“The League” creator: “Most sitcoms are not very good”
Football season is upon us, and Jeff and Jackie Schaffer, the husband-wife duo who created the sports-based comedy "The League," are celebrating the show's fifth season by moving to FX's upstart comedy network, FXX. The longevity of an improv-influenced show about a fantasy football league, which has already renewed for a sixth season, has surprised television critics and non-football fans alike. But much of the comedy comes not from football, but the antics of six close friends constantly in competition, played by comedians Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll, Stephen Rannazzisi, Jon Lajoie and actors Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton. The Schaffers recently talked to Salon about the show's unique writing process and season 5 (Warning: a few spoiler alerts ahead).
Improv and sports doesn’t sound like a recipe for a long-lasting television show -- but it’s made it for five seasons, the strength really being the bizarre characters. Can you talk about the writing process and how improv informs it?