Comedian Joe Gatto is leaving the cast of Impractical Jokers, he announced on Friday night. He made a long post on New Year's Eve explaining that his departure from the series has a lot to do with his family life. Gatto told fans that he and his wife are separating, and he wants to step away from work to focus more on co-parenting his children with her.
"Sorry in advance for the long and more-serious-than-usual note below, I just wanted to let you all know that I will no longer be involved with Impractical Jokers," Gatto wrote alongside a photo of himself smiling on stage. "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. Bessy and I have decided to amicably part ways, so now I need to focus on being the best father and co-parent to our two incredible kids."
Gatto went on to praise his friends and castmates on Impractical Jokers, and express his confidence that the TruTV show can carry on without him. He wrote: "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. 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."
"To all of the amazing fans, thank you for allowing me to make you laugh with Jokers," Gatto continued. He thanked fans for the opportunities the show afforded him, and concluded: "As I work through the challenges I am facing, I hope to and am excited to create new ways to entertain you."
Gatto's castmates shared their own statement not long after, writing: "Hi everyone, so here we are... 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 working with the members of our team that we consider family. With the support of our fans, we'll get back to making a new chapter of Impractical Jokers in January."
There is no hint about what Gatto has planned next, but he has a background in sketch comedy and improv as well as a reputation for pranks and celebrity collaborations. Whatever comes next, it sounds like Gatto will take some time away from the public eye first.