Ken Jenkins of ‘Scrubs’ to Play Courteney Cox’s Dad on ‘Cougar Town’

Saturday, Sep 4, 2010

Ken Jenkins as Dr. Kelso on ‘Scrubs’Fans of ‘Cougar Town’ haven’t seen much of the family of Courteney Cox’s character of Jules Cobb, outside of her son Travis and always-there ex-husband Bobby. But that will change during the show’s second season, according to creator Bill Lawrence… and fans of ‘Scrubs’ will see a familiar face in the role.

“I hired Ken Jenkins this morning to play Courteney’s father,” Lawrence told me earlier today. “Because I only work with the same 20 actors, Joel, you know that.”

Jenkins played crusty hospital administrator Dr. Bob Kelso on ‘Scrubs’ for nine seasons, the last two of which showed Kelso having to deal with a forced retirement. Lawrence hopes that Jenkins will stick around the ensemble for a while.

“To me what was fun was casting somebody that hopefully will be in the world too and poke his head around. He’s such a great actor… the guy’s funny as sin.”

The character will be more like Jenkins than mean old Dr. Kelso is. “Ken’s a Kentucky guy,” said Lawrence, “and we’re playing Courteney’s dad as a kind of a Southern good ol’ boy, and Ken will actually get to play a little bit more of what he’s actually like, rather than playing some weird f—in’ psychotic doctor. The guy’s a great character actor, and he was a dramatic actor and a Broadway guy long before I met him.”

In other ‘Cougar’ casting news, Lamarcus Tinker of ‘Friday Night Lights’ will play Kevin, the college roommate of Jules’ son Travis (played by Dan Byrd). “Travis is going to TV college,” Lawrence said, implying he’ll be home a lot. “If we keep him close, we can really quickly establish his dorm room as a set, and his roommate as a character which helps us broaden our horizons a little bit, and he can be home whenever he wants without explanation.”

In one of the college-related plots, Bobby (played by Brian Van Horn) will visit Travis, start having a good time, and never leave, something that happened to Bill when an older cousin visited him when he was in college. “People can show up to see him and embarrass the s–t out of him whenever we want,” he said.

More from Lawrence (including where Busy Philipps’ character got her last name, and what he thinks Jennifer Aniston’s career direction should be going forward) as we get closer to the show’s season premiere.