‘The League’ creators look to draft fantasy football comedy’s next Bear
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
The husband-and-wife team who write and direct the bawdy sitcom would love it.
“We always have nice chats with Brandon Marshall,” Jeff Schaffer told me Monday at the TV critics’ press tour in Beverly Hills. “He loves the show. We’ve talked to him many times.”
“It’s all about the scheduling,” added Jeff’s wife, Jackie Marcus Schaffer.
Entering its sixth season in September, “The League” stars Mark Duplass, Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll, Steven Rannazzisi, Katie Aselton and Jon Lajoie as a group of friends obsessed — even that’s not strong enough a word — with fantasy football.
“It’s like cancer — it touches everyone,” Kroll (“Kroll Show”) quipped about football fans’ popular pastime.
“The League” is shot in California but set in Chicago and Winnetka.
“We wanted to set the show somewhere in the Midwest,” said Jeff, an Ohio native. “We originally toyed with setting it in Cleveland. Jackie said, ‘So they’re going to downtown Cleveland for the draft. That may be great but for the rest of the United States, I’m not sure there’s that much candy in the candy jar. Why don’t we set it in a slightly bigger place?'”
“It was very important for us to give it a Midwest feel,” Jeff added. “These are Midwest guys who really like football. These are not guys on the coast who think it’s too good for them. These are guys who live and breathe this stuff, which is how I grew up.”
Bears running back Matt Forte has been on “The League.” Same for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his wife, Kristin. The Cutlers appeared on the show last season.
“He was terrific, she was awesome,” Jeff said about the couple, adding that he’d welcome them back on the show if timing allows.
“With quarterbacks it gets very hard once they go to camp,” he said, “Then it depends when the bye week is. Some players will take off during the bye week. Quarterbacks — especially ones as focused as he is — usually are hunkered down even during the off week.”
And then there are the Cutlers’ two young kids to consider…
“Like us, Kristin and Jay just had another baby within a couple weeks of our new baby,” Jackie said. “We have two children the same age as the Cutlers. We’re just trying to be friends with them and we figure this is our best chance.”
“The League” has featured cameos from myriad pro football players, but the Schaffers said they’re especially keen to include Bears.
“We always like doing it because [the show is set] in Chicago,” he said. “It makes the most sense that they would bump into those guys. We want to make it as believable as we can that these schmoes would get to chat with NFL stars.”