On New Year’s Day came the surprising news that Joe Gatto, one quarter of the Impractical Jokers cast on TruTV, would be departing the reality/prank series that he’d starred in for ten years. At the time Gatto said that his stepping away from the series was due to “personal issues,” noting that he and his wife Bessie have “decided to amicably part ways,” adding he would now “focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids.” After Gatto’s revelation however came news that the series would continue without him, the other Jokers need to make hay after all, and now we have a first hint about what the series will be like in his absence and it will apparently be “weird.”
Impractical Jokers star Brian “Q” Quinn opened up about Gatto’s departure and the show’s continuation on his award-winning Tell ’em Steve-Dave! podcast, which he co-hosts with Comic Book Men stars Walt Flanagan and Bryan Johnson (which predates both of those television forays). Quinn said that he was “f-cking shocked” when he heard the news and that he wasn’t sure if they would continue the show. “Look, initially, we didn’t even know,” Quinn said. “We were like, ‘Can we even, is this even worth doing without Joe?’ but you just look at it and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I want to keep doing it. I don’t want to not do it.’ If I left the show, I wouldn’t want the guys to stop just because I left.”
He continued, addressing concern from The Ants, “F— man, there are so many negatives to Joe not being there. We’re losing a comedic powerhouse. There’s nothing we can do I guess than accept that it is what it is and give ourselves permission to have fun. Once I got through that feeling, it’s been a f—ing blast. It’s almost like a new show now. Isn’t that weird? He was so instrumental behind the scenes and that’s just gone now so it’s like this new vacuum that you can only fill in parts of it here, and there and everywhere. The show, it’s gonna be a bit weirder, the show going forward. I’m able to get a little bit more of my sh-t (in)….I am getting in some like fun weird sh-t now. It’s kind of revitalized the show. I think this is actually going to give the show legs that were getting tired if that makes sense.”
Quinn noted that the departure of Gatto was already “the biggest change,” which allowed them to “start making little adjustments to the actual format.”
“There was always things that we wanted to do but we couldn’t do because it just didn’t fit onto Impractical Jokers and the format,” he added. “Now I’m just like, ‘F-ck it, let’s start breaking format here and there.’….. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think people were going to like it, but I think people are going to be really surprised at what we end up doing. It’s going to be great. I’m more invested and more involved and having more fun than I’ve had in a long time.”
The comedian further noted that he doesn’t think the upcoming season of the series, it’s tenth, will be its last, even with the changes. What those changes will be remains unclear.