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In the TV series Scrubs, season 2 episode 3, the first time that Dr. Mickhead is spoken to by name, he's actually called Dr. Carlson (by Dr. Kelso). But then, for the rest of the entire series, they call him Dr. Mickhead. Why is this? Surely the creators had records showing that he was originally titled Dr. Carlson..

I mean, why not just call him Mickhead from the beginning? Or, if they didn't want to reveal the Dr. Mickhead character so early in the series, just have Kelso say his first name, or just not say his name at all (or even use a different doctor for that scene). Was Dr. Mickhead not thought of until later in the series?

So, ultimately, my question: In the TV series Scrubs, why was the actor Frank Encarnacao originally called "Dr. Carlson" (s02e03), but then later called "Dr. Mickhead" for the rest of the series?

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There's no canonical answer to this that I'm aware of but if you don't mind a bit of speculation..

In-Universe - It's established that Dr. Kelso is bad at remembering the names of the hospital staff (because he doesn't care about them) and he could simply have gotten the name wrong (and the job as well - Dr Carlson is mentioned as being a Pediatrician whereas Dr Mickhead is a surgical resident)

Out-of-Universe - Originally Frank Encarnacao was simply an extra on the show playing "black-haired doctor" (he first appears in S2E01 My Overkill) before being referred to as "Dr Carlson" in My Case Study. Dr Mickhead is mentioned a few times before he is seen and when the time came to cast an actor for the role it likely made sense to look at the pool of existing actors who would have been seen generally around the hospital already. The production staff may have been unaware of the one time "Dr Carlson" reference or simply hoped not many people would have noticed.

  • Maybe they're just two different people that kind of look alike? But obviously they didn't call him Mickhead at the beginning because they didn't think of that joke until later. There's a lot of stuff that wasn't planned from the beginning, and some stuff that was but never panned out, e.g. the Janitor being only visible to J.D. until season 2. The show (like most sitcoms) was written one episode at a time, not all as one over-arching epic. – Darrel Hoffman Jul 14 '18 at 13:29

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