After Appearing On Abbott Elementary Season 2, Philadelphia Flyers Mascot Gritty Threw Some Hilarious Shade At Dwayne Johnson

A behind-the-scenes look at Gritty's cameo on Abbott Elementary through the NHL YouTube channel
(Image credit: NHL)

Abbott Elementary’s Season 2 premiere was filled with side hustles, personal issues, and surprises. One surprise came in the form of extremely popular Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty making their acting debut. While the teacher-centric comedy is based in the City of Brotherly Love, the beloved NHL mascot’s appearance came as a surprise to viewers. With lots of attention on Gritty following the episode, the mascot provided a rare interview where they threw some hilarious shade at Dwayne Johnson.

Gritty’s witty quip came in a rare interview they gave to Variety after their Abbott Elementary cameo. While the beloved mascot was all goofiness and excitement on and off screen, it seemed like they weren’t here for actors who complain about playing themselves. Gritty was relieved ABC asked them to play themselves, rather than have an actor like The Rock try to play the Philly icon, explaining: 

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.

Shots fired! Who would’ve thought Gritty was a Dwayne Johnson hater or, at least, disliked stunt casting? They don’t want celebrities taking good roles from hardworking mascots. Plus, if the show wanted the real Gritty, they’re perfectly fine playing themselves depending on their tight schedule. Still, I thought it was a little mean to take a swipe at the Jumanji star.

Could you imagine Gritty popping up in the premiere episode only to reveal Dwayne Johnson is behind the beloved orange NHL mascot? I mean, it’s not like Johnson hasn’t made an unexpected cameo on TV shows before. Since his switch from wrestling to acting, the 50-year-old actor has played himself on everything from Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place to Family Guy. So, he’s not above making a small cameo or playing an exaggerated version of himself. Hopefully, Gritty’s sitcom cameo will be the first in a series.

Having Gritty on the Season 2 premiere was the cherry on top of an outstanding run for the workplace comedy. The series is celebrating its two Emmy wins for series creator Quinta Brunson and Mrs. Barbara Howard herself Sheryl Lee Ralph. Viewers were still celebrating Ralph’s incredible Emmy speech, while also rallying behind Brunson after Jimmy Kimmel’s onstage prank during her speech, although she quickly put a kibosh on the drama. Between its big wins, massive viewership, solid cast and epic cameos Abbott Elementary can hang its hat among other classic sitcoms

To see if more Philadelphia icons will pop up on a bigger and better Season 2, make sure to watch Abbott Elementary every Wednesday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC. If you miss any new episodes, you can always watch them later with a Hulu subscription. Much like Abbott Elementary last week, there are lots of other new and returning TV premieres happening throughout the 2022-23 television season.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).