The biggest question still lingering from Super Bowl XLIX isn’t “Why didn’t Seattle run it with Marshawn Lynch?” Instead, America continues to wonder “Who was the infamously unrehearsed ‘Left Shark’ that nearly submarined Katy Perry’s halftime performance?”
Well, in ESPN’s newest “This Is SportsCenter” spot, we finally discover the true identity of the Super Bowl’s biggest breakout star – not counting New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler: SportsCenter anchor Bram Weinstein.
The ad opens with Left Shark and Right Shark exiting their car outside the snow-covered tundra of ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. “Man, I can’t believe they sent us down there to work,” longtime SportsCenter anchor and Right Shark John Anderson groans upon entering the building. To which Weinstein replies, “Me either. Hey, I wasn’t too out of sync, was I?”
(For the record, the actual Left Shark was Bryan Gaw, one of Perry’s longtime backup dancers.)
ESPN makes special sure to credit “Katy Perry, Baz Halpin and Marina Toybina” for creating the shark costumes, since, in the days following the Big Game, the Left Shark has become a meme and Perry and her team have struggled to keep the costume’s trademark under their control. CNN reports that a man named Fernando Sosa was selling Left Shark figurines online before he was sent a cease-and-desist letter from Perry’s legal representatives. After initially halting sales of the figurines, Sosa switched course and started peddling his Left Sharks again after retaining legal counsel.
In a response to Perry’s cease-and-desist, Sosa’s lawyers note that you can’t copyright a costume and that, if anyone “owned” Left Shark, it was the NFL and not Perry.