Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) takes his memorable set of choppers to help him play a dentist on The Middle this Wednesday, November 20. He plays Frankie’s boss Dr. Goodwin. RT chats with him about his role and what his family Thanksgivings are like.
RT: Does a fierce power overwhelm you when you put on a lab coat?
Jack McBrayer: I get drunk with power [laughs]. This is one of the first times I’ve been able to play a position of authority of any kind, but the good news is, the material and playing off Patricia Heaton is a dream. I told them it’s like a working vacation.
RT: What is your relationship to the dentist in real life?
JM: I’m actually okay because I have a little tinge of OCD and it manifests itself in terms of organizing my finances, keeping my laundry in order, and taking care of my toofees. And I’m very okay with going to the dentist because very rarely do they tell me that I am in bad shape, so in a sick way I’m like, “Yeah I knew it, I told you.”
RT: Take that, dentist. Is Dr. Goodwin based on anyone in real life?
JM: This dentist is based on a real dentist of one of the writers. Between takes, she would say “Yeah, he was hell bent on taking the whole office to Vegas one weekend,” and all these random crazy stories that we may or may not see depending on the plot lines coming up. It’s weird knowing that you’re playing a character that’s based on a real person to some degree, of course.
RT: Who will be watching.
JM: I was like, “Does he know?” She said she told him, and he was thrilled.
RT: With great power comes great responsibility.
JM: That’s right, I’m mad with power.
RT: That’s what I was getting at with that first question. I knew it.
JM: Out of control.
RT: That sounds like you. Because this is a thanksgiving episode, what’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
JM: I loved Thanksgivings growing up, because in the south, everything is cooked with butter, so it’s delicious. In recent years, I haven’t been able to go back to Georgia, so here’s a fun fact. In the years I was doing 30 Rock, I was going to celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s house because I know he and his wife Stephanie March–we go way back. So I got an invitation to his house for Thanksgiving for the past 7 years. It was awesome. It was unbelievable.
RT: I can’t imagine what magnificence was served.
JM: It was ridiculous, it was so good. I brought a bottle of wine, but you know what else I brought? Tupperware. And I filled it up and took it home, and I did not apologize.
RT: I knew I liked you. Do you look forward to a certain show over the holidays on TV?
JM: There is something very comforting about the sound of a football game on in the background at Thanksgiving, and the Macy’s Parade. But over the rest of the holiday, I loved the Rankin and Bass specials. That always warms my heart, and it’s so funny how early they start. You don’t realize it when you’re a kid, but now I’m like, “It’s barely Halloween. How is this possible?”
RT: What do you want for Christmas?
JM: I don’t really want anything, but what I am excited about is that this is my first warm Christmas. I’ll be in Georgia for a little bit, but this is my first time not having to be in New York during the Christmas and New Year’s season. I get to be by my swimming pool at the end of the year. December 27th I will be tan. It’s going to be Tan-uary.
For more information on The Middle, visit ABC.com