Where’s Larry?! If you’ve been living under a rock the past decade, you won’t understand that reference, but Larry’s getting ready for the upcoming eighth season of truTV’s beloved series Impractical Jokers, which is also hitting a huge milestone with its 200th episode this year.
Us Weekly caught up with one half of the famous foursome in Joe Gatto and James “Murr” Murray — on a quick break from their Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour with costars Sal Vulcano and Brian ‘Q’ Quinn — to get some insight into how the show’s new season stands up to the insane moments fans have come to love.
“With the show itself, we try to think of new and different ways to make each other laugh, while enjoying what we’re doing,” Joe tells Us about looking back at their 2011 debut. “We have to always think of different ways to make the show fresh for us, so that we’re still having fun. That’s always a challenge and we welcome it every season.”
Murr concurs: “The cool thing about season 8 is that we are able to pull off challenges and punishments we never dreamt of in season 1 because of our killer crew and staff that work on the show.”
“That being said, the guys and I are the same people we were nine years ago,” he admits. “We have not advanced or matured at all. We are still stuck in high school.”
That willingness to humiliate themselves for the sake of a joke has played to the group’s advantage. The series ranked as the No. 2 original cable comedy in primetime (18-49 demo) throughout the second half of 2018. Not to mention, the guys have been able to pull off some seriously crazy antics over the years — everything from permanent tattoos of Jaden Smith’s face on Sal’s thigh to a real-life wedding between Murr and Sal’s sister.
When asked if they ever felt maybe they’d gone too far, Joe reminisces about Q’s infamous punishment where he “had to paint red X’s on the children’s artwork.” He continues, “You can literally see Sal and I hiding behind each other. It seemed like such a no brainer at the moment we came up with it, but as we saw it unfold it became so cringeworthy so fast.”
For Murr, the moment that comes to mind was also his scariest moment on set: “I would have preferred not getting thrown out of an airplane, ‘cause ya know, I could’ve died,” he explains of his memorable skydiving punishment, adding: “That being said, toughest punishment to do was when I had to pull cigarettes out of people’s mouths and try not get my butt whooped.”
As the guys, who have known each other since childhood and are gearing up for a major movie release later this year, approach their landmark 200th episode, they assure fans they haven’t gotten complacent.
“I’m really excited for them to see a punishment of mine,” Joe teases. “The guys got me pretty good this season. The idea was super simple but the location made the simple task, so odd. Everyone involved had no idea what was going on and it made for the perfect mix of confusion and comedy.”
Murr adds, “We have a celebrity guest cameo coming in season 8 that shocked even us. We never knew he was even a fan!”
Impractical Jokers season 8 premieres on truTV Thursday, March 28, at 10/9c. Be sure to get your tickets for The Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour too!
With reporting by Sharon Tharp
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