FX debuted a new comedy on Thursday night called The League that's about a group of guys who take their fantasy football league much too seriously. Although if the premiere is any indication, it's also a semi-improvised romp that dives headlong into a pit of profanity and sex, and sometimes sexual profanities. In fact, most of the early reviews go out of their way to mention how they cannot mention what's said and implied in the sitcom. You cannot really judge a sitcom by its pilot (although that's exactly what network executives do), so for now, let's focus on the fact that The League stars at least three comedians in Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer and Jon Lajoie. Expect other cameos, too (Matt Walsh and Rob Huebel appear in the premiere).
Lajoie plays Taco, the stoner brother of one of the league's commissioner. He's a musical comedian in real life, and in the debut, he performs a special "birthday song" for his niece, and awkwardness ensues. You can watch the FX version of his song on YouTube (no embed). Here's the uncensored complete version of the song, as Lajoie performed it earlier this year for Sirius XM radio (if you're at work, cover your NSFW speakers!):
And here's a short promo for the series…
Kroll, meanwhile, offered his perspective on The League, the sitcom game and his own comedy in multiple interviews. Here, for instance, Kroll explained to New York mag's Vulture blog how the show is more about guys being guys than about putting them in a wacky premise:
Everyone‚Äôs striving to find a show where guys talk like guys. But it‚Äôs always guys who talk like guys ‚Ä¶ in a space station! Or guys who talk like guys ‚Ä¶ in a Nascar pit! Or guys who talk like guys ‚Äôcause they‚Äôre in a fantasy-football league together. Basically fantasy football is a way for men to insult one another‚Äôs masculinity over the Internet, and we have continued that tradition.
And here's what Kroll told The Onion's A.V. Club about using the Internets to spread the word about his character-based comedy:
There‚Äôs just a feeling, when you‚Äôre just an actor‚ÄîI have great admiration for people who are just actors. I don‚Äôt understand it, the idea of waiting to get cast, being at the whim of others. I find it incredibly powerless and frightening, so that‚Äôs why I‚Äôve been constantly trying to create my own content. We‚Äôre in a really amazing time where we have the ability to go off on our own and make things that look just as good as stuff on TV, put it up in the Internet, and within a couple of days, have hundreds of thousands of people seeing it, without having to wait for a studio to approve something. Without having to make sure that, ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt say certain words,‚Äù or ‚ÄúYou can‚Äôt use that brand.‚Äù That‚Äôs the beauty of the web.