‘The Misery Index’s Impractical Jokers & Jameela Jamil Tease Contestants and Each Other
It’s been a long road to broadcasting, but TBS’s The Misery Index is finally debuting after nearly a year. Filming on the unique game show took place in late 2018 and changes at Warner Media withheld its release, but now the bold and brash show is ready to be released to audiences.
The Misery Index pits two players against each other as they attempt to rank miserable experiences on a scale from 0 to 100. Horrible experiences earn a rating — determined by psychologists — and viewers are left to see where players place these moments on the scale.
Hosted by The Good Place‘s Jameela Jamil, the show sees Impractical Jokers Joe Gatto, James “Murr” Murray, Brian “Q” Quinn and Sal Vulcano assist contestants with their decision making, and even they were surprised by some of the outcomes.
What are these horrible experiences? They can range anywhere from mild injury to humiliating moments. “Oh my God. Dude gets smacked by the bear, and it was worse to stub your toe on the beach,” Gatto says of oddly-scaled miserable moments.”I was like, ‘What?’ Some things it just didn’t compute.”
“And it’s weird because you’re advising them,” adds Q. “So at the end of the day I would always be like, “Listen, this is how I feel, but it’s up to you.”
Jokes Murr, “For legal reasons, this is your choice.”
Misery is shown through article titles, videos and more, and depending on how well players can guess these experiences on the scale determines whether they’ll win big cash or not. Since the show wrapped filming on Season 1, we ask whether they see headlines that strike them as good fits for the index.
“All the time,” Jamil says. “Seriously, it’s constantly on my mind. And it’s also just the first time I’ve ever looked at misery in a way that was funny. It really reinforces the idea that the only way to survive pain is through laughter.”
Some of the topics covered are a bit bold for TV. “Oh my God, it’d be amazing if we make it to air,” Jamil had lamented back in 2018 during filming, and it appears her prayers have been answered. No matter how gross misery can get though, one thing is for certain — it’s unifying.
“They actually used some of the punishments from Impractical Jokers on Misery Index to screw with us,” Murr reveals.
“So, we have to analyze our own punishments which was really fun,” Gatto adds.
But if you’re still not convinced, the stars shared which stories impacted them greatly from the contestants who participated. “One guy butt-dialed his grandma while he was having sex. And his grandmother knew and called back,” Gatto exclaims with laughter in his voice.
“My worst one,” Q counters, “was a woman on her wedding day. They just got married. Two minutes earlier, [her husband] got super drunk, started a fight with her friends, started screaming he wants a divorce… It was crazy.”
Jamil, on the other hand, took a less dramatic route by going with someone who suffered but ultimately overcame. “My favorite contestant on the show, also had, to me, the most dramatic story where he came home early to surprise his wife,” Jamil says, “and he found her hiding in a cupboard with her lover.”
“He was the sweetest guy,” Vulcano states plainly. Hopefully the nice guys finish last in this misery fest. No matter what, everyone will be in stitches over the hilariously miserable situations when The Misery Index premieres October 22.
The Misery Index, Series Premiere, Tuesday, October 22, 10/9c, TBS