There’s no denying Impractical Jokers is a lot of fun to watch. The truTV hidden camera show has managed to keep viewers tuning in to see their practical jokes for an impressive seven seasons. However, when a reality show is that entertaining, it can be hard to believe it’s not at least partially scripted.
One of the Jokers, Joe Gatto, insists to Life & Style that everything you see has to be 100 percent real, or else, it wouldn’t work. “It's definitely authentic,” the 41-year-old explains, “because the show works thanks to that genuine hesitation and fear, dealing with a stranger who doesn't know they're on a hidden camera show. That's the magic of the show.”
That said, as the show has grown more popular and gained fans, he admits it’s been “a little harder to do.” Luckily, they have the advantage of filming in a big city like NYC. “If anyone recognizes us, we just shuffle them along and pick somebody else — there are so many people in the city,” Joe details. “If someone recognizes us, they're not on our show.”
Well, sometimes they will use viewers, but only so they can play around with them. “[Some people have] said that they were fans and we've messed with them on purpose to let the public know that we knew they knew the show,” the reality star shares.
They also don’t always have the option of avoiding these people, and that’s when producers will step in. Joe recounts times where they’ve been talking to someone totally clueless, and a fan shows up and puts their prank at risk. “We have our production team that helps us swoop in and Liam Neeson these people, like [in] Taken — [they] pull them off to the side,” he jokes.
Joe has a final warning for those who think they can pull off going on the show as a fan: You’re not fooling anyone. “They'll walk over and they turn into these robots,” he says of the fakers. “They can't even act human. They're excited and nervous to be on the show — it's easier to sniff them out than people think.”