Oh my God, it’s almost 2010: Best superfluous characters on ‘Scrubs’
If there’s one show that defines the comedy sitcom of this decade, it would have to be “Scrubs.” The show’s absurd and irreverent humor propelled it to a steady eight seasons (I’m just going to ignore the fact that the creators are bringing in an entirely new cast for next year) that never fail to delight me when the reruns are on Comedy Central. The last few seasons were a bit lagging, due largely to a loss of the randomly specific, utterly ridiculous daydreams and side characters and plots. In honor of the golden days of “Scrubs” that will always be emblematic of the past decade, I’ve compiled a list of the best characters “Scrubs” has introduced who have absolutely no bearing on the plot whatsoever.
5. Nurse Mophead
The scene opens as a nurse with a clipboard and a bushel of red hair enters a patient’s room. The Janitor appears behind her, and his inner monologue commences: “Who’s there? Nurse Mophead. Nurse Mophead who? You have a Mophead.” The nurse then promptly leaves the room, proving that her entire existence in the scene has no purpose but to provide a 12-second showcase of the Janitor’s amazing wit. That clip has stuck with me ever since I first saw it (it’s perfect for a quick YouTube giggle), especially because Nurse Mophead never makes another appearance on the show.
This thickly bearded doctor has the unfortunate last name “Beardfacé,” prompting everyone in the hospital to call him “Beard Face”—understandably so but much to his chagrin. While his presence is a bit more frequent than Nurse Mophead’s, Beardfacé’s outbursts are always a welcome joke, especially because they are amplified by his unidentifiable accent. At one point, Turk ponders what Beardfacé is hiding under all that hair, and the world may never know the answer to this illustrious question, but we’ll always have an “It’s Beardfacé, damn it!” to laugh at.
Hooch is perhaps the most developed character on this list, and with good reason. He started off as a good-natured guy, but after constantly mistaking conversations about “Turner & Hooch” or beer with people calling his name, Hooch snapped and became legitimately insane. His soft delivery and grimace-smile are terrifying to the entire Sacred Heart staff—except Turk and J.D., who constantly pull pranks on him. They revel in his reactions, creating the catchphrase “Hooch is crazy,” always uttered in a chiding, joyful tone. For instance, J.D. and Turk put bouillon cubes in Hooch’s shower head and then grabbed some popcorn and a front row seat for his outburst. Hooch’s response? “If it happens again, I will wait in my SUV, blast me some speed metal—5.1 surround sound, heavy on the bass—and someone will be getting mowed down.” Hooch’s delivery matches that of a criminally insane villain in any film, but in the “Scrubs” environment, with J.D. and Turk’s constant merry provocation, he just becomes hilarious. He never factors into the main plot, and he is eventually fired, fittingly, for being involved in a hostage situation, only to be seen in J.D.’s dream sequence in the series finale in a straitjacket, saying “Hooch IS crazy!”
2. Johnny the Tackling Alzheimer’s Patient
This is another 12-second gem that has constantly entertained me since 2002, when I first saw it. There’s not much to say about this one except the sage advice that Dr. Cox gives J.D.: “No matter where you go in life, always keep an eye out for Johnny the Tackling Alzheimer’s Patient.” J.D.’s natural reaction, “What’s that supposed to mean?” is interrupted by good ol’ Johnny screaming “Who am I?” as he tackles him, resulting in one of the most brilliantly literal gags ever created on television.
1. Old M.C.
Old M.C. is my personal favorite, and a truly extraneous-yet-amazing character, whom J.D. and Turk encounter at a medical conference—much to their excitement, as he is the best Young M.C. impersonator on the circuit. At first, they take much delight in asking him questions such as “Say I was too nervous to hit on that girl over there. What advice would you give me?” knowing that the inevitable response is “Bust a move.” Things quickly turn sour, though, when they realize that he literally cannot say anything except “Bust a move!” Old M.C.’s attempts to enter the main narrative of the episode provide the most humorous parts of his character arc: As J.D. wonders aloud about girlfriend problems, saying, “Part of me wants to talk to her, part of me wants to—” he is cut off by Old M.C. saying, “Bust a move?” J.D. angrily retorts, “You have a problem, sir. Seek help!” And we can only hope he did.