I'm Bill Lawrence. I created the television shows Spin City, Scrubs, Clone High, Cougar Town and Ground Floor and have two new shows coming on this spring on FOX and NBC called Surviving Jack and Undateable. Happy to take your questions about anything, TV related or otherwise.


Comments: 1221 • Responses: 56  • Date: 

zachinoz3179 karma

Mr. Lawrence, Braff here. It's rumored that you hate cats, atheists, science/evolution, video games, girls who flash their boobs, and memes. Care to comment on this for the Reddit audience?

BillLawrenceHere2416 karma

I do hate cats my friend. Does anyone have a great pet cat? Trick question, cats aren't pets. It's like saying you have a raccoon as a pet. I'm cool with atheists, evolution, I think, happened, I have a 13 year old daughter so I'm not down with the boob flashing, and are "memes" those street performers who don't talk? See you tomorrow?

Yufu247 karma

Zach, I knew you'd come!

btw, can't wait to see Wish I Was Here when it comes out

zachinoz656 karma

Thank you. Let's see if Bill can figure out how to reply to me...

BillLawrenceHere979 karma

How does my magic typing machine keep delivering questions?

CLT_LVR143 karma

If Bill Lawrence doesn't like it when a girl flashes her boobs, life isn't worth living anymore

BillLawrenceHere500 karma


BillLawrenceHere976 karma

I do not know what "DOWNVOTING" means as I am 45 years old and not that bright.

BillLawrenceHere793 karma

Can anyone here write ten solid minutes of stand up for me? I haven't done stand up in 20 years and am starting to panic.

BillLawrenceHere789 karma

What do you all think of idiots like me trying to promote their shows themselves, grass roots style: too desperate or makes you interested?

titan43x611 karma

Scrubs is my all time favorite show -- thanks so much for making it.

With Scrubs, any regrets? Episodes/scenes that didn't come out as well or were never shot, guest stars that didn't work out, etc.

Also, a number of friends have mentioned Scrubs sometimes is slightly homophobic. Any thoughts on that?

BillLawrenceHere1434 karma

Your friends are wrong?

billthisisforyou536 karma

Scrubs was the show that made me realize I wanted to write for TV. I am in college now as a sophomore at NYU for dramatic writing and I love it. What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a showrunner for their own tv show? How did you get started exactly? (also I just got a reddit for you hence my name)

BillLawrenceHere1036 karma

Nice. Come ask me Monday morning - I'm speaking at your school...

ryantkvids533 karma


BillLawrenceHere663 karma

Because he still lies to people... And thanks, man - this meant a lot.

TheStabbingHobo524 karma

How crazy is Hooch?

BillLawrenceHere861 karma

He's honestly very crazy.

kml01100503 karma

Bill, I need some closure. Is it a silverware drawer, or a pancake drawer?

BillLawrenceHere753 karma

Depends if you're the husband or wife.

marcosdpr415 karma

Posting this again because the other post is buried in downvotes:

Hi Bill, I have two questions for you:

  1. Is it possible, technically speaking, for all Scrubs seasons to be restored and released on HD 16:9, like it was done with a few scenes from season 1 used on the series finale?

  2. Would you like it to be released in 16:9, or do you think the show looks better in 4:3?


BillLawrenceHere524 karma

Too cost prohibitive. Bummer

BillLawrenceHere384 karma

So here's the deal. Thanks. Giant self-esteem boost. I will do another one of these after I crater doing Stand-up. I am forever grateful that anyone watches anyone. Please know that I'm a psycho TV fan, too. Undateable (NBC, tbd) and Surviving Jack (FOX, March 27th, 8:30) are worth checking out. If you like them, thanks. If you don't, you can tell me if you want, but you don'y have to... I'm on Twitter as @VDOOZER and like talking to people (My wife and children often ostracize me). Talk again soon,


BillLawrenceHere324 karma

Anyone watches "anything". On tv. I messed up my sincere closer. Bye ZB, and Scott Foley, too. Go see ZB on broadway, watch Scandal... Put your obligations aside and watch too much TV.

