×

The Original Sharknado! High School Teacher Came Up With Idea Two Years Before It Hit Syfy

Latin instructor and pal created a shark-in-a-tornado logo for T-shirts, hats for school’s lacrosse team before made-for-TV phenom

Sharks getting sucked into the vortex of a tornado? A high school lacrosse team has been there, done that.

A Latin teacher at Georgetown Preparatory School in Bethesda, Md., came up with the idea for “sharknado” more than two years ago for the Catholic high school’s lacrosse team, complete with logo. He and his buddy put the sharknado on T-shirts, hats and koozies and sold them to friends and family.

“The thought process was that sharks and tornadoes are two of the most feared things in the universe,” said Mike Norton, founder of MRC Group, a technology consulting and recruiting firm in McLean, Va. Norton worked on the sharknado project with Georgetown Prep instructor Mike Kubik, head coach for varsity wrestling and assistant coach for varsity lacrosse.

SEE ALSO: Syfy Greenlights ‘Sharknado 2,’ Sets Twitter Contest for Film Subtitle

That was well before Syfy was brewing made-for-TV pic “Sharknado,” which swirled into a cult hit thanks to a small but powerful social media storm that accompanied its July 11 airing. The NBCUniversal cabler has since greenlit a sequel to be set in Gotham and invited Twitter users to submit ideas for a subtitle with the hashtag #Sharknado.

There doesn’t appear to be any controversy over who has dibs on the Twitter-friendly “sharknado” portmanteau. Norton registered the domain name “sharknado.com” in May 2011, but he never launched a website at the address and says he’s not trying to make a buck by flipping the domain name. Norton and Kubik were surprised when they heard about the Syfy movie earlier this year.

SEE ALSO: ‘Sharknado’ Takes Social Media By Storm

Asked for comment, Syfy said it’s not interested in obtaining the sharknado.com domain name. Meanwhile, neither the cabler nor anyone else has registered the term “Sharknado” with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Norton said he knew that he and Kubik had come up with “a very, very catchy name,” but he’s content for the original sharknado to remain a hobby. “It was a fun side project,” he said. “Parents and kids love the concept.”

More TV

  • Photos of CBS News anchors, correspondents

    Maria Mercader, CBS News Veteran, Dies at 54 Due to Coronavirus

    Maria Mercader, whose work at CBS News helped deliver the division’s breaking news from the U.S. and around the world to viewers, died Sunday due to coronavirus, CBS News said. She was 54 years old and had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since the last week in February. CBS News said Mercader  [...]

  • Jeanine Pirro

    Fox News Defends Odd 'Judge Jeanine' Broadcast, Citing 'Technical Difficulties'

    Many viewers noticed something was off during Saturday’s episode of “Justice With Judge Jeanine,” particularly host Jeanine Pirro’s disheveled appearance and slurred speech at times. However, a Fox News spokesperson said that “technical difficulties” marred the show’s first at-home broadcast. “Jeanine Pirro was broadcasting from her home for the first time when she encountered several [...]

  • Trisha Yearwood and Garth BrooksMusiCares Person

    Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood Sign On for Impromptu Live CBS Special

    The live-stream home concerts that have become more of a phenomenon during the coronavirus crisis are now crossing over to prime-time TV. In what is being described as an outgrowth of the kind of web shows that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have already done, CBS has scheduled an hour-long special, “Garth & Trisha Live!,” [...]

  • Tiger King

    'Tiger King' Ranks as TV's Most Popular Show Right Now, According to Rotten Tomatoes

    Netflix has a tiger tale that has punched into the zeitgeist with “Tiger King,” stocked with a cast of real-life bizarre personalities and sinister plot twists. “Tiger Tale,” a true-crime-style docuseries that debuted March 20 on Netflix, ranks as the most popular current TV show, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 97% critic’s rating [...]

  • La Unidad

    Movistar Plus Pitches ‘La Unidad’ Digitally to International Buyers

    MADRID  —  Telefonica’s Movistar Plus was set to show off a pair of dramas at this year’s MipTV before the market was canceled. Now, Movistar has prepared online presentations on Monday where it will screen episodes of both series as well as conversations with producers and creatives from both series. Each show focus on terrorist [...]

  • La Linea Invisible

    Movistar Presents New Drama ‘La Linea Invisible’ to Virtual Marketplace

    MADRID – Originally planned to premiere alongside fellow Movistar Plus Original “La Unidad” at this year’s MipTV, “La Línea Invisible” will now instead screen for international buyers digitally in an online showcase hosted by the Spanish broadcaster on Monday. From “What the Future Holds” creator Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”), the six-part series is [...]

  • John Callahan

    John Callahan, 'All My Children' Soap Opera Star, Dies at 66

    John Callahan, a soap opera star on “All My Children,” died on Saturday morning after suffering a stroke at his Palm Springs, Calif., home on Friday. He was 66. “Your bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever. We are devastated–my great friend, co-parent partner, and loving father to Kaya,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content