Warning: It’s very possible that I’m a bad person for laughing at this recurring bit from Veep, and if so, I accept that title willingly. Because frankly, it’s hilarious.
For those who are new to Veep, let me explain: Patton Oswalt joined the cast this season to play Teddy Sykes, the chief of staff to Vice President Doyle. He quickly finds himself in the orbit of Jonah Ryan (Timothy Simons), who is 50 percent douchebag, 50 percent punching bag in the West Wing. Sykes is kind of a strange cat, by which I mean “a creepy asshole.” He’s passive-aggressive, two-faced, and…underhanded.
And yes, I mean that last one as a double entendre, because starting in the first episode, Oswalt literally makes repeated underhanded passes at Jonah Ryan’s balls. There’s never a real explanation for this, which somehow, at least to me, makes it funnier. It’s also pretty horrifying, which, again—IN THIS CONTEXT ALONE—makes it funnier. Regardless, now that Oswalt’s turn on Veep seems to be at an end, it’s a good time for a .GIF round-up of his ball-grabbing highlights.
Here, Teddy follows Jonah into the hallway after a meeting with the VP, and, with a smile, chastises him for going behind his back. When they finish, Teddy leaves him with a word of encouragement. “This game takes guts,” he says. “And it takes balls.”
Teddy finds Jonah in the West Wing just to deliver some good news, and Jonah momentarily lets down his guard. “Shine brightly,” Teddy says, before delivering the low blow. “Tap-t-tap-tap-tap!”
It’s worse for Jonah this time, because he’s in the midst of an argument with his mortal enemy Dan Egan when Teddy approaches. Teddy urges him to head for an important meeting, and emphasizes it with a bad pun: “It’s seminal.” Jonah, trying to save face, can only blurt, “you already did this hilarious joke!”
Dan’s look of horror really makes this one:
“Why are those lovely long legs walking away from me?!” Teddy shouts, to Jonah’s horror. This time, he’s ready for the move, and reacts in time to shout out inside information, sell out Kent Davidson, and bail out his manhood.
Jonah is finally safe from Teddy, but Teddy himself gets in huge trouble when he becomes a convenient pawn. When VP Doyle tells Selina he’s leaving the ticket, and he won’t lie and say it’s health-related—he’ll say it’s a matter of principle, which spells disaster for Selina’s campaign. Instead, Ben uses the sexual harassment allegations to force him to pretend he has prostate issues. Doyle, more than a little annoyed, confronts Teddy. As he tries to explain himself by asking, “which of us hasn’t gotten all up in some guy’s junk just for a laugh?”, congressman Roger Furlong (played by the awesome Dan Bakkedahl) raises his hand: “Me. I haven’t.”
And so Teddy gets fired, and Oswalt is probably gone from our Veep experience for good, but not before delivering a perfect last line: “Sir, everything I’ve done—everything—has been to serve you. And that goes double for fondling Jonah.”