ScottFoley312 karma

Bill, thanks for the work. Let's play tennis.

BillLawrenceHere276 karma

I'm currently very, very good. That's a warning. But I'm easily winded and old.

AncientLanguage265 karma

What is love?

BillLawrenceHere591 karma

Baby don't hurt me.

Frajer263 karma

Hi Bill why does Dr. Cox hate Hugh Jackman so much?

Also on both Scrubs and Cougar Town your wife Christa plays very I guess you can say forceful characters, is she like that in real life?

BillLawrenceHere524 karma

She's meaner in real life. And HUGH JACKMAN: we were just trying to think of a guy that no one hates. And he is too damn talented. He does it all...

mschwa1118235 karma

Hello! Who is Janitor (aka Glen Matthews!) based off of, if at all? All of his sayings and stories are so out there, it is pretty hysterical.

Scrubs is fantastic by the way. The choice of cast, the writing, the balance between humor and emotion. Thanks for it.

BillLawrenceHere480 karma

Just wind up Neil Flynn and let him go. They should let him improv on the Middle but the show would get weird...

wormrat212 karma

Who would you be if you were a Scrubs character? And also, what do you personally think about the last season? It's really great to have you here, welcome! :)

BillLawrenceHere577 karma

Thanks. SCRUBS season 9: I wish it wasn't called SCRUBS, and wish it was just a spin-off try. Other than that: Legacy smegacy. The whole crew (who we worked with forever) got a whole extra year of work. I didn't really work on it, but I get annoyed when people say that it ruined the 8th year "finale". That's not true unless they had a time machine and could go back and not like it.

aCasserole191 karma

For the show Scrubs, were real doctors involved in the script process? I loved the comedy and also serious moments the show had.

BillLawrenceHere337 karma

Yep, the real J.D. , my college buddy and a cardiologist here in LA, was the medical advisor and says "Goodbye" in the finale. On set, the cast called him "real"

trythevealchild147 karma

"Real J.D."? Does he wear a hairmet?

edit: hairmet, not hatmet

BillLawrenceHere247 karma

I'm wearing one now.

BillLawrenceHere180 karma

PLUG: Surviving Jack March 27th on FOX. Chris Meloni is crazy good/funny. Promise. He also scares me a little.

Toyou4yu162 karma

I love Scrubs. It reminds me why I want to be a doctor and why I'm not a doctor. You found the perfect blend between comedy and drama. So good.
How did you guys manage to find the balance in Scrubs?
Will you be my friend and can I have your autograph?
For those of you just tunning in he has yet to give me his autograph. I never went through with the friend thing, I never do.

BillLawrenceHere200 karma

Autograph - sure, friend - I'm too old for new friends, but on Facebook, sure, And Scrubs worked because the medical stories were real and it was shot in a real creepy hospital.

Bol_Wan130 karma

Mr. Lawrence, big fan!

Your shows always have amazing music. Do you have special places where you find these amazing musicians or do they serenade under your window every night?

BillLawrenceHere212 karma

My crazy wife (and Zach and Neil Goldman on SCRUBS) picks the music for all my shows. She's much cooler than me.

Toyou4yu121 karma

What is with all the downvotes? Legitimate questions are being downvoted Bill, so please look at them. There is no hate down below.
For Bill: Downvoting is notice those two arrows next to everyones comments. The down pointing arrow when clicked on has the comment have less points. The lower points people have the lower their comment is and the less likely you'll see it. Downvotes become big because A) they get hidden by other comments or worse B) They are below a certain threshold and hidden, these would make people think they are hateful or inappropriate. Since you are the almighty Bill Lawrence people want their comments to be seen by you and downvoting others make that more likely to happen for them.

vansevs124 karma

People downvoting each other so their question gets higher. It's really stupid.

TheModernScientist104 karma


BillLawrenceHere352 karma

here is some love up in this beeyatch.

ScottFoley113 karma

Is it your belief that any word said twice in rapid succession will be understood to mean that you'd like sprinkles on your ice cream?

