Jason Mantzoukas

Submitted by on Sep 28, 2015

Inside the Mind of ‘The League’s Rafi: Jason Mantzoukas and Seth Rogen on TV’s Craziest Dude

He is, in the words of The Joker, “an agent of chaos.” There is no more sick, twisted, obscene character on television than Rafi, the anarchic weirdo played by Jason Mantzoukas on FXX’s The League . Rafi, otherwise known as “Bro lo el Cuñado,” is the brother of the stunning Sofia, and stepbrother to Ruxin (Nick Kroll). The former altar boy (he was kicked out for raping a priest) lives in a decrepit apartment with a “toilet-kitchen,” keeps an endless supply of hot dogs on his person (“pocket dogs”), and occasionally pops what he calls a “murder boner” at the mere thought of extinguishing another man’s life.

Rafi’s partner-in-insanity is Dirty Randy, a librarian/porn producer played by none other than Seth Rogen. Last season, in the Mantzoukas- and Rogen-penned episode “Rafi and Dirty Randy,” the two maniacs stole Kevin’s car and embarked on a Grand Theft Auto -like road trip to L.A. to avenge the death of their pal.

“Jason is hilarious and insane,” says Rogen, who met him about five years ago on the comedy-writing circuit. “He truly pushes things farther than anyone I’ve worked with. The character is just the worst dude ever. No limit to the grossness. And Dirty Randy is just as bad if not worse, which makes for a wonderful dynamic.” He adds, “Jason makes me laugh hard as fuck.”

On Sept. 24, The League aired the episode “When Rafi Met Randy,” a wacky origin story set in a mental institution involving a trident dildo, electroshock therapy, and multiple homicides that seeks to explain how Rafi and Dirty Randy became the crazy bastards they are today.

The Daily Beast spoke to Mantzoukas, who in addition to his work on the fully-improvised series The League and various other comedy projects has become a very in-demand comedy writer (he co-wrote the box office hit Ride Along ), about the birth of Rafi: The most insane character on TV.

The “origin story” episode of Rafi and Dirty Randy is insane. Seemed to be heavily influenced b One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest .

For sure One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a lot of it, but there was also a lot of it that were from prison break movies—for instance, the section where we make a porno movie and show it to everybody we wanted to be like that scene in Shawshank where he plays the record and everyone gets to listen to it while he’s in the administrator’s office.

I feel like Rafi and Dirty Randy have a very intimate sexual relationship. Rafi and Dirty Randy is basically an insane romantic comedy for two male characters on television.

You guys just love torturing Jorma Taccone. He really gets it in that porno video. Where did you even find that… dildo trident? Is that what you call it?

He’s so game for anything. But that shit we didn’t even do! That’s The League’s props department, who I feel are the happiest in the Rafi and Dirty Randy episodes because they make the craziest shit. That was a handheld, drill-based dildo trident, and last year, we had a dildo trident that was a big, Poseidon-like spear. Dildo tridents are a real central part of the mythology of Rafi and Dirty Randy, apparently.

How did you guys come up with the idea that Rafi and Dirty Randy became the crazy bastards they are through electroshock therapy?

In one of the improvised scenes in the Dirty Randy episode last year, we said we met in a mental institution in a throw-away, so as we were approaching this one, we knew we wanted to do an origin story and that’s how we got to Cuckoo’s Nest. And then it really cracked us up that it was the mental institution that made them the monsters we know and love.

Jason MantzoukasJason Mantzoukas
Jason MantzoukasJason Mantzoukas
Jason MantzoukasJason Mantzoukas

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