Stop Asking Kevin from The League About Fantasy Football

Star Steve Rannazzisi Will Give You Advice, But It Won't Be Very Good

by | September 9, 2015 | Comments

To prepare for the final season of The League, FXX’s raunchy comedy about a fantasy football league of terrible, terrible people starring Steve Rannazzisi (Kevin) Katie Aselton (Jenny), Mark Duplass (Pete), Paul Scheer (Andre), Nick Kroll (Ruxin), and Jon Lajoie (Taco), Rotten Tomatoes chatted by phone with Rannazzisi about what’s in store.

Rannazzisi, whose stand-up special Breaking Dad airs on Comedy Central on September 19, explained what’s coming for Kevin in the final season of The League when it premieres tonight, what some of his favorite running gags have been over seven years, and why you should probably stop asking him for fantasy football advice.

Sarah Ricard for Rotten Tomatoes: Are you ever surprised with what you guys get away with? Have you rehearsed things and been like, ‘Oh my God. There is just no way this is going to get through,’ and then it does?

Steve Rannazzisi:  We did an episode called “Vaginal Hubris” and there was a dinner table conversation with Ruxin, Sophia, and a couple of people, and basically Katie [Aselton’s] character Jenny talks about how positive she is that Kevin would never leave her because she has confidence in her p–sy. She keeps saying ‘p–sy’ and we were like, ‘Are we going to do a take where she doesn’t say p–sy?’ And they were like, ‘No, she can say whatever she wants.’ And I’m thinking, ‘‘P–sy confidence’ or ‘Vaginal Hubris’ is never going to make it on television,’ and it did. And then I was like, ‘Oh, we can do whatever we want.’ We’ve never had a note about, “Maybe you guys should try to change this.’ It’s always been about time. All of our arguments have ever been about, like, ‘We need 30 more seconds to get this bit in.’ It’s never been an issue of ‘try not to say this,’ or ‘try a different version of that’. We pretty much come out unscathed so it’s been a blessing.

Rotten Tomatoes: Has there ever been a person like a great aunt or somebody who you didn’t want to see the show because it was so filthy?

Rannazzisi: My mom doesn’t watch the show. My brother’s a priest, and my mom is a pretty religious person… I mean, she doesn’t talk bad about it. She’ll go ‘How was your [show?]’ and she’ll just glaze over it. I know she doesn’t know what happened on the show… but I think she likes the fact that she gets to tell her friends that I play a lawyer on television and that’s enough for her. Like it’s Law & Order or some procedural where I’m solving crimes.

Rotten Tomatoes: Was that ever a thought that crossed your mind? Like, ‘Oh, geez, how do I do a show that my family can’t even really watch?’

Rannazzisi: No. The one thing that crossed my mind was… the episode where I lose in the playoffs and I have this outburst on the front lawn where I smash the manger and I kick everything. So that was the one where I was like, ‘I think they may have a problem with this one.’ I’m pretty sure I told my brother and my mom not to watch this episode because at one point Ellie turns to me and says, ‘What are you doing to Santa Claus? You’re ruining the manger,’ and I turn and say, ‘There’s no Santa Claus. There’s no God. There’s no nothing, okay?’ I keep saying these horrible things to a little girl on television. Yeah, this is the one I’m going to make sure my parents don’t watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: I got to see your stand-up special and there’s definitely a little overlap between Steve and Kevin.

Ranazzisi: I talk about what I do and what I know and, right now, I’ve got a wife and two kids, so that’s what I’m primarily talking about. But for me, there is a little bit of overlap and Kevin is a version of myself — I don’t care nearly as much about fantasy, obviously — but I can get a little bit dramatic over things and I can get a little overzealous in certain situations. So it’s things like that that I take out of me and put into Kevin. I mean, when you look at it on paper, the people that come to my stand-up show and expect to see Kevin MacArthur are not disappointed. It’s not like I’m out there doing prop comedy.

There is an element of dealing with annoying people which is similar to the show… but I am not nearly as crazy as Kevin MacArthur.

Rotten Tomatoes: The characters on The League seem to have an issue separating fantasy from reality sometimes. Do you ever come across fans of the show that just cannot accept that you are not Kevin?

Rannazzisi: Yes. On an hourly basis. All over social media, I get either an invitation to be in someone’s fantasy league, a direct question about who should be drafted and at what point, or who to start when, or how much do I know about fantasy football? Every hour, I get questions like that.

Rotten Tomatoes: Who wouldn’t want Kevin’s advice on fantasy football? 

