The second the Philadelphia Flyers’ new mascot, Gritty, was unveiled, an informal competition sprung up among late night television hosts to book the bright orange chaos Muppet and cash in on Gritty madness. The Tonight Show got there first, with a brief cold open cameo in which Gritty lives the American dream of getting into a fistfight with Ricky Gervais:
But having missed out on “first,” Conan O’Brien took his time, did his homework, and aimed for “best,” scoring an exclusive interview with the man who plays Gritty. As the Delaware News Journal reports, his name has been kept a secret, so it’s not clear how O’Brien or his bookers even found him, but their interview is an insightful and fascinating look at both the sports industry and the trials and travails of working as a professional mascot:
It’s inspiring and heartwarming to see someone find their dream job, especially in this economy. Here’s hoping Gritty keeps us all entertained for years to come, ideally without ever being allowed to take his mask off ever again. Ever.