Could Impractical Jokers Add Joey Fatone As Joe Gatto's Replacement? The N'SYNC Star Shares Thoughts

Joe Gatto, Brian Quinn and Joey Fatone on Impractical Jokers
(Image credit: HBO Max)

Rarely does pop culture allow for speculation regarding how an unscripted practical joke show on cable will go about replacing one of its creators after a surprising exit, but Impractical Jokers is as one of a kind as it gets on the small screen. Well, four of a kind, to be more precise, although the show's future will look quite different without Joe Gatto around anymore. The remaining three members are hyping up the impending between-seasons special coming, with Season 10 on the way, and while we already know some of the celebrities that will be aiding in the chaos, it’s unknown if the show will ever permanently fill the Gatto-shaped void. If it does, though, it’s not a major stretch to think that the Jokers-friendly N’SYNC vet Joey Fatone would be a logical choice.

Just such an inquiry was thrown Joey Fatone’s way during his Fandemic Dead 2022 panel in Atlanta, and rather than coyly dodging the question like a lot of celebrities would, Fatone offered an earnest answer implying how awesome it would be, even if replacing Joe Gatto is a lofty task for anyone. Of course, he started off with joking confidence, saying this after a fan plainly asked if he would be replacing Gatto:

Heck, yeah!... No, no, no, I have no idea. I'd love to, but it's Joe. Joe is the man on that one, let's be real. All of them are, but he had no fear whatsoever. That dude did not care, and he's good at it. He's really good at it. So yeah, I'll probably come out and do stuff.

For anyone who doesn't know or remember, Joey Fatone has appeared in a decent number of  Impractical Jokers episodes and specials over the years, and hosts the aftershow Impractical Jokers: After Party, which has kept the silliness going after new episodes air. And in Fatone’s mind, as it likely goes in a lot of fans’ brains, he’s not going to be THE guy who can replace Joe Gatto within this context of a show that he helped create, with comedy partners he’d worked with for many years. Similarly, Joe Gatto couldn’t replace Fatone on the musical side of things, though I’d be down for that Freaky Friday situation to happen somehow.

That said, it isn’t necessary to wholly replace Gatto to work with the Impractical Jokers squad, as evidenced by Eric Andre being part of the upcoming special, as well as WWE and AEW superstar Chris Jericho tagging along. He continued his answer, basically confirm that he'll be part of Season 10, even if he may not have filmed anything yet. 

We're actually gonna be shooting some more Afterparty stuff, the show that I host. I think we're shooting in April at some point. They've already shot episodes as well, and they're bringing some celebrities in to fill in those gaps.

I can't help but think Joe Gatto would have a raunchily safe-for-work comment to make about filling his gaps. And I can't help but think that Joey Fatone would chortle heartily at it.

Prior to that question being asked, Joey Fatone talked about how he prefers to stay away from digging into people’s private lives, saying he had no dirt to offer regarding Joe Gatto’s situation away from the show. The comedian bowed out of the TV show as a result of splitting up with to-be ex-wife Bessy Haggar, and not much has been divulged about the situation in the aftermath. Fatone jokingly said he’d let everyone know when he heard something, but also noted that he reached out to Gatto at the time, offering friendly emotional support, which Gatto appreciated.

Though some episodes were removed following Joe Gatto’s exit, Impractical Jokers is available to stream for anyone with an HBO Max subscription. (And those with a Paramount+ account can catch Brian Quinn’s unexpected cameo on Star Trek: Picard.)The upcoming special is set for a simulcast airing on truTV, TBS and TNT on Saturday, April 2, following the end of the NCAA basketball Final Four, and stay tuned for more info about Season 10!

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.