Jason Sudeikis Coaches an English Soccer Team, That’s Crazy

--Brad Blanks/WCBS-FM

Ted Lasso is the latest sitcom from former Saturday Night Live star, Jason Sudeikis. It can be streamed on Apple TV+. Coming from the minds of Sudeikis and his writing partner, Brendan Hunt, a Kansas City college football coach finds himself coaching a soccer team in the English Premiere League. If you can take that initial leap of how crazy the concept is, you will be gifted with a hilarious show. At the forefront of this show is the comedic acting of Jason Sudeikis who brings to life this heart-warming character, Coach Ted Lasso.

Back in 2013, you may remember the sketch Sudeikis did for NBC Sports promoting their soccer broadcasts. This was the beginning of Ted Lasso who was fictionally coaching Premiere League team, Tottenham Hotspurs. Within weeks this commercial/promo/sketch had gone viral and the hilarious advertisement for soccer was watched by millions around the world.  The enthusiasm for this Ted Lasso character even shocked Sudeikis with him telling me, “that's the part you never can anticipate. You write a song, you don't know if anybody's going to dance to it.”

To turn a sketch into a full-blown sitcom, have brought in Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, who undoubtedly underlines the strength of the writing. The Ted Lasso character could have easily fallen into the stereotype of being a “doofus”, but Sudeikis, Lawrence and the writers have managed to overcome those clichés of a goofy fish out of water story.  Sudeikis said, “we wanted to keep you guessing. I think one of the themes of the show is to be careful with the assumptions you make about people and the ones that we make about ourselves. We all probably deserve a little bit more than we realize. Sometimes our baggage gets in the way of our intuition.”

Although a hilarious show that skewers the English and American mid-western cultural differences, it does continue to have profound moments as coach Lasso attempts to inspire a conflicted soccer team to success. I was really struck by this combination of inspiration and comedy and got Sudeikis to tell me what drives Ted Lasso as his soccer team continues to suck. He replied, “Ted is kind of like this egoless person who is more white rabbit than white knight, leading people to places that maybe they didn't know they could go. Like any great teacher, coach, parent, partner, director... I think I've been lucky to have some of those people in my life and I hope Ted is that for people. At least on television!”

A fantastic show that has the perfect blend of laughs, heart and some sport. You will love it even if you don’t know what the off-side rule is in soccer.

Ted Lasso can now be streamed on Apple TV+