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Interview: Sam Lloyd, aka 'Ted' from 'Scrubs' - The Blanks Play Largo on 5/16

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The Blanks, yes - the a capella quartet from "Scrubs", play the Largo at the Coronet on Saturday, May 16th


The Blanks, yes - the a capella quartet from "Scrubs", play the Largo at the Coronet on Saturday, May 16th
Sam Lloyd has been in TV and movies for over twenty years. "Seinfeld" fans will recognize him as Ricky from "The Pie" and "The Cigar Store Indian" episodes, as well in episodes of "Mad About You", "The Drew Carey Show", "3rd Rock From The Sun", and countless other TV shows. Lloyd really caught our eye when he played "Neru" in Galaxy Quest (1999) and shortly afterwards he began appearing as hapless attorney Theodore "Ted" Buckland in NBC's "Scrubs" and has been on the show for 8 years now, through its transition to ABC.A few years into "Scrubs", Lloyd, as Ted Buckland, began to sing amazing versions of TV themes and other songs in a hilarious a capella quartet that would mysteriously appear during several episodes each season. The quartet was loosely named "Ted's Band" or "The Worthless Peons" but they really are a very real quartet that Sam has been a part of for years called "The Blanks".

If you watched the "Scrubs" season finale on Wednesday this week, The Blanks sang an extended version of the theme song, "I'm No Superman", during the extended credits and season wrap outtakes. The Blanks will appear at Largo at the Coronet on Saturday May 16th - we had the chance to talk to Sam about how The Blanks came to be, and how they got on "Scrubs".

Listen to the entire interview with Sam Lloyd:

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LAist: Sam, we're talking because I understand The Blanks will be performing at the Largo on Saturday, May 16th.

Sam Lloyd: We're excited because the Largo is the first show we've done here in the last two years. I think the Largo will lend itself really well to our show there. [People are going to hear] most of what we've done on "Scrubs" and somehow we work it so that it doesn't seem too ridiculous, we mix in a lot of eclectic stuff, we do some originals, TV themes, cartoon themes, and rock n' roll. [The Blanks] show is an entity to itself, you will get to know us all a bit better than what you see on "Scrubs". If anybody likes any of the stuff that we do on "Scrubs" they are going to be able to see it all.

LAist: Tell us about how The Blanks got onto "Scrubs".

Sam Lloyd: Three of us went to Syracuse (University) together, me and one of the guys, George [Miserlis], were theater majors. George got involved with a show called "Forever Plaid" and was in some LA productions of it - he then called us and asked if we wanted to make some money singing "Forever Plaid" stuff. Then we started singing together just for the fun of it and one of our members, Paul Perry, did a hilarious arrangement of the John Williams' Superman theme but with original lyrics and we would get together and sing these songs at parties.

Then I got on "Scrubs" and halfway into the season there was a Christmas party, and a cheerleader of ours [who had seen us sing] told us we should sing the Superman song for producer Bill Lawrence, so we sang the Superman theme song at the party and Bill and the writers just said "oh my god, we need to put that in the show!" But they couldn't get the rights to Superman so we did the Underdog theme instead and that's how it all began.

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LAist: When we see your character, the downtrodden corporate attorney, Ted Buckland, make this transformation into this free and happy singer, we wondered, what's going on here? This is crazy - is he lip-synching or something?

Sam Lloyd: [Laughs] It's the one time [in each show] you can say Ted is actually happy. But no, that's all us [really singing], and sometimes we're singing live on set as the scene is being shot. Sometimes they literally just have the microphone running on the set and we sing into it and we hope we get it right.

It's a pretty tall order, especially for Paul, our arranger, because we often get the call on the Friday before shooting, basically saying, "we know what the song is going to be, you've got to arrange it, and it has to be ready to shoot on Monday" and sometimes we have even less time than that. Often, when we're shooting on Monday, Paul will have been up all night, arranging the song, and we will have been up since the early hours, drilling it and learning it in time to do it for the show.

There are definitely some lost weekends for us to get it in under the wire. It's a real adventure. We all have some musical theater background so we know what we have to do to preserve our voices and get it right.

LAist: It's amazing that these pieces are put together in a period of 72 hours or less.

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Sam Lloyd: Paul Perry, is an amazing arranger and songwriter and since he has a deadline he is forced to get these songs done. The end result is that it has really built up our catalog of songs that we can perform.

The Blanks perform at the New Largo at the Coronet, Saturday, May 16th.