Improvising pranksters head to Cedar Rapids

The truTV Impractical Jokers “Santiago Sent Us” tour

US Cellular Center — Sunday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The Tenderloins - Impractical Jokers - Cedar Rapids
The Tenderloins bring their truTV show ‘Impractical Jokers’ to the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids on June 12 — photo via their website

Created by New York comedy troupe The Tenderloins — Joseph “Joe” Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn, and Salvatore “Sal” Vulcano — truTv’s popular comedy series Impractical Jokers is a hidden camera show with a twist. The show features comedians walking the streets playing embarrassing pranks on unsuspecting strangers. The catch is that the comedians playing the pranks are also being pranked themselves — they don’t know what they’re supposed to do until they’re actually doing it. Their partners cue them from off-screen, making for a quirky combination of reality TV and improv comedy.

The guys have a great rapport, and their willingness to put themselves out there and embarrass themselves (and their friends) explains why the show is so infectious. “This is the best job ever,” says Vulcano. “Working with friends and making people laugh is one of the key ingredients.”

The Tenderloins all met in high school on Staten Island, and got together again when in college to perform comedy together. Vulcano cites Upright Citizens Brigade, which hosts a number of long-form improv shows in New York, as a big influence. “We’d watch them all the time.” Their own live shows began as a blend of long-form improv and sketch comedy. Before long they began posting videos online, and landed the show Impractical Jokers in 2011. Now they are touring live shows while continuing to produce episodes of Impractical Jokers.

Their current tour, “Santiago Sent Us,” comes to the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids June 12. The show is ages 16+; tickets are $52.50