Jeff Goldblum


It’s obvious to us why Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas, above), or in The League’s show lore terms, El Cunado, was excluded from brother-in-law Ruxin’s anniversary party.  While it was still a classic episode, thanks especially to Taco (John Lajoie), and his hilarious Ruxin wedding video montage (“Love is…), we were miffed nontheless. We get that the show is resolved to bring Rafi to viewers in small doses, but largely we find The League’s funniest episodes to include the infamous El-Cunado.  Aside from last season’s Thanksgiving episode, a comedic bounty which guest starred Sarah Silverman as Andre’s slutty sister and Jeff Goldblum as the senior Ruxin, the funniest episodes were ones in which Jason Mantzoukas reprised the Rafi role.  Most notably were the episodes that guested Mantzoukas and Brie Larson (United States of Tara), as Ruxin’s slutty au pair.

Ruxin, who seems to need Rafi whenever he is locked in a dilemma that the expert liar can not navigate alone, calls on Raffi to move into his home temporarily to make his free loading babysitter (Brie Larson, United States of Tara) uncomfortable.  When Ruxin opens the door on Rafi, who is sitting on the bowl, he becomes immediately revulsed.  But Rafi, always over the top, and in over the top style, declares that Ruxin is “watching it happen” right now (“The Au Pair”, S3, E3), before Ruxin has a chance to run out of there.  At moments like these we are left to wonder why show regulars Kevin and Pete have never made us laugh the way Rafi does in one scene.  Ruxin, Andre, Jenny (Katie Aselton) and Taco are consistently funny, but we can’t say we have any problems with their roles being minimized in order to find lines for Rafi, who is approaching “funniest character on TV” status.  This was the case a few weeks back during S4, E5 (“Breastalyzer”), when Andre had at best a nominal role, we assume, in order to make room for Rafi, whom Ruxin calls in because he has a conundrum.  His gorgeous wife Sophia (played by positively sizzling Nadine Velasquez) has signed their young son up for swim classes that meet regularly every Sunday through the end of football season, so Ruxin asks Rafi to take the boy to swimming class and to pretend to be Ruxin while there, so he can keep things cool with his wife.

Rafi steals the show in his very 1st line, as they cut to him on the couch next to Ruxin as Sophia informs Ruxin of his swim class obligation.  The audience doesn’t even know he’s there until Sophia starts walking out of the living room, when he declares that he “could watch her walk out of a room for hours.”

Rafi: “My sister’s body is bonkers.  I hope you you’re hitting that.”

Ruxin: “I have an idea.”

Rafi: “Jerkoff party (undoing his pants). I like where you’re going with this.”

Ruxin explains how he needs him to take the boy to swim class and impersonate him.  He also explains that there’s no smoking and no knives at swim class.

Rafi: “What if there’s an attack?”

Ruxin explains that there will be only mothers and children in the pool.

Raffi: “That’s exactly what I would attack.”

At swim class, Rafi affects the ruse that he is Ruxin, as instructed, strips down to a speedo with alacrity, cannon ball’s the pool (“Rafi Bomb”, below), and then criticizes the instructor for allowing a pool of 5 yr olds flotation devices.

Rafi: “You think they’re gonna get one of these when the Russians attack?”

After that, Rafi begins to hit on the instructor, Gail (Andrea Savage).  Cut to him arriving at Taco’s housewarming party with said instructor.  Rafi seeks out Ruxin and excitedly tells him his date is crazy.

Rafi: “We just had sex in the cab!”

Ruxin: “You just had sex in the back of the cab?”

Rafi: “In the back…of her body.”

Ruxin quickly discovers though, that Rafi’s date is his son’s swim teacher, those circumstances needing to remain secret to Sophia or the great dad myth will be blown.  So Ruxin orders Rafi to get rid of her.  Because Gail is not compliant, Rafi decides to tell her that he is in love with another woman in the room, who happens to be his sister.  His go to move is to French kiss her in front of Gail–an obvious, aggressive and overzealous kiss at that–and then to compliment Sophia on what a good kisser she is, Rafi style.  So he tells her she kisses so well it ‘made his dick hard.’. Sophia seemed intrigued at that, leaving open the awesome possibility of more hilarious incest jokes in The League’s future.

Sophia: “It’s hard, really?”

Rafi: “You wanna check?”

We won’t spoil the grand finale for you, one that left Rafi with the impression that he was going to have sex with Kevin and Taco’s mom.  But it was a grand finale, left to be executed by a rising star.

