Moonbase 8 is the new space comedy from Showtime, in which John C. Reilly, Tim Heidecker and Fred Armisen live as NASA trainees in a moon camp in the desert of the USA. The comedy claims that NASA has added NFL Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce to the team to promote the mission – and that Kelce is a kind of diva.
In the Showtime series, the Tight End of the Kansas City Chiefs makes his acting debut by playing himself.
In a wrestling interview, Moonbase 8 star John C. Reilly explained why the soccer player plays the lead role in the first episode of the Showtime series. He said, “Putting Kelce in there at first seems [like]‘How absurd. Why would you put a famous soccer player as himself on the TV show?
“But considering what NASA has done with the Challenger program to send a teacher into space. They want people who can make it on the front of a box of cornflakes. That’s where it’s going to go now. The spaceships themselves are controlled by computer. They’re looking for people who’ll expand the program.”
That’s something that’s said in the first episode itself. In the premiere, Skip (played by Fred Armisen) explains: “NASA only wants him for the PR… cross-promotion with the NFL.”
However, according to the Moonbase 8 cast in other interviews, Kelce was not the series’ first choice for the show. Reilly told Thrillist: “Our first idea was actually [Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Tight End Rob] Gronkowski. And we couldn’t reach Gronkowski.
“So who do you go to after Gronkowski? And here’s this up-and-coming kid, Travis Kelce, sticking on Gronkowski’s heels. And he jumped in and it was great. And the working principle for all guest artists in all episodes is that they have to be more attractive, more intelligent and physically fitter than we are. In other words: more realistic candidates for a space program.”
The show was shot before Kelce won the 2020 Super Bowl as part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ team. In a wrestling interview, Heidecker joked, “His ratings would have skyrocketed if we had asked him about it.”
Kelce’s appearance in Moonbase 8 Episode 1 also seems to set up one of the recurring points in the Showtime show (spoiler ahead). About halfway through the episode, Kelce dies after the ground gives way as he digs a hole to find water. This seems to indicate that we’ll see a rolling list of guest actors accompanying Reilly, Heidecker, and Armisen in the six episodes.
Other guest stars appearing in the series’ official trailer include Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development and former American Idol star Adam Lambert.
Moonbase 8 will be broadcast on Sundays at 23.00 ET / 22.00 CT on Showtime….