Stream It While You Can: FX’s ‘Legit’

Published on April 15, 2020

Legit is a show that lives up to its title. It’s one of the many FX comedies, such as Man Seeking Woman and The Comedians, that didn’t find the audience it deserved. The comedy only lasted for two seasons. Two sweet, raunchy, mean and sweet seasons of Jim Jefferies enjoying himself and learning a life lesson here and there.

For the Jefferies Fans

Any fan of Jefferies’ standup comedy or his excellent Comedy Central program, The Jim Jefferies Program, likely connected to the FX show. The series doesn’t soften his sense of humor, either. Jefferies’ darker jokes aren’t for everybody, but then again, no comedy is for everybody. 

Jefferies, on and off stage, hits the sweet balance between carefree and empathy. Sometimes the comic jokes about “what you’re not supposed to joke about,” but other times, he astutely recognizes pain and struggles in others. Jefferies, co-creator Peter O’Fallon, and the writing staff behind Legit always did that exceptionally well, keeping you laughing without softening any of the pain.

Regressive and Progressive Comedy

Jefferies’ comedy and Legit also successfully bounces back and forth between regressive and progressive. The regressive jokes work because we know Jefferies and his character on Legit do indeed care. They’re inconsiderate, sometimes mean characters — but they care. They especially care about each other.

We’re talking about Jefferies, who plays a version of himself on the show, and his best friends, Steve Nugent (Dan Bakkedhal) and Billy Nugent (DJ Qualls). The three of them mess up constantly, even backstab each other a little, and yet, they understand each other’s foibles and stick it out together. As mean as these lifelong friends get, their friendship only grows deeper. They love each other, mammoth flaws and all.

A Big Heart

The series was embraced by the disabled community and for good reason. Billy is a man with muscular dystrophy, and a supporting all-star on the show, Rodney (Nick Daley), has an intellectual disability. Unlike most movies and TV shows portraying the disabled, it’s not their defining trait. It’s a part of their lives, which is filled with partying and good times and bad. They go on honest, warts-and-all journeys we rarely see from other movies and TV shows.

Billy can be great and he can also be a complete jerk, just like Jim and Ted. Rodney, well, he’s just wonderfully foul-mouthed, kind-hearted, and exceptionally entertaining. Everyone loves Rodney.

Billy and Rodney create the punchlines; they aren’t always the punchlines. Legit can punch down, sure, but it can also reach up higher at the same time and reveal a surprising tenderness. It’s why we like Jefferies, Australia’s finest, as a comic. It’s hilarious and lovely a show as raunchy and sometimes as ugly as Legit has a heart of gold and was embraced by the disabled community. Even Dr. Drew Pinsky said, “Legit elevate[s] the disability conversation to a new plane.” 

The Bitter End

The show should’ve lasted at least another two or three seasons. There was more story to tell and more opportunities for Jim to screw up and learn. The show ended without a resolution. The lack of an ending is the main problem with Legit. Still, the ride is more than worth it, the unsatisfying ending aside. It’s a great hangout show. These are characters you want to spend time with and laugh with, especially during these times. Watch their troubles and, hopefully, forget about your own for a bit. Bless Legit.

You can stream Legit on Hulu or Amazon. 

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Jack Giroux is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Los Angeles, he is an entertainment journalist who's previously written for Thrillist, Slash Film, Film School Rejects, and The Film Stage.

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