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The Small Role The Middle's Neil Flynn Played On That '70s Show

Neil Flynn has spent a long time on television. In a 2019 article from Entertainment Weekly, Flynn was referred to as "TV's Iron Man" after a streak of 18 consecutive seasons on network comedies encompassing his eight seasons as the mysterious Janitor on "Scrubs," nine seasons as family patriarch Mike Heck on "The Middle," and one season of the short-lived sitcom "Abby's."

It's safe to say his career's been an unpredictable ride. In an interview with Will Harris, Flynn explained how he first met "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence in a bar in the early '90s when Lawrence was still just a television writer and Lawrence invited Flynn to play in his basketball league. When Flynn originally came in to audition for the "Scrubs" role of Dr. Cox (which ultimately went to John McGinley), Lawrence suggested that the actor read for the Janitor instead. In an interview with the Paley Center, the co-creators and executive producers of "The Middle" explained that they looked at a lot of actors for the role before Flynn's name finally came up and became the first one they were excited about.

But before all that, Flynn took on a lot of small roles on other shows. One such role was as the bouncer in an early episode of "That '70s Show."

Neil Flynn played a bouncer in an episode of That '70s Show

In the Season 2 episode of "That '70s Show" titled "The Velvet Rope," the gang heads to Chicago to check out a new club only to find that the bouncer (Neil Flynn) only lets cool people in. One by one each member of the gang manages to talk their way into the club — Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) with his dancing skills and Hyde (Danny Masterson) with his radical political outrage — except for Eric (Topher Grace), who remains the last one to not be let in, causing him to have an extended argument with the bouncer.

Despite Flynn's character not even having a proper name on "That '70s Show," the character has become surprisingly memorable to fans. In a 2022 thread in the r/Scrubs subreddit, u/mattiasflgrtll said they found the bouncer to be even more detestable than the Janitor. Some people took issue with this statement, including u/A-Wise-Cobbler, who said it was weird that to find the Janitor detestable. 

In another thread in the r/No_Small_Parts subreddit, u/YoungAdult_ claimed that the Janitor and the bouncer are very similar characters. It's hard to call the bouncer more detestable, as the Janitor spent eight seasons torturing J.D. on "Scrubs" for no particular reason. But with "The Middle," Flynn proved that he can also play lovable characters that are a far cry from either the Janitor or the bouncer.