By Mark Gaughan
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his on-camera acting debut tonight on the FX series “The League,” which airs at 10:30 p.m.
Fitzpatrick plays himself in the show, which is a sitcom about a fantasy football league, it’s members and their everyday lives.
“I’m a little bit nervous,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s funny because I’m interested to see how long it is, because it’s probably going to be 10 seconds, and I shot for five hours. There were so many takes.”
The show was created by the husband and wife team of Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus Schaffer. Jeff Schaffer, like Fitzpatrick, is a Harvard graduate. Fitzpatrick had another contact that helped him get on the show.
“One of my good buddies was a comedy writer out in L.A.,” Fitzpatrick said. “He submitted some ideas to Shaffer and they had a little bit of an email dialogue.”
In his cameo, Fitzpatrick meets some of the central characters in a scene in a bar.
“It’s not like I was given scripted lines,” Fitzpatrick said. “The actors show up and they give them a general idea – OK this is where we want the scene to go - and those guys just improv. They’re ad-libbing the whole time. So the first half hour they were talking circles around me and I’m trying to jump in when I can. But I’ve got horrible acting skills. I got a little bit better as it went on.”
Getting the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Fitzpatrick fitted for the scene was a challenge.
"They said let’s go get you fitted in the back," he said. "All the actors are fairly small. So they got go the back and OK what’s the biggest suit we have? Try this one on."
It didn't come close to being big enough. "We walked three blocks down the street to a suit shop, bought a suit real quick for the cameo," he said.
Fitzpatrick was a fan of the show before his cameo.
"This guy (Schaffer) wrote for Seinfeld and for Curb Your Enthusiasm," he said. "That’s right in my wheelhouse. Seinfeld is my favorite ever. It’s a lot of that, but it’s on FX and they can take it a little farther. The language goes a little farther."