When you think of the usual San Diego Comic-Con staples, Marvel, DC, and The Walking Dead instantly come to mind. Yet the Impractical Jokers have become unlikely comic-con regulars, engaging with fans through special appearances, parties, and events. Now eight seasons in, the group also known as the Tenderloins uses the SDCC spotlight to connect with their audience and promote upcoming projects, which this year includes a new game show called The Misery Index, premiering on TBS this fall, and the upcoming ninth season of Impractical Jokers in 2020.
On The Misery Index, which is hosted by Jameela Jamil (The Good Place), two members of the Impractical Jokers help each contestant determine how to rank miserable real-life experience on a scale of 1-100, based on the “Misery Index,” a ranking system created by a team of therapists. The series was developed by comedy writer Andy Breckman and Ben and Dan Newmark and is a natural extension of the humor fans of Impractical Jokers come to expect.
“We’re helping [contestants] decide where these instances fall on The Misery Index,” says James “Murr” Murray on how the Jokers fit into the show’s format.
The hardest part of the game, according to Joe Gatto, is when one Joker helps the contestant in the final round when a large amount of life-changing cash is on the line. “As you lose, they see those hopes and dreams die,” Gatto jokes. “You take on real responsibility,” adds Sal Vucano.
As for the Jokers promoting their flagship show at SDCC, TruTV threw a oasis-themed bash inside Petco Park where they screened a new episode before it airs on TV. They maintain that their first experience at the park a few years ago, where thousands of fans showed up to see them, was their favorite comic-con memory.
“When we walked out and that many people showed up, that was a moment for all of us that we share together. In a world where there’s so much to see at comic-con, we had enough fans to come fill up that park,” Gatto says.
You can watch the full interview below, which includes an extension discussion about Joey Fattone.
The Misery Index premieres on Tuesday, October 22nd at 10 p.m. ET on TBS. We’ll have a behind-the-scenes report from our experience at Misery Index taping closer to premiere. Impractical Jokers returns in 2020 on TruTV.