|TV viewers know Chris Meloni as the quietly intense Detective Elliot Stabler on "Law & Order: SVU" or twisted inmate Chris Keller on "Oz."|
So what the heck is he doing as a pediatrician who carries around a puppet on "Scrubs"?
Having a great deal of fun getting away from the serious world of "SVU," as it turns out. On Thursday's (Oct. 23) "Scrubs," Meloni guest-stars as Dr. Dave Norris, a pediatrician who Dr. Cox (John C. McGinley) and his ex-wife Jordan (Christa Miller) ask to be their baby's doctor.
"He's a little eccentric, a little acerbic," Meloni says of Dr. Norris. "I think once you get to know the guy, he might be okay, and he may be a very capable pediatrician. But his introduction on 'Scrubs' ... both barrels were used. He comes out of the box roaring."
Naturally, that doesn't go over well with Cox, who doesn't much care to deal with someone so like himself. "We bump heads a lot," Meloni says. "It was great."
Meloni is a fan of "Scrubs" and says he got his guest role "because I'm a shameless brown-noser. I met [creator] Bill Lawrence -- and I don't usually say this -- but I went up to him and said 'Your show rocks. I love the skewed perception, I love the whole way you tell the story.'"
The actor even pitched Lawrence a story to get himself on the show, playing McGinley's brother. That didn't happen, but "on top of that, I threw out the idea of him having a puppet, which Bill was very amenable to."
"Scrubs" has a habit of bringing guest stars back for multiple episodes, and Meloni hopes to shoot another episode in the future. Scheduling may be a bit difficult, though, as "SVU" films in New York and "Scrubs" in Los Angeles.
"I've got John C. McGinley working on it," Meloni says. "I fully intend and hope that I do come back, because I thought it was a very rich and funny character and a good foil for McGinley's character."