Why Impractical Jokers Is Losing One Of Its Founding Members

Murr, Sal, Q, and Joe laughing at pencils falling from Joe's butt.
(Image credit: truTV)

Impractical Jokers took the TV world by storm when it debuted on the commercial-cutting TruTV back in 2011, and became one of TV's best prank shows. As a result, its members have shared a great deal of success over the past decade. Now, as 2022 begins, it appears the team will undergo a big shakeup with the departure of one of its founding members. Joe Gatto will leave James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn, and Sal Vulcano behind, as he begins a new chapter of his life. 

Joe Gatto announced the news of his departure on Instagram late on New Years' Eve, along with his reason for stepping away. In doing so, Gatto shared some details on his personal life, which he says contributed to his decision to say goodbye to Impractical Jokers:

Alongside my friends, I’ve devoted a decade of my life to building this franchise and couldn’t be prouder of what has been accomplished. However, due to some issues in my personal life, I have to step away. Bessy and I have decided to amicably part ways, so now I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids.

Bessy Haggar and Joe Gatto were married in 2013, and the couple share two children, Milana and Remington. As mentioned, Gatto wants to step away from his fan-favorite show in order to spend more time co-parenting his children as he navigates this new chapter in his life. 

The announcement might disappoint the fans of Impractical Jokers and call into question the show’s future now that it’s lost one of its core members. Brian “Q” Quinn, however, shared some news not long after the announcement, which indicated that the show will continue. He also showed some support for his friend:

Hi everyone, so here we are. After all these years together, we never imagined making Impractical Jokers without Joe. While we are saddened to see him go, we want to keep making people laugh, keep our relationship with Impractical Jokers fans going, and keep working with the members of our team that we consider family. With the support of our fans, we’ll get back to making a new chapter of Impractical Jokers in January.

Joe Gatto mentioned in his statement that he still considered his relationships with his colleagues as some of the “most important” in his life and felt confident they and the crew would continue to make viewers laugh. The group has made work that can rival some of the great comedy movies or non-toxic reality TV shows, so it would be a shame for them to never collaborate again. For now, it seems as though they have split amicably, which is about the best fans can hope for at this time. 

As for what’s next for the star in terms of entertainment, that’s up in the air. While his commitments to Impractical Jokers were seemingly too much to shoulder with the changes in his life, Gatto did indicate towards the end of his statement that he’ll have “new ways” of entertaining his fans in the future. Check out his full post down below:

These “new ways” of entertaining fans could involve more comedy done via his various social media channels and other work that's less time-consuming than Impractical Jokers. Perhaps it’s even possible he’ll return for an episode or two in the future, as one would imagine the door is always open when it comes to the rest of his friends. Fans can only wait and see all while wishing Joe Gatto the best as he steps away to focus on family. 

Impractical Jokers airs on truTV and apparently, more episodes are in the works for fans this year. It will be interesting to see how this major exit impacts future episodes and if we can expect a new cast member to join the crew in the upcoming season. And be sure to check out CinemaBlend's 2022 winter and spring TV guide for more on shows that are returning.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.