We enjoyed Jason Mantzoukas very much as a frequent voice on The life and Times of Tim and look forward to seeing him reprise his role as one of Laura’s Dern’s co-workers on Enlightened, which returns to HBO for S2 in the new year.  We also liked Mantzoukas in his recurring guest spot as off the cuff Indiana perfume giant Dennis Feinstein on Parks and Recreation.  And we get the premise of Rafi on The League: good for making a porno in Andre’s apartment with Dirty Randy (Seth Rogan), not so good at family gatherings.  Whether he is needed to creep out the help, stand in for Ruxin, or be Andre’s designated driver, who does not get the principle that designated drivers do not drink, mind you (Rafi, upon being questioned for guzzling a beer, says ‘don’t worry, I’ll crap the booze out.’. They ask him if that works. ‘Sorta.’), we are really hoping they find more uses for this fantastic character on The League.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Rupert and Rodney Ruxin (above).

The resemblance in looks and manner between Jeff Goldblum and Nick Kroll is scary, making his casting as Ruxin’s dad on The League brilliant for more than just Goldblum’s brilliance.  Perhaps you recall Goldblum as himself way back on The Larry Sanders Show, in a love triangle with Larry and Gina Gershon replete with a foot fetish, seeming to make Gershon come right in front of Larry on his living room couch from a foot massage.  As for Kroll, you know we love the comedic talent (by the way, Kroll will reprise the voice of Stu on The Life and Times of Tim when Tim returns to HBO for the start of season 3 on Friday, December 16th @ 9 PM EST), but we now appreciate his other talents much more and the obvious chemistry between him and Goldblum, as we are left wondering if they might really be related.

Never was their chemistry better than with regard to the cardio bet plot line.  Because Ruxin is so prone to lying and completely morally bankrupt, the group forces him to wear a strap on pedometer so they have proof that he has actually done his pre Thanksgiving cardio in compliance with their bet.  Ruxin has discovered that the pedometer calculates any movement, and therefore has been circumventing his cardio by wearing the device on his wrist when he masturbates.  When he is sitting down to watch porn with the pedometer attached to his wrist and his father interrupts, he explain to the elder Ruxin, visually, how the pedometer racks up numbers by simulating the motion of jerking off.  A disgusted Goldblum tells him to stop and declares, “…a bunch of morons you hang around with.”

Goldblum is a consistent show stealer.  When Pete (Mark Duplass) tells him over drinks that they used to raid his liquor cabinet when they were kids, Goldblum says ‘that’s why I got there first and peed in all the bottles.’

Andre: “That’s why the Mescal never tasted the same.”

A good deal of the credit goes to Paul Scheer, who plays Andre, and to Scheer and Kroll, who wrote this brilliant episode.  Another pearl delivered by the sexually naive Andre comes when Ruxin tells the group he is looking forward to his wife’s trip so that he can jerk off freely. Andre tells him not to put any Noxzema on it.

Ruxin: ‘Why would I put Noxzema on it?’

Andre: ‘Because it’s cold and tingly like a woman’s vagina.’

Speaking of vagina, could they have possibly riddled out a more perfect role for Sarah Silverman, as Andre’s slutty nympho sister, Heather?  Who, coincidentally happened to deflower Kevin (Steve Rannazzisi), Pete, and Taco.  How about the conversation between Heather and Jenny (Katie Aselton) in the kitchen about cunnilingus? ‘I know how happy you make him’, she says, ‘and how happy he makes you.  Orally.  Because he learned from the best.’ She then points both her thumbs back at herself.  “This guy.”

They proceed to have an awkward conversation about female oral and Heather offers to re-teach Kevin how to ‘go to church’ and show him what to do with the labias majora and minora.  One might have figured the episode’s climax would’ve been the conversation at the Thanksgiving table about eating ‘sorbet’ in which Jenny tells Kevin how to eat the sorbet and then Heather provides her tutorial about eating the sorbet.  Then Taco adds ‘don’t be afraid to stick your finger in the sorbet’ and then Ruxin’s father provides his sorbet eating tips, discussing and demonstrating how he likes to keep “an active tongue” while eating the sorbet.

But it’s not the climax because when the turkey tastes a little funny and Andre  spits out a little purple name tag that says “Shakespeare”, it becomes clear that the missing pet hamster has been cooked and eaten along with the turkey.  Get them a palate cleaner for their palate cleaner for their palate cleaner.

Heather: ‘So you’ve got 8 minutes to stuff your face, then make an excuse that you’re going to the bathroom, and we’ll meet back here where you’ll lick my vagina.  GAMEPLAN!’

If you love funny, you’ll love The League.  Despite the sports talk, this show could command a large opposite sex audience, because it’s funny and well done, similar to the way Sex and the City had a strong male following.  And the Thanksgiving episode could have hardly been funnier, even though Ruxin’s brother-in-law Raffi (Jason Mantzoukas), our favorite League guest character by far, was not on hand to eat hamster.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Taco’s offline Facebook page, called “My Face” (above).

