Ted Lasso’s Mustache Origin, Explained

Apple TV+’s ‘Ted Lasso‘ revolves around the titular coach whose trademark mustache is one of his standout traits. Aside from his undying optimism, Ted’s mustache is an inseparable aspect of his personality. The third season finally provides some backstory for Ted’s mustache in the seventh episode. Furthermore, the origin has a profound lesson hidden for the players and showcases a deeper layer of Ted as a person, previously unseen over the show’s tenure. As a result, the story behind Ted Lasso’s mustache makes him an even more endearing character.  SPOILERS AHEAD!

How Did Ted Lasso Get the Idea of His Mustache?

The seventh episode of season 3 brings an unexpected origin story for an important aspect of Ted Lasso’s personality – his trademark mustache. In the episode titled ‘The Strings That Bind Us,’ Ted teaches the team a new style of play known as Total Football. However, the players struggle to adjust to the demanding nature of the playing style, especially since they are given a short time to adapt. AFC Richmond plays against Arsenal, and the team implements Total Football against their opponents. However, the players struggle to execute the tactic and concede three goals by halftime.

During his halftime team talk, Ted uses the story of his facial hairstyle to motivate the players. Ted explains that he experimented with his facial hair early in his coaching career to stand out. Ted was a fan of the comedy troupe Blue Collar Comedy Tour, comprising Bill Engvall, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy, and Larry the Cable Guy. Initially, Ted grew a goatee after being inspired by the appearance of Larry the Cable Guy, who is famous for voicing the Towtruck Mater in the ‘Cars’ animated film franchise. However, after Coach Beard admitted that the look did not suit Ted, he shaved off the beard and left the big bushy mustache, inspired by comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Ted uses the story to explain to players that a good idea often hides behind a few bad ideas. Ted drawing inspiration for his mustache from comedians itself serves as a nod to Jason Sudeikis’ comedic performances on ‘Saturday Night Live.’

Did Jason Sudeikis Grow a Real Mustache?

In the series, actor Jason Sudeikis plays the role of Ted Lasso and has received two Emmy Awards for his iconic performance as the football coach who has transcended pop culture. Ted Lasso sports a thick, bushy mustache in the series, which is his trademark look. The character originated from a series of a 2013 NBC promo for the Premier League. Since the character’s inception, the mustache has been a part of Ted’s look. However, unlike the fictional story behind the mustache told in season 3, episode 7, Sudeikis, who is also a co-creator of the series, was not inspired by Jeff Foxworthy when designing his character’s appearance.

Instead, Jason Sudeikis has revealed that longtime Chicago Bulls Coach Mike Ditka. “The reason he had a mustache is because of Mike Ditka, the Chicago Bears coach. In the original commercials, I wore little polyester shorts. That’s why I had the glasses. That was all Ditka and his look,” Sudeikis told Variety in a 2023 interview. Since Ted is originally an American football coach who is hired to coach soccer in the UK, Ditka, the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach, is an ideal inspiration for the character. Furthermore, Sudeikis grew an actual mustache to play the part of Ted Lasso. However, the show’s hair and makeup designer, Nicky Austin, revealed that the real mustache is accentuated with prosthetics to give it the big, bushy, and reassuring effect we see on screen.

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