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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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