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 nine 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, announced in December 2021 that he was leaving the show. But he insisted to Life & Style in a 2018 interview that everything you see has to be 100 percent real, or else, it wouldn’t work. “It’s definitely authentic,” the comedian explained at the time “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 grew more popular and gained fans, he admitted it had been “a little harder to do.” Luckily, they had the advantage of filming in a big city like New York. “If anyone recognizes us, we just shuffle them along and pick somebody else — there are so many people in the city,” Joe shared, adding, “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 revealed.
They also don’t always have the option of avoiding these people, and that’s when producers will step in. Joe recounted times where they’ve been talking to someone totally clueless, and a fan showed up and put 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 joked.
Joe had a final warning for those who thought they could 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 said 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.”
The comedian announced his departure after nine seasons with James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano in a December 31, 2021, Instagram post, while at the same time revealing that he and his wife, Bessy, had split after eight years of marriage.
“I just wanted to let you all know that I will no longer be involved with Impractical Jokers,” the former star of the show wrote, adding, “Due to some issues in my personal life, I have to step away. Bessy and I have decided to amicably part ways, so now, I need to focus on being the best father and coparent to.” The couple share a daughter, Milana, and a son, Remington Joseph.