Exclusive Interview with Robert Maschio
Yesterday we published our talk with Sam ‘Ted’ Lloyd and now it’s time for THE TODD! Brace yourself for an epic high-five…
The audio is in two parts (required for high-five sound effects) and the transcript follows.
G-Funk: We’re here at OzComicCon 2014 with Robert…help me get this right…
Robert Maschio: Maschio! Robert Maschio.
G: Maschio! And Amelia, our junior reporter (the smallest 1-year-old Funk had to join us for the interview due to unforeseeable circumstances).
G: She’s a prodigy reporter, that’s why she’s here. Welcome to Australia!
RM: Thank you very much.
G: First visit?
RM: Second. I was in Melbourne in September with OzComicCon that they invited me back and here I am in Perth.
G: Well it’s good to see you here.
RM: Thank you.
G: We are the middle of nowhere.
RM: I kinda like it though, I gotta tell ya. I’m a surfer and we went to Scarborough Beach the other day. It’s kinda nice here, I think it’s quite beautiful to be honest.
G: Especially if you’re a surfer, that’s good to hear.
G: Now I have a medical question…
G:…this constant high-fiving, is this gonna cause trouble?
RM: It’s caused trouble, I’ve thrown my shoulder out. I spread a lot of germs, I might be Patient Zero. Because if one person’s sick I’m going to literally high-five a hundred people and they’re all going to get it.
G: Do you do any special warm up exercises before you start? Because this is a big high five day!
RM: Well first of all I slip on the banana hammock, because it just feels right. Thereafter I just feel like to give high fives the way I make love: hard and fast. And then I wash it off in between.
G: Oh jeez…I’m glad my daughter is gone.
RM: Yeah, she’s gone. There’s so many people here. You see this girl (gesturing to an approaching fan)? I love what happens here. You see this horseshoe…you’re going to watch the miracle that happens here.
G: Ok, I’m watching.
RM: (To fan) We’re doing an interview here! How DARE you! Ok, hurry up. Hit it and quit it five (Robert delivers a solid high five to the fan). So you saw that. That’s the magic right there. If only your audience could see that.
G: A lot of people are coming in just for the high fives…
RM: Yeah, they come for…I should charge. Like a kissing booth, I should have a high five booth.
G: Maybe. I scored a free high five yesterday.
RM: Listen: what kind of man charges for a high-five?
G: That’s true, it’s a blessing.
RM: It is a blessing.
G: On the show Scrubs we saw Todd evolve over time. At first he was just a surgeon, then there were the high fives and the banana hammocks. Was this a natural progression?
RM: I feel like the character was always a comedic relief. So anything I could do to maximise my time on air was like funny high-fives, naming the high-fives, funny outfits, wearing tee-shirts that said funny things like ‘Free Martha’ and ‘Hustle’ or ‘Just the Tip’…they don’t have that…I was always trying to expand the comedy within the limited time I was on screen.
G: How much is The Todd and Robert the same person?
RM: I would say that I played a sex obsessed jocky frat-boy surgeon, but in real life I’m nothing like the character I played on Scrubs with one exception. We both had huge hogs.
G: I’m very closely related to a doctor, I’m married to one…
RM: You’re kidding?
G: No! She said that it’s the most accurate portrayal of hospital life she’d ever seen. Did you research this or was it natural?
RM: The writers were obligated to interview ten different doctors every year. It wasn’t about capturing the accuracy of the medical procedures per se, but capturing the relationships that exist in a hospital situation between doctors, nurses, janitors, patients, administration. It was really about capturing those relationships and I think they did a pretty good job of doing that.
G: Does it worry you that there are people like The Todd in the hospitals?
RM: Yes, because he’s not bright. He’s like a car mechanic for surgery. But that was what was funny about the character. he was such a simpleton that he’d just slice and dice. That’s what they say about surgeons: they just slice and dice them.
G: Do you have trouble getting away from The Todd in public? Like this guy, he’s here for a high-five…
RM: And he’s going to get a high-five! And an autograph!
**The interview tape is paused whilst Robert meets with a fan. We pick up the same question again afterwards.**
RM: When I’m home The Todd is not on the tip of my tongue so to speak. I audition for many different things. I have a couple of commercials on the air and I’m going to be on a show called Undatable, a new comedy coming out on NBC starting in May. It’s only when I come here and I reach out and seek fans of Scrubs that I reconnect with the character and people who love that character. But at home I don’t think I’m typecast any more. I’m on to the next thing but I like…playing this character and being on that show has given me the opportunity to come to Australia, which is beautiful, and it’s like a great adventure. About twice a year I’ll do something like this and have so much fun. It’s a great life experience.
G: It must be. And we’re so glad to have you down here.
RM: Thank you very much, I’m really enjoying it.
G: Thanks for coming and thanks for talking to us!
RM: My pleasure, nice talking to you!
G: High five on the way out?
An Earth shattering high-five brought the rest of the event to a standstill while the debris was cleared.