If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may already be aware of my love affair with “Scrubs” and all things SH.
An enamored fan since the show debuted in the fall of 2001, I spent my first day in Los Angeles on the set, back when it was just a baby series in its debut year. The experience, for a lifelong TV dork like me, made my heart so full that I decided then and there to ruin my father’s dream of a daughter with a graduate degree and make a permanent move West to work in Hollywood instead.
Cut to 2004… I’d been struggling for two years — like every star struck loser who moves to L.A. on a whim — when I finally caught a break, freelance reporting for a television columnist who sent me to an NBC event where I spotted “Scrubs” creator Bill Lawrence.
That night, Bill — without a publicist in sight to ruin it all — gave me the exclusive on the casting of upcoming guest star Colin Farrell and, yes, I landed a regular reporting gig because of it.
Of course, my stalker-fan adventure came full circle last summer when I was invited to travel to the Bahamas with the “Scrubs” cast and crew and watch them film their big season 8 episode.
I felt so blessed, my brain nearly combusted on the plane flight down.
So you can imagine my level of glee when I was interviewing Mr. Lawrence a couple weeks after the trip and he asked if I’d like to appear on the show.
Would I whaaaa?
For a kid who grew up in the Midwest, fully obsessed with sitcoms and everything TV, this was it. This was the moment.
Thankfully, when Bill makes a promise, he means it. Barely a month later, I got the phone call… “Scrubs” season 8, episode 16 had a part with my name on it. Literally. Nurse Korbi.
Not a huge stretch. My mom’s a nurse. I once considered nursing school. This was good casting. So good that I really didn’t even get nervous.
I mean, I was nervous about being late, because I always am. But I managed to get to the Valley Village set when I was supposed to. Pretty much. You know, my call time was 1… I think I rolled up to the security guard at 12:59, no big deal. “Scrubs” shoots in an old, abandoned hospital — not on, say, the Disney Lot — so there aren’t a hundred hoops to jump through when you arrive. Just a low-key guard who I think recognized me from my previous visit a few months prior.
I parked my car and wandered into “Sacred Heart” unattended. I’d been told to report to the third floor where many of the producers and department heads have offices… and where hair, make up and wardrobe hang out.
Alright, fine, at that point I was a little jittery, but it was cool because there were familiar faces everywhere. I’d just spent a week in the Bahamas with these people. Yay, new friends… and old.
My buddy, Jared, “Scrubs”‘ assistant production coordinator, whom I met during a college internship and who brought me to the set that first day back in 2002, was the second or third person I saw when I got off the elevator. He wasted no time telling me what a lucky bastard I was for getting to be on the show and how he’s toiled for seven seasons and never spoken a line on camera… Oh, Jared (he likes to whine), I suddenly felt right at home!
After getting an earful, I was ushered into my good friend Jesse‘s office, where I signed a contract and waited to get called into hair, make up and wardrobe. And there was a lot of waiting… which was cool, because I’d yet to see the script and needed ample time to practice the two words I’d be uttering on screen. Also, Jesse said I could play on his computer, so I totally did… and i found a ton of porn.
J/K! J/K! Jesse is very professional. At work.
The hair, make up and wardrobe women couldn’t have been nicer. I tried to be as low maintenance as possible, just telling them to do whatever they thought was best and they took care of me.
Eventually, the time came for my cameo to be shot. I was escorted down to another floor where Ken Jenkins (Dr. Kelso), my soon-to-be scene partner, was walking around on a set I knew well after seeing it on TV hundreds of times… the admitting area, with the front desk and the waiting room and the gift shop to the side. It all made sense since Nurse Korbi is the “admitting nurse” and Dr. Kelso isn’t feeling too well in this particular script… Bad muffin batch.
Anyway, there were cameras and equipment and crew members — many of whom I recognized and some who recognized me — all over the place. I sat in one of the waiting chairs next to Ken and we chatted about a myriad of topics… his stage career, my Hollywood apartment, his confusion over much of the crazy “Scrubs” dialogue.
A.D. Franklyn Gottbetter had my picture taken with a Polaroid and fashioned an official Sacred Heart name tag for me during this time — it is freakin’ sweet and I will have it forever — and shortly thereafter, we were ready to rehearse. Writer Kevin Biegel, who penned this particular episode, and director Linda Mendoza came over to introduce themselves and a minute later, the man himself, Mr. Bill Lawrence, came down to wave hello.
“I kept my word,” he said.
“You have an honest face,” I told him. “I knew you would.”
I won’t go into too much detail about the scene, because I want you guys to watch the show this week: Wednesday, 8 p.m. on ABC. I show up around the 4 minute mark, I think.
Besides, the rehearsal and filming of it took a lot longer than the 30 seconds it ends up being on TV. But it was all cool. I actually wish I could do it again.
Hopefully, I gave Mr. Biegel and Ms. Mendoza what they wanted… They did ask me to do a few takes, but I think that’s pretty standard, no?
Ken Jenkins was awesome to work with. I sort of wonder if they purposely wrote me into a scene with him because he’s so incredibly nice.
And, yeah, before I knew it, it was done and done. I was free to wander out of the abandoned hospital and back into the Southern California sun.
So surreal. If I’d known seven years earlier what a lucky bastard I would indeed be…
Oh, by the way, before I exited, I did catch a glimpse of the emerging first lady of big screen comedy, Ms. Elizabeth Banks, and Mr. Scott Foley, who guest star in what is commonly referred to as “my” episode.
As every good “Scrubs” fan already knows, Banks plays J.D.’s baby mama and Foley plays Elliot’s ex… and, anyway, they’re delivering some big news to J.D. and Elliot this week. Peep all the clips for an early look, but don’t forget to watch the full ep, okay?