SCRUBS’ Neil Flynn Talks the Future of the Janitor


After eight years of successfully avoiding any actual janitorial duties, SCRUBS’ ubiquitous Janitor is packing up his cleaning supplies. But thankfully for fans of the man behind the mop, actor Neil Flynn isn’t moving far.

In fact, this fall (Wednesday September 30 at 8:30PM to be exact) Flynn will trade in his mop for a minivan, joining Patricia Heaton on the new half-hour laugher THE MIDDLE, where he’ll tackle his most challenging role to date; That of hapless husband and father to three not so-typical TV children. (Or as Flynn describes his TV brood, “heads of state compared to [SCRUBS co-stars] Zach Braff and Donald Faison!”)

Same night (Wednesday), same network (ABC), just far less work.

“With SCRUBS there were so many different setups, sometimes 40 or 50 different shots,” explained Flynn when asked to compare the difference between the two shows. “Cut away to this, cutaway to that, shooting SCRUBS took a lot of time!”

Not that you’ll hear Flynn complaining.

“My particular path in this business has never been an easy one. So the idea of being able to set your bags down and stay for eight years is totally foreign to me,” said the actor. “I’m aware of how much luck is involved. So few shows get on the air and even fewer stay on the air. I’m lucky enough to get involved with one that did, and I’m very grateful for it.”

But is he grateful enough to return to SCRUBS for a guest appearance or two?

“I think there’s a good chance the Janitor will pop up again at some point in the coming season,” confessed Flynn. “At least once, sort of to explain his departure.”

But does the Janitor ever really leave Sacred Heart?

“That’s a good theory, I’ll pitch that to Bill [SCRUBS creator Bill Lawrence],” laughed Flynn. “The Janitor will live in the bell-tower of the hospital long into the next generation. Who knows… maybe he was born there or was left on the steps of the hospital as a baby!”

The Phantom of Sacred Heart… we smell a spin-off! Seriously, someone get Bill Lawrence on the phone