ERIE, Pa. — The Penn State Behrend Speaker Series will continue Feb. 13 with a program featuring the actor and writer Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard on the Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso.” His TV work also has included roles on “Community,” “Key and Peele,” “Parks and Recreation” and “How I Met Your Mother.”
The program, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in McGarvey Commons, in the college’s Reed Union Building, is free and open to the public.
Hunt will discuss his work in the cast and as a creator of “Ted Lasso,” which has won 11 Emmy Awards. He developed the show — a comedy about a relentlessly optimistic American football coach who finds himself in charge of an English soccer team — with friends Joe Kelly and Jason Sudeikis, who was fresh off a nine-year run on “Saturday Night Live.” The title character first appeared in an advertising campaign for the NBC Sports Premier League.
Coach Beard, Lasso’s reticent best friend and assistant, remains something of a mystery. After two seasons, the character’s actual name has not yet been spoken on the show. Hunt and Sudeikis have suggested that the character might be further developed in the show’s third season, which begins this spring.
Hunt’s love for soccer extended to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He was a co-host of “After the Whistle,” a podcast that recapped key matches in the tournament. Coach Beard’s Twitter feed — a character account with 147,000 followers — posted a series of fake billboards addressed to members of the U.S. men’s national team, offering encouragement as the team advanced in the tournament.
Hunt is the third of four speakers in this year’s Speaker Series at Penn State Behrend. Other presenters have included former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and investor Martina Edwards, the first Black woman to hold a seat at the New York Stock Exchange. The series will conclude on March 23 with a talk by Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, the founder of Black Girl Environmentalist.
The Speaker Series is made possible by the college’s Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund. For more information, visit behrend.psu.edu/speakerseries.