Interview with : The League cast and creators discuss what made the show work for 7 seasons
Updated on: 16 Dec 2015
On Christmas Eve 2005, Jeff Schaffer kept sneaking away from dinner with his wife Jackie—telling her that he was getting sick from the food—just so that he could find out the score to his fantasy football championship game. When Jackie caught him doing this, there was nothing they could do but laugh. And a show was born. Or at least, the idea of a show.
Over the next several years, Jeff and Jackie started to put together the pieces of the puzzle that would soon become the improvisational comedy, The League, which airs its final episode after seven seasons on Wednesday, December 9, on FXX. The cast and creators of The League share how it all came together, what each person's sensibility brought to the show, and Andre's sense of fashion.
In the beginning Jackie Schaffer: We were originally at HBO and they had sort of hit their cap for production money for the year for half-hour comedies. We were very lucky that we had very supportive, aggressive reps and a very kind partner in HBO that was willing to let us move it to FX.
Jeff Schaffer: We got really lucky that FX needed something right when we had something. It was a perfect "FX show" FX was excited about doing it as we were and they weren't scared off by the fantasy football aspect. They knew it wasn't about fantasy football, it was about a group of friends that were in a fantasy football league together.
Jeff: Every fantasy football league has certain archetypes, but we wanted to make sure we weren't just doing that. We wanted to work on the characters not as a group of fantasy football players, but as a group of comedy characters.
Jackie: As a group of friends. First, we knew we wanted to talk about a marriage that had elements of what we experienced in our marriage or in other marriages that we've seen, so we started with Kevin and Jenny. Ruxin was a character that is a little bit Jeff and a little bit some other people that we know.
Jeff: The worst parts of every character I think are me.