Rannazzisi: That’s what I’m saying. People just see you on a show about fantasy football and they assume you know. They should be talking to my wife. Jenny knows. Anyhow, it gets a little bit crazy, especially this time of year when fantasy football starts, every time. I am a fan of fantasy football. I watch football every Sunday. I play fantasy. I played before I started doing the show and probably will continue to play after. I am a novice fantasy football player. People expect me to be an expert and I don’t even think there are such things as experts — even though there are technically experts. So I just give my advice. I give my opinion if I feel like it and I say, ‘Don’t murder my family when I’m wrong,’ because, nine times out of ten, I’m wrong.

Rotten Tomatoes: It seems like the NFL has been pretty cool with you guys in terms of you talking about the them and having their athletes on your show. Is there a relationship the show and the NFL? 

Rannazzisi: No, not like an official relationship. I mean, in the first couple of years, we had to beg people to be on our show… it wasn’t an easy sell because no one knew what it was. They knew it was a comedy and didn’t know how they were going to be portrayed. But, as the show picked up steam and people started hearing about it, the pendulum started swinging to the other side, where now we’re going to the Super Bowl each year and players come up to us and say, ‘Oh, I love the show and I’d love to be on it.’ So, they’re now kind of pitching us ideas. We don’t have an official sponsorship with the NFL, but I feel like we’ve been more accepted then we were before.

Rotten Tomatoes: Over seven seasons, The League has certainly been rich with running jokes. Do you have any favorites?

Rannazzisi: Taco tries to kiss Kevin sometimes and that’s a pretty awkward running joke that we have. Ruxin loves that Kevin and Pete are gay for each other… even though it’s really just one continuous gay joke and in poor taste. It just never really gets old that Pete and Kevin sort of have a true love for each other.

The way Paul Scheer thought of his clothing and who Andre is as a person is the richest running joke on the show, I think – one that continues every day to give us more fodder for fun. Paul is one of the best improvisers in the world and you would think that after seven years, he’d had run out of ways and be like ‘Guys, stop joshing about my clothes,’ but every time he comes with a different excuse for why he wears what, and who else was wearing that, and how it’s in, and that we should be wearing it as well.”

Rotten Tomatoes: I think about the way you guys pick on each other’s physical qualities because it’s not just the character at that point. Like when someone calls you Teen Wolf, there’s something about it that’s mean to the actor.

Rannazzisi: As we’re worried about each other, we’re also picking each other apart in our own minds. Then once we have the freedom to be able to go, ‘Okay, everybody is comfortable here,’ I’m gonna say this. We improvise the show and it gets a big laugh because most of us understand that there are aspects about each other that are funny and it’s all done in a kidding fashion. So when we talk about Paul having clear hair he doesn’t even get upset. He understands the situation.

Rotten Tomatoes: What can you tease for your character in season seven?

Rannazzisi: Kevin wants to win really, really bad. So much so that he and Jenny in their own household, have spoken about having another baby. Kevin is sort of on board about having another baby, but Jenny does not want to have another baby, so we decide we are not going to have another baby. But how do we prevent this? One of us has got to get snipped or one of us has got to get our tubes tied. So Kevin and Jenny in typical Kevin-and-Jenny fashion have decided that this year, whoever finishes better or possibly wins the Shiva [can have] the other person get snipped or tied. That’s how we’re going to choose.

Kevin truly wants to win the championship this year because not only does he not want to lose to his wife or his friends anymore, but he definitely doesn’t want to have an invasive vasectomy surgery. So this is a big year for Kevin.

Rotten Tomatoes: That sounds about right.

Rannazzisi: When your balls are literally on the line, you tend to go all out.

The League returns for its seventh and final season tonight at 10 p.m. on FXX. Read reviews here.

  • Benjamin Dover

    “Kevin truly wants to win the championship this year because not only
    does he not want to lose to his wife or his friends anymore, but he
    definitely doesn’t want to have an evasive vasectomy surgery.”

    Evasive surgery?

    Perhaps he actually said, Invasive?

