Courtesy of truTV

Impractical Jokers – Brian ‘Q’ Quinn Can’t Complain

It’s The Drive Drive Drive Drive Drive Tour and it’s coming to New York City this weekend! Reminder, as well: “I’ll take a good fan cry, I’m down for that.” – Q

Currently in their 10th season, the beloved Impractical Jokers have more than solidified themselves as a staple in popular culture. They are entertainers, comedians, and, of course, pranksters. At the core of it all, though, these household names and funnymen are just good friends – friends who have a lot of fun being friends and have relationships with each other that go far beyond what we see on TV. It’s as impressive and unbelievable as it is beautiful, especially for longtime fans and fellow friends of the guys (including John Mayer, Bret Michaels, Kesha, among others).

We believe this is why it is imperative to see the Impractical Jokers live on stage and not just on the small screen (and ever-shrinking smart screens). The banter with each other, the stories told, the interaction with the audience, the jabs that are made that we know are based in love and rooted in memories they have with each other… all impressive, inspiring, ingenious, and well-suited for the stunning, history-laden walls of Radio City Music Hall. 

The way these three men (and sometimes four or more) interact is something to behold, and not just because we appreciate all of the laughter that comes out of said interactions. Raw emotion and genuine moments between a close-knit group of men – each other and the audience that flock to them? Again, it’s inspiring (and laugh-out-loud funny). We were sure to let Brian Quinn know that. His response? “Life’s too short – you gotta surround yourself with good people and have a little fun.”

Better known as Q on the show, he is the cat dad and sweetheart that you want him to be and you know him as. It’s nothing short of wonderful to chat with such a friendly, honest, witty, and laidback human and have him come across in the exact way that you expect him to be: friendly, honest, witty, laidback, and as excited about returning to Radio City and talking about cats as we are.

This show at Radio City is so soon and has been the talk of the office, internet, and more. I wanted to let you know right off the bat that the excitement that you might be feeling and hearing from fans is very much real.

Oh, cool! Thank you. Wow, well, we’re gonna have a lot of fun. I love going up there and performing, so hopefully the audience will play out for you guys the same way. We’re gonna have fun. I can promise you that.

I have no doubt about that at all. I think Radio City in itself is just such a gorgeous space, a national treasure, if you will. To be playing there in general is exciting – even just going to events there is exciting. Your show this weekend will be even more so, though, with guests and surprises! Do you have any notable memories of going to shows there or being at Radio City Music Hall?

I’ve seen so many! I’m a New Yorker, so I’ve seen many shows there, from the Christmas Spectacular when I was a kid that my parents would take me to seeing Willie Nelson there. Oh, man – what a show.

I just saw Barry Manilow the other night there. It’s really one of the best venues in the world. It’s gorgeous to be in. You feel like you’re walking into a different time just by being there. Man, I saw Back to the Future there with the orchestra playing underneath a couple years back and it was one of the most exciting things ever.

Growing up as a New Yorker, you’re just like, “Wow, it’s Radio City. This is legendary.” The fact that they’re letting us in there again is, you know, never with a lack of a surprise. It’s nice. I’m excited.

Performing at Radio City is definitely something that you’d keep on your resume forever. We just caught Barry Manilow there, as well, and I know he broke a record or made a record of the act to have done the most shows on that stage… ever. One time is a thrill, though, and not a small feat in the least.

Sure. You nailed it. I didn’t know [Barry] broke a record, man. He was great. That’s fantastic for a man like him. I love that.

Yeah, I think he’s 80 years old and he’s played there 42 times.

Oh, that’s incredible. He didn’t even mention that the night that I was there!

He is a humble man, and he doesn’t have to be! [Laughs]

[Laughs] That sounds right!

As a fellow New Yorker, you and I know the impact of Radio City. We also know so much of Impractical Jokers has been filmed in and around the tri-state area, which we are (of course) partial to. Do you have any friends or family coming to this show on May 5? Is that adding any pressure, or is it just straight up joy to have people that you are close to in the audience?

