First lady watches, A.J. Brown mentioned, Gritty's cameo - 'Abbott Elementary' is back!

First lady Jill Biden, Eagles' A.J. Brown and Gritty are all talking about the premiere!

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Thursday, September 22, 2022 10:34AM
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The ABC hit sitcom "Abbott Elementary" returned for its second season with a special cameo from Gritty!

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The ABC hit sitcom "Abbott Elementary" returned for its second season on Wednesday night and it has everyone talking - including residents of the White House.

First lady Jill Biden tuned in for the season premiere and wrote about it on social media.

The first lady posted a photo with the caption:

"Sometimes it's the little things that bring such joy - like catching Abbott Elementary live as we take off for DC after a busy day at the United Nations General Assembly."

"Abbott Elementary" centers on the lives of teachers at a Philadelphia school. Dr. Biden is a teacher herself.

The first lady also sent a message to West Philadelphia's Quinta Brunson, the Emmy-winning "Abbott" creator and star of the show.

"Quinta Brunson, thank you for the late night laughs ahead of teaching tomorrow!" Biden said.

One local celebrity made an appearance on the season premiere - Gritty!

The NHL posted a video showing the behind the scene antics of the Flyers mascot as he recorded his cameo.

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

Quinta Brunson and Gritty from "Abbott Elementary."
ABC/Scott Everett White

"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," Emmy-winner Sheryl Lee Ralph said.

Gritty posted pictures of his sitcom appearance, saying "Went back to school. Got a detention. Aced my fitness gram pacer test. Dropped out. All in the same day."

Brunson replied, "I can't believe I met a celebrity."

Gritty gave an exclusive interview to "Variety," which was published after the season premiere. He explained how the appearance came to be.

"When you've reached the level of fame and success that Quinta and I have, you have people for that. 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 said to "Variety" - via email.

And though this other local star didn't actually appear on the show, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown certainly heard his name being mentioned in the episode.

"Hey Janine! This year is going to be different..." Mr. Johnson, played by William Stanford Davis, tells Brunson's character, who believes the janitor is referring to the school year.

But Mr. Johnson, wearing an Eagles hat, had other things on his mind: "Because we got A.J. Brown! We back, baby!"

Brown is hoping that line is just the beginning of his connection with the show.

"Nah Philly is different. Philly be showing so much love. Now let's work on me being an extra lol," Brown tweeted.