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Why Wendall From 9-1-1 Looks So Familiar

"9-1-1" is the procedural series for those who love procedurals, provided viewers are content with getting all their first responder content simultaneously. 

Starring Angela Bassett, the 2018 Fox production features six seasons of cops, firefighters, and doctors as they handle the struggles attached to their respective positions. As of this writing, "9-1-1" has yet to be canceled or renewed for a seventh season. Broadly speaking, the show is considered to be okay, with plots ranging from stereotypical to melodramatic. But the saving grace is its solid casting, which extends well beyond Bassett and even into the supporting roles. 

One such role is Wendall, an Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor who defends his AA members with way more than just words. Being the sacrificial type, he only appears in two episodes (Season 6 Episode 9, "Red Flag," and Season 6 Episode 12, "Recovery,") but Wendall has made an impression during his brief tenure on "9-1-1," and that's in no small part thanks to his actor, Maurice J. Irvin. 

Previously known at the professional level as Moe Irvin, the actor has been in the business since the early 2000s. Despite never having what some might call "a big break," Irvin has worked on approximately 60 projects, according to his IMDb page, ranging from television to animation. Here are some of his highest-profile, live-action credits.

Maurice J. Irvin is a practicing nurse in Grey's Anatomy

In 2005, ABC dared to ask an important question: What if doctors, sometimes, were horny? 

The answer was "Grey's Anatomy," a medical drama starring Ellen Pompeo that now boasts 19 seasons. As of this writing, Season 20 is on the way, but minus Pompeo ... which means that almost none of the original cast is left standing. It remains to be seen how that bodes for the show's future. Across multiple decades, the series has followed the titular Meredith Grey (Pompeo) and her cohorts as they form relationships and break relationships and, every so often, cure patients. 

Maurice J. Irvin portrayed Tyler Christian, a nurse at Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital. He appeared in 29 episodes across Seasons 1 through 10, including the introductory pilot, but was notably absent in Seasons 8 and 9. Irvin never achieved regular cast status (meaning you won't find him listed on the Wikipedia page) but he's still there, hanging around in the background. Tyler is such a tertiary character that his disappearance after Season 10 Episode 18 ("You Be Illin'") was never addressed. 

That's partially because, technically, he never left. For all intents and purposes, Tyler still works at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, he's just no longer onscreen. 

He's a man of many faces in the CSI world

How many spinoffs does "CSI" have? Just four? ... really? It feels like more than that.

"CSI: NY" was CBS's third police procedural in the "CSI" franchise. As the acronym suggests, this particular Crime Scene Investigation took place in New York. Starring Gary Sinise, the series ran for nine seasons from 2004 to 2013 and was canceled due to rising costs and disinterest, but its near-200-episode run is nothing to scoff at. 

Maurice J. Irvin portrayed DEA Agent Dewey ... no last name provided. That's likely because Agent Dewey only stuck around for a single episode (Season 5 Episode 6, "Enough,"); yet, Irvin stuck around a little longer because two seasons later he portrayed another character named Melvin La Grange for a single outing (Season 7 Episode 5, "Out of the Sky").  

Agent Dewey might have never received a first name, but at least he didn't get shot. Melvin, on the other hand, found himself on the wrong end of a gunfight. The worst part is that he wasn't even the target, he just happened to be in the vicinity when things got messy. Although he did jump into the fray with a disturbing amount of gusto. 

NCIS keeps rehiring Maurice J. Irvin, too

In another police procedural franchise (albeit one that rearranges the C and the S and the I and adds an N into the mix), Irvin has also found steady work.

In 2003, CBS launched "NCIS," an ongoing serialized military drama currently 20 seasons deep. There's no end in sight, as the flagship series — itself a spinoff of "JAG" — has already been renewed for Season 21. Much like "CSI," "NCIS" has spawned four spinoffs of its own, including "NCIS: Los Angeles," and Maurice J. Irvin appears in both of them. 

Chronologically, Irvin first appeared in "LA" for a one-off (Season 2 Episode 1, "Human Traffic,") as Tommy Bishop, a drug dealer with a tragic flair for fedoras. Later, Irvin appeared in "NCIS" for another one-off (Season 15 Episode 24, "Date With Destiny,") as Commander Daly. Once again, his character did not receive a first name.

Although he missed the bus on "NCIS: New Orleans," perhaps he could appear on "NCIS: Hawai'i" and the upcoming "NCIS: Sydney," becoming the cop drama equivalent of John Ratzenberger.

He's a Criminal Minds Once-And-Done sort of guy

Furthering his deep resume of police procedurals, Maurice J. Irvin also appeared on "Criminal Minds," the hit series about a revolving door of agents who work for the BAU — Behavioral Analysis Unit — as they try to think like killers so that they can catch killers. Currently, the show has been revived as "Criminal Minds: Evolution."

On the original run, Irvin portrayed Thomas Wheeler, a New Orleans Chief of Police who assisted the BAU in catching a serial killer, in a single episode entitled "Miasma" (Season 13 Episode 14) — but he received a full name and was able to survive his story arc, so for Irvin it may have been worth celebrating.

Irvin has also appeared in some non-procedurals over the years, typically one-and-dones on series like "Scandal" and the "Mad About You" reboot. But clearly, cops and crimes have been his bread and butter. So keep your eyes peeled for more Maurice J. Irvin, coming soon to a crime scene near you.