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Why is Impractical Jokers so funny?

Image credit: Rotten Tomatoes

“Send in the nun.”

“Hi I’m James Murray and I’m a state executioner!”

“No kidding, I have to call Batman.”

These are actual things said by men definitely aged over 50 in a show called Impractical Jokers, a show about four life-long friends who compete to embarrass each other. Every episode this group of guys take up some space in places from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, ranging from fraud restaurant managers to boxing instructors.

Q when he had to be tied to a mime for 48 hours.

If you’re reading this article I’m going to assume you’re an avid watcher, but in case you’re not, the show’s about four guys: Sal, Joe, Murr, and Q. They have about three challenges per episode where they do really stupid stuff. Some of my favorites are: pretend to lead a focus group, pretend to be a cashier, get people to sign a paper about a fake cause, and so much more. If they don’t do or say what they’re told: they’re next up on the loser board. At the end of the episode, whoever loses the most challenges gets punished, and they are absolutely, no exceptions, forced to do whatever the punishment is, i.e. skydiving when afraid of heights, have your phone ring with the ringtone: “Whose phone is ringing? Mine! Mine!” in the middle of a book reading, massaging feet, No matter what, you have to do it. It must be one of the stupidest shows I’ve watched. Yet, every time I watch it, I laugh. Why?

Sal helping a cow give birth.

That’s the whole point of this article. I want to find out why we think these men who act like literal children are funny? Especially knowing that half of the situations they’re in are so cringey and hard to watch.

First of all, I have to wonder why I started watching it in the first place… Well I remember seeing a Tik Tok with a clip from one of the challenges. Sal was being a fake manager at Hooters and was talking to a set of customers. Every once in a while, he had to turn around and lecture a fake employee. I thought this was hilarious. He would be in the middle of a conversation with the customers and randomly snap at literally nothing. Then after a few minutes, he had a sit-down with the “employee” and the customers could not stop laughing. This piqued my interest. I brought it up to my mom and she said: “Oh, I heard of them, wanna watch?” Yes. Yes, I do.

Murr when he had all his hair shaved and got a new drivers license.

We watched an episode, then another, then another, and now I’m on season 7. Eventually my dad started watching it with me and it never fails to make us crack up. At one point I asked: “Why do you think Impractical Jokers is so funny?”, he gave me quite a confused face. He didn’t know. He said, “Everytime you put it on, I kinda sigh and don’t wanna watch, but I always end up laughing.”

When I think of comedy I like, I think of The Office, Zombieland, and We’re The Millers. They all seem to have something in common. They all have humor that isn’t traditional. It’s kind of crude and stupid. I think Impractical Jokers is incredibly similar to that. They do things that make you cringe and laugh at the same time. They make jokes that are exactly on the line.

Joe as Captain Fatbelly.

When I think about comedies that I physically cannot watch, I think of ones that go over the line. Main example: Billy on the Street. I have seen about two episodes and I nearly died. He is so… mean. Literally all he does is scream at random people on the street. It’s painful. My T.V. show, however, does the same but better. They don’t yell at innocent people! They are respectful! For the most part!

To wrap things up: you should watch Impractical Jokers. It’s hilarious and will make your day 1000x times better. It always makes mine.

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