Lifelong Friends Behind Hit Show ‘Impractical Jokers’ Bring Their Comedy Tour To Anaheim

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The Tenderloins, from left to right: James Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, and Brian Quinn.

Fans of truTV’s hit series “Impractical Jokers” will get a chance to see them live at The Honda Center in Anaheim tomorrow. The hidden camera-style show, now in its eighth season, is chock-full of dares, games, antics, and shenanigans among lifelong friends and comedians that play on social norms. We chatted with Sal Vulcano, one quarter of “The Tenderloins,” on the tour, the TV show, and what’s next for the New York-based comedy troupe.

ON “THE CRANJIS MCBASKETBALL WORLD COMEDY TOUR”
“Requests we get from a lot of people since way back when is that they wish they had friends like us or wish they could be on the show and just want to hang out with us. We kind of based the show on that premise—we want everybody to feel like they got to know us better and that they actually hung out with us. There’s a little something for everybody. There’s storytelling, home videos, we have fun with the audience. It’s a look into our friendship and our past. The energy in the room is always completely insane. It’s different from your typical single-person comedy show. We have so much fun on-stage and if the audience is really great, the rules kind of go out the window—in the best way possible.”

ON THE CRANJIS MONIKER
“We usually name our tours behind a character or include a character or reference from the universe of the show. It’s from one of our favorite bits where we were playing receptionist (in a waiting room) and they had me calling people’s names out that were just so ridiculous. One of them was Cranjis. People just love that one particular bit. I have many nicknames from the show, and one of them is Cranjis.”

ON THE TROUPE’S INCEPTION AND GROWTH
“It was a slow snowball. We were 13 and freshmen in high school in 1990. We got the show in 2010. It’s been so rewarding because when we first conceived the idea, we never imagined it to be on this long and because of the length of the show, we’ve had to evolve and constantly challenge ourselves and our team. We would only keep the show on the air if people want us and will have us but also if we’re having fun finding new ways to make each other laugh. This season will be our 200th episode, not counting the specials. After 17 episodes of season one, I remember being like, ‘Wow, what other things can we think of? Is it even possible?’ I didn’t know. Now, here we are 170 to 190 episodes later. Hopefully we don’t run out anytime soon. We still have so much fun doing it.”

ON MINING INSPIRATION
“There’s really no off button on our brains in terms of making the show. We’re constantly writing. We’re constantly getting inspiration from every angle of our own lives. It’s really unique in that way where it’s not like a scripted show that shoots for just three months, and you’re done. We live and breathe the show.”

ON KEEPING THE SHOW FRESH
“We improvise a good amount, like half of it. That’s another thing that keeps it fresh for us. No matter what scenario, the variable is the real person and you never know what they’re gonna say, do, or how they’re going to react. That keeps us on our toes. That keeps us grounded. I’ve gotten a thicker skin over the years, but that unknown factor that’s built into the DNA of the show keeps it fresh for us and the viewer. A majority of our show is compartmentalized games that we create to play on social norms. Every year, we kind of push those limits and reinvent what it is and how we can approach scenarios differently, and press each other’s buttons differently.”

ON UPCOMING PROJECTS
“We have a new show coming out on TBS called “The Misery Index” with Jameela Jamil from “The Good Place” as the host. It’s a game show and was so much fun to make. Our tour goes into the U.K. and Ireland in October. We all have our own side projects too. I have a solo stand-up tour. We have a cruise coming up that we curate every year that goes out of Miami to the Bahamas. We bring on like 20 comedians, musicians, bands, DJs and we just kind of party for five days with 3,000 fans. We shot our movie this past summer, and hoping it releases this fall. The movie is our hybrid version of the show with an actual narrative mixed into it. We kind of did things that we’d always wanted to do, but weren’t able to do with our budget for the TV show.”

ON PERFORMING IN ORANGE COUNTY
“We’re looking forward to this one. There’s going to be over 7,000 there. It’s just great. I love the California vibe. It’s so much different from our coast. It’s fun to come out here and touch base with everyone on this side.”

See them live!
June 22 at 8 p.m.
“The Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour” Starring The Tenderloins
Honda Center
2695 E Katella Ave, Anaheim
ticketmaster.com
Keep up with The Tenderloins at thetenderloins.com

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