Q from ‘Impractical Jokers’ promises no sense of maturity on current tour

He and his buddies Sal and Murr will be at Atlanta Symphony Hall June 22.
The "Impractical Jokers" are performing at Atlanta Symphony Hall on June 22, 2024. TBS

Credit: TBS

Credit: TBS

The "Impractical Jokers" are performing at Atlanta Symphony Hall on June 22, 2024. TBS

Sure, the crew of childhood friends dubbed the “Impractical Jokers” are edging toward the half-century mark in age, but their senses of humor keep them perpetually stuck at age 12.

The formula has worked since 2011 when cable was king. The original quartet ― now a trio ― sidle up to unsuspecting people in grocery stores, waiting rooms and parks and say ridiculous things fed to them by their buds, the more juvenile and humiliating the merrier. If any of them refuses to say or do what is asked, they lose.

Including specials, there have been a whopping 270-plus episodes on truTV and a 2020 movie shot in Atlanta.

Brian “Q” Quinn, Sal Vulcano and James “Murr” Murray are now on their fifth national tour showing videos and goofing on each other live. In Atlanta on Saturday, June 22, they will do so in the oddly mature confines of Atlanta Symphony Hall at the relatively early start time of 4 p.m. (Tickets range from $29 to $53.75 at Ticketmaster.)

“Nobody is expecting high art out of us,” said Quinn in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Embarrassment is our stock and trade.”

At the same time, the live show is not the same as the TV show.

“We can’t do our hidden camera things,” Quinn said. “But we try to keep the spirit of the show and make the audience feel like they’re just hanging out with us. We make fun of Murr and show videos just for the show and videos we couldn’t show on TV. It’s a multimedia stand-up type of thing. We even bring audience members on stage.”

The goodwill they feel from the audience, Quinn said, is genuine: “People show up and are happy to see us. 80% of the work is done.”

“Impractical Jokers” as a TV entity remains very much alive. Although its longtime home truTV is moving to sports programming, parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to move the show to its larger sister station TBS for its 11th season. A 12th season is guaranteed, Quinn noted.

The new episodes on TBS will feature guest appearances by the likes of Brooke Shields, Roy Wood Jr., Richard Kind, comedian Joe DeRosa, pro wrestler John Silver and former N Sync member Joey Fatone.

“Fatone,” Quinn said, “is the best. He is very much part of the ‘Jokers’ DNA. In an upcoming episode, we make him go through hell and he was totally down with it. It’s five punishments in one!”

Despite the ridiculous number of bits they’ve done over the years, Quinn said they have not run out of ideas of scenarios to place themselves in. The toughest part, he noted, is coming up with a fresh punishment at the end of each episode for the person who failed the most.

The show has never been on the level of “Jackass.” Nobody gets hit hard in the crotch. But Quinn said they have cut back on more physical punishments as they’ve entered deeper into middle age.

“We did one season 9 where they put me in an ice bath for a half hour,” he said. “That didn’t work out well. It wasn’t medically cleared. My jeans froze to my skin and it took skin off.”

Even after so many years, there are plenty of people who have no idea who they are, which is a necessity in any hidden camera show. Quinn said they are now quite good at sussing out people who recognize them.

“After all these years, we’ve developed secret methods to weed those people out,” Quinn said.

Quinn’s biggest weakness has not changed over the years: he generally can’t say really mean stuff to women. “I don’t like messing with women,” he said. “I just get all nervous. When I see a pretty woman, I know they got me good. But a guy? I’m not afraid to get punched.” (He has never gotten punched but he’s always ready.)

He said they are not ready to close shop yet on “Impractical Jokers” and is happy Warner Bros. Discovery isn’t either.

“We genuinely love each other,” Quinn said. “There could never be an ‘E! True Hollywood Story’ about us. It would be incredibly boring.”

The show survived the departure of their most shameless original cast member Joe Gatto in 2021. He left to tend to personal issues, including a separation from his wife, with whom he has since reconciled.

“I talk to him pretty much every day,” Quinn said. “There was no hard feelings when he left. We’ll work with Joe if he wants to again.”


IF YOU GO

truTV Impractical Jokers: The Drive Drive Drive Drive Drive Tour

4 and 7 p.m. Saturday, June 22. $29-$53.75. Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta. ticketmaster.com

IF YOU WATCH

“Impractical Jokers,” season 11 debuts at 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, on TBS and available on Max