• 'Impractical Jokers' is a hit reality show
  • Joe Gatto left the show in 2020
  • THIS is why Joe packed his bags

His departure from the show left a big hole in the classic lineup and had many fans wondering what happened to Joe Gatto from the show? Debuting in 2011, the hidden camera reality show follows the members of The Tenderloins as they challenge each other to put themselves in embarrassing situations for the amusement of the audience. An immediate smash hit on Tru TV, the series has blossomed into a bona fide franchise with spinoffs like 'Inside Jokes' and even a feature-length film in 2020. A big part of the show's success is the likability of its main cast, and they have anchored the program for over a decade.

Why did Joe leave?

Unlike previous hidden camera reality shows, the comedy of the main troupe takes center stage, and they are the butt of the joke as opposed to unsuspecting people on the street. While there are still fake and staged things on the show, their unique brand of cringe-inducing humor provides a cathartic release for viewers just looking for a laugh. Despite years of massive success, original member Joe Gatto departed the show in 2021, and his absence has been felt even as the show chugs on without him.

Though 'IJ' is all about fun and games, unfortunately, real-life tends to get in the way, and Joe left the show in order to be with his family in 2021. As he mentioned in a lengthy post online, Joe departed the show in the wake of his amicable separation from his wife Bessy. The couple had several children together, and Joe said "I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids". Obviously, the massive success of the series put a strain on the personal lives of all the performers, and Joe made it clear where his priorities were.

Fortunately for the entire Gatto clan, Joe and his wife Bessy were able to reconcile their marriage, and according to 'Hollywood Life', celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary in September 2023. Of their lengthy relationship, Bessy Gatto said "I think of all the changes we have gone through, good and bad. At the end, I would not change a single thing" which echoed the sentiment of her famous husband. Joe Gatto has continued to perform while away from the show, and he appears for stand-up sets and hosts the 'Two Cool Moms podcast' with comedian Steve Byrne.

Also interesting:

Despite the news regarding Joe's marriage reconciliation, Gatto has not expressed any plans to rejoin his former castmates any time soon.

The show has continued without him as a myriad of celebrity guests like John Mayer have taken his place, and it seems as if Gatto has been able to pivot his success from the show into a show business career more akin to his family-oriented lifestyle. It can be assumed that Joe has not changed his mind about being there for his kids, and it is likely that he won't return on a full-time basis to the show.

Fans are dying to have Joe back on the show, as for many of them, he was the best "Joker" of the bunch. In any case, Season 19 of the show is still ongoing, and is taking a break amid the Hollywood strike. You can catch 'Impractical Jokers' on TruTV.