RED BANK: IMPRACTICAL MAGIC

jokersThe Impractical Jokers of TV’s Tenderloins troupe dig in for a three-show stand at the Basie, including TWO sold-out shows on Saturday and a going-fast addition on Sunday night.

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.

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