In seven seasons, the guys from Impractical Jokers have filled our living rooms with laughter and sometimes shock. The dares they put each other up to and public embarrassment they willingly endure is enough to make you watch the television screen through your fingers. While there’s not much that they hold back from the viewers and innocent victims they pull the pranks on, here are eight things you may not have known about the four jokers.
From Tenderloins To TV
In 1999, the four friends from Impractical Jokers formed a comedy group called The Tenderloins. Their online videos quickly garnered thousands of views and ended up winning the grand prize of $100,000 from NBC’s It’s Your Show competition for their comedy sketch called “Time Thugs.”
Turned Down By Spike TV
The Tenderloins were on their way up when Spike TV signed them for a pilot show in 2008, but were eventually turned down as the network decided not to pursue the show. Three years later in 2011, the group submitted a video they filmed on an iPhone to Tru TV and were picked up for a 16-episode season.
Careers Before Comedy
Sal, Murr, Joe and Q haven’t always made a living goofing off. In fact, they all had very different and normal careers prior to Impractical Jokers taking off. Before his career in television, Brian “Q” Quinn worked as a fire fighter for the New York Fire Department and even gave a $50,000 donation to FDNY after his first season with the jokers.
James “Murr” Murray went to the prestigious Georgetown University and earned an English degree before working in production. His talents off-air are part of the reason they landed their own show. He is also a published author.
Sal Vulcano attended St. John’s University and graduated with a degree in finance and Joe Gatto graduated from LIU Post in accounting.
Murr’s Height-Induced Breakdown
For any pessimists out there who think the jokers exaggerate or fake their reactions to some of the punishments, I assure you, it is real. Murr’s extreme fear of heights has been captured on camera many times, most notably when they made him go skydiving. After threatening to quit once he found out what his punishment was, Murr spent an hour locked in a bathroom sending texts and making calls to his friends and family thinking he wasn’t going to survive the skydive experience.
Prime-time TV Cameos
A few of the jokesters have appeared in other TV shows throughout the years. In 1997, Murr had a small part in Howard Stern’s movie, Private Parts. In addition, Murr and Sal played sanitation workers who discovered a Senator’s body in the show Bones. They even used their real names for their characters.
Q’s Infamous Ex-Girlfriend
The guys’ families often make guest appearances on the show including Sal’s nieces and some of their sisters, but some people from their lives are off limits. While some viewers will pick up that Q’s first girlfriend is in prison, they have never mentioned her by name because she is rumored to be related to an A-list celebrity and the guys don’t want to ruffle any feathers. Thanks to committed fans and Redditors, information from the show and Q’s podcast has narrowed down the search for a name of his ex-girlfriend to find that it is likely Leah Remini’s half-sister, Elizabeth, who was arrested for drug trafficking in 2005.
Things Get Physical
During many skits, the guys of Impractical Jokers know where to draw the line and are generally very respectful of the public. The people stuck in the middle of the pranks also handle themselves well most of the time. In two episodes that never aired, Sal was slapped by a woman when he told her that her baby was ugly. Another time things got physical when Sal was choked by a man when he cut in front of him in a line for one of the challenges.
The Real Larry
In the opening credits of the show, we hear Joe yell “Larry.” While this stems from a few of his most hilarious pranks and fictional characters, the real Larry is a crew member from the first season of the show. Apparently, Larry got so sick of the guys using his name for jokes, he tried suing the show’s producers in 2016 for $500,000. They still use the bit in the opening credits, so there may have been an agreement between the parties involved.