There were a surprisingly fun amount of touchdown celebrations on Thanksgiving day that warranted attention. With just three NFL games on the Thanksgiving slate, I somehow ended up writing about three different touchdown celebrations over the course of the day. Three seemed a bit like overkill, but that would also be disrespectful to The Office‘s Michael Scott.
Lost in The Salvation Army kettle shenanigans and Amari Cooper shouting out Markelle Fultz’ goofy free throw style was a tribute to one of the greatest cinematic minds in television history. I’m talking, of course, about Threat Level Midnight.
Threat Level Midnight was the often-referenced movie project that Scott was working on that was never fully realized until much later in the show’s run. Michael Scarn was a thinly-veiled superhuman version of Scott first seen during his improv class where he was a secret agent who always ended up shooting someone. Scott turned every improv moment into a chance for his FBI agent character to pull out a gun and shoot people. Suffice to say, he didn’t make many friends in that acting class.
A few seasons later, the cast stumbles into a script Scott was working on called Threat Level Midnight, which starred his Scarn character. That made them, of course, act it out in the conference room to great hilarity.
The read-through was just a small glimpse into the mind of a genius, but much like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Lethal Weapon 6, we later got to see the actual move as Scott imagined and directed it. The episode first aired on Feb. 11, 2007 as part of Season 7, and they way the show lays it all out is pretty brilliant. It’s been filmed over the course of a few years, so there are continuity errors and appearances from Scott’s past flames, including Pam’s mom.
But the signature moment of the episode is not Scott playing hockey, which he’s actually good at. It’s him displaying a hit dance that Scarn had not done since his wife was killed. The Scarn, if you have not seen it, is in full below.
If that looks familiar, then you definitely noticed when Washington wideout Trey Quinn caught a touchdown pass against the Dallas Cowboys and did an abbreviated version of The Scarn.
So did Steve Carell, who retweeted a video of the celebration on Twitter Thanksgiving night and gave his approval.
The Office is getting old. Nick at Nite now plays Spongebob Squarepants. We’re all hurtling toward the spectre of death at a pace that’s downright alarming. But some things are forever, and many of them were invented by Michael Scott.