At its core, Scrubs was a medical comedy that built a devoted fan base due to its ability to mix laughs with real-life medical drama.
However, while the TV show prided itself on its comedic sensibilities, it also drew from real life to give the comedy an authentic feel. Sometimes, this meant basing the fiction of the show on the reality around its stars.
When lawyer Ted Buckland started an a capella band, the medical drama didn’t have to go far. The late Sam Lloyd already had a crew in his back pocket.
‘Scrubs’ becomes a hit
While Scrubs might not have been the first medical comedy on the airwaves, few other shows could achieve what it did. While it was, at its core, an absurdist comedy with several laughs an episode, it also had heart, tears, drama, and weighty issues behind it. This is what made it so unique and beloved by its devoted fans.
From the quirky but believable characters like Zach Braff’s JD to the harsh words of John C. McGinley’s Dr. Cox, everyone in Scrubs seemed both like a comic caricature of a real person and grounded in a way that few comedies achieve. This commitment to reality made the show a hit among fans both in the medical community and beyond.
Scrubs might have gone to some genuinely absurd places throughout the years, but at its core, it always kept a hint of believability. Whether it was the meticulously researched take on real-life medical problems or the believable human drama, Scrubs was still just south of reality in its portrayal of Sacred Heart hospital.
Sometimes, this realism came from subtle places. When Lloyd’s Buckland started his a capella group, the show’s creators brought on his real-life a capella group to help give this sense of realism.
Who was Ted Buckland on ‘Scrubs’?
While most of the show’s characters were doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals, Buckland played a different role. As the hospital attorney, his job wasn’t to save lives or keep the patients comfortable. He was there to protect the hospital from any legal battles and ensure that everything they were doing was by the books.
Lloyd was an eccentric, charming presence in the cast, and this showed in Buckland. Like Lloyd, per Mental Floss, Buckland had a love for music that led him to create a band called The Worthless Peons. This band, which was made entirely of employees at Sacred Heart, sang theme songs, commercial jingles, and occasional pop hits at several events throughout the run.
Rather than going outside to cast this part, however, creators brought in Lloyd’s real-life band, The Blanks, to fill the role required in the show.
According to the Blanks’ website, the band performed for many years. Not only did they take their talents to the screen on Scrubs, but their comedic stylings were also seen on Comedy Central, TV Land, and several other television channels.
Aside from Lloyd, a founding member of the group, Paul Perry, George Miserlis, and Philip McNiven, completed the quartet.
Like the show, the band had a knack for performing television songs. Their live shows were part concert, part comedy, and part improvisation. When songs didn’t have words, like The Little Rascals theme, the group mates would make up their own for performances. Unfortunately, Lloyd died in 2020, and the bands’ status remains unknown.
The Blanks serve as a reminder that not every fictional aspect of a television show is scripted. Sure, the band name changed, and the members were in character, but behind it was a group that genuinely loved performing together.
This, perhaps more than anything else, might explain the appeal of Scrubs and how it resonated with fans because of this.
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