Impractical Jokers’ Joe Gatto is the first of the original hosts and real-life friends to leave the series, and was also part of the original formation of The Tenderloins.
The success of Impractical Jokers arguably hinges not only the continually hysterical pranks which are the premise of the show, but on the chemistry between the original four real-life friends and comedians. Therefore, the upcoming tenth milestone season is set to be quite different.
This is as a result of Impractical Jokers’ Joe Gatto announcing his departure from the show in December 2021.
As we bid Gatto farewell, we will take a look back at his biographies, the confirmation of his departure from the show, and what he is doing now after his exit from Impractical Jokers.
What is Impractical Jokers?
Impractical Jokers is truTV’s flagship show which first premiered on the channel in April 2011. The series is considered a more family-friendly, candid, camera and pranks reality-format show than the likes of the similar series, Jackass.
The premise of Impractical Jokers is, “Comedians Joe Gatto, James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, and Sal Vulcano are real-life best friends who love challenging each other to the most outrageous dares and stunts ever caught on hidden camera.”
Therefore, fans of the show were surprised when Gatto announced that he will not be part of the upcoming tenth season, as he has decided to take time to focus on resolving his new family dynamic.
Impractical Jokers: Joe Gatto
Born Joseph Anthony Gatto Jr. on 5 June 1976, Joe, as he has become popularly known, is a writer, producer, stand-up comedian, and podcaster.
Joe was always passionate about comedy, but in his high school, Monsignor Farrell High School, Staten Island, New York from, he joined clubs such as the bowling and maths team.
He also joined the high school improv class, which is where he met three other comedy enthusiasts, namely, James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, and Sal Vulcano.
Following their tenure in high school in 1999, the four would formalise their formation by establishing a comedy troupe called The Tenderloins.
Initially, starting out as a travelling comedy troupe, they would translate their live show to recorded videos and skits which they uploaded on YouTube.
Thereafter, the premise and the popularity thereof gave rise to what is now known as Impractical Jokers.
Joe Gatto before Impractical Jokers
Before the success of Impractical Jokers, Joe Gatto worked a series of jobs to make a living. Two of the jobs he worked were, being a personal shopper, and a consultancy position.
During this time, he also shared an apartment with friend and fellow The Tenderloins member, James Murray.
During one of their dinners with Brian Quinn and Sal Vulcano, they all came up with the concept for Impractical Jokers and used their iPhones to shoot the pilot episode of the show.
They first proposed the show to Spike TV in 2008, but in August 2010, truTV announced the imminent premiere of the show. Since then, the four have been household names.
Impractical Jokers’ Joe Gatto announces his exit from the show
As fans of Impractical Jokers were preparing for the imminent release of the milestone tenth season, in December 2021, Joe Gatto took to Instagram to announce that he would not be a part of the season.
In his lengthy post he addressed the reason for his departure, writing, “Bessy and I have decided to amicably part ways, so now I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids.”
The couple had been married since 2013, and have two children – Milana (6) and Remington Joseph (4).
What is Impractical Jokers’ Joe Gatto doing now?
When Joe Gatto announced his indefinite departure from Impractical Jokers this past New Year’s Eve, he affirmed, “As I work through the challenges I am facing, I hope to and am excited to create new ways to entertain you.”
The first of the new ways is not necessarily so new, as Joe has continued to work as a stand-up comedian on his current show, Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy, even after his departure.
Moreover, he released a new podcast called Two Cool Moms with Steve Byrne. He also continues to run his pet adoption page, Gatto Pups, which encourages the adoption, instead of the purchasing of pets.
For nine seasons, Impractical Jokers has been anchored by the show’s creators and real-life friends, Joe Gatto, James ‘Murr’ Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, and Sal Vulcano.
But just prior to the upcoming tenth season, Joe Gatto announced that he would not be returning to the show, in light of his divorce from his wife, Bessy, after eight years of marriage.
While it remains bittersweet, Gatto has maintained that his friendships with Q, Murr and Sal will remain intact. In his time away, he has continued to work as a stand-up comedian, and recently started his own podcast channel with friend and comedian, Steve Byrne.