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Has Impractical Jokers Season 9 Changed Its Sense of Humor?

Impractical Jokers has been one of TruTVs biggest hits but its had some major alterations in recent years particularly during its current season. Shooting a hiddencamera comedy show became completely different during the COVID19 pandemic when the Jokers could no longer shoot in public or only with one or two unsuspecting marks.

Then Season 9 weathered the departure of star Joe Gatto and the series has changed drastically from what it was a few seasons ago. Unfortunately these changes havent been welcomed by many fans. Audiences have noted the new much more meanspirited edge to Impractical Jokers in the wake of Joes departure. What was once a group of guys having fun mostly at their own expense has become an exercise in cruel attempts at jokes.

The evolution feels incredibly unnatural and it means that the only ones getting punished are the fans. Much of the humor from previous seasons of Impractical Jokers involved the former quartet doing ridiculous and uncomfortable actions at the behest of each other. This made them the butt of the jokes with their victims usually responding in dismay to the graphic levels of stupidity. Great examples include Joe trying to feed a bewildered family with scoopski potatoes or Brian Quinns esoteric messages causing a discombobulated man to reply with What does that mean? repeatedly.

Now the Jokers have shifted targets. The episodes following Joe Gattos departure have cast the remaining Jokers as jerks constantly being mean to their targets in some way. One challenge had the group having to be horrible to and then fire employees and didnt jive well with the trios personalities or the shows history the joke was that the employee then got to fire them. Another bit had them acting as equally rude customers at an ice cream shop and that was way different from previous weird interactions at Dairy Queen where they were simply being silly.

The punishments themselves are incredibly coldhearted and cruel such as the punishment directed toward Sals more intimate anatomy in the Jillian Bell episode or Sal having to insult people during the Eric Andre episode. The reveal that the crying woman at the end was an actor didnt make up for what felt not just embarrassing but terrible. Its another part of what might be a painful and failed transitional period for the show.

Following the implementation of social distancing protocols changes had to be made to the format of Impractical Jokers. Man on the street bits where the Jokers approached strangers at the mall or in the park were out of the equation but the show still had several other surefire ideas. Games such as focus groups fake TV ideas fake products and the infamous Name Game could have all been used in the new under one roof format and the fact that they werent is a huge missed opportunity.

Joe was also heavily involved in the shows production exemplifying more than anyone else the series original moniker of Mission Uncomfortable. With him gone the show has tried to supplement his absence and the change in format with edgier content. The result has been the aforementioned jab at Sal as well as a punishment where Q is bitten by a ravenous dog in the Colin Jost installment. Scenes like that feel very much like a less entertaining version of the hardcore Jackass franchise instead of humor thats fun and unique to the Jokers.

About Yashwa Malik

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