Joe Gatto of ‘Impractical Jokers’ on the joy of ‘punishing’ your friends

Impractical Jokers
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It was recently announced that the hit hidden camera comedy, “Impractical Jokers”, will be returning for its ninth season next year. The show is rated the number on comedy on cable and was responsible for ushering the great roster of comedies on truTV. I caught up with one of the group’s founding members, Joe Gatto, to talk about getting picked up for a new season ahead of tonight’s season eight midseason return at 10 p.m.  

“Impractical Jokers” just got renewed for its ninth season. Did you ever think the show would make it to nine seasons, let alone the No. 1 comedy on cable? 

No! I mean, I was happy to get episode two! Season eight, we’re going to hit our 200th episode, which is just insane to me. And then to get greenlit to go for another season is just beyond any wild expectations, you know? Right, right. That’s like, no, in between seasons, you know, um, you know, as you’ve gone along, you know, I guess like, um, what’s the preparation like between seasons? Like, um, do you guys kind of like sit in there? You know, there’s this, there’s only so much you can divulge between you and the rest of the group because you’re, you’re trying to make everyone feel uncomfortable. 

What is preparation for each new season like?

Well, there’s a lot of different ways that things come up with the show. We spend so much time together, like with our touring and you know, I’m with these guys every basically almost every day in my life. I show them more than my family. You know, there was one point actually that we show each other for 52 days straight. Wow. Nobody should see each other that much. So we, uh, you know, we, we either, you know, we’ll be around and doing something and, you know, we live our lives together. We’ll go shopping together and we’ll go to the movies and we’ll hang out cause we’re friends and while we’re out and about we’ll be like, “that’d be weird if we did that on the show.” We’ll think of stuff on the fly then just by being out in public. At the beginning of every season, we take six weeks with writers and we just sit in a room and we brainstorm new ways for challenges to push the envelope and new ways to make comedy, you know? New goals, new challenges, new way to use actors and, and, and things. So the show has really evolved into a hidden camera comedy show throughout the years.

What gives you more satisfaction, when a prank goes down perfectly or when you are pleasantly surprised by something going completely different than you expected it to? 

Well, you know, there are two different types of satisfactions. Cause like when you’re getting punished, you don’t know what’s happening. If it’s good you’re miserable because it’s happening. But then you’re like proud of your friend cause they got you d it’s a good one. You’re like, “oh that was good.” It’s bittersweet that way. Some of ours are long burns and take a lot of planning. So when those go off without a hitch, it’s like, “oh, all right we did that well”. So it’s like a pride when you’re on the other side of it.


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