How Donald Trump Changed Ted Lasso, According to Jason Sudeikis

Ted Lasso star and co-creator Jason Sudeikis recently revealed how former U.S. President Donald Trump changed the titular character of the Apple TV+ show. Originally developed as a character for a series of sketches to promote the Premier League on NBC’s defunct sports channel, Ted Lasso returned to television as a series on Apple TV+. Hired by Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) to manage her ex-husband’s English football team, AFC Richmond, as an act of revenge, Ted managed to win over the hearts of his detractors through his overt kindness and positivity.

Speaking with The Guardian, Sudeikis recalls how Trump changed Ted Lasso’s character for the Apple TV+ show. The Saturday Night Live alum calls the earlier version of Ted more “belligerent” than his current iteration. It was Trump’s escalator arrival in the 2016 U.S. Presidential race and the ensuing public vitriol that made the comedy actor revamp Ted’s demeanor. Sudeikis said, “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.”

Ted Lasso hit Apple’s streaming service in mid-August 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear consumed much of the world as the first couple of waves of the virus went through the population. Ted Lasso offered its stress-filled audience a wonderful blend of fish-out-of-water humor, a positive uplifting tone, and charming performances from its ensemble cast of characters. Viewers found solace in the inspiring culture-shock premise as the world seemed so bleak around them.

Ted Lasso season 1 saw Ted arrive at the football club knowing that he will be the laughingstock of the entire league. However, in the face of such a daunting personal and professional challenge, he used his positive attitude and undeniable charm to win over the team, management, and fans, despite the less-than-favorable outcome of the season. Ted Lasso also dealt with serious themes regarding anxiety and mental health, specifically with Ted’s desire to please all of those around him while neglecting his own needs.

Ted Lasso season 3 is expected to conclude the popular comedy series. With AFC Richmond fighting their way to a title while Ted wrestles with a variety of emotions surrounding his separation from his ex-wife and son, the show’s conclusion will surely be emotional. As Ted Lasso nears its finale at the end of May, it remains to be seen how the affable coach will conclude his story.

Ted Lasso releases new episodes Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

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