Jason Sudeikis’ title character on Ted Lasso may not have started as a Saturday Night Live sketch but the Apple original series does have connections to the famed comedy show. Nick Mohammed, the actor who plays Nathan Shelley, or as Ted calls him “Nate the Great,” says part of Sudeikis’ SNL experience relates to Nate’s storyline in Ted Lasso Season 2.
Nathan Shelley is getting a taste of fame and power in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2
No longer is Nate AFC Richmond’s kit man who gets ridiculed by Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster). Now he’s an assistant coach with his own whistle. He stands on the sidelines with Ted and Coard Beard (Brendan Hunt).
But things change. The grumpy retired soccer star, Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein), joins the coaching staff. And Nate demonstrates some of his coaching skills in a game. When Ted unexpectedly leaves the field Nate steps up in a crucial moment to secure Richmond a much-needed victory.
After the match, he gets interviewed by a reporter and Nate calls himself a “wunderkid” instead of a wunderkind. It’s a funny, if not slightly embarrassing moment, that finds Nate at his parents’ house seeking approval from his dad.
When he doesn’t get it Nate lashes out at the rest of the team. He’s uncharacteristically cruel to the new kit man and Richmond player Colin (Billy Harrison). Meanwhile, Nate’s on Twitter reading what people have to say about him.
Nick Mohammed says Nathan Shelley’s ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2 trajectory relates to Jason Sudeikis seeing ‘a change in people’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’
n an August 2021 phone interview with The New York Times, the Ted Lasso actor discussed Nate’s story in season 2. Specifically how social media impacts the character and how it stemmed from what Sudeikis saw during his time on SNL.
“That absolutely resonates, the rise of social media and how it affects anyone in the public eye and how they act,” he said. “One thing Jason did say is that just through his experience on Saturday Night Live, you can see a change in people.
“When they first start out, they’re really hungry and loving it and being really creative. But there is a tipping point when they get a little recognition when it starts to go to people’s heads,” he added. “Not everyone, but some people — things can take a slightly different turn. So I think Nate’s story is absolutely based on a truth.”
There’s a lot more in store for Nathan Shelley in ‘Ted Lasso’ Season 2
So what’s next for Nate? There’s a lot more to come for him and everyone else at AFC Richmond. In August 2021 Mohammed described the rest of season 2 as “quite devastating” during an interview with The Playlist.
“In the first four episodes, all we’ve got of Nate is that something’s up with him. He’s not quite the Nate that we know and love, I guess, from season one,” he said. “There’s something going on. He’s struggling with something. He’s struggling, maybe being in this new position of slight responsibility and having someone beneath him that used to do his job.”
“And the truth is, and we were about to episode five, but from five onwards, five to 12, it gets quite devastating. I can’t spoil anything, but it’s an absolute roller coaster, and they’re so clever in the way that they’ve teed up everything up,” he continued.
“And there seemed to be a lot of it, to be honest, even in season one, but some tough times are coming, and it might even make for quite a tough viewing, I think, some of it,” adding it that was a “challenge.”
Ted Lasso Season 2 is airing on AppleTV+. A new episode drops every Friday at 12 a.m. PT or 3 a.m. ET.