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October 19, 2014

5 Questions With: John C. McGinley

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jan 30th 2009 2:01PM
"I like when the show is presumptuous enough to try to make people laugh and cry in the same 27 minutes."

It's official: The cast of 'Scrubs' will hang up its stethoscopes and bid farewell to Sacred Heart Hospital at the end of this, the eighth and now final, season.

After a move from NBC to ABC this year -- and much speculation about doing a spin-off or focusing the show around the new batch of interns for a few more seasons -- creator Bill Lawrence has put the rumors to rest. But with 12 episodes still left to air, star John C. McGinley, who plays the nickname-spouting recently appointed Chief of Staff Dr. Perry Cox, shares his thoughts on the end of the show.

McGinley gave AOL TV the exclusive about the decision to end the show, the "genius" policy that made working there such a blast, his favorite episodes and what's still to come. -- By Maggie Furlong


It's official: The cast of 'Scrubs' will hang up its stethoscopes and bid farewell to Sacred Heart Hospital at the end of this, the eighth and now final, season.

After a move from NBC to ABC this year -- and much speculation about doing a spin-off or focusing the show around the new batch of interns for a few more seasons -- creator Bill Lawrence has put the rumors to rest. But with 12 episodes still left to air, star John C. McGinley, who plays the nickname-spouting recently appointed Chief of Staff Dr. Perry Cox, shares his thoughts on the end of the show.

McGinley gave AOL TV the exclusive about the decision to end the show, the "genius" policy that made working there such a blast, his favorite episodes and what's still to come. -- By Maggie Furlong




1. Bill Lawrence just officially announced that this will be the final season of 'Scrubs' -- did you know that this was coming?
Yes, I mean Billy is so smart in the TV landscape and he peppered the cast with these new interns, kind of taking care of the "just in case" scenario. If all of a sudden instead of six or seven million people a week watching 'Scrubs' ... if for some reason, all of a sudden 10 million people a week started watching 'Scrubs,' then ABC would bring it back, but that's not that realistic. The same six to seven million people have watched 'Scrubs' for eight years. The demographic is young men -- that's the only reason we've been on -- but those numbers don't really make anybody stand up and dance. It's just that young men from 18 to 35 watch the show and, for some reason for advertisers, that's the most desired demographic. That's the only reason we've been on for eight years.

2. It always seemed like you all were having so much fun with the show -- would you be up for working with Bill again?
Oh, I would do anything with Billy. I know he's doing one with Courteney Cox now, called 'Cougartown,' so he's on to the next one. He's the hardest-working person in my generation I've ever met, and the trickle-down is everybody else tries to work as hard as Bill. So, that set was a place people came to really grind, which was fantastic. And also Billy instituted a no a**hole policy about four weeks in to the first year. Somebody said something offensive to Judy [Reyes] and then somebody else did something to Sarah [Chalke], and Billy just laid it down: if you come here and you're disrespectful, they'll fire you. It's genius! The net effect wasn't that people came to work and walked on eggshells. The net effect was come to work and do your thing. It was very liberating. That place became a fascinating experiment. You saw [people's] kids being born and then going into the first and second grade -- you know, eight years is a long time!

Scrubs' Photos

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: Actor Donald Faison arrives atSvedka Vodka's Inauguration Soiree held at Guy's Nightclub on January 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Donald Faison

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19: Zach Braff attends the Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Staples Center on January 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Zach Braff

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19: Zach Braff attends the Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Staples Center on January 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Zach Braff

    Getty Images

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 19: Zach Braff attends the Los Angeles Lakers vs Cleveland Cavaliers game at the Staples Center on January 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Zach Braff

    Getty Images

    Actress Sarah Chalke arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards - InStyle Warner Bros Official After Party at the Oasis Court at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.

    Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.com

    Actress Sarah Chalke arrives at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards - InStyle Warner Bros Official After Party at the Oasis Court at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California.

    Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.com

    Actor /Comedian Billy Crystal visits "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on January 12, 2009 in New York City.

    Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage.com

    Actor Zach Braff visits "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on January 12, 2009 in New York City.

    Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage.com

    Actor Zach Braff visits "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on January 12, 2009 in New York City.

    Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage.com

    Singer / Musician Kara DioGuardi visits "Late Show with David Letterman" at the Ed Sullivan Theater on January 12, 2009 in New York City.

    Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage.com



3. Looking back, do you have a favorite episode?
I have two: When Brendan [Fraser's character] dies and then 'My Lunch,' the one where Cox loses three patients and then he decides he's not gonna practice medicine anymore and he just stays home. I like when the show is presumptuous enough to try to make people laugh and cry in the same 27 minutes. Like, when 'M*A*S*H' was really clicking, and it had you laughing one second and you had a lump in your throat the next. To be able to do that in half-hour primetime television is really ambitious, and sometimes it falls flat, and other times it just explodes. We had a few of those over the eight years and those are the ones that really crank for me. I thought the musical was fantastic ... Billy just nails these episodes.

4. And you must have a favorite nickname for JD ...
Whatever the first one was, because I invented it, and Billy just ran with it. We used to call [John] Cusack [who McGinley's worked with on three projects] girls' names all the time, because he was just the Queen Bee out in Malibu [laughs], and it was a way of just taking the piss out of him, and I kind of brought that to the hospital and called Zach [Braff] girls' names and Billy kept it in. I guess "Susan" or something was the first one I called him.

5. What other shenanigans do we have to look forward to in this last half of the final season?
Ted, the lawyer, getting a girlfriend is fantastic. The woman they cast is astonishing -- she's a ukulele player, and her sense of musicality is what appeals to Ted, and they decide they can only communicate musically. [Laughs] It's hilarious. I think Sammy Lloyd [who plays Ted] is the most underrated actor on the show.

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