Review: Impractical Jokers makes a stop at the Wolstein Center

By Beth Casteel

TruTV’s Impractical Jokers brought their comedic show on the road, giving fans of the show a taste of what the troupe is all about.

The quartet that is comprised of Joe Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano, also known as The Tenderloins, brought their “Santiago Sent Us” tour to Cleveland State’s Wolstein Center on Friday, Jan. 19.

Meant to allow fans a chance to experience the show in a live setting, the set combined jokes and live footage from the show. While the live show didn’t have the classic pranks that fans are used to, experiencing the act in person was sure to be memorable to any fan of the show.

While fans may have felt the excitement from being in the same room as the comedians, some of the jokes were tired and overused. That’s not to say that the quartet didn’t have moments where they shined, but for people who don’t share the same humor, some of the jokes fell short.

Because the show relies heavily on pulling pranks on random strangers in public, the comedy troupe had to focus more of their attention on traditional jokes and punchlines rather than pulling pranks on unsuspecting people. While they didn’t pull pranks on the audience, they did try to have some audience participation.

In addition to interacting with the audience, they also had many moments where they bounced jokes off one another, especially during times in which they would be telling a story. With skits and re-enactments, the group showed a genuine friendship with one another, which was evident during the entirety of the show.

From the troupe’s history together, there was a casual atmosphere that surrounded the room. It was easy to tell that the jokes were in good nature, and it was in those moments that the jokes being told were a hit with both the guys and many members of the audience.

Each member of The Tenderloins had the opportunity to tell their own stories, giving their own twist on a situation that has happened to them.

The topics of the performance shared tidbits of the guy’s lives. Most of the stories ranged from Sal’s version of road rage, the first time the guys had seen a gun and the time that they went on Katie Couric’s Show.

To beef up their stories, the Tenderloins would also use footage from the show that added to their stories. The clips that were shown ranged from a bicycle skit to a contest to determine who the creepiest member of the group was.

The moments when the skits would play seemed to be the biggest entertainment factor for the fans. This could have been because most of the fans in attendance mainly watched the show rather than follow the troupe for their stand-up acts.

The show didn’t leave much room for the crickets to sing, but it was at times underwhelming. There were moments that had genuinely funny jokes, but the show didn’t leave everyone dying of laughter.

Adding elements of Impractical Jokers did help add to the humor of the show, and that is what seemed to be the most exciting for the fans in attendance. While some of the jokes fell flat, for those who are fans of the TV show, it was sure to have a knee-slapping night.
Rating: 6/10