That Time I Met Tru TV's 'Impractical Jokers'

That Time I Met Tru TV's 'Impractical Jokers'

Four New Yorkers and their not-so-practical antics.
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Sometime in mid-2013, my older brother flipped the channel to "Impractical Jokers." I groaned and begged him to change it, because I thought it looked absolutely stupid. He promised me it would be hilarious, and so we watched a couple of episodes. Suddenly, I found myself being the one who was avidly watching the show, even after he left to do whatever. The TV show consists of "four friends who compete to embarrass each other." They prank the naive citizens of USA for the sole purpose of making themselves look silly in public.

One year later, I got the pleasure of meeting the stars, Joe Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn and Sal Vulcano.

Now, it's vital that you're familiar with the two Emilys involved in our Joker encounter. One was my lifelong friend, who I will call Em, and then-college roommate at South Dakota State, and the other was my younger sister, who I will just leave as Emily, who was a sophomore in high school at the time.

Now that you have been properly introduced, let me get on with it. We bought tickets that summer to their upcoming show on September 30, 2014, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I'm eternally grateful that there was a mix up in their schedule, because they replaced some state down south with our glorious Dakota. Originally, we aimed for a show in Minneapolis, five hours away.

We were (and still are!) major fans, so of course we had to splurge and buy Row A seats. Little did we know, we bought meet and greets. You heard it. We bought tickets and had no idea that they were meet and greets.

Anyway.

After our classes, Em and I drove from Brookings to Sioux Falls, where we met up with Emily, who was traveling from our hometown, Mitchell. On the way, Murr favorited a couple of our tweets, and we had a panic attack. How were we supposed to meet these guys if we freaked out over simple media encounters?

The rest of our day consisted of food, shopping and chatting about the event to come. And finally, after hours of waiting, it was time.

We journeyed to the Washington Pavilion and found our seats pleasingly close to the stage (Row A, I repeat). The guys ran out and we were sort of starstruck. We hadn't ever met or seen a celebrity before, because let's be real, who comes to South Dakota? The show was amazing, and soon cleared out once it finished. Except for 60 of us, who bought meet and greets.

Em, Emily and I stayed behind so we could be the last group of 20 to head back and meet them, because I guess we wanted the experience to last longer. When we did head back, we couldn't believe that the four guys we'd come to know from television were finally right in front of us.

We told Murr how excited we were that he favorited our tweets. We had a face-to-face with Joe and asked him why on Earth they even wanted to come to SoDak (because again, no one ever visits). Sal complimented my hair and told me that I reminded him of Rachel from "Friends." And Em made Q spit up his beverage when she interrupted him mid-swig. There were so many more great moments, but those were just some of our favorites.

We took a picture with them all, one of us between each of them and headed back to our hotel. Emily had school the next day and left for Mitchell. Em and I had five hours to sleep since we needed get up at 3 a.m. and catch a flight to Atlanta. I must have experienced aftershock, because I didn't catch a wink of Z's during those five hours.

Fast forward one more time to 2015, and the Emilys and I drove to Minneapolis for round two (this time, no meet and greet). A second show with many more laughs in the books. We even felt like it was a possibility that some of the guys even recognized us. At least, that's what we like to think.

Who knows, if the time and money prove convenient for us (as we are broke college students and one of us is heading off to Arizona next fall), maybe round three isn't so far away.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Croucher

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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