TV goofballs bring their Impractical Jokes to downtown Syracuse

The Tenderloins, the laugh-happy crew behind the Impractical Jokers TV show, bring their crack-up comedy to the Oncenter War Memorial Arena tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Sal Vulcano's co-workers scare him almost every day he works.

The 37-year-old Staten Island native stars on truTV’s "Impractical Jokers," a hidden-camera show featuring The Tenderloins, a comedy troupe comprised of himself and three of his lifelong friends: James "Murr" Murray, Joe Gatto, and Brian "Q" Quinn.

"Impractical Jokers" is a new take on the typical hidden camera shows: instead of embarrassing the people around them, the quartet fervently tries to embarrass one another by forcing each other to do and say whatever they want in compromising social situations. Vulcano in particular said he has a hard time completing some of the challenges since the others enjoy taking advantage of his polite demeanor.

“One time, I had to teach some people how to do CPR, something I’m completely not qualified to do,” Vulcano said. “All of a sudden, the guys tell me that I have to say, ‘Let dem titties go before you start to blow.’

“I basically justified that by saying the bra can constrict [the woman’s] lungs from breathing, so you want to remove the bra, and then start administering the CPR. But when they had me say that, man, I was so mortified.”

But they don’t stay mad at each other for long. The quartet is together almost seven days a week, so they make sure not to hold grudges. It’s their friendship that keeps the fans coming back, Vulcano said.

Now, the quartet is taking their talents on the road, kicking off an "Impractical Jokers" three-months-long tour at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena tonight at 7:30 p.m. The show will feature a mixture of stand-up comedy, longform stories, audience involvement and clips from "Impractical Jokers" that did not make it into the show.

It’s pure, uncontrollable laughter, said Vulcano, known to easily succumb to fits of laughter and fall on the ground in tears. And the material is accessible to all ages and genders.

“People will come up to us at events and say, ‘I watch this show with my grandfather, my dad, my son, my mother...'" Vulcano said. “It’s crazy. There’s jokes in there that everyone can latch on to. We had no idea it would turn out that way, but there’s silly cheese stuff that kids respond to, and there’s also edgy, quirky material. And I think that’s one of our greatest accomplishments, even if it was inadvertent."

"Watch it at four in the morning on their DVRs, or after a bad day of work. They can just turn it on and there's no storyline or anything to follow along with. You can tune in 20 minutes into the show and be hooked and laughing within minutes.”

But that’s not the only development on deck for the Jokers: they are premiering a new show called "Jokers Wild" on Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. "Jokers Wild" will place the four guys in new scenarios to keep them fresh and on their toes.

"Jokers Wild" will return the Jokers to their roots, doing the Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy that they did once they left college. It will immediately follow "Impractical Jokers" at 9:30 p.m., which Vulcano said they plan to continue doing for a long time to come.

“The last six episodes of season three are absolutely brutal, especially the punishments," Vulcano said. "There are two punishments that are pretty insane. In one of them, we’re all permanently changed for life, and the other one, it’s probably one of the biggest ones we’ve ever done."

“We love what we do," he said. "We plan on doing this for as long as we can.”

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