I don’t really feel pressure ever when people I know are in the audience. I mean, the biggest part of hometown shows is that you have so many friends and family that want to come but you only get so many tickets that you end up losing money on shows because you end up giving so many away [Laughs]. It’s great, though. Your family comes and they’re proud of you. They’re blown away that we’re at Radio City like everybody else. We played Madison Square Garden – sold it out a few years ago – yet this has been more exciting.

I believe that there’s a different sort of intimacy with this space, because as much as I adore Madison Square Garden, the basis of Impractical Jokers is being able to interact and communicate and foster a relationship between the fans and you guys. I think Radio City plays into that a little bit better than a massive, amazing place like MSG.

Yeah, I would agree with you there. Comedy is different in a giant venue like that, but still workable. It’s just a different thing.

I do with you, but if they ask us – and I don’t think they’ll ever ask us to play radio Madison Square Garden again – I certainly would say yes. I would do it again in a heartbeat, you know?

Oh, definitely! Even just being live on stage is vastly different from filming and the overall creation of the TV show, as well. If you could even compare, do you prefer filming pranks and shooting the show and such more than comedy and storytelling on stage?

Yeah, they’re totally different animals. I mean, the one binding thing around all of it is that I love who I am working with. Easily, my favorite thing is that I am constantly working with my friends and people I love. When we go on tour, we’re gonna have a blast because it’s me and my friends. Every aspect of my career has been built around just working with my friends and it’s been the greatest joy. It’s just been a gift that I never would take for granted. Whatever we’re doing, I enjoy it.

I probably like making the TV show a little bit more because we have our crew with us and I love our crew so much. It’s more of a family thing that way, but getting on the road and hanging out with the opening acts and visiting all these towns is pretty, pretty special. It’s hard to really complain about either of ’em.

Of course, and I love that you shouted out the crew of the show, because that is such an integral part of what fans are seeing at the end of the day.

Oh, totally!

Q, I know that recently you went to the premiere of the latest Ghostbusters movie for your birthday, which meant you not only got to be with Paul Rudd, but you got to hang out with your friends. As you said, you love hanging out with your friends – Murr and Joe and Sal everyone. What was that like? Going to celebrate your birthday at the premiere of Ghostbusters [2024]? Speaking of Paul Rudd, tell, have you ever been surprised by someone who said they were a fan of yours or a fan of the show?

Oh, yeah. Well, Rudd was a big fan. That was a huge shock. He was actually the one that invited me to the premiere! It was pretty great that I got to go.

What could be said about Paul Rudd that everybody doesn’t know? He is who you think he is. He’s the nicest; him and Post Malone are two of the nicest humans I’ve ever met in my entire life, so I just wanna give a shout to those two [Laughs]. They have both been on Impractical Jokers, and, I mean, they are literally just the best humans. It’s kind of crazy, and I’m not just saying that ’cause he got me into the Ghostbusters premiere!

It was crazy, though. We were there, but everybody was there. I got to talk to Ernie Hudson. I got to say hi to Bill Murray! He doesn’t know who I am, but that was just amazing. It was a pretty great day overall, too. Sal was there, Murray was there, Joe was there, my friend Terry from LA came in, and Casey was there and came out to dinner. It was just like a blast, you know? Then we go to the after party and it’s filled with all these people that I’ve loved my entire life… and it’s my birthday. I mean, what could go wrong?

That is so amazing and so memorable.

[Laughs]. Yeah, it was great. It was so much fun.

Now, being a fan, obviously I have a little bit of bias, but I do follow you on Instagram and I see some of these comments that just make me smile. I see people who are saying that they’re traveling cross country to attend these shows and that people are coming from the West Coast to the East Coast just for Radio City. They’re stoked and are saying such positive things. Social media can go both ways, of course, but do you read these comments? I see people saying, “Q posted, it means it’s a good day, it’s gonna be a good day now.” There is so much community and positivity in your fanbase and seemingly also online.

