Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Jason Sudeikis gives Stephen Colbert Biden lessons, explains why Ted Lasso isn't so farfetched anymore

Stephen Colbert, Jason Sudeikis
Stephen Colbert, Jason Sudeikis
Screenshot: The Late Show

Sporting his Ted Lasso mustache and a Cheers baseball cap (a nod to his Uncle Norm), the busy Jason Sudeikis was noncommittal about just how occupied he’s going to be come Saturday Night Live’s September return. Echoing his former SNL colleague Maya Rudolph’s endearingly cagey response to questions about possibly becoming a semi-regular again (theoretically and dear-god hopefully for four-plus years) thanks to the just announced Joe Biden/Kamala Harris Democratic ticket, Sudeikis yet praised Rudolph to the moon. “If I should be so lucky,” said Sudeikis of the prospect of teaming up with the current three-nomination Emmy contender in an SNL dream ticket for the foreseeable future. “Anytime you get to see more of Maya performing, the better,” the incumbent SNL Joe Biden added, “The country and the world is better for it.”

Apart from the TV and real-world upgrades a Sudeikis/Rudolph/Biden/Harris tenure would be over Alec Baldwin/Donald Trump, Sudeikis swapped some handy Biden impersonation tips with Colbert. Colbert relies mostly on prop work (cool grandpa sunglasses), while Sudeikis—giving props himself to the SNL makeup department for those gleaming fake choppers—explained that talking “real loud” while dropping strategic “old-timey words” is key. In his pre-air review of Sudeikis’ new “college football coach out of water” Apple TV+ series, our own Jesse Hassenger rightly pinned down enthusiasm (grounded in reality or not) as the defining trait of Sudeikis’ most memorable characters (including his garrulous Biden). That’s a quality his transplanted Ted Lasso brings to his new gig coaching a Premiere League team playing that other kind of football. Noted soccer (well, the FIFA video game version) fan Sudeikis told Colbert that that “shallow understanding but deep love” of the sport came naturally to him as he filmed Ted Lasso’s beaming, bumbling attempts to master the English national game. Take what insights from that you may, Biden advisers/SNL writers.

Finding lessons all over the place, Sudeikis also shared with Colbert the fact that, while the unlikely high concept of his show was a hard sell back in 2015 when he first thought to turn his TV commercial character into the anchor of a TV series, nobody even bats an eye these days. Nodding toward 6-year-old son Otis’ rechristening of one Donald Trump as “the bully,” Sudeikis told Colbert that the question, “How can someone who has no idea of what they’re doing for a living be put in charge of something as important as a professional soccer team?” just isn’t that hard to fathom any longer. “Now no one asks that question,” Sudeikis deadpanned.


Ted Lasso premieres Friday, August 14 on Apple TV+.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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