Abbi Jacobson from 'A League of Their Own' says there is some crying in baseball : Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Abbi Jacobson, star and producer of the new series "A League of Their Own" joins us along with panelists Paula Poundstone, Faith Salie and Luke Burbank play a game about a different league, The XFL.





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Abbi Jacobson shares why there's some crying in baseball

Abbi Jacobson shares why there's some crying in baseball

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Abbi Jacobson Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Prime Video hide caption

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Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Prime Video

Abbi Jacobson

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Prime Video

Abbi Jacobson first became famous producing, writing and starring in the hit Comedy Central show Broad City. Her latest project, which she is also both created and stars in, is a new spin on the 1992 film A League of Their Own, about women baseball players during World War II. In this version, we find out that there is a lot more than just crying in baseball.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Peter Sagal: So the new show is called A League of Their Own, and I'm assuming after the success of Broad City that you had some freedom to do what you wanted. So why did you do this? Why did you decide to do a TV show based on this classic movie from the early nineties?

Abbi Jacobson: You know, Will Graham, who co-created with me, asked me to do this with him in 2017, so I was still doing Broad City when we began. And so it's been a long time. I love the movie just like every other person in the world. And it was never intended to be a remake. It was really about telling the stories that we felt were overlooked and that Penny Marshall couldn't tell in '92. I think if you watch it, you really see how much we love the film and how different it is and how much, you know, the stories are really different. And so that was what was most exciting.

Faith Salie: Abbi, are you a good baseball player for real?

I played softball as a kid, soccer was really my main sport. I'm okay. But, you know, we train with this organization called Baseball for All, and we're basically being trained and practicing with the modern day versions of the characters we're playing. We went out and had catches a bunch before and we were like, "We're pretty good. Like, we still got it." And then we show up and, you know, to see them throw the ball from third to first base and you're like, "Okay, I can't..."

PS: You're like, "Bring in the CGI, quick!"

Truly, it's like they're professionals. I can't do that.

PS: I always ask whenever I'm talking to an actor who has played a superhero, I always ask him or her, "Now that you've trained as a superhero, could you beat somebody up?" And they always say "YES." So my question to you is, could you, Abbi Jacobson, go out and actually play baseball right now?

No. You know what, I could. I think it's, to be honest, we had this game where we had all these professional athletes from other sports play. And I got so nervous. It was in L.A. and I didn't want to play, I think because there's so much pressure now, like eyes on me playing. That I do not want to play in public.

PS: So what's interesting to me is like, you are a TV star who has done everything from, oh, all kinds of things, from sex scenes and drugs. You opened this show by running down an antique train platform with your bra hanging out. And you're telling me [that] you're too shy to play baseball in front of people watching.

Yeah!

PS: This is the great thing, because I understand you did this for Amazon. It's on Amazon Prime. So just like The Lord of the Rings, you were given a billion dollar budget, right?

Yeah, yeah, so much of our show is similar to that production.

Luke Burbank: Did you get notes from the network asking you to involve more wizards?

Yeah, you obviously haven't seen it.

LB: Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to watch it yet but I assume it's mostly Sauron?

There's actually a couple wizards. You know, in '92 Penny couldn't put wizards.

This is an excerpt from Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, NPR's weekly news quiz. Have a laugh and test your knowledge with today's funniest comedians. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or listen on NPR One, and you can find us on Instagram. Want to come out to our live shows at our new home at the Studebaker Theater in Chicago, IL or on the road? Just check out nprpresents.org.