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Do The Impractical Jokers Targets Get Paid To Be On The Show?

When you think of reality television as a whole, a handful of shows likely spring to mind. Titles like "Survivor" and "The Bachelor" have become the face of the genre over the years, but it doesn't take much detective work to notice that it has far more to offer. For instance, if you're looking for something a little less intense or romantic, look no further than truTV's "Impractical Jokers": a series about four lifelong friends with next to no shame and an undying desire to try and publicly embarrass one another.

"Impractical Jokers" debuted in late 2011, offering truTV viewers a hidden camera show of a different breed. From week to week, Sal Vulcano, Brian "Q" Quinn, James "Mur" Murray, and formerly Joe Gatto compete in a string of challenges often designed to make themselves look like absolute fools. Whoever fails to pull off the most by the end of the episode is declared the night's "big loser," meaning they have to endure an excruciating "punishment" concocted by the other guys. 

Despite their prevalence, the four members of the Tenderloins comedy troupe can't pull off the magic of "Impractical Jokers" in front of the camera alone. For good or ill, members of the general public often get sucked into their shenanigans too. Naturally, one has to wonder if these folks receive compensation in any form or if they go home empty-handed when it's all said and done? Here's what we know.

People typically aren't paid to appear on Impractical Jokers

Random people can serve a wide range of purposes on "Impractical Jokers," some more involved than others. Many just appear briefly and have to hear one of the four stars say something outrageous, while some actually end up as the target of the latest prank they've put together. Regardless of the specifics, though, according to Joe Gatto, in a 2018 interview with Life & Style, "Impractical Jokers" is, in fact, the real deal no matter the situation. However, that doesn't mean that every extra gets a check just for popping up.

As revealed by Sal Vulcano during a Reddit AMA session, "Usually people are pretty cool when they find out it's a show. The few who get mad we try to convince otherwise, or they get blurred, or cut from the show." He adds that it doesn't happen super often, but in the odd event they work with someone who's "gold," they "try and throw them a few bucks to coerce them." In a now-deleted Reddit comment (via Distractify), one of the program's editors noted that some people voice their disinterest in appearing on the show altogether, but most take it in stride.

Appearing on "Impractical Jokers" must be quite the event, whether you want to be involved or not. Although, if you're looking for a payday out of it, then you're evidently out of luck.