August 2, 2021


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

‘The Grinch’ musical: Best reactions to Matthew Morrison role

When Matthew Morrison first appears in NBC’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!” he paces the floor and stares into the distance while explaining how much he hates Christmas. He then tilts his green face, furrows his green eyebrows and points his green finger at the camera.

“Look at you, stop grinning,” he says to everyone watching from home. “We’re not here to enjoy ourselves.”

The family-friendly musical adaptation has been an annual crowdpleaser of San Diego’s Old Globe for the last 20 years, and has since played Broadway twice and launched numerous tours. NBC’s pre-taped performance was filmed over two days at the Troubadour Theater in London.

Morrison’s complete commitment to his take on the beloved character (which he partly based on Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker,” after all) was the topic of conversation around the TV musical event, which premiered Wednesday night and will be followed by an encore airing on Dec. 21.

“I feel that he is in a Shakespeare play,” tweeted actress Katie Johantgen, one of many viewers perplexed by Morrison’s approach. “Matthew Morrison is Richard III, live on NBC.”

Some who tuned in were delighted by Booboo Stewart, who playfully portrayed the dog Max:

Still, the most confusing part of the broadcast was the jarring amount of ads: