Staten Island has been the butt of plenty of jokes — but is finally getting respect thanks to some “Impractical Jokers.”
“The world is just now catching up to Staten Island, after years of being a cultural punching bag, people are starting to realize it might be the Promised Land,” said Brian Quinn, a native of the borough like his “Impractical Jokers” castmates, James Murray and Sal Vulcano.
The Post sat down with the trio, who became friends when they were students at Monsignor Farrell High School, over Zoom ahead of the premiere of new episodes of Season 9 of the TruTV show.
“People are realizing, ‘Hey, there’s about eight or nine comics coming out of there,’” Vulcano quipped.
The guys, who have already begun filming Season 10 of the unscripted comedy series this week, said they could have never imagined its staying power.
“I don’t think there’s any way we could have seen this coming,” said Quinn, laughing. “I mean we’re here 10 years later and we’re still doing it and still having a blast. I would have called any of us crazy if we called this.”
The Jokers gave The Post an exclusive glimpse of the new episode coming up this Thursday.
Vulcano and his wife, played by actress Jillian Bell, sat on a panel of couples dealing with physical abnormalities.
“The audience was real, but the show was fake. It was my punishment and the reason that I was on the panel … was that I had testicles the size of raisins.”
“The topper there was —this is the first time that we’re actually talking about this out loud, I’m getting flustered — is they put protective gear on my actual groin area so that live during the talk show, she can say, ‘Look, I’ll prove to you that this is the case,’ ” explained Vulcano.
Throughout the history of the show, which debuted in December 2011, only three pranks never made it to television.
“The idea was you had to go up to a stranger and their child and start baby talking the child in the carriage,” explained Murray of one that went awry. “But guess what happens when four middle-aged men without children of their own start acting strange in a children’s park in New York City … literally a SWAT van rolled up into the park and shut us down.”
The original cast consisted of fourth Joker Joe Gatto — who announced his departure from the group in December due to issues in his personal life — and Vulcano said filming without him is “like removing an ingredient from a recipe.”
It was Gatto who appeared in a prank that made plenty of Mets fans see red.
He was in Citi Field’s bleachers while then–Mets’ pitcher Noah Syndergaard threw autographed balls meant for kids in the crowd.
Syndergaard was in cahoots with the Jokers and aimed the balls in Gatto’s direction. “And then Joe would swipe them from children,” said Vulcano.
To add insult to injury, Gatto then referred to Syndergaard as “Jeter.”
“That pissed a few New Yorkers off,” said Murray. “I would put good money that that’s Sal’s favorite joke from the entire run of the series, that Jeter joke,” said Quinn.
“A hundred percent,” Vulcano replied. “I just love going up to people and mistaking them for Derek Jeter no matter what they look like … It will never not be funny to me.”
The Jokers have also learned that their fans are sometimes known to take their humor all the way to the bedroom.
“My wife and I went to a beach on Long Island and the lifeguard comes up to us and asks for a photo … And for no reason, he said, ‘My girlfriend and I do you-know-what while watching your show,’” Murray said.
“I think it’s just the law of averages, we’re on all the time,” Vulcano joked about the popular series, whose more than 200 episodes rerun in syndication during primetime hours.
“I’ve had that while I’ve been on TV,” added Quinn. “We’re always on!”