Impractical Jokers

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For the British television series, see Impractical Jokers (UK version).
Impractical Jokers
Impractical jokers logo (pressroom).jpg
Genre Reality
Directed by Peter Fowkes
Starring Brian "Q" Quinn
James "Murr" Murray
Joseph "Joe" Gatto
Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 64 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Charlie DeBevoise
Mark Hickman
Brian Quinn
James Murray
Joe Gatto
Sal Vulcano
Pete McPartland
Tommy Cody
Simmy Kustanowitz (for truTV)
Camera setup Hidden camera
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) NorthSouth Productions
Broadcast
Original channel TruTV
Picture format 1080i (16:9 HDTV)
Original run December 15, 2011 (2011-12-15) – present
External links
Website

Impractical Jokers is an American hidden camera show filmed in New York-practical joke reality television series 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 28-episode second season premiered on December 13, 2012,[1] and its 31-episode third season premiered on January 2, 2014.[2] TruTV announced on April 21, 2014 that the series has been renewed for a 26-episode fourth season.[3] With the fourth season renewal, a 6-episode spinoff series was also announced: Jokers Wild![3]

Development[edit]

In 1999, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn and Sal Vulcano, four high school friends from Staten Island, NY formed the live improv and sketch comedy troupe, The Tenderloins. 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 their 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."[4]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Season premiere Season finale Region 1
1 17 December 15, 2011 (2011-12-15) May 3, 2012 (2012-05-03) November 26, 2013 (2013-11-26)[5]
2 28 September 6, 2012 (2012-09-06) December 12, 2013 (2013-12-12) Fall 2014
3 31 January 2, 2014 (2014-01-02) N/A N/A
4 26[3] N/A N/A N/A

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. Although the criteria of each challenge is the same for each of the four comedians.

Overall Loss Tally[edit]

Seasons of Impractical Jokers
Season Episodes Participants
Murr Joe Q Sal
1 17 5 5 4 5
2 28 8 6 7 10
3 31 4 4 3 4
TOTAL 76 17 15 14 19

Reception[edit]

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."[6]

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."[7] 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."[8]

The series has been generally well received, garnering 1.5 million viewers during its December 15, 2011 premiere.[9]

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."[10]

International versions[edit]

  • United Kingdom 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.[11] 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.[12]
  • BelgiumFlanders 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.[13] The second season, which started in March 2014, includes 10 episodes.
  • Brazil A Brazilian version is currently being broadcast on SBT. The series premiere aired January 7, 2013.[14] And ended August 13, 2013
  • Lebanon A Lebanese version broadcast on Al Jadeed in autumn / fall 2013.
  • Greece A Greek version broadcast on Ant1 in February 2014 with the title "Wanted".
  • CanadaQuebec A French-Canadian version broadcast on V in February 24, 2014 with the title "Les Jokers"
  • Sweden A Swedish version broadcast on TV6 in April 2014 with the title "Radiostyrd"

International broadcasts[edit]

  • United Kingdom On April 18, 2014 Q and Sal said during the first ever live recording of their What Say You? Podcast at the Prince Charles Cinema in London 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 and a firm air date is yet to be confirmed.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ a b c Kondolojy, Amanda (April 21, 2014). "'Impractical Jokers' Renewed by TruTV; Joins Six New Series Greenlights". Zap2it. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Moye, David (14 December 2011). "'Impractical Jokers': TruTV's New Hidden Camera Program (VIDEO)". HuffPost Weird News (TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.). Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "truTV’s Hit Series Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season to Make DVD Debut Nov. 26" (Press release). Turner Broadcasting System. September 13, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ Stasi, Linda. "Jokers’ on you". New York Post (NYP Holdings, Inc.). Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Robbins, Dean. "Impractical Jokers wallows in embarrassment". Isthmus The Daily Page. Isthmus Publishing Company, Inc. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert. "Thursday Cable Ratings: Jaguars/Falcons Top Nigh". Renew/Cancel Index. TVbytheNumbers. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Lowry, Brian. "Impractical Jokers". Variety TV Review (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "BBC Impractical Jokers profiles". 
  12. ^ "BBC Three announces series of online pilots - News - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  13. ^ a b "Euro nets line up pranks format | News". C21Media. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-11-16. 
  14. ^ ""Amigos da Onça", novo humorístico do SBT, aposta em câmera escondida". UOL. 2012-12-28. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 

External links[edit]