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It Took 11 Years Of Failure To Create Impractical Jokers

These days, it's hard to imagine the unscripted TV comedy landscape without "Impractical Jokers." The long-running series featuring four friends forcing each other into playing ludicrous pranks in public has been a massive success for TruTV, and it's been offering plenty of laughs for well over a decade. With the enduring popularity of "Impractical Jokers" taken into account, some fans may be surprised to learn that it actually took 11 years of failure among the four starring Tenderloins comedians before they managed to land a win with the series.

During an appearance on Josh Golden's "Eureka!" podcast, several of the lead cast members talked about how they made "Impractical Jokers" a success. "After learning from 11 years of failure from other pilots, we finally realized the right format and the right timing to put our strengths forward. That's when we created 'Jokers,'" James Murray explained. "It puts our friendship on display. We never came up with a format before then that put our friendship as well on display."

It was a tough journey to reach Impractical Jokers

When the stars of "Impractical Jokers" say it was a long and challenging road to eventually finding success in their own TV series, they mean it. "Impractical Jokers" may have started life on TruTV in 2011, but the Tenderloins have been hitting the stage as a comedy group since 1999. Indeed, they spent many of those years trying unsuccessfully to spin their unique dynamic into a leading role on TV.

Perhaps the most notable failed TV pilot for the "Impractical Jokers" gang came in the form of an unnamed project that the crew developed for the network Spike TV. The now-defunct network once commissioned a pilot for a series starring the Tenderloins, but it ended up passing on the series in the end. It was this dead-end among others that eventually precipitated the comedy troupe getting involved with TruTV, which was still in its relative infancy as a relaunched network at the time. As a result, the Tenderloins developed "Impractical Jokers," which proved to be a match made in heaven with the reality TV-centered network. The rest is, of course, history.

"Impractical Jokers" may be a staple of modern day TV, but it may not have existed at all if Sal, Murr, and the rest of the gang hadn't stuck with their shared dream through some difficult times. It just goes to show that even some of the biggest successes require a little patient — or more than a decade's worth.