It’s a TV format that goes back at least to Allen Funt and his vintage hit series Candid Camera — but just when you might have thought the Prank/ Punk/ Jackass genre had run its course came Impractical Jokers, the TruTV series that quickly became a basic-cable bonanza by turning a trite-and-true trope on its cauliflowered ear. In other words, while scores of innocent passersby get caught up in the demeaning, dirty, sometimes dangerous scenarios cooked up by the producers (primarily in and around the greater NYC area), it’s the show’s hosts who truly bear the brunt of the various injuries, indignities, and inglorious public spectacles — mostly by having no idea of what’s about to transpire until the cameras are rolling.
The Jokers are the members of the comedy troupe The Tenderloins (Joe Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano) — improv specialists who first caught the national attention span via the magic of their own low-budget YouTube sketches. It’s a deceptively simple recipe for success that’s already won them a fourth season of prime-time shows (Thursdays at 10 pm) — and it’s testament to their appeal that the ‘loins touring live show quickly sold out not one but two Saturday performances at the Count Basie Theatre, necessitating the scheduling of a third this Sunday, February 8.
Like a lot of the TV show tie-ins whose stage events have proven to be a dependable draw at the Basie, the 8 pm performance promises a best-of collection of video clips (including “never before seen footage”) and behind-the-scenes anecdotes delivered by the Impractical crew. Unlike some of the other mic-in-hand attractions, however, the Tenderloins can really work a room — using a level of live-audience experience that will most certainly involve onlookers in their impishly interactive improvs.
Available tickets to Sunday night’s performance ($49.50, with a VIP option of $125) can be reserved right here. In the event that you’re unable to get tickets, here’s a redbankgreen bonus consolation feature — the 1960s Red Bank area band The Mods, appearing on national television in 1966 lip-syncing their single “Smile, You’re On Candid Camera!”