Impractical Jokers is one of the funniest shows around but as it broadly fits into the reality TV genre fans have questioned its authenticity.
There’s no denying Impractical Jokers is funny as hell but is the show real or scripted? TruTV’s hilarious hidden camera series Impractical Jokers aired its first season in 2011 and is set to air its ninth season later in 2020. The reality show follows life-long friends Joe Gatto, James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn and Sal Vulcano – aka comedy troupe The Tenderloins – as they compete against each other in a series of dares that sees them prank an unsuspecting public on the streets of New York City while making complete fools of themselves.
Impractical Jokers might broadly fit into the reality TV genre, but ‘reality’ doesn’t necessarily mean a show isn’t scripted or staged to some extent. Amish Mafia, Alaskan Bush People, and 90 Day Fiancé all purport to be reality TV but are scripted to the high heavens. The many fake reality shows out there has led some to question whether Impractical Jokers might be staged too. In other words, are the supposedly unsuspecting marks that feature in the pranksters’ dares made aware they’re being pranked beforehand? Or – even worse – are they actors?
Impractical Jokers fans will be happy to learn that the pranks in the show are not scripted. In a 2018 AMA on Reddit, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn unequivocally stated: “We don’t use actors.” The same year, Joe Gatto had this to say about the way the show is produced in an interview with Life & Style magazine:
“It’s definitely authentic, because the show works thanks to that genuine hesitation and fear, dealing with a stranger who doesn’t know they’re on a hidden camera show. That’s the magic of the show.”
Now that Impractical Jokers has grown in popularity and has over 200 episodes under its belt, it’s naturally become somewhat harder to pull off pranks as more people recognize the guys. Filming in New York – a city with a population of well over 8 million people – helps of course. As Gatto further explained to Life & Style magazine:
“If anyone recognizes us, we just shuffle them along and pick somebody else — there are so many people in the city. If someone recognizes us, they’re not on our show.”
In 2020, the world of Impractical Jokers is about to get a lot bigger. Alongside airing its ninth season, the show recently got the big screen treatment with its own feature-length film – aptly titled Impractical Jokers: The Movie – which is set for release in February 2020. As it’s a film and requires some kind of narrative, Impractical Jokers: The Movie will feature some scripted scenes alongside cameos from Paula Abdul and ex-NSYNC member Joey Fatone. However, Impractical Jokers fans can rest assured the prank scenes featured will be just as authentic and unscripted as they are in the show.
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