch comedy group The Tenderloins - have known each other since they were teenagers, and bring that long-running camaraderie to their TV show. Thanks to their witty banter and good-natured ribbing, the audience feels like the fifth member of the team. (There's been only one actual addition so far: former N'Sync member Joey Fatone actually filled in for Quinn during one challenge at the Carnegie Deli.)
However, you probably wouldn't want to be the fifth member of this crew, because these guys also have absolutely no shame. They'll do just about anything to get a laugh out of each other or people they don't know, whether it's experiencing the pains of pregnancy or pitching implausible mascots to fans at a minor league baseball game. And whoever cracks, or can't get the desired result, runs the risk of becoming the episode's designated "loser" and facing something so horrible, most of them can't be printed.
It's a format so popular that there are already United Kingdom, Dutch, Belgian, Brazilian, Lebanese, Greek, French-Canadian, and Swedish clones. It's not hard to see why it's caught on; we've all had friends that we love to joke around with, and most people can laugh at someone else's embarrassment. "Impractical Jokers" keeps audiences laughing, even as they're likely shocked by what these comedians will try to get away with.
And they're no longer just on your small screen. The Tenderloins are currently bringing their humor to "Impractical Jokers" fans all over the country on the TruTV "Impractical Jokers" Tour Featuring the Tenderloins; you can find out more about the tour here. If they come to your town, be sure not to miss them, because chances are you won't think of comedy in the same way when they're through with your evening.