Murr, Sal, Q and Joe are still doing what they do best: pranking, embarrassing and having a blast.
TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” has quietly been one of the most successful shows on cable television over the last decade. Currently in its seventh season and already renewed for an eighth, they show no signs of slowing down — there’s even a feature-length movie on the way next year.
The comical adventures of the performance troupe known professionally as The Tenderloins take place primarily in New York City and the surrounding area, captured in a hidden camera format.
The show is comprised of three or four challenges in which each of the “Jokers” must complete a given task, usually under the instruction of the others through an earpiece. Most challenges are carried out in heavily populated areas like parks, grocery stores and even Times Square. But some challenges take place in more intimate settings like staged focus groups, waiting rooms or classrooms.
They must say and do whatever they are told, or else they are given a thumbs down for failing the challenge. The Joker with the most thumbs down after all the challenges are complete is then punished. These punishments — often based on the loser’s biggest fears or pet peeves — are well-thought-out and always worse than any of the challenges.
“Impractical Jokers” is an outstanding comedy show that is in the same vein of “Jackass” and “Punk’d.” The four Jokers have been friends since their high school years — their closeness shines through and allows the viewer to feel like part of the gang. There is a relatability factor with all of them, with each offering their own brand of humor.
In the current season, several guest stars have graced the show with their presence — both as part of the challenge/punishment and as unknowing victims themselves. In one punishment, for example, former Major League Baseball players Mark DeRosa and Carlos Pena attempted to film a segment on baseball fundamentals for the MLB Network.
Joker Joe Gatto’s punishment in this case was to disguise himself as a crew member and disrupt the filming by doing 100 push-ups in the background of every take they tried to film. Both DeRosa and Pena had no idea they were being used in a punishment, but MLB Network was in on it. Their genuine confusion regarding Gatto’s odd behavior made for some hilariously uncomfortable humor that’s indicative of the type of laughs one can expect from this show.
“Impractical Jokers” has been syndicated since 2017, which has made reruns available on a variety of channels. New episodes air Thursdays on TruTV at 9 p.m., while certain episodes are also available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix. I highly recommend this very funny show!
Final Grade: A
John Everman is a TV columnist for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.