It’s Always Sunny Season 16 Finally Features A Long-Awaited Philly Sports Icon (No, Not Jalen Hurts)

WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16, episode 5, “Celebrity Booze: The Ultimate Cash Grab.”Continuing the sitcom’s trend of Philly-based cameos, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16, episode 5 features the long-awaited presence of a local sports icon – though it’s not Jalen Hurts, as Mac hopes. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has a long history of roping in Philly sports legends for cameos, including the Eagles’ Jason Kelce and Phillies baseball player Chase Utley, the latter of whom has appeared on the series twice as of season 16. With It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia already set to receive an additional two seasons, the number of Philly sports figures who appear will continue to grow.

While the biggest cameos in It’s Always Sunny season 16’s “Celebrity Booze: The Ultimate Cash Grab” are from Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, the episode also teases the appearance of a local celebrity. Mac believes that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts is in the bathroom of the bar where the gang is trying to meet Cranston and Paul, leading Mac and Dennis to try to propose a business opportunity to him. However, when the bathroom door opens, it isn’t football star Jalen Hurts who walks out, but rather a Philly hockey icon.

The Flyers Mascot Gritty’s Cameo In It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 16 Explained

Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty with Mac and Dennis in It's Always Sunny season 16 episode 5

Gritty, the mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers, makes a surprise cameo in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16, episode 5, with Mac still trying to pitch the gang’s booze scheme to him. The orange hockey mascot is well known for his mischief, making him a sports celebrity beyond the Philly confines. In fact, It’s Always Sunny season 16 isn’t Gritty’s first Philadelphia-set sitcom cameo, as the popular mascot also appeared on an episode of Abbott Elementary season 2.

While Jalen Hurts doesn’t appear in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16 as Mac had teased, Gritty’s appearance is still a great nod to the sitcom’s love for Philadelphia culture. Additionally, Gritty’s cameo pays off It’s Always Sunny’s season 6 episode “Mac’s Big Break,” which saw Mac and Charlie take to the ice of a Philadelphia Flyers game to score a goal after winning a contest. However, Gritty wasn’t featured in this episode because the furry orange mascot wasn’t established until 2018, around eight years after Mac went to the Flyers game.

Related: Rhea Perlman’s It’s Always Sunny Season 16 Cameo Missed A Classic Sitcom Crossover Opportunity

Gritty Finally Fulfills It’s Always Sunny’s Real Philadelphia Sports Mascot Cameo

Gritty’s cameo in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 16 is reminiscent of another highly memorable Philly mascot appearance, though this time around the actual mascot is allowed to cameo. In It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s season 5 episode “World Series Defense,” the gang tries to go to the Phillies’ World Series game and Charlie creates conflict with the team’s mascot, who is referred to in the sitcom as the “Phillie Phrenetic.” In real life, the Philadelphia baseball mascot is called the Phillie Phanatic, but It’s Always Sunny had to change his name because MLB denied their request to feature the mascot (via It’s Always Sunny Podcast).

After being rejected the opportunity to feature Philly’s furry green mascot in his full form back in 2009, It’s Always Sunny actually features Philly’s real furry orange mascot 14 years later. With more sports icons making appearances in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it wouldn’t be surprising if the real Phillie Phanatic and the Eagles’ mascot Swoop also made cameos in the show’s future seasons. If anything, the time is right for Charlie’s personal Philadelphia sports mascot “Green Man” to make another return.

Source: It’s Always Sunny Podcast

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