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Impractical Jokers Stars Share Hilarious Dinner Prank Joe Gatto Pulled After His Exit From The Show

Murr and Sal laughing at monitor on Impractical Jokers
(Image credit: truTV)

Though it won't be back in full until later this year, Impractical Jokers returned to TV with a sneak peek of the remainder of Season 9, which was filmed following former cast member and co-founder Joe Gatto's departure. His exit was obviously a big blow to the remaining three stars, but it hasn't stopped the ridiculous chaos that the truTV series has long been known for. And guess what? Just because Gatto left the show doesn't mean his relationship with Brian Quinn, James Murray and Sal Vulcano has changed at all, as evidenced by a perfectly on-brand move he pulled at their most recent group dinner.

As revealed to People, the current Impractical Jokers trio explained that during their latest outing as a quartet, Joe Gatto inspired Q and Murr to make a rapid exodus after the bill came, at a point when Sal took a very ill-timed trip to the bathroom. When he returned, presumably refreshed, all that was left to greet him at the table was the $600 bill.  Brian Quinn explained:

I actually said to Joe, 'You don't want to say goodbye to Sal?' He goes, 'What are you talking about? Let's get out of here! This is hysterical!'

Of course, not everyone would appreciate being stuck with such a pricy restaurant bill, regardless of how close the friends were that pulled the prank. But we're talking about a cast of comedians whose success has been built on such behavior. Even so, Sal Vulcano says he initially didn't think the others had actually left the premises entirely. In his words:

I ran out to the lot because it was almost like at the end of Usual Suspects where everything was coming together. I'm like, 'Wait, where are they?' I was like, 'Oh, they're joking. They're going to come out and laugh in a moment.' Then when I sat with the bill alone for two minutes, I was like, 'Let me run out to the parking lot,' and all the cars were gone. I was like, 'Alright, touché.' [Murray] paid me back but [Quinn] didn't and Joe didn't!

Speaking to how quickly the exit happened, Murray said he’s never peeled out of a parking lot as quickly as he did on that occasion. But it sounds like Vulcano sat around for long enough that they could have moseyed a little slower and still pulled the dine-and-dash off with time to spare. 

Though Joe Gatto is still around to pull gags like that in their personal lives, the Impractical Jokers cast had to find ways to continue putting the TV show together without someone they’d known, loved and worked with for decades. To be expected, it wasn’t the easiest thing to dive back into for the other stars, but they couldn’t look at it as if they could have stopped him from leaving the troupe. Instead, they moved forward hoping to balance things with a host of guest stars showing up in the upcoming ten episodes to fill the Gatto-shaped void. Viewers can look forward to the group working with the likes of pro wrestler Chris Jericho, David Cross, Jillian Bell, Adam Pally, and many more, some of which haven’t even been revealed yet. Check out the trailer below!

It’s too bad nobody had a camera on Joe Gatto, Brian Quinn and James Murray hauling ass out of the restaurant, as that would make for good BTS footage for new Impractical Jokers episodes. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be, but the final batch of Season 9 episodes will premiere on Thursday, June 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see when all the latest and greatest shows will be popping up, and catch up on past Jokers episodes (sans a few missing installments) on HBO Max.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.