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Jason Sudeikis’ motivation for a “Ted Lasso” series came from a very unexpected place:
Former President Donald Trump running for office in 2016.
“Ted Lasso” launched as a full series on Apple TV+ in 2020, and prior to that, it was a sketch bit Sudeikis did for NBC Sports to help promote the English Premier League. The show follows Lasso as he coaches AFC Richmond through thick and thin.
While many people might have figured the series was made because it seemed like the natural next step, it was actually Donald Trump running for President in 2016 and coming down the escalator that gave Sudeikis the idea for a softer version of the character and the TV show.
2016 election motivated “Ted Lasso” TV series.
“It was the culture we were living in. I’m not terribly active online, and it even affected me. Then you have Donald Trump coming down the escalator. I was like, ‘OK, this is silly,’ and then what he unlocked in people… I hated how people weren’t listening to one another. Things became very binary, and I don’t think that’s the way the world works. And, as a new parent—we had our son Otis in 2014—it was like, ‘Boy, I don’t want to add to this.’ Yeah, I just didn’t want to portray it,” Sudeikis explained to The Observer (via Vanity Fair).
The star actor also made it clear he felt Lasso was a bit “belligerent” prior to the pivot to the TV show. Viewers of the show know a much softer version of the title character than the early sketches.
This is an unexpected admission from Jason Sudeikis.
If you asked most “Ted Lasso” fans to list what likely motivated the series, it’s unlikely Donald Trump would appear anywhere near the top of the list.
That’s especially true when you consider the fact the series didn’t come out until years after the 2016 election.
It’s not like the election happened and then the show dropped in 2017. It came four years later. That’s a long time. I guess people find motivation in different places, and for Sudeikis, watching the 2016 election was enough to motivate him to give fans a feel-good show with a softer Ted Lasso leading the way.
Unfortunately, “Ted Lasso” has really fallen off a cliff. The first season was outstanding. The second season was okay and I can’t bring myself to watch the third season. The show just got too cheesy. Perhaps, Sudeikis should have injected a little more “belligerent” attitude into the show and it would have kept its edge. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case anymore. The show is ending with season three, and at this point, that’s a blessing.