Not so long ago, he was part of the long-running “Scrubs.” So it’s a little surprising that Donald Faison has ended up on the roster of the nostalgia-based cable network that is packed with stars from the 80s or before.
He’s featured in “The Exes” with Kristen Johnston (“Third Rock from the Sun”) and Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld”), starting tonight alongside “Hot in Cleveland,” the show with Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick that has lately become Betty White’s comedy vehicle.
Still, asking him at the TV Critics press tour whether he was vying for early retirement by appearing in such a show was touchy territory. So I began it this way: “Donald, a lot of the TV Land comedies have been kind of built around more seasoned comic actors.”
Johnston picked up on it right away: “What are you trying to say?”
I forged forward. “I’m trying to be very choosy about my words here. People with a lot of years of experience and wonderful experiences and awards. Anyway, you’ve come recently from a show where you were successful. And what brought you here to TV Land now at this point in your career?”
“What brought me to the show was that it was something that I had never done before,” he said at last.
“I’ve never been in front of a studio audience before. I’ve never done a four-camera show and it was and that’s really why I became an actor as a youth, you know, watching ‘The Cosby Show,’ watching ‘A Different World,’ watching shows like that,” Faison said.
“And it was something that I wanted to do. And it’s kind of almost sort of like theater and I’m terrified of theater. And I was thinking maybe if I could do this, I could segue into theater later on. You know what I mean? And so that’s what brought me to the show. Also, you know, when you find out that you get to work with people like this, it’s you know, it’s it’s a slam dunk. So I have a great time coming to work. I actually am early for work every day, which is something that I’ve never been before.”