Last night we scored a coveted seat at the Gramercy Theatre for a peek at THE LEAGUE’s season premiere. After the screening, the show’s creators (Jackie and Jeff Schaffer) and cast members (Nick “Ruxin” Kroll, Jon “Taco” Lajole, Steven “Kevin” Rannazzisi, Jason “Rafi” Mantzoukas) took to the stage for a Q&A hosted by the inimitable Paul “Andre” Scheer. For the small price of Scheer’s incessant goading, fans gleaned some predictably hilarious behind-the-scenes insight. Here are the highlights:
1. The cast and creators have their own off-screen fantasy football league. But they are so busy this year that they resorted to auto-draft. (Cue our collective gasp.)
2. The network has become increasingly lenient with the show’s colorful content and vocabulary. On the topic of Kevin’s epic season two meltdown, creator Jackie Schaffer says, “We sent it to the network as-is and they just bleeped it.” She added that the more diversions they create, the more they get away with—and with the show’s recent move to FXX, the floodgates are officially open.
3. Kroll (Ruxin) is, by all accounts, incapable of shooting a scene with Mantzoukas (Rafi) without breaking character at least once.
4. Scheer (Andre) has the uncanny ability to reenter a scene after exiting, regardless of what is in the (loosely followed) script.
5. Soon after Antonio Gates’ hot tub cameo in season one, NFL agents started knocking at the producers’ door. Then, the players themselves took to Twitter and Facebook with appeals to be on the show. Now the creators work to fit in as many star athletes as they can, “as believably as possible.”
6. Someone stole Taco’s idea for a “Netflix for ties” and brought it onto the show “Shark Tank" several months later.
7. Filming a couple months ahead of the actual football season, the show has been prophetic from time to time. Such was the case with Pete’s choice of Kevin Ogletree as a sleeper in season four.
8. The funniest person on-set is indisputably the medic, Wayne.
9. Scheer is a master of the “fake break”—that is, leading his scene-mates into believing he’s broken character without actually doing so. It’s one of the cruel pranks of improv.
10. The role of Rafi’s landlord, Pedro, was a totally unscripted cameo. The toilet kitchen conversation kept the entire cast working late on a Friday night because they couldn’t stop laughing.
Season six of THE LEAGUE premieres on FXX this tonight at 10pm.