Jason Sudeikis Gets a Surprise by His Inspiration for ‘Ted Lasso’


Jason Sudeikis was very surprised to hear from the man that inspired the Apple TV series Ted Lasso. The 45-year-old actor appeared on the TODAY show to promote Season 2 of Ted Lasso and talked about how the title character is based on a few people, including his high school basketball coach Donnie Campbell. TODAY show host Hoda Kotb surprised Sudeikis with a video message from his old coach.

“Hi, Jason, this is Coach Campbell in Kansas City,” he said in the video. “It’s a short reach out telling you how proud we are of you, with your success you’re having with the show ‘Ted Lasso.’ We need to get you back in Kansas City and we need to play some one-on-one ‘cause I know you can’t play a lick of defense.”

Wait … you said the guy’s name was Donnie Campbell? –@hodakotb

Why, did you date him? –@jasonsudeikis

😂 😂 😂 pic.twitter.com/F4HfE5e5or

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 22, 2021

Sudeikis went on to say that Campbell is very surprised what he has become. “No one’s got to be more shocked, honestly, than Coach Campbell. And I don’t blame him,” he said. “I did not do a lick of homework. I didn’t play a lick of defense. I was a good listener, but I didn’t listen in the moment. I just stored it all up and now using it, typing it out and then just memorizing and saying it to folks.”

It sounds like Campbell played a big part in Ted Lasso‘s success as the show has become a major hit. And while the series is about a college football coach turning an English soccer team into a winning club, there are a number of life lessons learned in each episode. That’s one of the main reasons why the show has earned 20 Emmy nominations.

But is the second season better than the first. When talking to USA Today, Sudeikis revealed why Season 2 is just like The Empire Strikes Back. “It’s three acts,” he said when talking about the Star Wars story. “I guess they’ve made other movies besides those first three? But…” Season 2 of Ted Lasso will premiere on Apple TV this Friday, and a new episode will air each week.

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