Why Did Joe Leave ‘Impractical Jokers’? Timeline Of His Departure – Hollywood Life

Why Did Joe Leave ‘Impractical Jokers’? The Timeline Behind His Surprise Departure

Joe Gatto shocked everyone when he announced he was leaving 'Impractical Jokers' after nine seasons. Here's the truth behind his unexpected exit.

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Joe Gatto
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Image Credit: truTV

  • Joe Gatto is a famous comedian and former member of The Tenderloins.
  • He starred in Impractical Jokers for nine seasons.
  • He announced his exit from Impractical Jokers in Dec. 2021.

Joe Gatto was one of the core four on Impractical Jokers for nine seasons. The 47-year-old and the other members of the comedy troupe The Tenderloins launched the improv-based reality series in December 2011. But Joe shocked the fans when he announced his exit from the show halfway through season 9 in December 2021. Joe enjoyed unimaginable success on the show with James Murray, Brian Quinn, and Sal Vulcano, but he still choose to move on from the experience due to “issues” going on in his personal life.

So, why did Joe Gatto leave Impractical Jokers? Here’s everything you need to know about the improv comedian and his exit from the show that made him famous.

Joe Gatto
Joe Gatto on ‘Impractical Jokers’ (Photo: truTV)

Who Is Joe Gatto?

Joe Gatto is an improvisational comedian, actor, and producer. He was born on June 5, 1976 in Staten Island to an Italian family. His father died in 1995 from pancreatic cancer. When Joe was in high school, he joined the Improvisation Club which is how he met James, Brian, and Sal. The foursome eventually reunited after college and formed an improv and sketch comedy trouble called The Tenderloins in 1998. They produced their content on YouTube and Myspace before they won $100,000 for competing in NBC’s It’s Your Show competition, for their sketch “Time Thugs.” Joe and his fellow Tenderloins members were offered their own show with truTV… and Impractical Jokers was born.

Joe’s Impractical Jokers Success

Impractical Jokers was a huge hit from the very first episode, which aired December 15, 2011. The show was celebrated for its humor and the concept of using hidden cameras to capture the pranks on the show. Joe, James, Brian, and Sal all shot to fame after the show premiered. Through the first nine seasons, the series welcomed tons of celebrity guests including Joey Fatone, Howie Mandel, Danica McKellar, Guy Fieri, and Brooke Shields. There was also a feature film that came out in February 2020 and grossed $10 million at the box office.

Joe Gatto
Joe Gatto on ‘Impractical Jokers’ (Photo: truTV)

In a 2018 interview with MassLiveJoe talked about the success of the show and how the concept was conceived by all four members of The Tenderloins. “We thought what could we do make our version of what would be a hidden camera comedy show. We didn’t like to do the traditional prank show where we felt bad for people having jokes pulled on them,” he said. “We thought why don’t we just make ourselves the marks of the show. Have our three friends turn the screws on each of us and let the collateral embarrassment be the source of the comedy.”

The success of Impractical Jokers also led to The Tenderloins getting their own game show called The Misery Index. The series, hosted by actress Jameela Jamil, aired on TBS for three seasons from 2019 to 2021. It featured two teams competing against each other by rating their hilarious and miserable real-life events on a scale of 1-100.

Why Did Joe Leave Impractical Jokers?

On December 31, 2021, Joe announced that he was leaving The Tenderloins and Impractical Jokers to focus on his family life. He revealed that he and his wife Bessy were separating, so he needed to be more present for his daughter Milana (born 2015) and son Remington (born 2017). Joe shared the news in an Instagram post that took fans by complete surprise.

“Hey, Everyone. Sorry in advance for the long and more-serious-than-usual note below, I just wanted to let you all know that I will no longer be involved with Impractical Jokers,” he began his lengthy statement, which got over 1 million likes on Instagram. “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,” Joe added. “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.”

Joe Gatto
Joe Gatto (Photo: truTV)

The comedian continued, “Outside of my family, my relationships with Murr, Q and Sal have been the most important in my life. I know they will continue to make the world laugh. And even though the four of us are the ones who you all see, this show is only possible due to the hard work of the talented crew members who work behind the scenes. I am very thankful to have worked with each and every one of them.”

Joe thanked his “amazing fans” for their support through his nine-season run on the hit show. “They say that laughter is the best medicine, and I hope I’ve been able to provide some of that over the last decade. Seeing you laugh has been my own medicine, particularly in these weird and difficult times we find ourselves,” he said. “As I work through the challenges I am facing, I hope to and am excited to create new ways to entertain you. Much love, Joe.”

Impractical Jokers returned for season 10, without Joe, on February 23, 2023. It’s the first season to be broadcast on both truTV and TBS. The season 10 celebrity guests so far have included Bret Michaels, Paul Rudd, Post Malone, Kesha, John Mayer, and more.