When four guys grow up together there is a chance that they will jokingly harass each other at some point. When it comes to The Tenderloins (Sal Vulcano, Joe Gatto, James Murray and Brian Quinn aka truTV's Impractical Jokers), that chance raises to 100%. If you've never seen the hidden reality show, it basically revolves around the four friends taking dares and pranks to ridiculous levels. Never one to turn down a great challenge or a good laugh, we talked to Vulcano before this troupe hits Club Nokia on October 23rd for two shows of hilarity. Since we know he's is up for anything, we figured he wouldn't mind explaining a few things to us like his nickname, his tweets, and his phobias. We even got some awesome bonus info on his mama and we already like her. A lot.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): My dad is also from Staten Island and if I didn't mention that he'd disown me. He also thinks he's down with Wu-Tang Clan so, yeah. He'll claim you.
Sal Vulcano: He should! [Laughs.] That's great! All of our friends and family, you know, the people who don't make the negative stereotypes live there too! We gotta all stick together. I think Staten Island is contributing a lot to the comedy world right now too. We're having a little comedic renaissance.
I respect your pride. You're hilarious on Twitter so we thought maybe you could break down some your tweets for us real quick. You into that?
Oh that's cool! OK, I'm down to go for it.
Actually first, I'd like to know how you ended up with the name “Ja'Crispy” in your Twitter handle.
Ja'Crispy is a nickname that actually came out of Impractical Jokers. We were playing a game called “Don't I Know You?” and basically, the three guys have these pads and they're writing lines on them for other guys. We have to convince someone that we know them. On the pads we'd write how they know us, where from, and things like that. So someone wrote on there while I was going, “Don't you know me? I'm Ja'Crispy!” I was like, wouldn't it be funny if that was my nickname going forward from you guys? They refused to call me that and I refused to reform. So they were like, OK, we'll call you Ja'Crispy and they've been calling me Ja'Crispy ever since then.
Ha! That's so ridiculous. OK, on to your tweets. You said, “Hey Continental breakfast, you're a piece of shit.” You followed that up with “There's free breakfast. Really? It's continental. Fuck your mother.” What's your beef with continental breakfast?
I think it's a big scam that continental breakfast! [Laughs.] It's a big scam and it shouldn't have the word breakfast in it. It should just be like a continental snack. Usually when you hear breakfast, you want breakfast, and when you're searching for breakfast, you're hungry! I mean, I'm not fancy but continental breakfast sounds fancy and you think you're getting something great! Continental is a big word, it sounds worldly, and when you put the two together, you think it's going to be a breakfast of champions! Then you get down there and it's literally tea, granola, and that's it! It's complete bullshit and it's the stupidest thing. I'm not passionate about politics but I am passionate over a good breakfast.
I can see that! After reading you say, “Oh my God you guys, what if pimpin'…WAS easy?” I need your thoughts on how if pimpin' was in fact easy, what that could mean for our economy.
[Laughs.] So growing up as a hip-hop fan, all I am trained to know is that pimpin' ain't easy so I've gone through life thinking that. Then I had a bit of a revelation one day and thought, what if this is just one person's opinion? I've never put a lot of thought into it but I've watched a few of those HBO specials where they're pimps and they're riveting! Then I was like, what if this guy just had a rough go at it? What if one person had a wish from a genie and they made pimpin' easy, what windfall would come from that? I think it could stimulate the economy but I think it might stimulate the wrong economy. The thought was more like, oh my god if pimpin' was easy that would be bad. The verdict I think is, thank god pimpin' is somewhat difficult.
You have a point. While I was trolling I also noticed that you seem to have some hate for watching people whip and nae nae.
I have this theory that when you hit a certain age, you keep that fashion style for the rest of your life. For me it's the same thing for vernacular and slang. I'm still saying things are “dope” or “oh snap” because I grew up with that. [Laughs.] I cannot get with the words of today like whip, nae nae, bae, and fleek. It'll never happen! I even hate the word “mad” as an adjective but hey, it's not for us! It's for the people who are going to take over the world now.
Terrifying. Off Twitter and on to your bio on the truTV website. It says “Just don't touch his straw and don't use his lip balm. He hates that.” Are you afraid of cold sores? Backwash? What gives?
I don't know who wrote that but it does ring a little true. I'm not a germaphobe but I just think that everyone needs to be a bit more responsible with their touching and sneezing. You know, it comes from the fact that I have a bad immune system. When I get a common cold, I'm out for like 8 to 12 weeks and I'm not even making that up. I'll have a cold so long that I get hyperaware of touching dirty things or being near people sneezing. And you know, sharing lip balm, I'm sure no one should do that. I don't think that's anything unreasonable. It should be a general understanding between people. Sometimes when I explain myself, like now with the germs, I do sound like a crazy person so I don't even know.
Imagine if you were a Jew like me. You'd be worried about all sorts of extra shit.
I don't know if that's true because my mom is a Spanish woman and Catholic so I grew up with all sorts of worry, paranoia, and guilt. I'd put my mother up against any Jewish woman as far as the stereotypical jokes go. [Laughs.]
Maybe your mom is “the chosen” Catholic.
Right? My mom's been crashing at my place because she lives in these garden apartments and the guy that lives upstairs from her died. Now she thinks, and I shit you not, she thinks his ghost is going to mess with her. So she's been crashing at my house for the last week, and it's fine but, that's this other absurdity of its own. So now when I get home from work I'm having these conversations with her where I'm going to slip and crack my head or I'm going to catch a cold or something. I think most of my mom's sentences now are just a warning.
I'd love to know her thoughts on lip balm. Let's get to the matter at hand here so tell me about your show at Club Nokia. Is it stand-up or do you do sketch stuff too?
The show is what I call, “our version of stand-up. It's all four of us guys on the stage together and we're doing some stand-up bits, we're telling some stories, we're interacting with the audience, and we're interacting each other. It's kind of like a mixed bag of everything. We also show some videos from our life and things that we weren't allowed to do on the show. It's pretty cool and definitely unique because you don't really see four comics on stage at once. It's like we have this weird kind of band niche thing going.
You guys are like the boy band of comedy.
[Laughs.] I was just going to say “band” but you can add the boy there, I guess. Why don't you call us “the punk rock band of comedy” instead of a boy band?
Only if you'll be wearing eyeliner at Club Nokia.
I'll wear eyeliner! I'm not one of those guys but I've done way worse on the show. That's nothing!
Grab your tickets now to see the Impractical Jokers “Where's Larry?” Tour Starring The Tenderloins on Friday October 23rd at Club Nokia at 7pm and at 10pm. 800 W Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015, (213) 765-7000 For tickets go to www.axs.com. You can also hit the high seas with the guys for the “Impractical Jokers Cruise” January 11th- 15th. For more info on Sal follow him on Twitter @SalVulcano and get some extra laughs by going to www.TheTenderloins.com and by following the guys on Twitter @TheTenderloins and @truTVjokers.