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The Best Guest Stars in Scrubs: Brendan Fraser, Michael J. Fox, Ryan Reynolds & More
Over the course of Scrubs’ nine seasons, many notable guest stars walked through the halls of Sacred Heart Hospital.
The opening theme song of Scrubs says it best: “I can't do this all on my own / No, I’m no Superman.” That song, by Lazlo Bane, speaks to one of the things that made the series, now streaming on Peacock so great. A fantastic ensemble cast carried the show, aided by an impressive roster of guest stars.
Over the course of Scrubs’ nine seasons, many notable guest stars walked through the halls of Sacred Heart Hospital. Some were major characters who stuck around for multiple seasons. Others had smaller but no less memorable roles, appearing in just a handful of half-hours, or even a solo episode.
Here are 10 of the best guest stars from Scrubs, listed alphabetically by last name.
Master of None’s Aziz Ansari played Dr. Ed Dhandapani in four episodes of Scrubs’ eighth season and also appeared in one of the Scrubs: Interns webisodes. Ed was an intern, and his most notable trait was that he was really, really lazy and disinterested — which are not a quality you want in a doctor! Cox eventually fires Ed, though in reality Ansari was written off because he’d gotten a leading role in Parks & Recreation.
Actor and Cocaine Bear director Elizabeth Banks played Dr. Kim Briggs in several episodes of Seasons 5 through 8. Compared to some other guest star characters, Kim, a doctor at Sacred Heart, is a majorly important character. She and J.D. started dating in Season 5 and J.D. got her pregnant when they, uh, almost had sex (it was a whole thing). J.D. and Kim almost stay together, but Kim eventually breaks it off when she realizes J.D. was only doing it for their child. Kim and J.D. eventually become cordial co-parents of their son, Sam Perry Gilligan Dorian.
The Friends star guested on a fellow NBC sitcom when she appeared in three episodes of Season 8 as Taylor Maddox, Sacred Heart’s new Chief of Medicine after Dr. Robert Kelso retired. While outwardly nice, she was actually a ruthless and cruel administrator who didn’t care for the patients’ wellbeing as much as her ability to wring money out of their insurance. At the behest of the doctors, Kelso used his influence on the Sacred Heart board to get her fired, leading to Dr. Cox eventually taking the position.
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox of Back to the Future fame also starred in Spin City, an earlier show from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. So it made sense that he’d appear in an episode of Scrubs, where he played Dr. Kevin Casey, a visiting surgeon, in two Season 3 episodes. Casey has OCD, a character trait that was written to mask some of the symptoms of Fox’s Parkinson’s Disease, and J.D., Turk, and Cox all initially express jealousy over how great of a doctor Casey is before realizing how much of a toll the OCD takes on him.
Brendan Fraser, star of The Mummy, is perhaps Scrubs’ greatest guest star. He played Ben Sullivan, Cox’s close friend and his ex-brother-in-law. Ben appears in three episodes, first a pair in Season 1 where he’s diagnosed with leukemia, and then in one of the greatest episodes of the entire show: Season 3’s “My Screw Up,” where Cox must face a tear-jerking truth.
The Banshees of Inisherin star only appeared in one episode of Scrubs, Season 4’s “My Lucky Charm." Farrell played Billy Callahan, an Irish man living in the United States who comes to Sacred Heart to accompany a man who he injured during a bar fight. Billy initially earns the ire of J.D. and Turk, who are envious of the freewheeling way he lived his life. The women of Sacred Heart, however, all loved him because Farrell is a heartthrob.
Boogie Nights star Heather Graham played Dr. Molly Clock, a psychiatrist at Sacred Heart for several episodes of Season 4. Her kind, spacey demeanor made her clash with Cox, and she and J.D. almost got together but it didn’t happen before she left the hospital.
The late, great Friends star also directed “My Unicorn,” the Season 4 episode where he guest starred as Murray Marks. He ends up donating a kidney to his dad, a patient known as “Old Murray,” even after its discovered that “Old Murray” isn’t his biological father.
Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds played Spence, a college friend of J.D. and Turk who visits them in the Season 2 finale, “My Dream Job.” Spence lives a fun, much less stressful life than J.D. and Turk lead working at Sacred Heart, which eventually leads to the pair reconsidering their relationships with their jobs.
Dick Van Dyke
The eponymous star of The Dick Van Dyke Show played Dr. Doug Townshend in the Season 2 episode “My Brother, My Keeper.” A beloved old doctor, Townshend was well-liked by the staff, but Kelso realizes that, in his age, Townshend has not been keeping up with medical developments and no longer can safely do medicine, leading to his reluctant forced retirement.
Scrubs is streaming on Peacock.