Since its debut in 2011, Impractical Jokers has become the millennial answer to Candid Camera and amassed an impressive cult following in the process. And even though these four pranksters are pretty much the epitome of what-you-see-is-what-you-get, there are still some surprising secrets lurking behind the scenes of Impractical Jokers. Like any reality show, it takes a little show-biz magic to make what you see on the screen appear so real and light and effortless.
Joseph "Joe" Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn, and Salvatore "Sal" Vulcano met back in high school in Staten Island, NY. Over the years, they perfected their act, and have always worked as a true ensemble. "It's the four of us and we've been friends so long. None of us are really singled out as like, the star of the show," Q once told Complex. "Nobody's in anybody's shadow." But that's just one secret of the group's success.
Prank Victims Aren't Paid… Usually
Most prank victims are eager to sign the necessary legal releases and laugh at themselves on national television. Others don't always play ball. In some cases, a little financial incentive might be offered if their scene was funny enough.
"Usually people are pretty cool when they find out it's a show," Sal said in a Reddit AMA. "The few who get mad we try to convince otherwise, or they get blurred, or cut from the show. On rare occasion[s], if the person was gold, we try and throw them a few bucks to coerce them."
They've Had The Police Called On Them
When you pull the kind of uncomfortable, in-your-face brand of stunts that the Jokers specialize in, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. For instance, on more than one occasion, the guys have had the police called on them during the course of filming a prank.
In one episode, Sal was working the cash register at a produce store, and was instructed to take a photo of a customer's credit card. When he did, the customer blew up and called the cops. "The cops ended up being fans of the show," Joe remembered. "[The customer] didn’t press charges or nothing, but she stormed out and said, 'It’s not funny.'"
In another episode, police shut down filming when Murr took his clothes off in Union Square Park.
They Don't Really Appear In Their Birthday Suits
On a few occasions, the Jokers have been dared to take off their clothes. In a scene filmed in Union Square Park, which was eventually shut down, the Jokers were at least somewhat prepared for that eventuality.
Murr and Joe were both "wearing a see-through little string thing," Sal confessed. "So we had it on a technicality in case we got in trouble."
Murr Has More Than A Few Fake TeethVideo: YouTube