As I was shifting through the RSA Conference 2024 program guide, with it’s impressive comprehensive five day agenda, there was an enormous amount of activities going on to easily fill anyone’s calendar as an attendee for the week. 33 keynote presentations given on two stages in the West and South Stages at the Moscone Center, 650 speakers across 425 sessions, the Expo floors in the South and North Halls had over 600 exhibitors.

As I glanced into the program’s “keynote” section, I noticed one that immediately caught my eye entitled “A Conversation with Actor, Comedian, and Writer, Jason Sudeikis, hosted by RSAC Chairman, Hugh Thompson. It read…

BELIEVE. The Ted Lasso Way has put smiles on the faces of millions worldwide, and maybe made us all a little kinder. A little more focused on teamwork and collaboration. A little more aware of the power of community, and the importance of mental health needs. And a lot more aware of the impact of an inspiring leader. Join this keynote as Jason Sudeikis shares insights, laughs, and inspiration.

As a huge fan of the show, I was curious to know how much knowledge the four-time Emmy Award Winner Jason Sudeikis had in the Cybersecurity field. As I entered Moscone West Hall and tried to find a seat, I discovered that most of the capacity crowd also probably wanted to know, as well.

The Executive chair of RSAC and host Hugh Thompson introduced Sudeikis to the much appreciative crowd at Moscone West, and immediately asked Sudeikis what inspired him to be an actor and performer.

“I saw Beverly Hills Cop when I was nine years old… it was very motivational to me and I knew that’s what I wanted … to be a black cop from Detroit.”, Sudeikis replied.

From that moment on, you knew it was going to be a fun-filled afternoon with plenty of laughs with the always very playful Thompson, as host.


In a few minutes after the introduction, the lights were further darkened to show a clip from the episode, “Diamond Dogs”, from Season One/Episode 8 of Ted Lasso. They played the infamous darts scene that contained the famous Lasso quote “Be curious, not judgmental”, which perhaps may be one of the most representative quotes based on Ted Lasso’s character reportoire, that easily can be applied practically everywhere in so many different situations. Thompson asked Sudeikis what he wanted people to take away from that scene.

“I just wanted to be cheering for the good guys…like the fact that people have taken and used that in commencement speeches… and I think even some political speeches”, Sudeikis explained...“I’m not sure what politics exactly…that monologue spilled out of me in 1/2 hour… I’m sure everybody has versions of this I know people speak about it a lot in the arts…”

Hopefully, to many of the conference attendees, they can bring this idea of “be curious, not judgemental”, when dealing with others. They should never “judge” whether someone has the means to effect change by contribution, but rather be “curious” having the power to apply and transform change for the better. With the advent of A.I. already now being a major force in Cybersecurity technology, it helps to not be judgemental.

A conversation with Actor, Comedian and Writer, Jason Sudeikis hosted by Hugh Thompson at the RSAConference2024. Photo by Marcus Siu


At the very beginning of the RSA conference, Thompson encouraged all attendees in the audience to go out an meet new people in the giant RSAC community where people could learn and feed off each other. He presented a hypothetical scenario in the “mean streets” of San Francisco during lunchtime to Sudeikis to the audience: If he was in line at a taco truck stand and would want to connect with a person right next to him, what would be his top five “icebreakers”?

Though Sudeikis didn’t come up with five all together, he and the audience certainly did have alot fun listening to his brainstorming answers.

“Well, I think I’d go “rub bellies” and ask what taco you getting?” “Have you been to this taco truck before?” “You know where the hot spots are?” Or if they are wearing a badge maybe ask them something about that…the big laminates…I don’t know what information is on there but” Sudeikis continued, “I don’t speak “curious”, to know… I mean this is “Playground 101″, I’d ask them their name OK?”

In the middle of Sudeikis’ rant, Thompson asked if tapping a person was okay…

I think tapping someone might feel a little aggressive. (audience laughs) It depends on the line…if it’s proper like the way like Germans line up, like right behind each other and very rigid (audience laughs) …but if it’s a little “loosey-goosey” and I don’t know, you know, then maybe, yeah”.

Sudeikis then playfully voice acts out two characters in line.

“I apologize for my own hunger because of my tummy.”

“Sorry to hear that…oh, I didn’t hear your stomach.”

“Oh, OK, well it was actually my butt.”

The audience roared with laughter.

“So much of this stuff though is really just about hitting the playing TV Upbeat like your kids… you hit the balloon over to them and you see if they hit it back.

“Number five would be, “have you seen anything on television that you’ve enjoyed recently?” as Sudeikis glances into the crowd and says “They are all looking for recommendations, and they can always go on “Rotten Tomatoes” but let me ask you perfect strangers.”, Sudeikis explained.

“This is great…which would be great if the answer was “Perfect Strangers”?”


When Thompson asked Sudeikis, what role humor plays when battling, stress, depression, or burnout, Sudeikis credits his ten year experience on Saturday Night Live, which he was a both a writer and featured performer, as well as various TV projects, shows, and movies.

He highly credited his grandmother during his upbringing, Loretta Wendt, (also mother of Actor George Wendt) who was a volunteer at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in the Southside of Chicago, for teaching him how important humor was to healing.

“It’s always really moving and compelling to me what good medicine laughter is and being an administer of such things or at least a vessel, these projects has always really knocked my socks off and it was something about my grandmother, Loretta Wendt, she worked it, did a lot of work “, Sudeikis continued, “A big part of it was all about how important humor was to healing and I do believe that in between laughter, sleeping and crying are the three best medicines that you’re not going to give any money to a pharmaceutical company. There’s a fourth one too, the love and appreciation and execution of the arts…”

Of course, Thompson couldn’t resist pitching his own “brilliant” idea to Sudeikis for kicking the Emyy Award show into the next level by introducing a new character into the series and possibly leading up to the season finale for Ted Lasso. The concept of a mildly bald, suave, (but not to suave) cybersecurity character from some exotic background like Jamaica or the Carribean, who stalks down a hacker somehow didn’t quite make a very convincing pitch, even with Thompson’s impressive background in the Cybersecurity field.

“Would anyone believe that a character like that really existed…as a person?”, Sudeikis questioned.

So it became pretty obvious after the interview was over that the very delightful Jason Sudeikis didn’t have much to say about the very latest in cybersecurity trends at the RSA Conference, but to give him some due credit, his alter ego Ted Lasso certainly didn’t know much about European soccer (futbal) in his first season, either…and look what can happen. In any case, it couldn’t have been a more fun-filled entertaining afternoon for the RSA conference attendees.

Or am I being just “judgemental”?