Since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2013, Jason Sudeikis has kept pretty busy on the big screen. But now he’s headed back to television with a series regular role in a new comedy set up at Apple TV+.
Ted Lasso will star Jason Sudeikis as the title character, an idealistic all-American football coach hired to manage an English football club even though he has no previous experience with the sport at all. However, this isn’t the first time Sudeikis has played the character. But the only way you’d probably know that is if you watched NBC Sports programs from time to time. So let’s introduce you to the coach before the Ted Lasso series gets underway.
Ted Lasso is a character who feels like he came out of Saturday Night Live. Jason Sudeikis played Lasso for some amusing interludes between actual sports reporting on NBC. The above video is his debut as character back in August 2013, and you’ll see how out of element he is as a soccer coach. He understands none of the rules or basic gameplay fundamentals. It’s a very funny gag in short form comedy, but how will it flesh out into an entire series?
I suppose there have been much flimsy premises turned into TV shows. This could easily take the path of being a family sitcom that just so happens to have a coach at the center of it who doesn’t know how to coach soccer. Presumably he’ll also be a fish out of water in the United Kingdom as well, so that could help beef up the narrative a bit.
Apple says in their press release that this is the first series regular role that Jason Sudeikis has taken on. I guess they’re just ignoring the short-lived but underrated show Son of Zorn, where he voiced an animated He-Man-type character named Zorn just trying to re-connect with his live-action son and ex-wife.
Otherwise, Jason Sudeikis has been pretty busy on the big screen since leaving SNL. He starred in We’re the Millers with Jennifer Aniston, worked with her a couple more times in the Horrible Bosses movies, dabbled in the indie world with Sleeping with Other People, Colossal and Kodachrome, did some voicework in the Angry Birds franchise, and recently made a small appearance in one of the funniest scenes in Booksmart. Sudeikis is one of those guys who grabs my interest immediately, and I’m very much interested in seeing how he structures an entire series around Ted Lasso.
Sudeikis will be executive producing the series along with Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City), and the two also co-wrote the pilot together. Jeff Ingold and Liza Katzer from Bill Lawrence’s Doozer Productions will also serve as executive producers.
Here’s one more taste of Ted Lasso from his return to NBC Sports:
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