The comedian, who popped the question a week ago, says the relationship is the "best thing that's ever happened to me"
Murr is off the market!
Impractical Jokers star James Murray is engaged, PEOPLE can confirm exclusively. The comedian, 43, proposed to girlfriend Melyssa Davies on Aug. 30 outside the home they just bought together in New Jersey — and even though it wasn’t his original plan, it was as romantic as ever.
“I set up a picnic and champagne and a Scrabble board. I took her there to sign ‘documents’ [about the house] — there were no documents to sign,” Murray tells PEOPLE with a laugh. “And thank God she said yes.”
As it turns out, Murray was initially going to pop the question while the two were vacationing in Turks and Caicos over Labor Day weekend, but they had to cancel their trip after Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas on Sunday.
“Melyssa and I took our first vacation together in Turks and Caicos, and that’s where I first said I loved her many, many months ago,” he explains. “So I was going to propose in the same spot, playing Scrabble, the same exact way I told her I loved her and spell out, ‘Would you marry me?'”
That particular Scrabble board is now hanging on their wall, and it’s not the only token of their proposal they’ll have forever. While on tour this year with Impractical Jokers, truTV’s wildly popular hidden-camera comedy show, Murray secretly filmed thousands of fans asking Davies to marry him.
“The fans kept it secret all this time,” he marvels. “So I got to show her a video of probably 40,000 or 50,000 people asking her to marry me. It’s literally fans from all across America, including Comic-Con, which is 20,000 people in one shot, asking Melyssa to marry me. I mean, every single audience raised their right hand and swore they wouldn’t post it. They kept it secret for six months now!”
Davies, who just finished nursing school, confirms she had “absolutely no idea.” And she couldn’t be happier with the surprise or the timing of the engagement, even though she admits she had wanted to marry Murray “for a while now.”
“I am so myself around him,” she says. “It’s amazing.”
He’s on the same page and says the two, who met by chance when Davies attended a launch party he threw for his debut novel Awakened last June, clicked from the get-go.
“We hit it off that night immediately. We had immediate chemistry and our relationship was immediately different than any other I’ve had in my life,” he says. “It was the first time in my life that I felt like myself. Thank God I wrote that damn book!”
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Murray proposed with a stunning Tiffany & Co. solitaire round diamond on a plain band, and needless to say, Davies is over the moon with the choice. “I can’t stop looking at it!” she laughs.
“They say that the second you see the ring, you know,” Murray says. “And I did. I saw the ring and I was like, ‘That’s it.’ It’s clean and simple and classy and elegant, and that is exactly what Melyssa likes.”
Now, the two are planning a wedding in Rhode Island in the fall of next year and looking forward to their future together. And Murray’s fellow Jokers — Joe Gatto, Sal Vulcano and Brian Quinn — better not pull any tricks on the big day.
“Oh my God, I hope they don’t,” Murray says. “But I must say, when Joe got married, the three of us debated for a long time about doing something at his wedding. And that was years ago! The show is bigger now, so I don’t know. It could happen. I’m just hoping the whole relationship is not a punishment on the show and Melyssa is actually a hired actress.”
“We’ve had nine amazing years on TV,” he adds. “But getting engaged to Melyssa is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”