NHL Mascot Gritty Addresses Their Surprising Cameo on Abbott Elementary

Since the series began, at its core, Abbott Elementary has been a series entrenched in its Philadelphia setting, and now it has fully cemented its place in the lore of the City of Brotherly Love thanks to its season two guest star. With the first episode of Abbott's new season the Emmy-winning ABC comedy brought in none other than Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty for a surprise appearance. Ever a headline grabber for his antics on the ice or in the arena, Gritty's appearance on the series has already captured attention around the country and even prompted an interview with a Hollywood trade.

"When you've reached the level of fame and success that Quinta and I have, you have people for that," Gritty told Variety over email when asked how their appearance came to be. "Her people reached out to my people. Of course I'm a fan ... It's comedy, it's Philly and it's school. I love two of those things!" Gritty also sounded off on playing themselves on camera, adding: "Some, less experienced actors, have described the challenges of playing yourself on camera. I can't relate. Truly, I found it refreshing that Hollywood didn't try to get some C-lister like Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson to play me at a discount. I stuck to the script but of course added some of my Gritty charm we all know and love."

"Gritty, to me, is such a beautiful representation of Philadelphia," Brunson said in a BTS video for the episode. "The way he is joyful, the way he looks, the way he feels, the way he is." 

Earlier this month Abbott Elementary, already sitting on near perfect critical acclaim, walked away with several Primetime Emmy Awards. Brunson won Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series for the pilot episode's script, while co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph won the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series, and Wendy O'Brien won Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series.