It all started with four lifelong friends who met in high school and made each other laugh. Years of hard work and a commitment to their friendship, the stars of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers,” James “Murr” Murray, Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, and Brian “Q” Quinn have made it to the big screen to share their antics and friendship.
The “Impractical Jokers” has a unique element that is much needed in the world today – love and laughter. While the comedy troupe also known as “The Tenderloins” have spent eight seasons making viewers gasp and laugh on their television show, the underlying theme to their success is their friendship to one another and their authentic love of their fans.
“Impractical Jokers” fans are like no other fans that exist. The initial screening of “Impractical Jokers: The Movie,” directed by Chris Henchy, stars the four pals along with Paula Abdul was released this past Friday, February 21, 2020 in 357 theaters. The guys reached out to their fans on a marketing strategy to prove they have a large enough fan base to release the movie nationwide. With the limited theater showings, the jokers personally encouraged their fans to go out and buy tickets and spread the word to friends and family.
The results far exceeded any of their expectations. Not only did the fans go out and buy tickets for themselves, they purchased tickets online for theaters not in their area and donated the tickets to other fans who could not afford to purchase tickets on their own.
I had the opportunity to speak with Murray on this incredible success and why his fans find him and the guys so appealing.
Murray appeared on the cover Millennium Magazine, February 2018.
“I think sex appeal is the biggest part (Murray laughs). And if that is not the reason, I think it comes down to a couple of things. We have fostered a sense of community where they feel like family and friends rather than fans. The movie is really like a communal experience. It is like a love letter to our fans, but you don’t have to be a fan to love it. I also think a large part of it is that the show has remained an island of positivity today in a world of chaos, craziness, and stress and the only people hurt in the making of our show is us! People respond to the positivity and it is a breath of fresh air.”
Through the success of ticket sales during the weekend, the four proved that fans everywhere wanted to see the movie and is now being released in 1,838 theaters throughout the United States and Canada. United Kingdom fans will also have the opportunity to see the movie as well in the near future.
The jokers worked hard along with the fans to make this happen. Murray, Vulcano, Gatto and Quinn popped into various movie theaters throughout the weekend to thank fans for their support. Murray alone appeared at 13 screenings a day for three consecutive days to adoring fans.
Murray was overwhelmed by the love he received. “Fans were showing up dressed as us, holding up signs, it was crazy!”
When asked why he felt their fans were so involved with the success of the movie, Murray shared, “the fans feel so invested in it because so much of the movie like everything else in our lives and careers has been unexpected, has been a struggle. We have failed more than we have succeeded, and that sentiment rings true to people that even to this day, when we started shooting season nine of ‘Impractical Jokers,’ it is still a constant uphill battle to succeed. I think that message holds true to people and they can see that we are genuine in how we are continually amazed by our fans and this whole ride. We are humbled by it.”
Murray explained that many of their fans become “superfans” which he and the guys look at as friends through their years of loyalty. Superfan Sharon Stmartin has been a big factor on doing her part to spread the love of Murray and the guys.
Stmartin explains, “Impractical Jokers fans are very supportive of our four favorite guys! We go above and beyond to support them. I go to their standup shows, purchased over 100 copies of Murr’s book ‘Awakened,’ go to each individual show each guy has and more! We are family! When the movie came out, I bought tickets, posted every day on social media, told family, friends and did anything I could to get the word out!”
Stmartin adds that her love of the “Jokers” goes far beyond the jokes. “Murr, Sal, Q, and Joe are my inspiration to be brave, confident, kind, and silly. Because of them, I have made some wonderful friends and have ventured out on my own. I have been lucky to meet all four of these sweet, adorable gentlemen, and I am very proud of them!”
Now fans coast to coast can embrace the love of the “Jokers” and sit back and “prepare for something amazing!”
Murr, Sal, Joe and Q thank all their fans for “breaking the box office” and look forward to bringing laughter to all!