In season one of fX’s The League, a distraught Pete (Mark Duplass), who was reigning league champion (The League is a fantasy football league) and holder of the Shiva, the much coveted winner’s trophy, brought the trophy to Kevin’s house and told Kevin, by the curb in front of his house, that he was quitting the league. Pete’s wife Meegan (Leslie Bibb) was hounding him about getting pregnant, badgering him about couples activities, and doing just about everything she could to take his oxygen away. Some guys might know the feeling. Kevin (Steve Rannazzisi), married to Jenny (Kate Aselton), and father of one daughter, knew the feeling. He was beside himself to learn of Pete’s decision and he refused to accept it. Kevin, a litigator by profession, at that point gave a powerful oration.

‘You find something else to give in on. Make some other compromise. Believe me, I know. I’ve done it myself. But you can never, never quit the league.’

So Pete goes home and he’s in bed with Meegan, who wants some sex. They get into it pretty quickly, and in a flash, he’s on top of her, right? And a second later she jams a digit or two up his ass and starts finger raping his rectum during intercourse and she’s got a hold so tight in that ass that he can’t shake loose, despite ample squirms and protests.

The next day, when the league members meet up for a casual drink at their usual spot, Pete announces he was not dropping out of the league any longer. And that he was getting a divorce. How could he do that, his friends asked, startled, shocked, amazed.

He had his reasons. Ruxin, played by Nick Kroll, who also happens to play one of our favorite characters anywhere as Stu on The Life and Times of Tim (which returns to HBO for season 3 next month), explained that for him and his ultra hot wife, Sofia (Nadia Velasquez, My Name is Earl), divorce would never be an option. As he explained it, his wife was super hot and she’d get half of his money and guys would “be pounding her” left and right, while he’d never score such a fine chick again because he looks like a “stereotypical cartoon Jew in a Nazi propaganda video.” To keep this so fine wife happy, and to guarantee somewhat regular sex, he gives Sofia a “perfect lady day” in which he does not text, talks no football, and pays attention to every little thing she says–once every “2.6 months.”

Andre, played by another Best Week Ever alum, Paul Scheer, who also does some of the writing, is a fad crazy plastic surgeon with universal bad taste, and often finds himself the butt of their jokes, in a league where cruelty is the done thing. After having impaled himself on the Shiva in a Vegas nightclub, he became the ironic subject of Taco’s hit duet, “I’m Inside Me”, performed with none other than Ocho Cinco himself, who frankly can act and sing pretty good for a football player. Take a look:

Taco (John Lajoie) is the group oddball/artist/nonconformist and is always ready with an inappropriate song, some herb or shrooms, or a video display. Like when he made both Ruxin’s and Kevin’s lives miserable by playing his own movie that he had filmed of Ruxin’s wedding, at Ruxin’s 5th anniversary party. The video starts with footage of Sofia cavorting around in her lingerie as Taco told her how good her ass looked, then cut to Ruxin complaining about the fact that he was marrying a woman from a different culture and religion, and finally caught Kevin, his own brother, talking Ruxin down from the ledge, and steadying him before his big wedding speech, which Ruxin was in a panic over and convinced he couldn’t do.

The film catches Kevin firmly instructing Ruxin to pull himself together. He tells him all he has to do is say ‘love is a (add noun), love is a (add different noun)’, and then to conclude with ‘love is…(pretend he is too choked up to talk). Rather interesting moment for Jenny, who, like Agent Couyan in The Usual Suspects, has that moment of recognition, putting the pieces together to Kevin’s latest speech, an ode to his wife earlier in the evening, because Ruxin’s anniversary and Jenny’s birthday are on the same day.

“Love is a commitment. Love is a journey. Love is…”

They’ve all had their very funny moments, including Jenny, who is also convinced she will never divorce because as she explains, “I have confidence in my pussy.” And when those players aren’t enough for you, The League has gone to great lengths to bring in big time pinch hitters. In addition to numerous football player cameos, this season alone has seen Seth Rogan (Dirty Randy), Brie Larson (slutty au pair), and tonight will feature Jeff Goldblum and our girl Sarah Silverman, fresh off her appearance last week in Bored To Death, as Ruxin’s father and Andre’s super slut sister, in what we are sure will be a great Thanksgiving episode.

One we would expect to also feature Ruxin’s heinous brother-in-law Raffi (Jason Mantzoukas, Enlightened, The Life and Times of Tim), who is always good for big laughs, making the out there Taco look tame. If you like good clean old plain dirty sexist humor, then Raffi’s your guy.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/enlightened-struggling-new-hbo-series-should-be-given-chance/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/tim-chris-lilley-return-to-hbo-this-december/

And The League’s your show, until next month at least, when Chris Lilley and Tim return. Bang!

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)