Impractical Jokers will transition from a quartet to a comedic trio after Joe Gatto announced Saturday that he will not be involved with the upcoming 10th season of the show amid a divorce from his wife.
The 45-year-old comedian announced his departure through a lengthy Instagram post.
“Alongside my friends, I’ve devoted a decade of my life to building this franchise and couldn’t be prouder of what has been accomplished. However, due to some issues in my personal life, I have to step away,” Gatto wrote, then mentioning his wife of eight years. “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.”
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He said outside his family, the relationships with his co-stars and longtime friends James S. Murray, Brian ‘Q’ Quinn, and Sal Vulcano “have been the most important in my life.” The four friends since high school, who originally formed a comedy troupe called The Tenderloins, eventually became known as the Impractical Jokers for their hidden camera television show started in 2011 for TruTV.
“I know they will continue to make the world laugh,” Gatto said. “And even though the four of us are the ones who you all see, this show is only possible due to the hard work of the talented crew members who work behind the scenes. I am very thankful to have worked with each and every one of them.”
In his goodbye post, Gatto continued, “To all of the amazing fans, thank you for allowing me to make you laugh with Jokers. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I hope I’ve been able to provide some of that over the last decade. Seeing you laugh has been my own medicine, particularly in these weird and difficult times we find ourselves. As I work through the challenges I am facing, I hope to and am excited to create new ways to entertain you.”
In what quickly became a hit and has generated over 200 episodes, the Impractical Jokers gang competes to embarrass each other in public with a series of outrageous dares and at the end of each episode, the biggest loser must endure a punishment of their peers’ choosing.
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The show’s success led to a movie and a pandemic-era special called “Impractical Jokers Dinner Party” when COVID-19 restrictions prevented filming among the public and in crowds.