Neil Flynn

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Neil Flynn
Flynn at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in May 2012.
Neil Richard Flynn

  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1987–present
Known forJanitor (Scrubs)
Mike Heck (The Middle)

Neil Richard Flynn is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for his roles as Janitor on Scrubs and Clone High, and Mike Heck in the ABC comedy series The Middle. He has had notable appearances in television series, such as That '70s Show, CSI, and Smallville, and the television films It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie.

His film career includes appearances in The Fugitive, Home Alone 3, Mean Girls, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and The Resurrection of Gavin Stone. His voice-over work extends to films such as Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, animated series including Bob's Burgers, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Clone High, King of the Hill, and the Ratchet & Clank video games.

In 2015, he starred in the DC Comics web series Vixen, set in the Arrowverse. In 2019, he starred alongside Natalie Morales in the NBC sitcom Abby's.

Early life and education[edit]

Flynn was born on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. He is of Irish descent and was raised in a devout Catholic household.[1] He moved to Waukegan, Illinois, at an early age.[citation needed]

As a student at Waukegan East High School in 1978, he and partner Mike Shklair won an Illinois Individual Events championship for Humorous Duet Acting. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, acted in plays, and participated on the Bradley University Speech Team.[2]

After graduating in 1982, Flynn returned to Chicago to pursue an acting career.[citation needed]


In Chicago, Flynn acted with the Goodman and Steppenwolf theaters. He was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award (Actor in a Principal Role, for The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, 1986). He also performed at the Improv Olympic and the Second City Comedy Troupe.[citation needed]

In 1998, he founded the improv team Beer Shark Mice with David Koechner, which was still active as of 2015.[3]

Although his role on Scrubs had been to that point the most visible, he had other small roles in a variety of different TV shows and movies, including That '70s Show, Baby's Day Out, CSI, My Boys, Seinfeld, and Smallville.[citation needed]

In The Fugitive, he plays a Chicago police officer who is killed by the one-armed man, Frederick Sykes while he is fighting Dr. Richard Kimble. This role was used in a subplot of the Scrubs episode "My Friend the Doctor" when J.D. notices Flynn's character in the film and believes that Flynn's Janitor character is the actor in the film. In 2008, Flynn worked with Harrison Ford again, playing a suspicious law enforcement official as FBI agent Smith in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.[citation needed]

Flynn had a minor role in Mean Girls as the father of Lindsay Lohan's character. He then played the part of an anonymous police officer in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; this scene was cut out of the final version of the film, though it can be viewed in the straight-to-DVD spin-off film Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie, and in the deleted scenes of the Anchorman DVD. He had a minor role in Major League as a longshoreman and fan of the Cleveland Indians. Flynn had a role on Phil Hendrie's animated pilot that was not picked up by FOX.[citation needed]

He was also first baseman Stan Okie in the movie Rookie of the Year.[4]

Flynn appeared in an episode of The Drew Carey Show, playing the fake husband of future Scrubs co-star Christa Miller. He appeared in an episode of Seinfeld, playing a police officer.[citation needed]


For Scrubs, Flynn auditioned for the role of Dr. Cox but was given the role of Janitor, instead. He was originally only cast for the first episode ("My First Day"), but he became a regular, playing a character known only as the Janitor, who devotes much of his energy to menacing young Dr. John "J.D." Dorian. His name is not revealed in the series until the season 8 finale when, upon J.D.'s first time asking about it, he simply says his name is Glenn Matthews. This is also speculated to be false for two reasons: first after J.D. leaves the shot, an orderly addresses the Janitor as "Tommy"; and second, while watching The Fugitive with Carla and Danni (Dr. Cox's sister-in-law, played by Tara Reid) in the season 3 episode 'My Friend The Doctor', J.D. notices the real-life Flynn's character in the train scene. When the Janitor confirms he was in the movie at the end of the episode, some fans speculated the Janitor's name in Scrubs is Neil Flynn, but this was dismissed by Flynn in an interview.[5] Flynn was a series regular with Scrubs through the first eight seasons.[6] When Scrubs was canceled by NBC and subsequently picked up by ABC, he signed a second position one-year deal for Scrubs season 9, which would have allowed him to continue on Scrubs if his pilot The Middle was not picked up.[6] The Middle pilot was picked up, but he appeared as a guest star in Scrubs' season 9 premiere.[citation needed]

The Middle[edit]

Flynn's long-running role, Mike Heck, was on ABC's The Middle (2009–2018). The character had three children and worked at the Orson Limestone Quarry. The Heck Family was a working-class family in Indiana.[7]

For his work on The Middle, Flynn was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series at the 6th Critics' Choice Television Awards.[citation needed]

Voice-over work[edit]

Flynn has also done voice acting for the animated series Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, though he is better known for voicing the popular characters Skidd McMarx and the Plumber in the first three Ratchet & Clank games for the PlayStation 2. He also made a guest appearance in Kim Possible.[citation needed]

Flynn voiced the character Max Flush on the FOX TV show Bob's Burgers in the episode "O.T.: The Outside Toilet".[citation needed]

As of 2015, he was providing the voice of Chuck, the foster father of the title character in the DC Comics animated web series Vixen.[citation needed]

Honors and awards[edit]



