The Tenderloins take their impractical jokes on tour
The Tenderloins members introducing themselves Photo Credit: The Tenderloins.com
By Michelle Checchi
The four best friends who make up the cast of truTV’s Impractical Jokers are taking their comedy tour to Albany on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace theater. Sal, Joe, Q, and Murr, otherwise known as the comedy troupe The Tenderloins, have become a hit with their hidden camera television show where they dare each other to do ridiculous things in public.
Hailing from Staten Island, the four have been friends since their high school days, and formed The Tenderloins in 1999.
Sal gave some insight to their show, tour, success, and doing what you love with your three best friends:
ASP: How did you guys get started?
Sal: “In high school we all were involved with improve and sketches. After we graduated, we kind of went our separate ways, but we all came back together…In ‘99 we formed The Tenderloins, where we did improve, stand-up, and sketches in New York for over ten years. Then one afternoon, literally, we were all sitting around, and thought of the idea for the show. And we shot everything ourselves- we did a bit in a movie theater, we filmed one in a Victoria’s Secret, and one at a speed-dating event.”
“So our show premiered in December 2011, and now has two seasons out.”
ASP: What kind of comedy did you start out with?
Sal:“We first started off doing sketches and improv, we didn’t begin filming our stuff until around 2006, with YouTube and MySpace. But we thought the recorded shows were a perfect opportunity for a live show. They’re great, because you get immediate feedback from the audience, and you can tell these stories live. Being on stage, you’re connected with the fans, and you get to meet them and feel the energy. And it’s great because we get to travel across the country… [laughs] like I’m not sure if I would stop by Iowa at any point.”
ASP: How do you come up with new jokes?
Sal: “Coming up with new material can be tough. We do four or five different bits a show, and we’re up to about 70 different episodes now. And that’s only the amount that’s aired. There’s so many more ideas that the network says we can’t do. But part of being a writer and a performer, and the element of being a professional, is the challenge to continuously reinvent. We don’t want to keep doing the same thing – we want to stay nervous, and keep variable elements. With the live show, the wild card is always the audience. It’s a lottery… who’s going to walk up to me today?”
ASP: Any crazy stories from the tour?
Sal: “So many crazy things have happened to us. Okay, here’s one scenario. One of the cool things about the television show is that families watch it together, and a fun thing about the live show is that it’s more edgy. I think we were in Indiana, and the lights go up after the show, and we notice a bunch of kids in the audience. Our shows are interactive, so we asked how many kids under 15 were there. And it was crazy- like 40 kids raised their hands. So we called all 40 of them on stage, and sang The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston with them.”
ASP: What’s the best part about what you do?
Sal: “Doing this is a gift- it’s an absolute dream come true for us. Wow- doing this alone would be tough. But everything I do, I do with my three best friends. It’s so special, and we’re so fortunate. It’s really unique, which isn’t lost on us. We take time and appreciate it, and all the crazy things we do. We’ll walk around cities on foot, and just say to each other ‘This is insane.’ We’re excited to be on the road, and we’re excited to be on stage.”