The Daily Gamecock

‘League’ co-star Stephen Rannazzisi talks dirty

Comic discusses everything from pranks to ‘fear boners’

Stephen Rannazzisi is best known for his role as the man-child husband and father Kevin on the FX’s “The League,” a show about a group of 30-somethings who take their fantasy football league all too seriously.

He’s also a skilled stand-up comic, performing at the Russell House ballroom Wednesday night. Before his show, Rannazzisi sat down with The Daily Gamecock about fatherhood, getting high and pooping in public (interview edited for space and clarity):

The Daily Gamecock: What did you give up for lent? Why?

Stephen Rannazzisi: Hmm … you’re speaking to an atheist. I gave up giving up things for lent. And I gave up Catholicism about five years ago. But my brother’s a Roman Catholic priest and I’m sure he gave up a lot of things for that, so I’m sure I’m on the guest list when I get up there.

DG: Do you play fantasy football in real life?

SR: I do. We play in a league amongst the crew and cast members of the show, that’s the one that has now taken precent in my life right now, which was not good last year. It’s an eight-man league, and I’ve barely made the playoffs one time in five years we’ve been doing the show … I think I know what I’m doing, but I think I’ve gotten worse.

DG: On the show, you all compete for the coveted Shiva Trophy. What is your real league’s reward for winning?

SR: We go to a fancy dinner that we have yet to actually… we’ve been to many fancy dinners, we just never called them “this is the dinner where we thank Katie for winning what we call the Aselton Cup,” because Katie Aselton, the girl that plays my wife on the show, won it the very first year.

DG: Katie Aselton plays your wife, Jenny, on the show, but in real life, she’s married to your co-star, Mark Duplass (Pete on the show). What’s it like doing the sex scenes with his wife in front of him?

DR: I don’t… we don’t call Mark in specifically to watch those scenes and go like, “Hey Mark, we’re about to do a sex scene. I’d like you to stay on monitor, and see how my moves are.” The sex scenes are weird. And I know it sounds fun, but it’s not — you’re in a room half-naked with a lot of other people around with a person you’re friends with and your wife’s friends with, and her husband’s on the show. Now, it’s almost like we’re married; we just kind of go through the motions. But everything I do to Katie, I’ll have you guys know, I also do to Mark when the cameras aren’t rolling. Quid pro quo.

DG: You’re a pretty outspoken pot user. What’s your favorite thing to do while baked?

SR: Live my life. I actually, believe it or not, like to smoke a little bit and go to the gym, because it’s something that not a lot of people do. If I’m playing basketball, not so much, because I need a lot of wind, but if I’m gonna go lift, I like to smoke a little bit before, because it kind of just loosens you up right away, right off the bat, and. .. it makes lifting heavy things more tolerable.

DG: Kevin’s daughter picks up swear words from him and Jenny. What is the most ridiculous thing your kid has ever said?

SR: The other day, my five-year-old looked at me and said, “You’re not the boss of me,” and then preceded … I said “What did you say?” and then he sang the “Gangnam Style” song, which both those things together made no sense to me. And I said “What do you mean ‘you’re not the boss of me,’ and then he just turned around and walked away.

DG: You got your start as an actor on the show “Punk’d.” What is the best prank you’ve ever pulled on someone yourself?

SR: I was involved in a prank that was a year in the making. Long story short, comedian friends of mine at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles got into a fight. Somebody left feces on someone else’s car in the handles where you lift up the thing. So they were pissed it was on the windshield and they went to get in the car with their hands, and they got in the car and they sat on it … It was a very elaborate prank, that my friend then goes, “This is my life’s journey, to get him back.” So a year later, we were performing in San Diego, which is two-and-a-half hours away from Los Angeles driving, and the one friend who pulled the prank was onstage performing, and myself and my other friend had just performed. My friend who was standing next to me turns to me and goes, “I have his wallet, I have his keys, I have everything. We’re getting in the car and we’re leaving,” and we got in the car and left, he said “You have three seconds to make your decision.” And I was like, “I’m in. Let’s go.” And we got in the car and we drove back to Los Angeles. … Left him for dead in San Diego. It took him like three days to get home. It’s tough to get money out when you don’t have an ID.

DG: When Kevin ate Yobogoya, it tore up his digestive system, and he was forced to poop in a dog park. What’s the most shameful thing you’ve done in public?

SR: S—- in a dog park. That is a real story. … It was relatively dark, but people were still walking their dogs, and I screamed, “No options!” I was in the car with my wife now but then my girlfriend. I was trying to quit smoking cigarettes, so I took a Chantix, but it makes you have the s——s. … I had no options, so I just pulled over to a dog park and just found a tree and just ripped it.

DG: Rafi, Dirty Randy and Andre: Screw one, marry one, kill one.

SR: I am heterosexual, so can I kill all three of them? I’m gonna kill Rafi, if that’s possible. I think we’ve tried before on the show. I’m gonna marry Andre because he’ll take care of me for the rest of my life. And I’ll give Dirty Randy — we’ll have a night of fun. Who knows what’s gonna happen with me and Seth Rogen? One of us is gonna get AIDS, though — only one of us.

DG: What’s next for your career?

SR: I think I’d like to do my own show. (I don’t know) where and in what capacity that’s going to be, but a family sitcom somewhere in the middle of “Louie” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” on a cable network or, if I find the right show-runner, maybe we’ll do it on CBS or something like that … I’m going to start pitching soon, so I think hopefully in the next year … I got an idea of a guy that I’d like to play my brother … Bill Burr … He’s one of the funniest stand-ups in the world so I think the idea of him playing my Roman Catholic priest brother would be interesting.

DG: If you could have one ’Cocks joke printed in the paper tomorrow, what would it be?

SR: I don’t know, but … I had a Gamecocks hat when I was in like 8th grade just because it said “Cocks” across the top of it. It was like the coolest thing in the world that you could wear a shirt or a hat that said “Cock” across it and it was perfectly fine because I was representing some institution that I had never even heard of … It was like, “I’m wearing this ‘Cocks’ hat and f—- you. You can’t make me take it off.” … So yeah, cock joke? I don’t know. Insert cock joke here.