Abbott Elementary star Quinta Brunson got the surprise of her life with her latest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The creator and star of ABC‘s new hit series was in total shock when Jimmy Kimmel video conferenced Brunson’s sixth grade educator that the show is named after.
Brunson, a Philadelphia native, said she tried to inject as much “Philadelphia authenticity into the show as possible.” The relatability on the show is immense, including students have that one teacher that forever curates the student life without direct knowledge.
Brunson shared that the last time she saw her favorite teacher was the beginning of her middle school years. “The last time I saw Ms. Abbott was probably sixth grade,” Brunson told Kimmel.
Then, surprise! Brunson’s sixth grader educator, Ms. Joyce Abbott, appeared virtually. “I’m so proud of you,” Abbott said to Brunson.
Abbott shared that she discovered the show was named after her when watching the local ABC news.
She explained, “They were talking about the Abbott Elementary show shortly after the pilot. The newscaster said, ‘Ms. Abbott, if you’re watching, Quinta would like to reconnect with you.’ I was like ‘Oh my god!'”
Brunson shared her experience with Ms. Abbott, saying that she has stuck with her throughout her life.
“In a way, I didn’t know why she was my favorite,” the star and creator said. “I couldn’t put my finger on it. She just was. I think that’s what a good teacher does. I think it’s like the Maya Angelou quote, ‘People always remember how you make them feel,’ and she always made me feel good. I was in the same building as her, and when I got out and went to middle school, I was a little scaredy-cat. I didn’t want to leave my mom, and [she] helped transition me out of it.”
Ms. Abbott shares she was ready for retirement after 30 years and that Brunson was quite driven as a student. Initially shy, Brunson came out of her shell to be the class spokesperson.
Brunson wasn’t the only one that Kimmel surprised. To celebrate retirement, Kimmel gave Abbott a five-day vacation.
Watch the clip below: