These four guys from America basically do what it says on the tin. They’re jokers. Simple. But of all the jokers in the world right now, why have this group become so famous for it? Well, it all started with a show on Comedy Central in which four men dare each other to complete the most embarrassing challenges – usually involving the unknowing public.
The first season was released back in 2011, and their sixth is currently being aired, with a seventh season in the works. They came to the UK last year to tour, and many of the dates were sold out so it’s no surprise they decided to return for the second year in a row. They’re fitting in five shows in the UK before they jet back to America to carry on with the tour.
The show began with an Asian-American comedian named Steve Byrne. He came on stage looking suave in a suit, which usually means the comedian will stand still and spout off funny jokes into a microphone. What more would you want from a professional funny man, right? Wrong. Although he may have looked smart and stiff, his set was anything but that. His personality was huge, his jokes were hilarious, his timing was perfect.
But then he went one step further.
The second half of Byrne’s set was purely about getting the audience involved and pumped up ready for the Jokers. He picked five random guys from the audience and dragged them on stage to create a boy band. He gave each one of them their rather crude personality trait and nick name. He then made each of them join in his dance, before being made to give a lap dance to a woman randomly picked from the audience who had to sit on a chair at the front of the stage and, well, be danced to (or on, in the case of a couple of the more frisky boys).
He then finished his set with a sing-a-long as he frolicked around the whole stadium, sticking his microphone in people’s faces while he finished off their beers. The big surprise was whilst Byrne was keeping you distracted on the floor, the Jokers came running out on stage dancing and singing along before giving the crowd a 20-minute interval.
As this was only their second date of the UK leg of their tour, nerves were expected. But impressively, the minute they came on the stage to begin the main set, they seemed completely comfortable. You could clearly see the whole way through the show the solidarity the lads have for each other.
They aren’t stand-up comedians, so if you’re expecting a polished stand-up performance, you won’t get it. They’ve made their careers on improvisation, and that’s what they bring to the stage. However, there was a clear running order throughout, with rehearsed jokes, hilarious videos of footage you don’t see on the TV and even a skit, of which Joe and Sal acted in.
But the points when the Jokers would go off script were the hidden gems of the show. The witty, quick jokes came out and suddenly you were given an insight into how they are together when cameras aren’t pointing at them. They’re actually not much different, and it’s refreshing to see how genuine and down to Earth they still are with the amount of fame they now have.
They ended the show on a high, with tinsel and glitter flying everywhere, and a short speech on how privileged they feel to have the lives they have, and how appreciative they are that people carry on watching them. They also expressed their support for public services such as fire fighters, police and hospital workers.
A truly lovely way to end a brilliantly funny evening.
Impractical Jokers - 'Where's Larry?' Tour was at Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday 11 Oct 2017.
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