BillLawrenceHere95 karma

jim-jims, dipsy-dips, yes. Hey, bud.

TheModernScientist105 karma

Hey Bill,

Question from my friend, a huge Scrubs fan.

How much of the JD/Turk bromance was an original idea for the direction of the show, and how much of it was a reaction to their friendship in real life?

BillLawrenceHere184 karma

Was always a bromance - I'm often accused of doing that on all my shows. It was enhanced by their Guy love.

Jbli98 karma

Which scrubs scene took the longest to shoot because the cast couldn't keep themselves from laughing at it?

BillLawrenceHere229 karma

Zach and Neil when Neil wanted Zach to wear shorts his "wife" made.

CGrevlos89 karma

Hey Bill! I'm such a huge fan, I know this is a broad question.. but what Scrubs episode did you have the most fun making?

BillLawrenceHere153 karma

Pilot, because I remember meeting everyone, and we are all (cast/crew/writers) still tight.

dontblink12388 karma

Oh my god oh my god oh my god, keep it cool, your career idol is here do not freak out...

Thanks so much for doing this AMA.

Where do you think Med School would have gone if it was given a proper chance?

Did Elliot and J.D. have a boy or girl? What did them name them?

What would you name Cougar Town if you could rename it?

What was your favorite running gag on Scrubs?

Who's idea was it to have Abed from Community appear in the background of a scene?

Lastly I have a post over in /r/Scrubs about the best trivia question, what is the best Scrubs trivia question you have?!

BillLawrenceHere126 karma

Thanks. Answered Med school. Sunshine State was the only other title for CTwe liked, but I'd never change it now. Hooch was a favorite running gag. Neil and Garret and I wanted to cross promote Community and CT. Best trivia: where did the Janitor FIRST get named Glen. (Clone High)

CLT_LVR85 karma

Mr. Lawrence, there were times when actors and actresses were reused later as different characters. Was there any specific reasoning behind this?

By the way, Scrubs is amazing and my friends have running jokes referenced on a daily basis. We've all seen the seasons dozens of times

BillLawrenceHere152 karma

Only happened once. And we liked her.

drelos79 karma

Hi Bill, I just want to thank you for the 99 Luftballons scene and ask you which was your weirdest and funniest "dream" you came up with?

BillLawrenceHere164 karma

Don't strangle your kids, fake more you know kills me.

FrostyDaSnowman74 karma

Hey Mr. Lawrence! What was your favorite scene of Scrubs that you wrote? Also what was your favorite moment during your time working on Scrubs? Thanks!

BillLawrenceHere180 karma

I like the speech J.D. makes as he walks the halls in the finale because it's really about what it means to me to be a tv writer. I'm very grateful.

pluc6169 karma

What things did you learned on the writing staff of Friends that helped you become a successful showrunner?

Is there a reason why you are one of the only writers of Friends that had a career after?

BillLawrenceHere77 karma

Gary Goldberg sent me to show running camp essentially. Thats where I learned all that stuff.

Matt__Larson62 karma

What are you having for dinner tonight?

BillLawrenceHere220 karma

I'm going with sushi and begging my wife for sex.

that_homeless_guy61 karma

Hey Bill, let me start off by saying that me and all of my friends are huge Scrubs fans, it has affected our lives greatly. I just want to ask, since I know that Zach and Donald are such great friends, did their bromance progress as the show progressed? What was it like seeing the two become so much like the characters you created for the show? Also were any of the characters part-improv? Semi-related question- what was the best prank that was pulled on set?

BillLawrenceHere189 karma

I pulled the best prank on set, by putting a fake license plate on Zach's car that said "TV DOC" so he looked like a tool when he took his girlfriend out. Proud day. And thanks...

Benay14859 karma

Why was the pancake in the silverware drawer?

BillLawrenceHere121 karma

Don't make me say it.

