Interview: Scrubs’ Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) talks film, funny and the future

The show may be coming to an end, but for the career of John C McGinley, better known as the sarcastic, egotistical jackass Doctor Perry Cox in the hit US comedy medical series, [Scrubs], it could be a new beginning.

After eight years, the shows future seems sealed according to McGinley, when asked about the prospect of a spin-off, he said:

I’ve heard about all of that stuff, just Bill Lawrence is too smart and knows the TV landscape too well not to have peppered the eighth season with characters who could be the next generation of [Scrubs], but I don’t see it. The show would have had to have done crazy numbers when it came back on in January and we’re doing the numbers we always do.

We’re doing six or seven million people who are really fanatical and the needle may have spiked when we came back on. If you watched [Scrubs] for the first seven years, you watched it for this eighth year and bringing new people on after eight years isn’t really what happened.

As of yet there are no firm details on when or where the final series will air in the UK, but since the series doesn’t close in America until the end of May, don’t start counting of the chickens just yet.

After all these years, the show has scraped together a tremendous following, McGinley told me about a few of his favourite episodes:

The one where Brendan Fraser comes on and he passes [My Occurance and My Hero] and the whole thing is told kind of like the Bruce Willis movie The Sixth Sense where you don’t know that Brendan has passed yet, Cox is still talking to him, and I thought that was really a great great half hour of television.

I thought it was really good when we had a patient come in and he passes [My Fallen Idol] and then we harvest his organs and give them to three other patients and those patients pass because it turns out that the organs were infected with rabies and so all three patients die and Cox decides he doesn’t want to be a doctor anymore and I thought the musical [My Musical – duh] was pretty good too.

To many fans, Dr Cox is the character that holds the show together as lead man JD’s (Zack Braff) unwilling mentor. Despite the richness of the character, McGinley admits it’s not been an easy role to play:

Scrubs has been the biggest challenge that I’ve ever had, just because keeping something going and fresh for eight years, grinding that deep is really hard to keep it funny and not make it look like it’s hard.

Going from about 60 or 70 different films prior to doing Scrubs it’s kinda hard to nail down Cox, he’s so damaged, one minute he’s funny and the next minute he’s just a ram rod jack-hammer and teaches these kids, you know, do it my way or hit the highway so because that character was so wonderfully eccentric.

For more of the interview with John C McGinley check out the final issue of PR1 (the University of Central Lancashire’s student magazine), which will be released after the Easter break…

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