This is in reference to Scrubs season 4 episode 2 - My Malpractical Decision. A conversation between the Janitor and Turk goes like this:

Janitor: I flunked gym, too. Didn't like the shorts. By the way, your number isn't "CALL-TURK," it's "CALL-TUR." It'd be easier if your name was "Cal Turk."

Turk: There's nobody named Cal Turk!

Inside Turk's fantasy: Insurance office. Turk is shown as a white employee of an insurance company.

Turk: [in whiteface] Cal Turk here! We don't sell insurance, we sell peace of mind! But only to white people. Would you like some milk?

Back to reality

Here is that scene:

It seems like a (perhaps racist?) joke about white people. Can someone explain this insurance joke along with the milk reference? What is the cultural/racial context to it?

  • 5
    I don't think there's much more to it other than Turk's perception that Cal (or Calvin) sounds a white insurance salesman's name. And I wouldn't call it racist exactly, because it's so cartoonish: Turk doesn't only think white salesmen are boring but also that they can only relate to other white people and drink wholesome milk. It's exaggerated for the sake of the joke, like a lot of things in Scrubs.
    – Walt
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 9:50
  • @Walt I see. Would you mind adding it as an answer and elaborating it a bit?
    – Ravindra S
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 6:14
  • 1
    Perhaps. But I'm just not much of an authority on Scrubs, Turk or this particular episode.
    – Walt
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


There's a few potential meanings here.

First of all, the CALL-TUR might have been aimed at political pundit and former litigator Ann Coulter, who had just released her first book; a New York Times best seller called High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton when this episode aired.

Second, CAL-TURK was likely a play on the famous university, Caltech (California Institute of Technology).

As for his little fantasy sequence, it was actually quite racist. Whites are seen as largely boring guys with boring office jobs who love white milk. Imagine if the sequence had a black guy picking cotton, drinking orange soda? Holy Christmas, the Internet would have imploded. But yeah, it was Cal trying to imagine the whitest guy on the planet.

  • 3
    The last point makes sense. The first two seem far-fetched though. ;)
    – Ravindra S
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 6:15
  • "the Internet would have imploded" Not if they're ironically portrayed as the product of a prejudiced\clueless mind, it wouldn't. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
    – Walt
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 8:00
  • I am still looking for an explanation for the milk stereotype. :-)
    – Ravindra S
    Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 15:38
  • 2
    @PaleBlueDot I'm a bit late to the party, but I'm guessing it is because milk is both white and a bit boring (skim anyway). But mostly white.
    – Pants
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 14:17

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