Spotlight On The Stars: The Impractical Jokers


I don’t watch a lot of television. Seeing well over 300 movies a year will do that to you, as you might imagine. However, when I do opt for TV over a film, it’s almost always something silly to just sit back and enjoy. One of the few programs I always make time for is Impractical Jokers, the long running TruTV show that has built up a dedicated following over the years. This week, the four Jokers head to the big screen for Impractical Jokers: The Movie. To honor that, today we’ll be doing a slightly different Spotlight on the Stars piece, opting to highlight, yes, the Impractical Jokers.

The Impractical Jokers are, of course, Joe Gatto, James Murray, Brian Quinn (Q for short), and Sal Vulcano. The four have been friends for decades and came to prominence with YouTube videos initially, before getting the show, which has proved to be an incredible success story. Quinn, or Q, also has emerged as a popular figure in the podcasting world, not just for the short lived What Say You? podcast he did with Vulcano, but mainly for Tell Em Steve-Dave, the podcast started on Kevin Smith’s SModCo network by Walter Flanagan and Bryan Johnson, which was actually the basis for the reality series Comic Book Men (which, in an added turn, was initially going to feature Q in the show). Quinn isn’t the only one finding success in multiple formats, either, as Murray is a successful novelist, while Vulcano is working in stand up comedy. Besides the show, the tour as the comedy quarter The Tenderloins, playing to sold out theaters across the world. Even more recently, they’ve become game show stars with The Misery Index. Quite frankly, they’re everywhere, and that’s meant as a compliment.

For those wondering, Impractical Jokers: The Movie is a feature length version of the show, with an added narrative. The plot summary, via IMDb: “The story of a humiliating high school mishap from 1992 that sends the Impractical Jokers on the road competing in hidden-camera challenges for the chance to turn back the clock and redeem three of the four Jokers.” Essentially, there’s a light story to give the guys an excuse to do a version of Impractical Jokers with some higher production values. Count me in, as you might imagine. Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal’s fun is infectious, so a bigger version of that could very well be a delight. Chris Henchy directs a script he co-wrote with Gatto, Murray, Quinn, and Vulcano, who also star. Leo Birenberg, Paul Jones, and Zach Robinson handle the music. Plus, expect some cameos!

Considering how fun the TV show is, this film could actually make the quartet into even bigger stars. Not only will it likely raise even more awareness to their shows, both Impractical Jokers on the small screen, as well as The Tenderloins on stage, those might turn into even more substantial comedy brands. Then, of course, there’s a potential big screen franchise. Even if this doesn’t hit with crossover audiences, the experiment is well worth trying. After all, Jokers Wild wasn’t a success, but that didn’t impact their stardom one bit.

Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal are true comedy stars, that much is clear. On Friday, they’ll try to transition that stardom to cinemas with Impractical Jokers: The Movie. 200 episodes of the television show has now led to this, so we’ll see how the film turns out. Regardless, their stars continue to be on the rise, and that’s a great thing. If the flick turns out to be a hit, the inevitable sequel could be an even bigger bit of comedy gold…

Be sure to check out Impractical Jokers: The Movie, in theaters this weekend!


About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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