John C. McGinley is returning to sitcoms after a brief layover in drama-land, and I for one can’t be happier. Even better: He’s teaming up with Bill Lawrence, aka the creator behind Scrubs, where McGinley made his mark as the curmudgeonly Dr. Perry Cox. They say lightning can’t strike twice, but I’m betting on it happening with this combination.
When it came to Scrubs, McGinley’s Cox was the one that I paid attention to the most. He was grumpy, sarcastic and also quite demeaning to Zach Braff’s John Dorian. That said, he could also be surprisingly tender and helpless under that gruff exterior. This part of him came into the most focus when his brother-in-law Ben died (Note, if you’re spoiled on this by now, it’s been nearly 10 years. It’s streaming on Netflix. Season 3: “My Screw-up”. Watch it. Great TV), where he just climbed into his shell and didn’t get out for a long time.
After Braff, who was the show’s main star, left after the eighth season, McGinley and Donald Faison both tried to save the show, but there was nothing left in the tank. Scrubs alumni have been popping around all over the place, with Sarah Chalke having her own show for a while and Faison finding new life on The Exes on TVLand. McGinley made a brief detour into drama land, playing the traitorous Tom Card on Burn Notice. Card wound up with a bullet hole in his head and after a stint on Broadway in Glengarry Glen Ross, comedy beckoned again for the veteran actor.
There’s not a whole lot of information that I can see about Ground Floor, his new show, but he is playing the character of Mr. Mansfield, who is apparently an alpha male like Cox was, which is right up McGinley’s wheelhouse.. If you think there’s a chance that he won’t rock on this show, I leave you with this immortal quote from Dr. Cox: