10 Fun Facts About Ted Lasso
It has been nothing but an upward journey for Ted Lasso, which, despite the odds, has become the crown jewel in Apple TV+'s streaming service. The series follows American football coach Ted Lasso (Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis), as he’s hired to manage the (fictional) AFC Richmond—despite knowing nothing about English football.
With its winning combination of heart and humor, Ted Lasso is essentially the TV equivalent of a hug. To celebrate its upcoming second season, which will debut in July, here are some facts about the show.
1. Ted Lasso started out as a commercial.
In what was originally meant to promote NBC’s airing of the English Premier League, the character of Ted Lasso first appeared in an NBC Sports commercial way back in 2012. The commercial followed the same premise as the show, with Sudeikis’s character instantly charming audiences. It was such a hit that NBC created another commercial featuring Ted Lasso a year later.
With some encouragement from his then-partner Olivia Wilde, Sudeikis—alongside creative partners Brendan Hunt (who plays Coach Beard in the series) and Joe Kelly—began outlining what a possible Ted Lasso series might look like. Yet it wasn’t until a few years later, when Sudeikis ran into Scrubs and Cougar Town showrunner Bill Lawrence, that the idea became reality.
2. Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein was initially hired as just a writer.
It’s hard to imagine anyone else embodying AFC’s grumpy captain Roy Kent, but actor Brett Goldstein was initially only hired as a writer on the show. Yet in writing Kent's character, Goldstein said he grew an attachment to the role and “just started to think I could play Roy.” On his last day in the writer’s room, Goldstein sent an audition tape to Bill Lawrence with an email saying, “If this is embarrassing you can pretend you never got this email.” Luckily the risk paid off, and Goldstein—who had a major role in Ricky Gervais's Netflix series Derek—got the part shortly after.
3. Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons composes music for Ted Lasso.
Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of Mumford & Sons, met Sudeikis in 2012, when his band performed on SNL. The pair remained friends, which is what led Sudeikis to leave Mumford a message asking if he would want to compose music for the show. Alongside musician Tom Howe, Mumford composes the entire score for the series, including the catchy and uplifting theme song.
4. There are currently three seasons planned for Ted Lasso.
With the second season imminent and a third season renewal already received, it appears the Ted Lasso team have the show’s endgame planned. Talking on the Scrubs rewatch podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends, Lawrence said Ted Lasso is “mapped out” as a “three-season show,” as "Sudeikis has a family, and likely will not want to be spending half his years an ocean apart from his kids.” While it’s sad the show will depart our screens, it’s comforting that “Everybody knows they get an end to this story in the third season.”
5. Former Scrubs star Zach Braff directed an episode of Ted Lasso.
In another example of the series attracting high-profile behind-the-scenes talent, Scrubs star Zach Braff directed the show’s second episode, “Biscuits.” Speaking to ET Online, Lawrence said that while Braff was visiting London, he “suckered Zach into directing an episode,” bringing the pair back together once more.
6. Those delicious biscuits that Ted Lasso is always handing out? They're not so delicious.
You know Ted's famous biscuits? Well, Hannah Waddingham, who plays club owner Rebecca Welton, has shattered the illusion of the delicious biscuits her character obsesses over. Talking to Critics Choice Association voters, Waddingham revealed that pretending the biscuits were delicious was “Definitely the greatest acting job in my life. Try eating a bit of dried-out sponge that’s been left in your bathroom in a tiny pink box.” Maybe the show’s production team could try using Ted’s recipe?
7. Hannah Waddingham’s iconic performance of Frozen’s “Let It Go” almost didn’t happen.
It’s impossible to reference Waddingham and not mention her history as a famed West End performer, with her performing skills on full display in an incredible performance of “Let it Go” from Frozen in episode 7, “Make Rebecca Great Again.” Yet according to music supervisor Tony Von Pervious, Disney at first rejected the show’s application to use the song. “The catalog is very particular about uses ... it’s kind of a fine line,” music supervisor Tony Von Pervieux told Nerdist.
The show ended up filming a back-up version, with Rebecca performing Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Yet after sending Disney Rebecca’s version of “Let it Go,” and seeing they weren’t “Denigrating the song in any way,” Disney reversed the denial.
8. Ted Lasso’s karaoke episode is based on a true story.
With the karaoke episode being a highlight of the series in celebrating the show’s lovable ensemble, these scenes actually stem from football history. Sudeikis explained to Bustle that he took inspiration from Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp, saying, “When I heard about him taking his squad to go do karaoke, I was like ‘Hellooo, story idea.” (Though we doubt any of the players did a Frozen cover that matched Waddingham’s.)
9. Ted Lasso has become an awards darling.
After a unanimously positive critical reception, it didn’t take long for Ted Lasso to start receiving awards. At the 2021 Golden Globes, the show was nominated for two awards, with Sudeikis winning for Best Actor in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. It also won three Critics Choice Awards (for Comedy Series, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series), a SAG Award, and is currently nominated for the prestigious Peabody Award. With season 2 on the horizon, we’re sure there are plenty more awards in store.
10. Season 2 of Ted Lasso will feature a new AFC Richmond member.
When season 2 returns, viewers can expect to see a new member of the AFC Richmond squad in Sharon (Sarah Niles), the team’s new sports psychologist. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Niles described her character as “Straight-talking, very good at her job, very kind, and wants the best for everyone.” Yet from the season 2 trailer, it appears that she and Ted may not be on the same page when they first meet.
Here’s hoping season 2 has plenty more heart, humor, and biscuits in store for viewers come July 23rd.