The character Ted Lasso from the Apple series of the same name is increasingly establishing itself as a symbol with important significance. This is impressively demonstrated by the latest news that actor Jason Sudeikis (47) and the rest of the cast of “Ted Lasso” will be presenting themselves to US President Joe Biden (80) in the White House this Monday. It turns out that the irrepressible optimism that the series exudes and that has crystallized as a recipe for success over the past three seasons is also badly needed in real life. Not bad for a fictional character that saw the light of day ten years ago as a publicity stunt.

In fact, Ted Lasso was up to mischief in the British Premier League for the first time almost ten years ago. However, he did so in a four-minute commercial produced by the US broadcaster NBC Sports to promote the acquired rights to the English league – and thus bring the sport closer to the football-shy public in the States. A completely overwhelmed man named Ted Lasso, to whom the concept of relegation matches is as inexplicable as the offside rule, becomes the new Tottenham coach from one funny misunderstanding to the next: “Are there draws?”

However, Ted only made it to his own series on Apple TV in 2020 and adapted it for TV in several ways. As an American college football coach, he ended up with unsuccessful, disgruntled (and fictional) club AFC Richmond in season one. Instead of scoring with pure slapstick like the commercial sketch, the title character and with it the whole series was profoundly rewritten: Ted Lasso radiates optimism that contradicts reality. However, he does not do this out of calculation, out of deceptive friendliness, but with honesty coming from the heart.

But the man who always sees the good in other people struggles on several mental fronts himself. Divorce is troubling him, so much so that he has a panic attack during a victory celebration. The second season of the series in particular dealt with the depression of its main character in a clever way and showed why she in particular can be responsible for the fact that Ted is the beam man on the outside.

The timing of the release is probably one of the reasons why “Ted Lasso” was able to become so immensely successful. Just as the corona pandemic was turning all of our lives incredibly gray, Mr. Lasso came around the corner with his “Believe” sign and let us know: We all have to carry our physical and psychological crosses, but we can all get along with each other make it through this difficult time. In the midst of a creative era in which the trend seemed to be increasingly dark and at times unintentionally cynical, “Ted Lasso” hugged us warmly and without ulterior motives.

The “Ted Lasso” cast’s visit to President Biden takes the same line. Together with the most powerful man in the world, the unusual meeting is intended to promote “the importance of mental health for general well-being”. If the career of his character had been revealed to Sudeikis almost ten years ago, he would have vehemently shaken his mustache.

In any case, pop culture no longer seems to want to do without the lovable coach. All gamers of the football game “Fifa” know this too, and according to the latest update, they can even play against real teams with the fictitious AFC Richmond and Ted on the sidelines.

The series, which has won several Golden Globes and Emmys, is currently in its third and, according to reports, probably last season. In the future, however, there should probably be more from the “Lasso” universe: the main actor and co-inventor Sudeikis is open to spin-offs, as he revealed to the “Deadline” page at the beginning of March. So it’s quite possible that one of Ted Lasso’s protégés will soon be carrying his positive message further out into the world.