I fell in love with the show Scrubs primarily because of the awesome character, Dr. Perry Cox. Dr. Cox is/was played by “that guy” actor John C. McGinley. Funny thing is, once you are at the point of recognizing John C. McGinley on sight, you’ll notice that the genius, snarky, hard-edged general practitioner has been around for quite a while, hiding under different aliases:
Bob Slydell, Office Space
Bob is actually one of Perry’s weaker disguises. The in-your-face attitude is almost completely gone, but do not be fooled! Notice the use of the arms, the puckered lower lip, the talking through the fake laughter. Who knows why Dr. Cox took a break from Sacred Heart to be a business consultant, but it’s clear he was trying hard to lay low. Nice try, but ultimate fail.
“Rig” Lanlow, Nothing to Lose
The good doctor landed on some hard times in the late 90’s (probably en route to his short-lived career as a business consultant). Here his ruse is blown by giving in to the irresistible urge to refer to the less-than-macho Tim Robbins as a girl scout and the name “Alice.”
(sincerest apologies for the language in this one, which is not usually something I like to have my blog; unfortunately it appears this will just be the nature of the beast for this post)
David Blake, Highlander II–The Quickening
Here we see that Dr. Cox has a career waiting for him as a corrupt CEO of a corporation that keeps the planet alive after the destruction of the ozone layer. And somehow makes money at it. He only makes a brief appearance in this trailer, but I think it’s all you need to recognize the cocky body language and tone of voice . . .
Sgt. O’Neill, Platoon
You wouldn’t think he was old enough, but Cox is a vet. Outside of appearance, it’s tricky to catch him here. How can we tell, then? He’s a complete jerk to someone he doesn’t like who has to do something he doesn’t want to do, then the man in charge drops it on him, too. Not only will he later experience this at Sacred Heart, but he’ll become a pro at dishing it out on those lazy, helpless, younger residents. (Note: can I just point out how Willem Defoe’s body has that same creepy, starved-but-ripped appearance here as it does decades later in movies like Spider-Man and Boondock Saints? *shivers*)
(again, apologies for the language)
Ben Harp, Point Break
What an impressive resume. Here Perry reveals himself by the use of his ever-superior lecturing skills. At Sacred Heart, he usually tones it down quite a bit, but a few times he does slip and lose it to this caliber of fury.
Officer Francis Muldoon, Car 54 Where Are You?
. . . okay, if you just watch the trailer, it’s obvious that’s Dr. Cox in a cop uniform just by his overly-serious demeanor. But beyond that, this is here because I can’t leave this atrocity out of a list of John McGinley movies. The poor guy got second billing to Buster Poindexter. At least he can dodge that with “I was in a movie with The Ramones.”
Now that Scrubs is ending, I wonder where we’ll see Perry Cox next . . .