Hyphnip57 karma

Hey Bill, huge fan!
1) Where did you plan on going with Clone High? Will we ever see it brought back... maybe as a comic?
2) What was the best improvised thing on Scrubs?
3) How can I convince my friends Cougar Town is actually a good show and to just ignore the title?

BillLawrenceHere93 karma

Clone High: Chris and Phil were the brains - check out Lego movie. We'd love to bring it back as an animated movie. All of Neil Flynn's imprv's killed me. If you like CT, thanks, and just watch - no need to convince anyone.

ElRexicant45 karma

Bill, you say you listen to the Howard Stern Show regularly and that you discuss the show with your wife Christa Miller and friend Natalie Maines... A) How do you feel about Benjy on the show? B) Would you ever hire him to write comedy for one of your scripted shows?

BillLawrenceHere65 karma

Benjy would have to be like, the best writer on staff to keep his job if he is continually so...difficult, I guess is the word.

jivatum40 karma

Hi, I love all of yours shows, they have been amazing and I look forward to more.

My question is, who is better to work with: Dog Travis or Human Travis?


BillLawrenceHere67 karma

Both played by same actor.

Daydu38 karma

Hey Bill! Thanks for Scrubs.

Two of my favorite episodes are My Soul on Fire Parts 1&2, so I have a couple questions pertaining to those.

Where did you get the idea to film in the Bahamas?

And for your small part as Van, after working for so long behind the camera, how comfortable were you jumping in front of the camera?

One more quick one, does Donald Faison really smell like it's hot out?

BillLawrenceHere85 karma

That's where my folks live - that tiny island. And I was intoxicated while I was VAN. I feel I was amazing, my wife says I can't act.

darthbanana9432 karma

Hey Bill, big fan of Scrubs! Thank you for doing this AMA! I was wondering if we were ever going to see Dr. Acula?

Toyou4yu27 karma

They filmed over it remember, and burned the script/

BillLawrenceHere84 karma

Dr. Acula will be my first, and only ovie project.

Cptn_McAwesome10 karma

Hey! Glad to see you here.

My question:

What has been a project you wholeheartedly believed in, but just could not be made that you wish you had done?

BillLawrenceHere23 karma

Fletch. I'd drop it all to try and remake FLETCH again - was supposed to write and direct it...

RaiderGuy9 karma

Hey, Bill. I'd like to eventually get into the television writing business some day (and move to LA, it's warmer there) and I was wondering, how did you get into it? Any advice? What degree should I be going for, and from where? What should I expect going into something like television writing? Thanks.

BillLawrenceHere25 karma

They don't care where you went to college (except Harvard lampoon types). Your resume is your writing.

JMakILL9 karma

I know you probably have been told his many times, but Scrubs has been a source of comfort for many viewers. Thank you very much. I know I have spent hours watching with many different groups of people and there is never a dull moment.

I should probably ask a question here so: How has life changed for you after Scrubs?

Did it make future ventures that much easier?

How was it transitioning from an established show like Scrubs to a new project like Cougar Town?

Did it feel like you were starting from scratch?

BillLawrenceHere17 karma

I feel a little like it's Groundhog day. I've been running a tv show for many years, and get most of my pleasure now from helping other talented writers through the system. Then, of course, stealing the credit.

AdmiralQuackbar7 karma

Hey Bill! Thanks for doing this! Couple questions,

  1. How do you feel Scrubs ended up after season 8 compared to the visions you had for the show when you first started? How much changed along the way?

  2. Any idea when TBS will announce Ground Floor renewed/cancelled? It's really a great show, it's amazing to see someone can make a multi-cam sitcom work in the current television environment.

Thanks again for everything you've done!

BillLawrenceHere9 karma

Ground Floor will be picked up. Very confident.

PsychedelicAmpersand7 karma

Hey Bill! First off, lemme start by saying Scrubs kept me sane through high school. Thank you! :D

So since The Lego Movie came out, I decided to check out Clone High, and I’ve kinda fallen in love with it. In a recent interview, you mentioned you’re trying to reboot Clone High with Phil Lord and Chris Miller, but MTV has the rights. How much would it cost to buy the rights back from MTV (Are you even legally allowed to say? If not, I apologize for my being forward.)?