Tag Cloud

crossover festivals foreign NYCC Shudder superhero sag awards zero dark thirty telelvision cancelled television IFC festival films high school Hallmark Nominations MCU robots YouTube Red MSNBC HBO Max Amazon Prime Video TLC joker Stephen King Disney Plus cancelled TV series classics Netflix Christmas movies twilight Epix Ovation 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Star Trek GLAAD Best and Worst Black Mirror Watching Series cults Trailer award winner Acorn TV SundanceTV Syfy hispanic movie Legendary Anna Paquin CBS halloween tv Tumblr Pixar FX Endgame CMT Lucasfilm police drama Hear Us Out Holidays toy story TCA Winter 2020 TCA Awards Premiere Dates deadpool Alien comiccon TV One MTV Photos screen actors guild Paramount Plus psychological thriller Spectrum Originals chucky Exclusive Video dogs video australia emmy awards politics christmas movies Television Critics Association Fox Searchlight CW Seed Television Academy Trophy Talk television Heroines series ghosts Opinion Spring TV worst fast and furious documentary what to watch VH1 spanish language Tomatazos comic books Awards Tour period drama crime drama crime Schedule ABC Nat Geo Avengers Interview spanish sitcom 93rd Oscars Captain marvel video on demand Warner Bros. mission: impossible satire Extras 4/20 Cosplay Drama aliens asian-american Columbia Pictures sequel laika El Rey SDCC stand-up comedy Disney Channel 71st Emmy Awards natural history Crunchyroll kaiju New York Comic Con TCM cinemax Emmy Nominations AMC cooking boxoffice 21st Century Fox anime ABC Family women Writers Guild of America SXSW PlayStation Musical serial killer BBC Broadway BBC One movies Sundance Now HBO Go Family Marvel Ghostbusters BET Awards social media Bravo Brie Larson Fox News BET Oscars a nightmare on elm street animated trailers Walt Disney Pictures YouTube fresh TruTV space A24 universal monsters 2017 mutant OWN Country canceled all-time reviews Tarantino teaser singing competition The Academy Mary poppins vampires anthology Comic Book FOX Thanksgiving Film 45 dc Toys golden globes Awards pirates of the caribbean stoner comic Apple TV+ Podcast remakes Amazon Britbox supernatural Binge Guide APB DC Universe TV renewals 2018 TIFF Kids & Family Biopics saw 2016 nbcuniversal Amazon Studios Crackle National Geographic slashers Pride Month zombie Classic Film dark Year in Review E3 Tubi WarnerMedia rotten Freeform Showtime Marvel Studios Amazon Prime mockumentary Sundance GIFs Musicals See It Skip It Pop Red Carpet DC Comics free movies Women's History Month YA miniseries dragons Funimation First Look kong child's play children's TV PaleyFest game show TCA 2017 unscripted VICE scorecard FX on Hulu blockbuster DirecTV prank 2021 Certified Fresh LGBT rotten movies we love godzilla technology USA cartoon medical drama nature Valentine's Day Disney Mudbound Winners The CW boxing Hallmark Christmas movies diversity The Walt Disney Company book Travel Channel VOD zombies james bond docuseries obituary Horror south america sequels quibi USA Network Teen Mindy Kaling indiana jones biography black Martial Arts Masterpiece composers LGBTQ Mary Poppins Returns Western travel Christmas science fiction screenings Discovery Channel Summer HBO Apple TV Plus disaster historical drama Dark Horse Comics spinoff Logo new star wars movies Baby Yoda casting Animation nfl Turner Classic Movies 72 Emmy Awards directors Rock FXX richard e. Grant Music game of thrones Fall TV Calendar dramedy President reboot docudrama latino spain Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Winter TV Hulu DC streaming service Lionsgate discovery hollywood thriller adaptation transformers Disney streaming service Film Festival cats GoT Sci-Fi war facebook batman Mystery Adult Swim Action Super Bowl crime thriller cancelled TV shows ID die hard Countdown hidden camera Ellie Kemper Pirates green book Infographic San Diego Comic-Con BAFTA Disney+ Disney Plus Marathons golden globe awards IFC Films rom-coms X-Men CNN Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Rom-Com Nickelodeon theme song rt archives hist Video Games romance worst movies talk show TCA strong female leads Universal Black History Month witnail ratings Sony Pictures Quiz Creative Arts Emmys NBC heist movie Marvel Television blaxploitation Comedy Arrowverse parents halloween Netflix Turner Chernobyl WGN Election blockbusters YouTube Premium The Walking Dead sports stop motion The Purge History comics adventure king kong archives kids Sundance TV venice jurassic park Trivia doctor who comedies TV American Society of Cinematographers streaming Paramount Network ESPN Pop TV RT History 2015 ViacomCBS Fantasy italian documentaries Lifetime versus 007 Reality Polls and Games RT21 revenge Character Guide breaking bad 99% political drama Spike Grammys Superheroes Box Office Reality Competition canceled TV shows ABC Signature criterion Apple romantic comedy First Reviews cancelled A&E 2019 20th Century Fox cars Esquire Mary Tyler Moore book adaptation franchise justice league Comics on TV elevated horror Star Wars Shondaland PBS spider-man jamie lee curtis superman dceu psycho name the review indie news Cartoon Network Sneak Peek Comedy Central scary movies tv talk Song of Ice and Fire CBS All Access Elton John Academy Awards Pet Sematary concert Rocky true crime E! Superheroe Vudu independent finale TV Land OneApp cops 2020 The Witch Peacock BBC America based on movie french best monster movies Holiday Starz razzies werewolf spy thriller Rocketman Cannes renewed TV shows Emmys football critics Lifetime Christmas movies ITV The Arrangement DGA popular Set visit TBS TNT binge japanese 24 frames Paramount Food Network toronto harry potter