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Impractical Jokers: Why Sal Was So Concerned During His Nitro Circus Punishment

For all the hijinks and crushing punishments featured in a regular episode of "Impractical Jokers," Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal turn things up to 11 for their infamous specials and live events. The Jokers went all out for the Season 5 two-hour finale special, "Nitro Circus Spectacular." Filmed live at the Prudential Center in Newark, the episode features flying motorbikes, ATV stunts, and even Joey Fatone. For the grand finale, "Impractical Jokers" briefly becomes "Fear Factor" as Sal is hoisted into the air in a harness and flung around the massive arena as he shouts expletives. 

"They had to raise me to the rafters on this little cord high above the Prudential Center, and I'm afraid of heights, so it was really scary," Sal explained in a behind-the-scenes video. It didn't help that the harness' cords were distressingly thin. "When they went to attach me, there [were] two cords and they're the size of maybe, like, a cocktail straw," he continued. To make matters worse, the cords weren't as strong as Sal hoped.

"I was like, 'Wow these are really thin.' Some of those tension wires can hold, like, millions of pounds," Sal said of the harness. "So I said to the guy, 'These are really thin,' and he goes, 'Don't worry about it. They hold up to 400 pounds.' I thought he's gonna say, like, 10,000 pounds ... I was like, '400 pounds?' I felt like that could snap, so that was really scary."

Sal didn't even have a helmet

The moments before Sal's punishment aren't easy to watch. The beleaguered Joker is pacing around, attempting to take deep breaths as Joe grins in the background. By the time of his forced ascent, his so-called friends are shouting out words of comfort, like, "You look like a fat Peter Pan."

Being flung around like a rag doll was only the beginning of Sal's woes. Rather than easing him down gently, the harness flung Sal into a giant upright cake. "I was screaming down, 'You didn't put a helmet on me! You didn't put a helmet on me!'" he recalled in the same behind-the-scenes questionnaire. "I thought that was a mistake, like, am I gonna get hurt?" Upon making hard contact with the cake, Sal's whiplash is in fact visible. "My head really did snap back, but I was fine."

Ultimately, Sal's cake collision wasn't the worst injury sustained in "Nitro Circus Spectacular." In a scene shot prior to the live filming, Q got in an ATV accident that resulted in a few broken ribs, pulled muscles, and nerve damage. At least it didn't happen several stories in the air.