There’s a comedy crossover coming to truTV this month as Impractical Jokers stars Joe Gatto and James “Murr” Murray drop in on Backyard Bar Wars with Chris Distefano.
The jokers are playing judges in the September 2 episode of the series, which pits two pals against each other as they attempt to create the perfect backyard bar on a budget and over the course of the week. So, how did the epic crossover come to be?
“A lot of people know this, but Chris Distefano and I are best friends in real life,” Gatto says. “I mean, soulmates is the word that gets thrown around a lot between the two of us,” he adds to which Distefano confirms, “100 percent.”
“They sent me the pilot to the show,” Gatto shares, revealing that truTV asked if he wanted to get involved. “I thought it was a really fun way to get inside the space, it’s a really fun show, and Chris is really funny in it. So, I had a blast doing it with him.”
As for Murr? Impractical Jokers fans won’t be surprised to hear his reception from Chris wasn’t quite as warm as it was for Joe. “[TruTV] told me, ‘we’re going to have two of the Impractical Jokers show up on set for the crossover episode.’ I was really excited when I saw it was my bestie Joe, and then sad when I saw that he brought along Murr,” Distefano jokes before adding, “I love Murr.”
For viewers who have been tuning into Backyard Bar Wars, expect some special surprises in this episode including a massive pinata and shocked competitors. “The people on the show didn’t know we were coming,” Gatto previews. “We teased the contestants with FaceTime, and they thought that’s all they were getting from us. So when we showed up in the backyard, it brought really fun energy into the show.”
While the bar themes this episode’s competitors are taking on remain under wraps, Distefano teases, “it’s Australia versus Cuba.” Something that Joe knows all too well after enduring an Impractical Jokers punishment that involved him delivering a traffic and weather report for a local Australian news station, requiring him to wake up in the middle of the night.
Asking whether or not the Australian theme caused him a little PTSD? Gatto jokes, “For sure. For the next week, I woke up at 3:00 AM, for no reason. I don’t know why,” he says with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Gatto and Distefano have their own ideas as to what themes they’d explore with their own backyard bars. “I don’t drink, but I would definitely do a dessert bar,” Gatto reveals. “It would be like a big Venetian hour.”
As for Distefano, he’s going all-in on his favorite sports team. “The only thing that I can ever think about all day, every day is the New York Yankees. So I would just make it New York Yankee-themed, through the wazoo.”
What fans can anticipate from the episode is a really relaxed group of competitors as Distefano teases this “was by far the most relaxed I’ve ever seen the contestants, throughout the season on the reveal day when Joe and Murr showed up, because they were so excited that they were there.”
Don’t miss the special crossover when Backyard Bar Wars airs on September 2 and stay tuned for more shenanigans as Impractical Jokers continues on the network. And catch an exclusive sneak peek at the action with the clip, above.
Watch the Impractical Jokers on Backyard Bar Wars at 10 pm ET/PT and an all-new Backyard Bar Wars at 10:30 pm ET/PT, Thursday, September 2 on truTV.