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LI 'Impractical Jokers' star Joe Gatto splits from wife, quits show

"Impractical Jokers" star Joe Gatto, of Glen Head,

"Impractical Jokers" star Joe Gatto, of Glen Head, has cited personal reasons for his impending divorce and his departure from the truTV hit show. Credit: Getty Images / Dia Dipasupil

Glen Head's Joe Gatto, a star of truTV's "Impractical Jokers," is divorcing his wife of eight years and leaving his hit prank show, with the remaining cast members vowing to continue.

"Sorry in advance for the long and more-serious-than-usual note below," Gatto, 45, a Staten Island native formerly of Lynbrook, said in an Instagram post on New Year's Eve. "I just wanted to let you all know that I will no longer be involved with Impractical Jokers. 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."

He then added of his wife, with whom he has daughter Milana, 6, and son Remo, 4, "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." As recently as Dec. 19, he had posted an Instagram photo of Bessy Gatto lying happily on a rattan bench with several of their rescue dogs, and wrote, "Such a big, beautiful heart on this wife of mine."

"Impractical Jokers," which has run nine seasons, with a 10th ordered in February, and which spawned a 2020 movie, was created by the comedy troupe The Tenderloins, consisting of Gatto, James "Murr" Murray, Brian "Q" Quinn, and Sal Vulcano. "Outside of my family, my relationships with Murr, Q and Sal have been the most important in my life," Gatto's most recent post continued. "I know they will continue to make the world laugh." He went on to thank the show's crew members and fans.

"As I work through the challenges I am facing," he concluded, "I hope to and am excited to create new ways to entertain you." He did not mention the troupe's three-season TBS game show "The Misery Index," which last aired in March and is no longer on the network's website, though no cancellation has been announced.

A message signed by Gatto's three compatriots on Quinn's Instagram account read, "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. With the support of our fans, we'll get back to making a new chapter of Impractical Jokers in January."

Bessy Gatto, 39, on her own Instagram account posted an undated photo of herself and Joe Gatto together, dressed casually and smiling. "With love and respect, we have decided to separate," she wrote. "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."

She said the two would continue "to help animals and rescue dogs, which is something we are both passionate about!" In 2020, when the couple had a dozen small rescues, Joe Gatto wrote and shot the photographs for his self-published book "The Dogfather: My Love of Dogs, Desserts and Growing Up Italian."

Among those posting supportive comments on Joe Gatto's Instagram were actor, education advocate and former "The Wonder Years" child star Danica McKellar;actors Dania Ramirez and Brittany Snow; and Jericho-raised singer-songwriter Madison Beer.

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