in a league of his own

Actor & comedian Steve Rannazzisi talks his show, his stand-up, and football…we mean futbol…

by Christian Lavery

Five minutes into our conversation and you can already tell Steve Rannazzisi is looking to crack a joke. Somehow he withholds. Instead we continue on talking about our comparable Long Island roots--a place Rannazisi still calls home a few months out of the year when he’s not filming the FXX Original Series The League or making folks continuously laugh at life’s amusing turmoils via his stand up special Manchild.

His focus now, however? The World Cup. Rannazisi is a huge sports fan. So the once-every-four-year global soccer tournament featuring 32 teams is kind of a big deal. As a result, he and Budweiser will host numerous parties along the way that will come to a close in Las Vegas for one epic viewing of the final match.

But in the meantime, the actor and comedian sits down to talk about his role as Kevin MacArthur, his comedic happenings, and more.

What can we expect from the upcoming season of The League? I don't want to give away too much, but there will be some more cameos from NFL players. And based on how last season ended, I’m sure you’ll see me humiliated and probably put in plenty of outfits. It’s going to be a long year for Kevin [laughs].

How is it shooting The League with so many other hilarious people?The show is semi-improvised so we get a 12-page outline with no dialogue that basically says here's where we need to start and here's where we need to finish. So you figure out ways to make it happen. After so many seasons, we're all friends now, so it's gotten very conversational and you really never know what will happen. It's pretty awesome.

Any crazy stories you can share?Yeah [laughs]. We were filming one of the last takes of the last episode from the first season. Nick Kroll is running around the house because he thinks he won the Shiva Bowl. He runs up to me says he won and kisses me on the lips. That was one take. We do the take again. Nick starts doing the same thing, but when he goes to kiss me, he hits me in the sack so hard. It made in it the episode [laughs]. If you watch the episode back the camera is shaking a little because the the camera man is laughing so hard. I don’t think anyone knew Nick was going to do that.

I know you got your start on Punk'd. What was that like?Punk'd was actually my first job in show business. I learned a lot, but the crazy thing about Punk'd is you have to act with people who don't know you're acting. It's a high pressure situation where you just don't want to mess up. No one knows who you are. No one cares. So if you get fired they can replace you easily. But it did open a lot of doors for me.

What's your predictions for the World Cup?Germany looks great. It's hard not to go with the hometown team in Brazil, though.

What are you currently listening to music wise?I'm all over the place musically. David Bowie pandora is very underrated to tell you the truth. I like just about everything. It's almost easier to name what I don't like.

What posters were hanging on your bedroom wall in High School?Michael Jordan. I also had the Don Mattingly "Hit man" poster and a Nike Swoosh in a frame on the wall.

How about the best or worst advice you ever received?I think the worst advice I got was "No one will find out." Everyone always finds out [laughs]. And if you're doing something that no one should found out about you probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

What can you look forward to from you in the future?In addition to the league be on the lookout for another hour-long comedy special.