'The League' Creators Jackie & Jeff Schaffer Reveal What Made The Show So Good & How Much They'll Miss It
The end is near — FXX’s The League will wrap up its seven-season run very, very soon. Given this occasion, it’s time to reflect on everything the show has given us — pocket dogs, fear boners, pee corners, collusion, and many other hilarious and inappropriate jokes. In an interview with Bustle, The League creators, Jackie Schaffer and Jeff Schaffer, recounted their favorite inside jokes, their inability to be succinct, and why relying on a team of improv geniuses will get you everything you wanted — and more.
The League began with a fantasy football league and a dream — the dream of talking badly about your friends’ teams and watching the games every Sunday. With the popularity of the show at a high, how do you bid farewell? Jeff says, “One thing that was really important about the series finale is that we didn’t want to make the series finale seem like some other thing. We wanted it to be like every other season finale where you’re left laughing and wanting to watch the show again.”
Season 6 brought the return of beloved The League characters like Lane (Zach Woods) and Frank “The Body” Gibiatti (Ike Barinholtz), and Jeff promised more guest stars in the series finale. “You can’t have a quest for The Shiva without the real Shiva,” he says. That sounds like a big hint that, doesn’t it? Janina Gavankar, who plays Shiva has to be coming back to school the league’s participants.
What jokes will Jackie and Jeff miss the most? “I really enjoyed Taco’s Eskimo brother entrepreneurial plan,” says Jeff. “There was an idea out there and he made a business. And, it’s a ridiculous business, but it’s really been growing!” Jackie adds, “I love Taco not remembering Ruxin’s name and Rafi not remembering anyone’s name. I find those jokes endlessly enjoyable.”
One of the reasons that The League was so funny is that Jackie and Jeff wrote scripts but allowed their cast to riff off of each other in the scenes. According to Jeff, “The trick to having a good show is to not hang good improvisers out to dry.” Many of the jokes have a story behind them. For instance, Jeff explained that “Ruxin face” was something dreamed up by the cast, not the writers—“Nick [Kroll, who plays Ruxin] was doing the face as how this is how Ruxin is annoyed, and all the other cast picked up on it and called it Ruxin face. They formalized it, which was perfect, because that’s exactly what real friends would do,” he says.
What happens now for Jackie and Jeff? Football [and its endless stories and inspirations] continues, but The League does not. “The weird part now is walking around the world and getting new story ideas,” says Jeff. “We realize that we’re not going to be telling new stories through our characters anymore.” Jackie adds, “We’ve always shot too many scenes. There are too many ideas that we wanted to do and wanted to try — you should see that dry-erase board.”
I want to see those ideas! How about they film them for a Netflix special? A DVD? Anything? Well, if not, then sayonara, The League — we sure will miss you.
Images: Jessica Brooks/FX; Giphy (2)