Opening title used from season three onwards
From left to right: Q, Murr, Sal, Joe
|Developed by||Dan Green|
|Directed by||Peter Fowkes (62 episodes), P.J. Morrison (17 episodes)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||77 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Charlie DeBevoise
Simmy Kustanowitz (for truTV)
|Camera setup||Hidden camera|
|Running time||26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||NorthSouth Productions|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9 HDTV)|
|Original release||December 15, 2011– present|
Impractical Jokers is an American hidden camera-practical joke reality series filmed mainly in New York City and New Jersey that premiered on TruTV on December 15, 2011. It follows Joe Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn and Sal Vulcano, the four members of the comedy troupe The Tenderloins as they coerce one another into doing public pranks while being filmed by hidden cameras. The show differs from other prank television programs in that the stars of Impractical Jokers do not know the details of the prank until the moment they are performing it on strangers. While one cast-member performs the prank, the other three comedians in the troupe are behind the scenes feeding lines to their friend via microphone (with an earpiece). The lines fed to the prankster are meant to create a humorous and awkward exchange between the prankster and the stranger being pranked.
The show's second season premiered on December 13, 2012, and its third season premiered on January 2, 2014. The series has been renewed for a 26-episode fourth season. With the fourth season renewal, a 6-episode spinoff series was also announced: Jokers Wild!
In 1999, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Mike Boccio, and Sal Vulcano, four high school friends from Staten Island, formed the live improv and sketch comedy troupe, The Tenderloins. Brian Quinn subsequently replaced Boccio as the troupe's fourth member. 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 the series Impractical Jokers, originally slated to be named "Mission Uncomfortable" on April 12, 2011, 8 months before the show's debut. One of the show's stars, James "Murr" 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."
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||17||December 15, 2011||May 3, 2012|
|2||28||September 6, 2012||December 12, 2013|
|3||32||January 2, 2014||October 30, 2014|
|4||26||January 29, 2015||TBA|
Before every challenge, there is a hidden camera and mic placed on the cast member performing the prank. The location in which the challenge takes place is usually a public area such as a city park or a boardwalk. The criteria of each challenge is the same for each of the four comedians.
Impractical Jokers has been very well received by some critics, with Linda Stasi of the New York Post calling it "possibly the funniest, most ridiculous show I’ve seen in years."
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." 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."
The series has been generally well received, garnering 1.5 million viewers during its December 15, 2011 premiere.
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."
- A UK version of Impractical Jokers began airing in winter 2012 on BBC Three. It stars comedians Paul McCaffrey, Joel Dommett, Marek Larwood and Roisin Conaty. The pilot was filmed and placed online as part of "The Comedy Kitchen" in 2012. The first series included six episodes, which aired from 15 November - 20 December 2012. The second series also included six episodes, and aired from 24 February - 2 April 2014. It is produced by Yalli Productions. It was cancelled after Series 2.
- A Belgian (Flemish) version broadcast on 2BE in fall 2012, with the title "Foute Vrienden". James Murray was spotted in episode 5 of the first season. The second season, which started in March 2014, includes 10 episodes.
- A Brazilian version is currently being broadcast on SBT with the title "Amigos da Onça". The series premiere aired January 7, 2013 and ended August 13, 2013.
- A Lebanese version broadcast on Al Jadeed in autumn / fall 2013.
- A Greek version broadcast on Ant1 in February 2014 with the title "Wanted".
- A French-Canadian version broadcast on V in February 24, 2014 with the title "Les Jokers"
- A Swedish version broadcast on TV6 in April 2014 with the title "Radiostyrd"
- A Italian version broadcast on DMAX (Italy) in February 2015 with the title "Cattivissimi amici"
- On April 18, 2014, during the first ever live recording of their What Say You? Podcast at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, Q and Sal stated that, when the BBC bought the rights to create a UK version of the show, they also bought the rights to air the US version of the show in the UK. This was meant to be aired after the 1st season of the UK show. However the BBC never aired it but it finally came to air on the 22 August 2014. The US version now airs on Comedy Central UK.
- Currently Comedy Central India airs the show at different timings.
- Bibel, Sara (February 20, 2013). "truTV Orders Additional Episodes of Hit Series 'Impractical Jokers' and 'Hardcore Pawn: Chicago'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Bibel, Sara (July 8, 2013). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed for Season 3 by truTV; New Series 'Jokers After Party' Greenlit". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 21, 2014). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed by TruTV; Joins Six New Series Greenlights". Zap2it. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
- Moye, David (14 December 2011). "'Impractical Jokers': TruTV's New Hidden Camera Program (VIDEO)". HuffPost Weird News (TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Stasi, Linda. "Jokers’ on you". New York Post (NYP Holdings, Inc.). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Genzlinger, Neil (14 December 2011). "Four Pranksters, Giving as Good as They Get". New York Times Television (The New York Times Publishing Company). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Robbins, Dean. "Impractical Jokers wallows in embarrassment". Isthmus The Daily Page. Isthmus Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Seidman, Robert. "Thursday Cable Ratings: Jaguars/Falcons Top Nigh". Renew/Cancel Index. TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- Lowry, Brian. "Impractical Jokers". Variety TV Review (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "BBC Impractical Jokers profiles".
- "BBC Three announces series of online pilots - News - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- "Euro nets line up pranks format | News". C21Media. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
- ""Amigos da Onça", novo humorístico do SBT, aposta em câmera escondida". UOL. 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2012-12-29.
- "Schedule". action-tv.ca. Retrieved 7 April 2015.