By Emma Tucker
Comedian Joe Gatto has announced that he will be leaving the popular television series “Impractical Jokers” after nine seasons to focus on fatherhood.
“Alongside my friends, I’ve devoted a decade of my life to building this franchise and couldn’t be prouder of what has been accomplished. However, due to some issues in my personal life, I have to step away,” Gatto said in an Instagram post on Friday evening.
The comedian has starred in the hidden camera reality show on truTV since its debut in 2011 alongside Sal Vulcano, James Murray and Brian Quinn. The group also starred in a feature film inspired by the show in 2020 titled “Impractical Jokers: The Movie” directed by Chris Henchy.
Gatto also announced in the post he and his wife, Bessy Gatto, “decided to amicably part ways” after eight years of marriage.
“Now I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids,” he wrote. The couple have a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son together.
CNN has reached out to a representative for Gatto for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
“Outside of my family, my relationships with Murr, Q and Sal have been the most important in my life,” Gatto’s statement continued. “I know they will continue to make the world laugh. And even though the four of us are the ones who you all see, this show is only possible due to the hard work of the talented crew members who work behind the scenes. I am very thankful to have worked with each and every one of them.”
Bessy also shared the news of the couple’s separation on her Instagram page, saying: “Although we will no longer be a couple, we will always be a family to our beautiful kids and we look forward to co-parenting together. We ask that you please respect our privacy as we navigate this new chapter together.”
In a joint statement released on social media, Quinn, Murray and Vulcano addressed Gatto’s exit from the show: “After all these years together, we never imagined making Impractical Jokers without Joe. While we are saddened to see him go, we want to keep making people laugh, keep our relationship with the Impractical Jokers fans going, and keep working with the members of our team that we consider family.”
The three comedians said they will be filming “a new chapter” of the show this month with “the support of our fans.”
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