Weekender

Impractical Jokers to take TV show to Penn State

Impractical Jokers are on tour with “Santiago Sent Us.”
Impractical Jokers are on tour with “Santiago Sent Us.” Photo provided

The Impractical Jokers, the four-man comedy troupe with its own show on truTV, will bring “Santiago Sent Us” to the Bryce Jordan Center on Oct. 9.

The group, also known as The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe, specialize in hidden camera pranks on the show that was recently renewed for a sixth season. The live version aims to please dedicated fans and make new ones, member Salvatore “Sal” Vulcano said.

“It has something for everybody — there’s some storytelling, some audience interaction, we show some videos, we have a little stand-up comedy,” he said. “And the four of us on stage at once, it has its own vibe. It’s not really like a standard comedy show, it’s almost more like it’s a band or something.”

The live show’s unique title, “Santiago Sent Us” is based on one of the troupe’s sketches from the truTV show. On the show, troupe members are sent into a social setting with an earpiece while fellow troupe members tell them what to do and say.

“One of the bits: I was out at a mall kiosk and they had me ask a guy, ‘Did Santiago send you?’ Are you one of Santiago’s people? Tell him I’ll have his money,’ ” Vulcano said. “It kind of took off from there. Sometimes a character or line that we do will catch on with the fans, and that’s one of the lines that did.”

Vulcano believes that comedy is important and thinks it can cross nearly any boundary or border.

“You need a chance to make fun of yourself,” he said. “You need a little humility. I think everybody needs it. I think comedy is the great equalizer; it transcends culture, religion, genre, race, everything. ... For me, there’s nothing better than making someone laugh.”

The guys are now filming the next season of their show.

“Season five is airing now and come Nov. 3, we’ll have the season finale,” Vulcano said.

The Impractical Jokers also have a full touring schedule and have hopes for a movie in the next year or so, according to Vulcano.

When he’s not making people laugh with the troupe, Vulcano doesn’t stray very far.

“When I’m not doing comedy with the guys, I’m doing comedy alone,” he said. “I do stand-up as well, and I’m working really really hard on that. If I’m not doing that, it’s all family. The only things that keep me going are comedy and family. I don’t have much time, but I split it between those two things.”

Vulcano said he found comedy at a young age with a familiar television family.

“I used to watch ‘The Jeffersons’ religiously as a kid with my grandpa,” he said. “I thought (George Jefferson) was the funniest person in the world. I started doing impressions of him for my family, and then I would start memorizing whole episodes of ‘The Jeffersons’ and I started doing that at school, and I got laughs there. I would say those are my earliest influences — cartoons and Mr. Jefferson.”

From memorizing TV episodes and performing them for friends, to selling out theaters and arenas across the country, Vulcano has had his fellow Tenderloins by his side since he was a teenager.

“I met the guys in high school. We were freshmen, I think we were like 13,” he said. “After a couple years, they had an improv group at our high school, so we all joined that. That’s where we started performing together for the first time. Then we all went away to separate colleges, but when we came back we were all still doing comedy. So we formed The Tenderloins Comedy Troupe.”

Vulcano believes the show to be something different, and he thinks everyone will have a great time at the BJC.

“It’s not the same as a typical comedy show, and we really connect with the people who come to our show,” he said. “People have embraced our friendship and they say, ‘Aw, I have friends just like you guys. You remind me of me and my friends, I want to get a chance to hang out with you!’ ”

For the 90-minute set, the Impractical Jokers try to give fans that chance.

“We try to make it feel like the audience are just hanging out with us,” Vulcano said. “It’s got just a different feel to it, and I do really think people will have a blast.”

IF YOU GO

  • What: Impractical Jokers
  • When: 8 p.m. Oct. 9
  • Where: Bryce Jordan Center, University Park
  • Info: www.bjc.psu.edu
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