“Crain and Co.” co-host Jake Crain says the year’s most outrageous comedy started very differently.
Crain plays a former college basketball player in “Lady Ballers,” a Daily Wire comedy spoofing trans women competing against biological women in sports.
Crain, who co-hosts the sports talk show with brother Blain Crain and David Cone, says the company initially wanted to ask a male athlete to crack the WNBA roster. The league demanded any such athlete endure hormone therapy before it would consider him, a bridge too far for The Daily Wire athletes.
Plan B? A raucous comedy like Hollywood used to make. Meet “Lady Ballers.”
Crain opened up about the comedy’s unique origins and how he got drafted into an unexpected side hustle with The Hollywood in Toto Podcast.
“It’s the first time we’ve ever acted. It was a big chance for us. And I think we delivered,” said Crain, who brings years of experience coaching at the collegiate level to “Crain and Co.”
Those days on the sidelines helped him make the shift from pundit to comic actor.
“I think [sports] is one of the best teachers of life because it teaches you how to compete, teaches you how to work as a team. And that’s what we did,” he said. “We’re just excited to make a comedy that reminds people of what it used to be before everybody got so scared to make one.”
It’s a common refrain in our woke era, one even Joe Rogan shared on his Spotify podcast.
“I grew up in the era when comedies were comedies. It didn’t matter if you were left, right or in the center, ‘Dodgeball’ was funny. ‘Old School’ was funny. ‘Wedding Crashers’ was funny, because we used to be able to make fun of things in society that should be mocked and having this opportunity,” he said.
— Mikechanic (@Mikechanic) December 13, 2023
Crain essentially plays himself in the film which helped him adapt to a new side of his career.
He credits director/co-star Jeremy Boreing, the co-CEO of The Daily Wire, for making it all gel.
“I want to give Jeremy a lot of credit,” he said. “He let me and David Cone and my brother Blain and Tyler Fischer and Daniel [Considine] kind of ad lib some of the parts, and we were able to formulate things on the sidelines.”
He also leaned on Fischer, an established actor who co-starred in The Daily Wire’s “Terror on the Prairie” for guidance.
“Tyler Fischer was a great resource on set. You know, he’s a comedian. He’s hilarious and just interacting with him and taking those interactions and that chemistry and putting it on film [helped out],” he said of his gifted co-star.
The dirty little secret behind Crain’s film debut? He said it wasn’t “really that difficult.”
“I thought the writing was so good that you almost had to screw it up for it not to be funny,” he said. “It was my first time, and I learned a lot. And I felt the freedom for us to be ourselves … I had more friends tell me they could tell the parts where I was ad-libbing, because that was like me growing up.”
Appearing in a film critical of the trans movement in any way would scare off most actors. That’s what happened behind the scenes with “Lady Ballers.” Boreing noted in press interviews that even “canceled” actors turned down parts in the film.
Not the Crain brothers.
“I was I was surprised that more actors who talk a big game and write about how they want to be part of the counterculture … yet they get their opportunity to be in a film that really highlights that, and they turn it down,” he said. “I guess I’m about as old school as a 34-year-old can be, I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is. And if I believe in something, then you’re gonna see me go out there and do it.
“And if it was a hateful message, or if it was something that was just making fun of somebody just to make fun of somebody with no overarching theme to it, then I would have maybe had second thoughts about it, but The Daily Wire wouldn’t put out something like that.”
Crain shares more about the secrecy behind the project and what he’d say to those who slam the film as transphobic, in the full Hollywood in Toto episode.