NYCC 2015: Impractical Jokers Impractical Panel

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For the uninitiated, Impractical Jokers is a hidden camera show where the “hosts” are the ones being embarrassed. Four friends from Staten Island challenge each other to do and say crazy things out in public that most people would never do.

While waiting for the guys to come out, the crowd started yelling “Larry? LARRY?!?” and the “Let’s Get Sexy” chant. Clearly this wasn’t going to be your typical NYCC panel. When the guys finally did arrive, it was to thunderous, raucous applause and cheers. This was my sixth year at NYCC across and having attended countless panels I can unequivocally state that this was by far the loudest and most wild reception I’ve ever seen.

The start of the panel saw the announcement of the wrap of filming for Season Four and the start of Season Five. Moderator Chris Gethard spoke to the guys about their origins a bit where we learned that the original name of the show was Mission Uncomfortable. They shot a proof of concept around Staten Island with their cell phones to shop around to networks and actually pulled out the video to show all in attendance.

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It was fun to see because the seeds of the show were in there, everything was just more raw and everyone had more hair, including Murr! Shooting it, they were terrified and it showed, well for everyone but Joe really, nothing seems to phase him. When truTV got involved and signed on for the show they had one stipulation, that the name change to Impractical Jokers.

Interestingly, the guys initially hated the name. They hated it so much that they were planning on buying the domain name on the internet and holding it so truTV couldn’t use it since it was still available. As they debated whether it was wise to immediately start a fight with the network that had just signed them, tru ended up buying the domain, oblivious to what was going on with the guys. It ended up working out for the best since now they’re known as the Jokers which works a lot better than the Uncomfortables.

Sal immediately put on a red mask over his eyes and demanded to be called Raphael and then later a (very sweaty) Batman mask. One of the more interesting takeaways from the audience questions was how things have changed for them publicly. The strangest encounters they tend to have are in public restrooms, like standing next to a guy who thinks they’re filming the show… in the bathroom… while they’re relieving themselves.

As for the punishments, they’re only going to get crazier and they love it when two guys get punished at once. Joe and Q mentioned that they’re waiting for a Sal and Murr punishment to occur because they have something crazy planned, something that they had to get approval from the lawyers to do.

The great thing is, even as their audience grows, they’re in New York City where millions of people still won’t know who they are so the show could continue indefinitely. And think about it, Candid Camera went on for years even with most of the country knowing who Alan Funt was.

Impractical Jokers airs Thursdays at 10pm Eastern on truTV.

 

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  • Keith Dunn-Fern├índez

    Not having cable I didn’t know about this show! This is hilarious!!! It wouldn’t work with me though because I’ll do or say anything…..probably?