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

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