Just like its name says it, “Impractical Jokers” is the perfect mix between the unconventional and the hilarious. By showing us a wide array of orchestrated stunts season after season, the show has stayed fresh and relevant, no matter how long it’s been since its premiere in 2011.
However, many times TV can mislead us to think that everything behind the scenes is fine, when in fact it’s not. In 2021, fans of “Impractical Jokers” had a wake-up call when its longtime humorist Joe Gatto not only left the show, but also made public some of his most troubling personal issues.
So what is the real reason he left “Impractical Jokers”? Were there some issues with his co-stars, or something completely different? What happened in his personal life, and where is he now? Keep with us to know all about Joe Gatto’s Tragic Life!
Leaving The Show
To find out Joe Gatto was leaving “Impractical Jokers” was surprising and sad, to say the least. The news was posted by him in late December 2021 through an Instagram post, in which he affirmed to be leaving the show ‘to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids’, given his recent separation from his wife Bessy.
While the suddenness of it all might have led people to believe that his exit might have been prompted by backstage issues or rivalries, this is clearly not the case for Joe and his now-former “Impractical Jokers” co-stars, also members of The Tenderloins, the comedy troupe which he also left: ‘Outside of my family, my relationships with Murr, Q and Sal have been the most important in my life. I know they will continue to make the world laugh’, he wrote, before thanking the show’s production crew and fans for their support. However, he also left open the possibility of returning in the future: ‘As I work through the challenges I am facing, I hope to, and am excited to create new ways to entertain you.’.
Though Joe’s departure is unfortunate, there’s nothing else than to wish him well in his personal and future professional endeavors.
What Is Joe Doing Now?
Besides spending lots of time with his children, Joe is also focused on other projects since leaving “Impractical Jokers”. As seen on his social media, in February 2022, he started the podcast “Two Cool Moms”, alongside comedian and writer Steve Byrne, known for his appearances in “Sullivan & Son”.
As described by their bio, Joe’s and Steve’s podcast is ‘where two men give maternal advice to listeners’, and has accumulated over 10,000 followers on Instagram alone. Meanwhile, in mid-2022 Joe started his solitary show tour “Joe Gatto’s Night Of Comedy”, in an effort to fulfill his promise of creating ‘new ways’ to entertain his fans. That being said, Cinema Blends reports that no jokes about him quitting TV and his separation from his wife are done in his show, much to the dismay of the most curious audience members.
Needless to say, Joe keeps quite active on social media through his personal accounts, and even on YouTube, on which he gained almost 100,000 subscribers in less than a year after starting the channel. However, his success on TikTok is even greater, as he accumulated over seven million followers in two years after his debut on the platform.
Is He In Good Terms With Bessy?
Separations and divorces are often troublesome and exhausting endeavors, so for couples to do it in a friendly and unbitter way is an accomplishment. The latter appears to be the case for Joe and Bessy, as on his famous goodbye post from TV he affirmed their separation was ‘amicable’.
Though to date it isn’t clear what caused the once-lovely marriage to part ways, it seems Joe was truly not joking about being on good terms with Bessy, whom he sometimes features on his social media. While Bessy has also been careful not to let many details about their divorce become public, she asked for privacy on her Instagram page as well: ‘With love and respect, we have decided to separate. Although we will no longer be a couple, we will always be a family to our beautiful kids’, she wrote, stating she and Joe had agreed to co-parenting.
According to US Weekly, in January 2022, Bessy apparently raised concerns when she joined a TikTok trend in which she affirmed ‘to be broken’, but there’s really no indication of any bad blood between the now former couple.
While Joe and Bessy weren’t exactly fans of sharing every single detail about themselves for the world to see, their presence on social media and at events let us have a good idea on how their relationship evolved throughout the years.
According to US Weekly, the couple started dating in 2009, moving in together a year later, and were roommates with “Impractical Jokers” star James Murray. While it’s unclear when exactly they became engaged, they finally tied the knot in a private ceremony in late 2013.
Two years later, the couple welcomed their daughter Milana Francis, followed by Remington James in 2017. Afterwards, nothing seemed out of place for the couple, as they never shied away from sharing wholesome posts about each other, such as one heartful Instagram post from 2020, in which he credited his success to Bessy’s support: ‘All the hard work to accomplish my goals. Her support. My beautiful babies. Her carrying them. A household of rescue pets that are my pack. Her influence’, he wrote back then. It wasn’t any different throughout 2021, as they were seen together making jokes on TikTok, and attending public events.
While it remains unknown what led their relationship to end in such an unexpected way, there’s nothing else than to wish them a pleasant co-parenting process.
What Happened To Their Shelter?
If you have been following the Gatto family for enough time, you surely know well that Joe and Bessy are deeply passionate about adopting dogs. This isn’t limited to the several social media posts on which they share the many pets who live at their house, or the jokes Joe makes about his pets on stage, but they’re also dedicated advocates for animal rescue, and even started their own shelter, Gatto Pups.
First they stole my heart, then they stole my bed. What better way to celebrate #NationalDogDay than by signing up to…
As seen on the organization’s social media, Gatto Pups houses several dogs in the family’s house, but also promotes fundraising projects for big shelters such as Rescue Paw Foundation. They also have a partnership with Coffee Rescue, which funds dog rescue campaigns by selling the Gatto Pups Rescue Roast products.
