Why Jason Sudeikis & Brendan Hunt Chose To Set Ted Lasso In England

"Ted Lasso" is a big-hearted sports sitcom first and foremost, but the Apple TV+ show also works because it capitalizes on one of the most tried-and-true comedy premises out there: the fish out of water. Coach Ted's (Jason Sudeikis) ridiculous, folksy sayings wouldn't be nearly as funny if he were in charge of an American football team on his home turf, and the Britishisms of the AFC Richmond teammates and staff wouldn't be as delightful if an outsider weren't there to point out their novelty.

The arranged professional marriage between Ted and the UK is one of the best parts of the show, and even though Ted seems to be regularly considering taking the next flight home this season, "Ted Lasso" certainly wouldn't be the same without its culture-blending humor. When it came to the decision to set the show in the UK, co-creators Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt (who also co-stars as Coach Beard) apparently had a pretty simple reason for doing so: They love British culture. Especially pop culture.

Ted's clueless about the UK, but Sudeikis is an Anglophile

The co-creators recently spoke to USA Today about the series, and along the way, they name-dropped several British classics. "When I was a kid, I was into the Beatles, Shakespeare, Doctor Who, Monty Python," Sudeikis revealed. "I didn't know that 'Anglophile' was a word then, but it's what I was." Hunt, meanwhile, expressed loyalty to the original "Fawlty Towers," the classic 1975 British sitcom created by John Cleese and Connie Booth. "Come on Johnny, come on Johnny," Hunt reportedly replied upon learning that "Fawlty Towers" might get a reboot, shaking his head in dismay at Cleese's involvement. "That show is cast in amber for all time. It does not need to be revisited." 

The pair's love of all things Brit has been apparent on the press tour for the series. In an interview with Absolute Radio, Sudeikis once proclaimed his love for both the Brit phrase "good shout" and for British football chants — although he says he still has to ask a friend to explain them to him in some cases. As Hunt put it to USA Today, "Jason and I not only have a true love for the game of football, as most of the world knows it, but also a great appreciation for English culture."

Appreciation doesn't always equal expertise

That love and appreciation hasn't totally prevented the pair from experiencing their own fish out of water moments while filming in the UK, though. While Hunt taught Sudeikis about the intricacies of English football back in the '90s when the pair worked together in Amsterdam, there are still aspects of the game and of life abroad that trip them up. "These are things that have just really happened to us," Hunt told Observer about some of the show's comedy, including Ted looking the wrong direction while crossing the street, and needing to get schooled on the basics of the FA Cup. "We're not even trying to point out the fish out of water stuff," Hunt revealed. "I've now spent almost a full year of the last two years of my life in London, and I still have to think really, really hard before I cross the street."

Hopefully, Hunt will figure out the crossing-the-street conundrum before the show draws to a close; "Ted Lasso" is likely going to put an end to the fun across the pond with its current season, which cast and crew have indicated may be its last. In the meantime, you can catch new episodes of "Ted Lasso" streaming Wednesdays on Apple TV+.