It’s been an ‘annus horribilis’ this year and we had very little to make us smile. However, my sister introduced us to a programme that I should have hated, on paper. I’m really not a fan of practical jokes at all, as I don’t like people being made to look foolish just so someone else can get a cheap laugh. The difference with this programme was that the group of four friends (who’d known each other for decades) tricked and embarrassed each other. I didn’t expect to be amused. I didn’t anticipate laughing out loud but, in our deep, dark days, we howled like idiots. Laughter really was the best medicine. We heard that they were touring so decided that, even though funds were short, it would do us good to get out Ticketmaster struck again: fourth row tickets in the basket, Ticketmaster glitches – no tickets. Second time a similar issue and third time was the charm. Not only were we going to see ‘The Tenderloins’ but our friends were going too. The ‘horrible anus’ struck again and our poor friend ended up practically bedbound and is awaiting back surgery as I type. We all felt guilty for going without her. Really guilty.
Security for shows is tight now. The queue to be screened snaked around the arena but better to be safe than sorry. It took us about half an hour to get in but we were so glad they postponed the start as the warm-up act was absolutely hilarious. He was an American comedian called Steve Byrne and his act revolved around audience participation…and those that did participate were great sports. The atmosphere was improved further when the whole arena sang along to Mr Brightside by The Killers (my favourite song). Steve shook my hand as I perched, on one bum cheek, almost in the aisle, as I tried to see around the high-haired gentleman in front of me. ‘Hi, I’m Steve!’ – I wavered on one buttock as I stretched to meet his handshake.
After a short intermission, Sal, Q, Joe and Murr came out to thunderous applause. I didn’t know how the show would work on stage but it did. It was a mixture of anecdotes, sketches, jokes, audience embarrassment (involving an iPhone and the sentence ‘I tested positive’), unseen footage from their show and basically, lots of warmth and good-natured mocking! We rarely stopped laughing (my cheeks began to ache) and the time flew. It was worth every penny and I am still disappointed that there was no ‘meet and greet’ option. The guys seemed really down to earth (Q wandered on to the stage with a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale in his hand) and it would have been fun to meet them.
I know this really wasn’t a proper review but I don’t want to give too much away, in case you ever get a chance to see the show. It’s really not my type of thing…but I’ve seen every single episode of Impractical Jokers many times and laughed each time. It’s rare in life to get a little time when you get a few hours to set aside your worries and just laugh. I recommend it.