Season 2 of Abbott Elementary premieres with two hometown familiar faces.
If it wasn’t enough that Philadelphia area actor, writer and showrunner Quinta Brunson and her fellow local, actor Sheryl Lee Ralph had won Emmys within the last week for their West Philly-based, true-to-life ABC/Hulu sitcom Abbott Elementary, season 2 of the top-rated comedy started up again on September 21. And with its usuals of classroom interaction, came two surprises with an equally Philadelphian flourish.
For the Abbott Elementary’s second season premiere entitled “Development Day,” out came one-time Freedom Theater player, Germantown resident and Tony Award winning Aaron Burr (Hamilton) actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. That was good. Very good. Many people watching the ABC sitcom probably don’t even realize that Odom Jr. was born and raised in the Philly area.
Abbott Elementary’s other guest star last night, the one that no one would mistake for being from anywhere but this area was Gritty, the orange fuzzy, beyond merely famous mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. The aggressive googley-eye orange mascot played himself in the Season 2 premiere, in a visit to Abbott Elementary as a surprise gift to Brunson’s character’s students on their first day of school. Nothing, however, goes as planned. Laughs ensue.
The NHL debuted a nearly three-minute promotional clip of the Flyers mascot interacting with the Abbott Elementary cast, creatives and crew at Variety late last night. During the behind-the-scenes visit video, Brunson is quoted as saying “Gritty, to me, is such a beautiful representation of Philadelphia… The way he is joyful, the way he looks, the way he feels, the way he is.”
Speaking to her interaction with Gritty, newly-minted Emmy winner Ralph said, “There are a lot of people who might be iconic in Philadelphia. There are a lot of people that might be loved in Philadelphia. None of them come close to the love and admiration that is given to Gritty.”
Go, Gritty. Now if the Flyers could actually win the season, that would be icing on the cake. Or puck.