Jim Jeffries and executive producer Peter O'Fallon discuss Legit Season 1
While FX has mainly been known for their drama shows such as Justified and Sons of Anarchy, the cable network has quite a solid comedy lineup as well, with hits such as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, and Louie. The network's latest show Legit looks to be a perfect addition to that comedy lineup, with new Season 1 episodes airing Thursday nights at 10:30 PM ET, following Archer.
Series star Jim Jeffries and executive producer Peter O'Fallon recently held a conference call to discuss tonight's episode, "Love" and what fans can expect from the rest of this first season. Peter O'Fallon first spoke about the show's beginnings, which stemmed from a lunch with FX president John Landgraf.
"John Landgraf is a good friend of mine at FX. I worked with him before on the The Riches and a couple other projects in the past. I had lunch with him one day and I said I really want to do the comedy thing that he's doing, particularly the Louie model. At the time, he said go find me a comedian. Then I went to my agency, which was CAA, and looked a whole bunch of different comedians and came up with Jim. We met a couple of times and watched almost all of his stand-ups and saw him do a bunch of stand-ups live and ultimately came up the idea for the pilot, which came directly from a stand-up, so that's basically how Jim and I met together and figured out we could work it out."
Jim Jeffries also revealed where the pilot idea came from.
"Yes, that's basically it. There is not much more I could add to that question. The pilot episode was directly mixed out of my third DVD, Alcoholocaust, and a true story from my life about me taking a friend with muscular dystrophy to a brothel, so the way we came up with the idea is we just did true stories, I guess."
Peter O'Fallon also spoke about the level of creative freedom FX has given them.
"One of the reasons I wanted to go back to FX is from working with other networks and stuff was that idea and the concept that John has, which is a brilliant concept in my opinion, especially with these comedies, is trying to keep them at a low enough budget that there is not as much pressure and there is not as much heat, and because of that, there is a lot more freedom. One of the things that I found really amazing with FX, and this really isn't me blowing smoke, I found them to be the best example that Nick Grad gave me. Once I was complimenting them on their notes and he said, yes, we like to be more like a book editor than an actual network. I think that's a really great analogy because as we went through the process, there were a couple of notes they gave us on the script, initially, and it was about the basic heart of the script. I don't mean the heart of the show but what the show was about. They kept pushing us to push further and further into what the show was actually about. They were great notes, and it actually did help us find the rhythm and find it. And then in the editing process, again, their notes are big and overall. It isn't like cut here and cut here. I thought this would be funnier and I thought this would be more touching or whatever. Those are bad examples. But in the big pictures, I have really loved the process. The freedom is tremendous and when you need it, they're there, which I think is great."
The series also marks Jim Jeffries' aacting debut, although he didn't go through any training to essentially play himself.
"I'm just winging it. I think I'll take an acting lesson if I ever play a different character besides myself. At the moment, I think I should be able to play myself alright."
Since most of the stories on Legit stem from true events, Jim Jeffries spoke about opening up his life to a larger audience.
"It feels very odd, especially since a lot of these stories are 100% true. I'm really raking my life to get each story out. If we go to a second season, I've got a few stories ready to go. But it is odd. It's like they say that when you know a person, you only know the tip of the iceberg and 90% of the iceberg is underwater. I think people know 90% of me and only 10% underwater. I haven't held much back."
There is one major difference between Louie and Legit in this first season, according to Jim Jeffries. We never get to see him on stage.
"I never really stand-up on stage, at least in this season. You'll see me a couple of times in clubs. We were really conscious. We didn't want to be compared to Louie, so we thought we'd end up doing stand-up on the show."