‘Scrubs’: The Janitor Actually Has a Real Name
Out of all the medical drama TV shows that ran on television in the early 2000s, Scrubs was one of the most unique.
The show was less about the trials and tribulations of the medical profession than it was about the difficulties of growing and working in a teaching hospital and the occasional pitfalls of friendship. Starring Zach Braff, Scrubs ran for almost 10 years on TV and maintains a healthy popularity to this day in the form of reruns.
Fans love learning everything that they can about the acclaimed series, including the truth behind the infamous Janitor on the show.
What was ‘Scrubs’ about?
Scrubs debuted on television in 2001. Set at the fictional Sacred Heart teaching hospital, the show followed a group of interns, hospital staff, and medical professionals.
From the caring to the dense, a variety of characters were featured on the show, and at the heart of it all was J.D., played by Zach Braff. Viewers followed J.D.’s journey from intern to seasoned pro, all as he dealt with the pressures of maintaining a personal life.
Critics praised the show’s whip-sharp writing, as well as the interesting way that Scrubs featured regular”fantasy” sequences, where J.D. would imagine a variety of bizarre or outrageous scenarios — usually during the course of the workday. Ultimately, the show ran until 2010, and made stars out of many of the main cast, including Zach Braff and Donald Faison.
Others in the show made a big impression as character actors — including the star behind the infamous fan-favorite character known as “The Janitor.”
Who played ‘Janitor’ on ‘Scrubs’?
“The Janitor” is Sacred Heart teaching hospital’s resident custodian, a man who develops a very antagonistic relationship with J.D. early on in the series. J.D. and Janitor are almost constantly at odds with each other, and the custodian becomes known for pulling a wide variety of pranks on the often-naive J.D.
The character of Janitor was played by Neil Flynn, a talented star who had appeared in many television shows and movies prior to getting cast on Scrubs. As Janitor, Flynn was able to create a character that was hilarious, difficult, and charming, all at once. Flynn got such a good handle on his character that, according to reports, he often came up with his lines on the fly, and rarely relied on a script in order to be funny.
In spite of the fact that Janitor taunts J.D. almost relentlessly throughout the series, the staff and residents of the hospital still love him — and he maintained a regular presence on Scrubs right up until season eight.
The character of ‘Janitor’ had a real name
It is true that to the staff, interns, and residents at Sacred Heart teaching hospital, the loyal custodian was known simply as Janitor. But this isn’t because the character didn’t have a real name — in fact, showrunners just waited until the right moment to reveal his name.
According to Screen Rant, Janitor’s one-word name was in place to maintain an air of mystery. However, in the highly-rated episode My Finale, Janitor’s real name was revealed to be Glen Matthews.
In spite of the name revelation late in the game, to many fans, the character will always be known as Janitor. As for Neil Flynn, he has gone on to work on a variety of other high-profile projects, including the web series Vixen — but for those who invested so many hours of their time into the world of Scrubs, he will forever be the cranky but lovable Janitor.