Sam Lloyd has been on the comedy circuit in recurring roles on Cougar Town, Spin City, Seinfeld and The Middle. He is best known as Ted, the down-on-his-luck lawyer from Scrubs. We caught up with him at OzComicon Brisbane, running 19-22nd September at the Convention and Exhibition Center.
Welcome to OzComicon. First time in Australia?
No, third. I was out here a few times with my band doing the pub and university circuit.
And they appeared on Scrubs in a sketch. Did you ask for that or did they just walk up to you one day?
We’d been singing together for years but if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears then did it make a sound? So we didn’t make a sound, really, until Scrubs. And the first year I was on the show we had a cast and crew Christmas party and I said “I have this ridiculous group and we could sing a goofy song at the party just for the fun of it” and they said “Okay”.
And so we sang at the party and they said “That’s ridiculous – we’re going to put it on the show”
You worked with the creator of Scrubs on Spin City?
We actually met each other playing basketball probably around 1993/94 and we got to be friends. He was a big fan of my Seinfeld – that’s kind of how we broke the ice. He was an aspiring writer at the time and then he would bring me in for Spin City and we did another show together.
He just kept bringing me in for things if I was right for it and Scrubs came along and he said “It’ll probably be a recurring role” and I said “Sure, let’s do it”.
Did you have to move out to LA?
No, I was already based there. I moved out there in the mid-eighties right after college.
So you always wanted to act?
Yeah, absolutely. Both my parents were actors and I grew up doing children’s theatre from the time I was three year’s old and I went to school for it as well. So I don’t ever remember going “oh, I think I’ll be an actor” but just assumed that’s what I would do.
Has it always been comedy?
Yeah. That was always the appeal. My heroes were Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, WC Field, Peter Sellers, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks. So it’s always been comedy.
Scrubs had this great trick of being billed as a comedy but sucked the audience in with really dramatic moments.
When the show was at its best they were able to pull both those things off. I like to consider myself a dramatic actor as well and I trained for that as well and I’ve been lucky enough to do some drama but that was the great thing about Scrubs – I got to play both sides. It was a great opportunity.
And then you got to continue the same character on Cougar Town. That must have been such a kick.
It was a blast. Especially because the first time they were filming it in Hawaii. So they called me up and said “Do you want to go to Hawaii and be Ted again?” and I said “Yeah. Yes I would!”
What are you up to at the moment?
I just finished a play in New England. We did a production of Guys and Dolls which is great. We just got back to LA, did some voice over work and auditioning. I’m also writing a stage musical with a couple of friends.
Has it got a title yet?
Working title is With Pam and Gill.
All the best with everything and thank you very much for your time.