Year Title Role Notes
1989 Major League Longshoreman
1993 Rookie of the Year Stan Okie
1993 The Fugitive Transit Cop
1994 Baby's Day Out Cop in the park
1994 The Fence Dominick
1996 Chain Reaction State Trooper Neimitz
1997 Home Alone 3 Police Officer #1
1999 Magnolia Daniel Hill
2000 The Right Temptation Max
2001 The Removers Alien Mask Man
2003 Brainwarp Detective Jim Fist Direct-to-video
2004 Mean Girls Chip Heron
2004 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy Cop Deleted scenes
2006 Hoot Mr. Eberhart
2007 Sex and Death 101 Zack
2007 Alive and Well Joel
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull FBI Agent Paul Smith
2009 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Weather News Network Producer Voice
2017 The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Waylon Stone
2020 Superman: Man of Tomorrow Jonathan Kent Voice
2022 5-25-77 Dr. Callahan


Year Title Role Notes
1987 CBS Summer Playhouse LAPD Officer Episode: "Kung Fu: The Next Generation"
1987 Sable Real Security Guard Episode: "Copycat"
1989 Tour of Duty SEAL Episode: "Sealed with a Kiss"
1989 Doogie Howser, M.D. Policeman #1 Episode: "Pilot"
1996 To Sir, with Love II Detective Dennis Television film
1996–97 Early Edition Cop, Kellaher, Marilyn 3 episodes
1997 Seinfeld Cop #1 Episode: "The Summer of George"
1998 The Drew Carey Show Scott Honey Episode: "Kate's Family"
1998 Ellen George Episode: "It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!"
1999 That '70s Show The Bouncer Episode: "The Velvet Rope"
1999 Sliders Officer Phil Episode: "Easy Slider"
1999 Chicago Hope John Derricks Episode: "Vigilance and Care"
2000 Then Came You Cop Episode: "Then Came the Monthiversary"
2000 Family Law Jack Lumberg Episode: "Telling Lies"
2000–01 Buzz Lightyear of Star Command XR Voice, 24 episodes
2001 The District George Ryerson Episode: "Vigilante"
2001 Norm Lee Episode: "Norm vs. Deception"
2001–09 Scrubs Janitor Main cast
2002 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Officer Yarnell Episode: "Identity Crisis"
2002 Boston Public Walter Andrews Episode: "Chapter Thirty-Four"
2002 NYPD Blue Kevin Healey Episode: "Low Blow"
2002 It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Janitor Television film
2002–03 Clone High Janitor; various voices 12 episodes
2003–04 Smallville Pete Dinsmore 2 episodes
2005 King of the Hill Turpin Voice, episode: "Arlen City Bomber"
2005 Love, Inc. Nathan Episode: "Love, Inc."
2006 Joey Father O'Neill 2 episodes
2006 My Boys Danny Finn Episode: "When Heroes Fall from Grace"
2006 Re-Animated Head of Appleday Board Television film
2007 The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show Hitchhiker Episode: "T-Bones TV"
2009 Monkey Talk Kevin Television film
2009–18 The Middle Michael "Mike" Heck Main cast
215 episodes
2012–15 Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja Mr. Bannister Voice, 4 episodes
2013 Bob's Burgers Max Flush Voice, episode: "O.T.: The Outside Toilet"
2014 Surviving Jack Sport Teacher Episode: "She Drives Me Crazy"
2014 Key & Peele Doctor Episode: "Sex Addict Wendell"
2015 Undateable Customer Episode: "A Live Episode Walks Into a Bar"
2015 Jeopardy! Himself 3 episodes
2019 Abby's Fred Main cast
2021 Chicago Party Aunt Old Man in Bar Voice, episode: "Ribs for Her Pleasure"
2022 Girls5eva Chris Dutkowsky Episode: "Can’t Wait 2 Wait"
2023 Lopez vs Lopez Steve Episode: "Lopez vs Neighbors"
2023 Shrinking Raymond Episode: "Moving Forward"
2023 Clone High Janitor Revival; episode: "Clone Alone"


Year Title Role Notes
2015–16 Vixen Chuck McCabe Voice, 6 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role
2002 Ratchet & Clank Plumber, Skid McMarx, Robot Lieutenant, Inventor, Foreman
2003 Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando Plumber
2004 Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal Plumber, Skid McMarx, Taxi Driver, Gary


  1. ^ Keller, Joel (May 5, 2010). "Patricia Heaton on Spending Mother's Day in 'The Middle'". TV Squad. Retrieved October 10, 2010. And so many of us -- Neil Flynn grew up in the suburbs of Chicago -- and just talking about how he grew up ... And he's also Irish-Catholic, which is how I grew up.
  2. ^ a b Moses, Tori (April 7, 2017). "Neil-ed it". Bradley University. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Metz, Nina (August 10, 2015). "'Middle' and 'Anchorman' stars return to iO Theater with improv team Beer Shark Mice". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "Rookie of the Year (1993)". IMDb. Retrieved January 10, 2010.[unreliable source?]
  5. ^ Flynn, Neil. "Neil Flynn: Cleaning House". (Interview). Interviewed by Jamie Steinberg. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 15, 2009). "ABC renews 'Scrubs'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Ng, Philiana (October 13, 2013). "'The Middle': Patricia Heaton, Creators Reflect on Road to 100 Episodes". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 19, 2015.

External links[edit]