Have you considered using Kickstarter to gather funds to buy the rights back? I’ve never used Kickstarter, myself, but I would totally contribute to a Clone High reboot.

BillLawrenceHere20 karma

Clone High the movie. We will make it so.... (no kickstarter, though)

Sandy4815 karma

Hi Bill!

First off I want to thank you for creating Scrubs because it made me smile and laugh each time I needed it. It was and still remains my favorite tv series and no matter how many times I rewatch it the series never gets old. My question is, how do you find that fine line between comedy and drama especially in episodes that explore death but also show J.D. and Turk being hilarious, like in "My Last Words" when Turk describes his and J.D.'s itinerary of their first day in heaven as taking a dip in the milkshake pool and visiting the lesbian cloud? Hopefully before Carla dies though, because you know she'll ruin heaven for everyone.

Also, I quoted Dr. Kelso from "My Boss's Free Haircut" in my high school senior yearbook. Best. decision. ever.

BillLawrenceHere9 karma

The line between comedy and drama is always tricky. When we erred on either side the show sucked.

buffalocompton4 karma

Mr. Lawernce, First off I want to thank you not only for doing this AMA but for creating so many wonderful shows that helped me through many difficult parts of my life. Scrubs is and will continue to be my favorite show of all time. I only have a few questions for you:

1) How different do you think season nine of Scrubs would have turned out, if it was allowed to become a spin-off like originally intended?
2) What is the most memorable moment you have had in all of directing, writing, or acting? (first one that comes to your head)

3) Lastly, I HAVE TO KNOW, What was Dr. Greens deal with bees?For reference

BillLawrenceHere9 karma

Would have been all about Coupe and Mosely - they were working as characters. Franco cracked me up, too. For me, the first time Mike Fox said a line a wrote was 'shit-your-pants' crazy. He was a hero. Dr. Green was just bee-crazy, right?

C_Me2 karma

OMG OMG Bill Lawrence... so many questions... I... uh... um... banana hammock!

BillLawrenceHere4 karma

wearing one now.

Maninhartsford2 karma

Hey, sorry for the long post because this is going to be a long post. I'm 22 and I discovered Scrubs when my mom casually mentioned that in one episode they were having a ketchup fight in the cafeteria, "you know how that show is." I didn't, but I sure as hell wanted to find out. From there, I couldn't put it down. I loved how crazy it could get and at the same time, how wrenchingly emotional. I became addicted to checking entertainment news sites during the writers strike just so I could see when it would come back, and if it would get the finale it deserved. Then, I started going to a half-day film class near the end of high school and I can honestly say that it's a combination of that and Scrubs that I am currently a film major who spends all his free time making web series. If it hadn't been for those things, I would probably be a creative writing major, and miserable. But picking up a camera coupled with my desire to make something even a little as great as Scrubs has kept me motivated and helped me be the person I am today. What got to me was the quick cutting dialogue, the absurd surrealism, and above all, the characters. I've gone from aping Scrubs hallmarks like the voiceover and cutaway (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mayn9eq7EtY, and actually the title screen shot is an homage to JD walking into Sacred Heart for the first time) to a series about a 21 year old dropout and his imaginary friend (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzY6bCAKz4k) but everything I do is in the name of "how would Scrubs do it?" So I guess I don't really have a question, I just wanted you to know that your show has shaped my life in the most positive of ways. You do amazing work

BillLawrenceHere6 karma

Thanks man. Keep going. Modern tv landscape - anyone can make it. Truly.

oddlyspicy1 karma

As you have more and more projects on the air and therefore more oversight responsibility, from a creative standpoint do you miss just having to run/write on one show or do you more enjoy being responsible for multiple projects?

Also Scrubs is severely underrated in the pantheon of great comedies. And I'd really like to work for you someday, thanks?

BillLawrenceHere5 karma

I sometimes wish I could go back to just writing jokes... was super-fun