A Lifetime of Secrets
Original Air Date: Sep 25, 2014
Jeff L – Señor Staff Writer
TruTV’s immensely popular Impractical Jokers made their first basic-cable foray into sketch comedy last night with the debut of Jokers Wild. They’ve been doing sketch comedy since the days of Myspace (ask your parents, kids) and before their show became a world-wide sensation spawning licensed knockoffs around the world, national bus tours, multiple podcasts and sold-out shows around the country. Perhaps that’s why the debut was hit-and-miss for me.
The show begins with the guys coming out on stage in front of a live audience for a cold open. They throw to a sketch – which for the first episode should have been, in my opinion, their funniest sketch of the show. It was not. The sketch was a convoluted Sally Jessy Raphael show featuring some material that maybe offensive to the LGBT community. The gist of it was each joker revealing something more and more shocking and eventually devolving into Joe Gatto prancing around shirtless.
Back in the studio the guys banter amongst themselves, which for me is the highlight of the show. It’s fun watching the guys, who’ve known each other for over 24 years, press each other’s buttons. They through to another clip, this time it’s some hidden camera stuff that’s much stronger than the sketch. Murr and Sal are at a 3D art show and Murr breaks one of the displays. It’s set up, but Sal doesn’t know and his reactions to his friend having destroyed what could very-well-be a very expensive piece of art are priceless.
Back in the studio the guys discuss how many secrets they are each keeping from and for each other before throwing to the final (and strongest) sketch of the night: The Duplex. Q, Sal and Murr are playing video games in Q’s very messy apartment. The guys give Q a hard time about cleaning up the mess of DVDs and videogames strewn about, but then the doorbell rings and the guys find a baby in a bassinet on their doorstep. Very Three Men and Baby (again, ask your parents). Unlike the guys in Three Men and a Baby however, the guys deal with the problem by pushing the baby across the porch to the other half of the duplex and ringing their doorbell. Moments later, Q emerges from the house and picks up the baby kissing it and it looks like he’s going to change his mind. He takes the baby’s blanket and lays it out, then sets the baby on it, knocks on the neighbors door, grabs the bassinet and runs inside shouting something about finding somewhere to put all the DVDs.
Then we finish off back the the studio with the guys giving each other a hard time about Sal keeping spreadsheets on the people he’s dated and Murr not wearing underwear. They answer some viewer mail (after their mailman falls trying to enter the stage) and they show some bloopers. Strangely fascinating is when they show the blooper reel, the mail carrier’s trip and fall doesn’t make the cut instead as a blooper they show him entering flawlessly several times. Meta? Weird? Planned? You tell me.
TruTV has given a short-run to this series (somewhere between four to six episodes) to see how it does. What were your thoughts on the show? Should it get picked up? What were your highlights and lowlights? Leave your TwoCents (see what I did there?) below in the comments section.