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Scranton Is Real

Scranton, Lackawanna County's largest city, has a rich history, including being a cornerstone in the building of our country. As interesting as Scranton's contributions to the Industrial Revolution are, the Electric City Is now best known nationally for being the home of Dunder Mifflin from NBC's hit show, The Office. While the iconic television show is the most notable, Scranton has long been a favorite reference in pop culture, so much so that people are sometimes surprised to learn that the City is an authentic and wonderful place.

 

While the fictional representations are run and, frankly, a valuable tool for marketing our community, Scranton, Lackawanna County, and our people have had a far more significant impact outside pop culture. Check out our list below of notable pop-culture references, as well as the real people and real accomplishments they achieved.

Pop-Culture References

 
The Office

The hilarious NBC mockumentary-style TV series and cultural phenomenon centered around the fictitious Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch made real-life references to locations within the city and made famous what locals and visitors have always known: There really "ain't no party like a Scranton party, 'cause a Scranton party don't stop!" Take The Office Self-Guided Walking Tour!

 
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

HBO's comedic current events show and its host, John Oliver, had some fun highlighting Scranton and our local WNEP 16 News viewers' infatuation with the weather department's backyard train set. A friendly back-and-forth between the show and our community ensued, resulting in the show building and gifting to Scranton "an almost irresponsibly large train set" filled with Scranton's landmarks. The incredible and very real train set is now on display at the Electric City Trolley Museum for all to enjoy.

 
Dave Portnoy

The founder of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, has done his famous pizza reviews at over 1,000 locations in the United States. Nine of those reviews took place during two different visits to Lackawanna County, including three in Scranton. "One bite; everybody knows the rules!"

 
Home Alone

Since the movie's debut in 1996, millions of viewers have laughed till they cried watching a young Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) protect his house from a pair of bungling burglars as his mother tries to get home to her son. Her desperate efforts bring her to a fictionalized version of the real Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

 
That Championship Season

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning 1972 play, as well as the 1982 film, are set in Scranton. Scenes for the movie were filmed in Scranton, and Scranton resident Jason Miller wrote both the play and adaptation, along with directing the movie. The film's score featured the West Scranton High School band. Some of the notable shooting locations included Nay Aug Park and the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Station (now the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel Scranton).

 
Ted Lasso

Coach Ted Lasso mentions Scranton when he mistakes the British version of The Office for the American remake after Jamie Higgins, Director of Football Operations for AFC Richmond, states that Zava, a world-class striker, wants to play and live in England because his wife binge-watched the show.

 
30,000 Pounds of Bananas

The 1974 Harry Chapin song depicts a fictional version of a real 1965 truck accident that resulted in the flipping of a 35-foot semi-trailer filled with bananas. Its load of bananas spilled onto Moosic Street in Scranton.

 
Kingpin

As the hysterical 1996 comedy begins, we learn that the movie's main character, bowler Roy Munson (Woody Harrelson), lives in Scranton.

 

Real People, Real Achievements

 
Adam Rippon
Photo by Jamie Squire / Getty Images

 

This Lackawanna County Native won an Olympic bronze medal in ice skating and Season 26 of the Dancing with the Stars television show. 

 
Gertrude Hawk Jones

Candy maker and entrepreneur who started the Gertrude Hawk Chocolates Company out of her home in Scranton.

 
Jason Miller

Scranton native Jason Miller was a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright best known for his roles in The Exorcist and Rudy.

 
Motionless In White
Photo by The Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Scranton metal band has released six albums, three of which reached #1 on Billboard's Top Hard Rock Albums Chart.

 
Robert Wood Johnson

An American industrialist from Lackawanna County who is a co-founder of Johnson & Johnson.

 
Paul William Richards

American astronaut from Lackawanna County who served as Mission Specialist 2 aboard the STS-102 Discovery on its mission to the International Space Station.

 
Alex Grass

Scranton native and founder of Rite Aid. His first store was opened in 1962 right in Downtown Scranton.

 
The Menzingers

This punk rock band from Scranton released seven albums and has toured internationally, including in North America, Europe, and Australia.

 
Terrence Pegula

Lackawanna County native and billionaire owner of the Buffalo Bills of the NFL and the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL.

 
Mike Munchak

An NFL Hall of Fame offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans). Munchak, a Scranton native and graduate of Scranton High School, made nine Pro Bowls as a player before his extensive coaching career in the NFL, including a stint as the Head Coach of the Tennessee Titans, the franchise that originally drafted him in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft.

 
Lauren Weisberger

The author of the 2003 bestselling book The Devil Wears Prada was born in Scranton.

 
Stephen Karam

Scranton native Karam is a playwright, screenwriter, and director best known for his play The Humans which landed him six nominations in the 2016 Tony Awards, winning four awards for Best Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, and Best Scenic Design in a Play.

 
Fred Tallaksen

Four-time Emmy-nominated choreographer whose work has been seen on stages and screens worldwide for over twenty years. Notably, Scranton native Tallaksen has worked one-on-one and coached celebrities including Madonna, Bad Bunny, Ben Stiller, and many more.

 
Brian Stann

A Scranton native, decorated marine, and mixed martial arts fighter, Stann was awarded the Silver Star for his valor in combat in Iraq. He won the WEC Light Heavyweight Championship before fighting in the UFC.

 
Gino Merli

Born in Scranton, and a lifelong Lackawanna County resident, Sergeant Gino Merli, a PFC at the time, was the recipient of the Medal of Honor, two Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star for his courage and valor during World War II.

 
Joseph Sarnoski

Lackawanna County native, 2nd Lieutenant Joseph Sarnoski received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions as a nose gunner on a B-17 Mission during World War II.

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