Jason Sudeikis’ Initial Characterization of Ted Lasso Changed in the Show
Jason Sudeikis has long been recognized for being a certain kind of funny guy on Saturday Night Live, but this time around, he has found himself at the center of an Emmy Award-nominated show, Ted Lasso.
The Apple TV show has been celebrating the titular character for serving fans with comic relief whilst he was dealing with a divorce and missing his son back home in America.
While that comic aspect of his character has been more or less the same, between the time fans first saw him on a promo for NBC and his final render on the series on Apple's streaming platform, the actual character went through massive reboots.
The Original Ted Lasso
According to GQ, the character Ted Lasso was initially drawn for a different purpose.
The original promo video aired in 2003, right after NBC acquired the television rights to the Premier League and was working towards generating American intrigue in a so-called "European" sport.
The promo was built around the look and feel of an SNL sketch to deliver a pretty straightforward idea: an American football coach is hired to coach a beloved English football team. Mind you, English football here means soccer.
Naturally, Lasso had no idea about the sport he was about to coach, and he was in England, a place he had no idea or understanding of. The comic punch here was that Lasso was an amicable buffoon in short shorts.
Lasso Came Back after over a Decade
For some reason, the character stuck around in Sudeikis' head, and over a decade later, he built a pitch around the same narrative.
Lasso was still in England and still trying to make his way around the soccer field, but he was not the same Lasso, even with the same comic bushy mustache.
When Lasso appeared on Apple's streaming service, he was no longer the loud, obnoxious buffoon but more of a regular guy navigating through his life post-divorce in a new country. As GQ put it aptly,
Ted Lasso was still funny, but now in an earned kind of way, where the jokes he told and the jokes made at his expense spoke to the quality of the man.
Lasso Came with a Few More Layers
While his ignorance from his original draft had been largely preserved, it was now complimented with a layer of curiosity.
He was now more of an encourager, who worked to the best of his abilities to thrill the talents and dreams of those around him.
Take, for instance, the scene in the pilot episode when someone asks Lasso if he believed in ghosts.
In response, he said that he believed in them and added, "But more importantly, I think they need to believe in themselves."
It appears as though the relentless positivity that defined Lasso's character was what appealed to the masses.
While there was widespread panic surrounding the global pandemic that brought everyone and everything to a screeching halt, this guy on TV drove through hardships, heartbreak, and homesickness to somehow find his way through all of it — an admirable trait in desperate times.