‘Impractical Jokers’ is a new show on TruTV featuring 4 friends in a Candid Camera type reality show. The premise : They have to go out in public to complete daring and embarrassing challenges and in most cases they have to incorporate whatever their friends tell them to. For example, in a couple challenges they have to ask survey questions to random people. The hitch is that they don’t know what the questions are until they open the notebook to ask them and the other guys have written awkward and terrible things for them to ask. If they can pull it off they win the challenge. If they refuse to ask a question then they lose. In another challenge, they have to get a stranger right off the street to admit that they know them using comments that the other guys write for them. In another case, the challenge was as simple as to get another person to say a specific word at a supermarket. At the end of the show, whoever loses the most challenges suffers a terrible embarrassing fate by having to complete a predetermined humiliating task.
What makes the show work well is that these guys are good at improvising and thinking on their feet. They are friendly and disarming and they try to use that to get as far as they can along with some creative strategies. It is a great twist on the hidden camera show genre in that the guys are pulling off the joke but they are targets of their friends as well. What is also really impressive is how committed they are to taking the joke as far as possible even when it looks like they are done for.
One of the aspects of the show that caught my eye is how much of it is shot in New Jersey. I don’t know if any of the guys are from New Jersey as finding biographical information on them is difficult but they sure like shooting here! The first few episodes have featured challenges at Great Adventure, Route 23 Auto Mall, First Energy Park in Lakewood New Jersey, Jersey Gardens Mall, and multiple locations at the Jersey Shore. It is very common for half or more of the scenes to take place in New Jersey. Whether you at a supermarket, a shopping mall, or on the street you may wind up running into one of the ‘Impractical Jokers’.
‘Impractical Jokers’ airs every Thursday night at 10:00 pm on TruTV.
Here is a clip featuring some examples of the challenges at Great Adventure in Jackson New Jersey, 16 Handles in Manhattan, and what happens to the loser at a Minor League Baseball Game in Lakewood, New Jersey:
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