One of the perks of writing on the internet is we occasionally gain access to movies and TV shows before the general public gets to set eyes on them. For example, thanks to the kindness of 20th Century Fox., our very own Ian Fortey got a behind-the-scenes look at the new Planet of the Apes movie not too long ago. In the same vein, this past weekend I was given the opportunity to fly to New York to check out a special sneak preview of a new TV show that will air on TruTV on December 15th. That show is called Impractical Jokers, and it is genuinely good.
Here in lies the problem with these kind of promotional trips: it’s very easy for you, the reader, to assume that I’m just going to bow down at the feet of a sponsor because they gave me a free trip to New York. You can’t be blamed for thinking this, because I would think the exact same thing. So being in this position is strange for me, and was strange for me all the way up to our sneak preview of the first episode of Impractical Jokers. The best part of it is, I don’t have to lie to you. I have absolutely no obligation to make up some BS about the show if it turned out to be a horrible mound of trash. I feared it would be awful, seeing as Impractical Jokers is a hidden camera prank show; and saying that hidden camera prank shows are hit-or-miss is a vast understatement. But I got lucky with this one, because it turns out the show is very funny and is certainly worth your viewership once it airs – and not only because it’s a genuinely good show, but also because the four guys that make up the Impractical Jokers are a group of great guys that all still have day jobs and have to film the episodes around their various work schedules.
So while thinking about the show, I wanted to take a look back at some of the great and less-than-great prank TV shows of our time.
And then there was Da Ali G Show. There isn’t a whole lot to say about Ali G, other than it was one of the smartest, funniest shows ever produced. Headed by the brilliant Sacha Baron Cohen, and with staff writers that included Seth Rogan and James Bobin (a writer on Flight of the Conchords), Da Ali G Show was a satirical interview show in which Baron Cohen played three now-classic characters – Ali G, Bruno, and Borat – and would tackle series subjects from the perspective of each. Ali G was the chav that thought he was much smarter than he was, Bruno wore his homosexuality on his extremely tight fishnet sleeves, and Borat was…well, he was Borat. You know who Borat is. There’s no need telling you.
If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a huge favor and watch Da Ali G Show now.