Is Impractical Jokers Real or Fake?

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Imagine minding your own business in a park, sitting on a bench, eating your lunch before you have to head back to work. A man approaches you and asks if he can have a seat. Taking your nod as a “yes,” he sits down and opens a diary. He looks at you and says that he just got his hands on his daughter’s diary and if you would care to listen to it. A bit skeptical and confused, you say “yes.”

The man begins by reading the first entry, in which his daughter writes about how her dad busted his balls while jumping on a trampoline. The second entry is about how her dad tried to sell soiled underwear online as art. The third and final entry is about how her dad raided her closet and wore his daughter’s Bruno Mars hot pink crop top.

What would you do in a situation like this? Happily munch on your sandwich and listen to the hilarious details the stranger is telling you or stop him and say that he is invading his daughter’s privacy?

You would be surprised at how most people choose option #1 because they simply can’t stop themselves.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, you were filmed on a hidden camera by the Impractical Jokers.


Being the butt of a joke is never fun. However, when it comes to reality TV, there’s something exciting about watching someone else embarrass themselves in front of dozens of people. Our first glimpse into this hilarious side of TV was brought by Candid Camera, which aired in 1948 and continued for more than 23 decades till 2014.

Today, the TV show Impractical Jokers holds the award for giving people the gift of laughter that has them in stitches and falling off their couch.

When it comes to such shows, one question that most people have on their mind is: Is it scripted?

No, the show is not scripted. The reactions you see from the unsuspecting public on Impractical Jokers are real.

For those of you who have seen only a few episodes of Impractical Jokers, let’s take a look at how this show started and what it is about:

How Impractical Jokers Started?

Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano, Brian “Q” Quinn, and James “Murr” Murray are four former classmates from Monsignor Farrell High School. Originally, Vulcano, Murray, and Gatto were the first three members of the live sketch comedy improv troupe called The Tenderloins, which started in 1999.

They decided to transition from acting in their live shows to producing comedy material for the internet. This career change in 2006 led to Quinn replacing Tenderloin Mike Boccio. In 2007, their live show won a grand prize of $100,000 in Its Your Show competition, which was aired on NBC.

In 2008, they were approached by Spike TV to film an episode for a sitcom, which was scripted. However, the show never turned into a series. Initially, Impractical Jokers was announced by TruTV and was named Mission: Uncomfortable. It was scheduled for release on 12th April 2011.

Murray knew that they needed to come up with something different that could catch viewers’ attention. So, they went with the hidden camera format, which focused on the jokesters’ skills. When they filmed the first episode to present it to TruTV, they did it on their iPhones. At that time, Murray worked at NorthSouth Production as the VP of Development. This is the company that has been behind Impractical Joker’s success since it began.

Instead of making a complete stranger the focus of the joke, the jokesters themselves become a part of the prank because they want to mess with each other and give people a front-row seat to witness their embarrassment.

What Is Impractical Jokers About?

A typical episode of Impractical Jokers is about competitive games designed as dares. Instead of pranking someone, the cast members themselves become jokers and are judged individually by each other. The best performance receives thumbs up, and if a jokester fails to bring that X factor into his act, he receives thumbs down.

Multiple games are played in an episode, and the jokester who receives the most thumbs-up wins. The loser is given a punishment that tests his limits.

This show has received much high praise because the people challenged in the episode are the jokesters themselves. They have to engage with the general public while receiving commands in their ear. They have to follow what is being said and become a part of the bizarre scenario without revealing anything. If the jokester refuses to follow the commands, they end up as the loser and are punished more harshly.

“The Show Is 100% Real!”

According to the four comedians, every prank is 100% real. In a 2018 interview, Joe said, “It’s definitely authentic 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.” He revealed that magic happens when other people are not aware of what’s going on.

Sal acknowledged in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) that staying anonymous has become difficult after doing so many episodes. However, it often happens that if one person recognizes them, hundreds don’t.

As said earlier, the pranks are neither staged nor scripted. However, if an eager fan threatens to ruin the scenario, producers intervene. According to Joe, “They swoop in and Liam Neeson these people… like in Taken and pull them to the side.”

During the AMA, Sal revealed a piece of information that many viewers didn’t know. An episode is only aired if the person involved in the prank gives written permission. He went on and shared a story about a couple shopping in IKEA who refused to sign the paper. Although he had a great time and enjoyed the prank, he just couldn’t give permission because he was married, and at that time, he was buying his mistress Swedish furniture.


The show’s intro describes it as “Scenes of graphic stupidity among four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other.” Another giveaway that this show is not scripted is that it relies heavily on improvisation. The reaction of the jokesters tells you how genuinely embarrassed they are. The comedic themes of the show range from slapstick routines to witty dialogues, and the reach of the jokers and the public serve as the punch lines.

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