While there’s been some, let’s call it “discourse” over how successful breakout hit Ted Lasso has been in fulfilling its ambitious second season goals, we can all agree the show has been a whole lot better than a series sprung from a series of TV adverts should be. On the eve of Ted Lasso’s second season finale, series co-creators Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly appeared with old friend Seth Meyers on Thursday’s Late Night, with the trio revealing just how deep the show’s “Kansas (American) football coach in the (British) football world” roots go. Reminiscing about the time spent doing Chicago-style improv in Amsterdam in the early 2000s, Sudeikis told Meyers that it was his scrounged-together purchase of a Playstation (and, at transplanted soccer fanatic Hunt’s insistence, a copy of FIFA 2000) that first germinated Ted Lasso’s winning dynamic between Coaches Lasso and Beard.
“Brendan would basically explain to me the game as he was playing Arsenal and I was playing Manchester United,” explains Sudeikis, and let’s all just take a moment to admit that that sounds like the most fun hang, ever. Kelly noted that that green room hangout vibe carried over nearly two decades later, when he, Sudeikis, and Hunt unwittingly freaked out the Apple TV execs who’d flown them over to London to write what’s become one of the most beloved (if, sure, endlessly argued-over) series in recent memory. The three were happily playing Settlers Of Catan in their shared writing trailer while the suits sweated out why they hadn’t seen a single script. (Kelly also confirmed that those were Hunt’s actual hips doing the hula-hooping in Coach Beard’s wild night out in London, in case there were any lingering doubt.)
But all fans of Ted Lasso really want to talk about is the show’s third (and reportedly final) season, which the three are busy breaking down as they spoke to Meyers. And anyone who’s been in a writers room knows that that’s a messy process, flooded with myriad ideas from all quarters. You know, like how Ted dies in episode 302. At least that’s what Meyers pointed out on the bulletin board looming behind the writing partners, with Sudeikis deadpanning that, yup, that’s on the table. “No wrong answers while you’re blue-skying a season,” said former SNL and Detroiters writer Kelly, perhaps explaining some of the other, eye-opening story beats on the big board.
Like, “Dani fights the Queen” (around mid-season), an early episode revelation about the secret ingredient in Ted’s famous biscuits (cocaine), and the late-season shocker that Jamie Tartt is actually a ghost. (To be fair, nobody would see that coming.) As the three chatted with Meyers about this and that (like Hunt’s show-stealing sartorial Emmy choices), one can only imagine who came up with the potential twin story ideas “Reveal Roy has a tiny dick,” and “Roy gets really fat.” And, more importantly, who wound up pitching them to Brett Goldstein. The idea of beleaguered and struggling Nate winning the Bake Off seems a bit farfetched, but, then again, so does the idea that Nate’s a serial killer. Alternately, Coach Beard, despite recent revelations, might be the actual Zodiac Killer. (Honestly, it checks out.) And if any show could pull off “Team-building field trip to Hitler’s bunker,” it’s—nobody. No show could do that. Still, no bad ideas in brainstorming.