Yeah, and when people see us in public, they have no problem coming up and saying hello – it’s like you said, people feel like they know us in a way. We get a lot of love… more in person. You get people coming up and being like, “Oh my God, I love the show,” or “This is what the show means to me,” and “I watch the show with my grandmother,” dad, or whoever. That is kind of cool. Online, though? That is kind of a tricky thing, because you could find mean comments, as well. Someone like me, I tend to see the good ones and they watch over me, but then if someone is kind of mean, that really bothers me, so I don’t read online as much as I used to. I think it’s like a mental health thing.

Certainly in person I will cry multiple times. Let me tell you this, and yhis happened the other day when I was out two nights ago with my buddy. Some woman came up to us and was like, “My father just went through a hard time,” and then she explains that her father passed away. It was a very painful experience for them and it was sort of lingering. He was in the hospital and she said to me, “We would just sit in the hospital room and watch Impractical Jokers and he would start laughing. It was the only time we saw him laugh.” She starts crying while she’s telling me the story and then I start crying as I’m listening to the story. That sort of in-person thing has been a gift, and has been a gift from day one. It really has. I’ve never had anybody in person come up to me and be like, “Dude, your show sucks and I hate you,” [Laughs]. It’s always nice things and that’s really quite a gift. It really is.

I love that. Speaking of good people and things that we love, how are your cats doing? Seeing your cats pop up on my own feed always makes me smile, especially last year with the arrival of Boris and the growing cat army you have. Also, what is it about cats that draw you in?

[Laughs] They’re doing fine. They’re the most pampered little loves. They are doing great things for us. Boris, he just turned one and is kind of the light of my life right now. He’s just a joy to be around. I think I’m the only person that’s using Instagram anymore for what it’s God intended it for, which is cat photos. I just feel that’s it – that’s what everybody should just be posting. There are always cat videos, a cat fighting a moth, a cat sleeping in the sunlight. I think that’s really what social media is best used as, so if you see me promoting things, it’s because somebody told me that I have to do it [Laughs].

I’m the worst at promotion, it’s the aspect of the business that I like the least. If you see me doing promotion, it’s because somebody is like, “Dude,, come on, you gotta sell tickets,” or whatever. You won’t see me online posting a lot of stuff unless someone tells me to, but you will see me posting cat photos, tons of ’em, because I love ’em.

Why do I love them? Mark Twain has a great quote and I read it when I was really young, but it kind of always stuck with me. He said, “All I need to know about a person is if they like cats. That tells me everything I need to know about a person.” I’ve found that to be true. Look, I’m friends with people who don’t like cats. One of my best friends on the whole planet is Sal. He’s afraid of cats! I deal with it. I see it as a character flaw in him, but he’s a guy who has so many character flaws and that hard to keep track of at this point.  You kind of gotta let it go, you know what I mean?

I kind of agree with that, especially when a fear of cats is different than a dislike of cats!

Yeah, I don’t know how you dislike cats. I look at some cats, and there is no getting around it – they’re an asshole. Like people, there are asshole cats in the world. For the most part, I just think they’re delightful. They’re delightful little pals and they don’t really want much, so I don’t get people who don’t dig cats. I really just don’t understand it.

I love dogs, too. It’s not like I’m an anti-dog person! That is not me at all, and I don’t really know why these little cats got something on me, but maybe it’s ’cause I can pick ’em up and kiss their stomach.

That is definitely possible, Q, but they’re also very cute, effortlessly posing as photogenic cats, so I’m glad that you’re using Instagram for them!

Let me be clear about that, bud. The first thing I do every day is take a photo of a cat and usually the last thing I do at night is take a photo of a cat. They’re always doing something cute, so I have hundreds [Laughs], if not thousands of photos of these cats. The ones you see that I post are the ones that are good.

I have plenty of others, and, actually, a joke in the live show is like me showing pictures of the cats on stage and we pick the worst looking pictures of them [Laughs]. It’s all fun and cute, but like Photoshop, don’t believe everything you see, because my cats have plenty of ugly shots.