Given how committed the Gattos are with their mission to save dogs, their followers were afraid that their joint rescuing efforts would end with their separation as a couple. However, Bessy actually cleared up this topic in her post announcing her split from Joe: ‘of course we will still continue to help animals and rescue dogs, which is something we are both passionate about!’.
True to her word, Gatto Pups continues to shelter dogs, and support rescue campaigns to date regardless of their divorce.
What Happened To The Show?
It’s never easy to say goodbye to a main star of a show, but the situation is even more complicated when it’s a comedy show as successful as “Impractical Jokers”, in which Joe Gatto’s contribution and presence was key.
That being said, Joe’s former co-stars and Tenderloins’ teammates were supportive of his decision to leave. As they affirmed in an interview with Us Weekly, they didn’t know he was leaving until right before he announced it on Instagram and ‘got to give him space and respect his choice’, as Sal Vulcano affirmed. Regarding the status of their relationship with Joe, Murray affirmed they were ‘still best friends’, and often shared time with him despite not being co-workers anymore.
— Impractical Jokers (@truTVjokers) July 29, 2022
While that’s cleared up, the “Impractical Jokers” chose to invite several guest comedians to serve as ‘punishers’: ‘they asked us what we wanted to do, and we just thought about a hundred different permutations, and just landed on the fact that we didn’t want to replace him’, as Sal Vulcano affirmed in an interview with Theo Von Clips.
All in all, the possibility of Joe returning to “Impractical Jokers” is apparently still open, but for the meantime, viewers need to get used to not seeing him on TV.
Does Joe Own A Production Company?
Although Joe Gatto’s main occupations are as an entertainer, comedian, dog rescuer and family father, he’s also quite accomplished in other fields as well. Joe’s deep passion for the entertainment industry led him to start his own company, Cannoli Productions.
Established in 2018, Cannoli offers a wide variety of production services for creating, pre-producing, airing and promoting series and creative projects, especially those focused on comedy. The company was named after Joe’s favorite Italian dessert – cannoli – which is also one of his sheltered dogs’ names.
Beside producing audio-visual content for companies and individuals, Cannoli Production also organizes Joe’s solitary stand-up show, Joe Gatto’s Night Of Comedy.
Despite being known for his comedic work on TV, and as an entertainer, Joe Gatto has side careers and occupations. For starters, Joe actually graduated from Long Island University with a degree in accounting, but he’s also deeply passionate about storytelling, a talent he’s put into action countless times in “Impractical Jokers”.
That being said, writing isn’t limited to only comedy for Joe. In 2020 he released his first book, “The Dogfather: My Love of Dogs, Desserts and Growing Up Italian”, written during the COVID-19 lockdown: ‘my cousin mentioned that with all the stories I have about my dogs, it might be a cool opportunity to make a memoir of sorts’, he commented to The Daily News.
— Joe Gatto (@Joe_Gatto) September 7, 2020
However, the self-published book was more than just a quarantine project, also a means to express his love for dog rescuing and sheltering. As well, Joe has given a try to the game-selling business, by partnering with Puzzle Minds to create the Joe Gatto Jigsaw Puzzles collection.
What Happened To His Parents?
There’s a lot of important details about Joe Gatto’s life that are widely known. It’s true that he grew up in Staten Island, is of Italian descent, matriculated from a Catholic high school, and suffered bullying in his early years, but other widely known ‘facts’ about him aren’t as correct, such as his father’s cause of death. As it happens, Joe Gatto Sr. unfortunately died in 1995 when his son was 19 years old, but for unknown reasons the rumor of him dying of pancreatic cancer resulting from alcoholism is quite popular, despite it being ‘completely false’, as stated by Joe during an Instagram live in 2021.
While the cause of death of Gatto Sr. hasn’t been cleared up, in 2012 Joe lost his mother, Gerri: ‘It was sudden. It was devastating. It was seven years ago. It stills hurts’, he wrote on Twitter. Gerri’s cause of death is also unrevealed, but it’s known that she was a dedicated administrative personnel manager in a school, and died aged 67.
Bullying Story & Advocacy
For such a light hearted, likable and popular guy such as Joe, it’s surprising to know that he actually suffered from bullying early in his life. As a strong advocate of fighting and eradicating bullying, Joe has openly shared his unfortunate story about being harrassed while growing up: ‘I was bullied and a loner with not that many true friends. So I can relate on a personal level’, he told Bullies Keep Out in 2016. According to Joe, he was quite self-reserved and somewhat shy, so an easy target.
Fast forward to present days, Joe uses his vast platform to raise awareness about bullying: ‘people have reached out to me and shared their experiences about how I made them laugh through the worst of times’, he said, while also admitting that he wanted to bring hope to those going through the same difficulties he once faced: ‘my message is simple. I am proof that it does get better’.
As an advocate for this cause, Joe has collaborated with the No H8 Campaign Anti-bullying organization, as well as appearing in discussion panels on this topic, on top of continuously using his social media to raise awareness, discuss and share advice on it.
All in all, Joe Gatto’s fans will surely miss him a lot in “Impractical Jokers”, but the hopes of seeing him return to TV aren’t lost yet. For the meantime, there’s nothing else than to wish him luck in his personal endeavors, and a speedy resolution to what seem to be inner demons.