Who Is Coach Beard in ‘Ted Lasso’?
Anyone with the internet likely knows who Ted Lasso is. The Jason Sudeikis-led sports-comedy debuted on Apple+ in 2020. It has slowly built a massive following in the year since, thanks to an onslaught of Emmy nominations and word of mouth. While Sudeikis gets the bulk of the show’s credit, co-star and co-creator Brendan Hunt’s Coach Beard has fans wondering more about him.
What is ‘Ted Lasso’
Ted Lasso is the story of a beloved college football coach hired to coach U.K.’s version of football, better known in America as soccer, for a struggling professional team in England. While Lasso’s carefree coaching style made him a favorite for American audiences. His lack of experience, combined with the built-in woes that come with losing at such a high-profile level, added great depth to the character.
GQ notes how Lasso is not your average coach. He gives his players birthday presents and meets with his boss for real-American biscuits every morning before work. This resonates with several players and alienates him from others. However, that not-so-toxic positivity bleeds down to his assistants on the team, as well.
One of these assistants, Hunt’s Coach Beard, has known Lasso for years. They grow closer and learn the value of kindness and enjoying the moment despite whatever happens on the soccer field as the two embark on a truly unprecedented move. Hunt plays the role with the perfect charm and edge to feed off his titular coach. Many fans wonder what else they can see Hunt in.
Who is Brendan Hunt?
Hunt and Sudeikis created Lasso after two decades of friendship and their shared passion for comedy. While Hunt never reached Sudeikis’ level, Sudeikis brought him along for the ride on several projects, such as Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers. Hunt may not be a household name, but a look at his IMDb page shows the hand he’s had in several memorable projects over the past 15 years.
Key and Peele fans may recognize Hunt from a recurring role on several sketches. At the same time, appearances on series such as Community and Animaniacs show how hard at work he remains behind the scenes. While Hunt scripted several one-off episodes and short-lived series, Lasso put him on the map in ways he never imagined that he’d have.
Sudeikis and Hunt developed a love for soccer by playing FIFA on the PS4. Before long, they were attending games together and catching them at obscene hours as they watched the games stateside. The series came from discussions about what would happen if an affable southern man took over a soccer team without experience. However, they didn’t want their love of the game to hide behind the comedy and feel-good drama.
“There is this absolute love for that sport and its history, and it’s philosophy and its deep complications, both culturally and also just strategically,” Sudeikis told the LA Times. “This show is as much about soccer as ‘Rocky’ is about boxing. But we wanted soccer fans, athletes, lovers of it, to feel it honors the spirit of that beautiful game.”
That attention to detail got the eyes of people who play and coach the game for a living. Ted Lasso could have easily phoned in the sports aspect. Soccer is minimal to the amount spent in the locker room and behind the scenes. Still, there are valuable lessons to be learned when it happens.
“I don’t watch the show for what I see on the field. That’s not the point,” he said. “But I think, in any sport, a lot of team success is what happens in the locker room. And they get that absolutely right,” former US National team coach Gregg Berhalter told the Times about the show. “When you talk about team dynamic and relationships between coaches and players and senior management and coaching, all those things are really interesting to watch.”
The show is not for soccer fans by soccer fans, but it doesn’t mean they take that aspect lightly. Sudeikis and Hunt wanted to make a different type of comedy that was less about laughs at the expense of others and more about the kindness of its titular character. Fans, critics, and soccer fans all love it, and season 2 currently airs on Apple TV+.