Humor blossoming at N. Arlington nursery

Photo by Anthony J. Machcinski/ Joe (l.) and Nick DiDonna in front of Charlie’s.


By Anthony J. Machcinski

After nearly four decades of existence, Charlie’s Nursery & Garden Center in North Arlington, will finally get its chance to shine.

Charlie’s will host an episode of TruTV’s hit show “Impractical Jokers,” a TV show in which a team of comedians pulls pranks on unsuspecting customers. The episode featuring Charlie’s will debut on April 5 at 10 p.m.

“We were on the road doing a delivery and they just randomly called the store and asked us if we wanted to be a part of it,” said Charlie’s co-manager Nick DiDonna. “My dad thought it was a joke or that it was a prank call, but we said yes and a week or two later a producer and a field scout came to eye the area.”

Once committed, shooting took place during late October and early November for the show, which made its TV debut on Dec. 15.

“(The TV crew) came the first morning at like 6 a.m. to set up,” recalled Joe DiDonna, Nick’s older brother and co-manager of Charlie’s.

For the elder DiDonna, however, it was the life behind the camera lens that got him really interested in the show.

“I was more excited to see the back part of it,” said Joe, who, like his younger brother, attended William Patterson University pursuing a communications degree. “It was amazing to see the preparation they put in to each show. It wasn’t just setting up five cameras. It was everything else, from audio guys and technicians that really showed how hard the crew worked.”

The brothers got into the floral business after attempting to get into the construction business.

“We went into (the floral business) with our father to build townhouses,” said Joe. “That one year plan turned into a couple of years and then this opportunity (to buy Charlie’s nursery from its original owner) occurred and we turned it into a career.”

“It was just a job to get us through college,” Nick added. “At one point, we really started to like it and the more we began to know about it, the more we liked it.”

With nearly five years of experience under their belts, Nick and Joe DiDonna have been able to keep up the tradition that has been associated with Charlie’s.

Charlie’s Nursery & Garden Center, located at 275 River Road in North Arlington, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and opens at 8 a.m. on the weekend. For more information, visit


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