This came across my desk at about 11:54 PM on New Year's Eve and it destroyed my night. As the ball dropped and people in the club took shots, made out, danced, and threw confetti, I sat down alone on a couch sobbing. It ruined the end of 2021 and the start of 2022. It will take me a very long time to emotionally recover from this.
Assuming this isn't some extremely elaborate and personal punishment, Joe will be leaving Impractical Jokers. Seems like he's having family issues and focusing on his kids as he goes through this divorce. Some are speculating that there's more to it than meets the eyes, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. They made a whole big thing about how he's never taken a sip of alcohol, so I doubt it's anything like that. I hope nothing comes out about him that is cancel worthy. I'm going to choose to believe that he's just going through a divorce and wants to be the best father and family man he can be. Because if we can't believe in the Jokers, then what's the point of anything anyway?
It's a very sad situation regardless. Impractical Jokers is a very funny show and I'll die on that hill. Some stuff they did was cheesy and the over the top laughter could be a little much at times. But there was so much great stuff in between all that. Probably makes me laugh out loud more than any other show ever. The writing is so creative and funny. Some of the random shit they have to say to strangers is just so god damn awkward and uncomfortable that it's impossible not to laugh at. Some stuff is hit or miss. I don't care to see them put pencils or balloons on people at a supermarket. I don't care for the over the top Fear Factor type punishments. The best stuff to me is always when one of the Jokers has to say a very awkward and inappropriate thing to one person or a small group of people. Then it's just impossible to avoid the awkwardness of it. Focus group challenges are always a great example of that. The point is that the show is funny!
Joe was so great. Sal probably makes me laugh the most. But Joe is for sure the most fearless of the group with the least shame. He always seemed to be the glue guy of the friend group who kept them all together. It wont' be the same with him. That being said, I think the show can still continue. As long as the writing and challenges stay good, I think you can replace him with someone who is an improv background that's bold and quick on their feet. Casey Jost comes to mind who does the aftershow stuff. Joey Fatone has an existing friendship with them and has done challenges before. There's the producer Cole who has been in a few episodes and shown potential. But personally, I'd like to see someone brand new. I'm sure the guys know some people from their improv days that could maybe fill in. I do think they need a fourth. It will be impossible ever truly replace Joe, but they show must go on.
In the meantime, I'll just be rewatching a bunch of the old episodes on HBO Max. I watched like 12 Saturday to ease the pain. Really hurt to hear them say "four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other." It's only three now :(
Here is some of best of videos to help us through this.