Exclusive Interview: Jack McBrayer Scoops The Middle Season 5 Thanksgiving Episode and More

The Middle Season 5 Episode 7 Thanksgiving V (4)

Jack McBrayer is best known for his role as Kenneth the Page on NBC’s 30 Rock, but since the series ended, McBrayer has remained a highly in demand actor with roles on everything from Wander Over Yonder to Wreck-It Ralph and ABC’s The Middle, where he plays Frankie’s (Patricia Heaton) dentist boss, Dr. Goodwin. McBrayer was kind enough to chat with us about his return visit to The Middle in tonight’s special Thanksgiving episode, “Thanksgiving V.”

Below you will find teases for the episode, the cast member McBrayer was the most excited to have the opportunity to work with and the surprising show he would love to guest star on.

What to Expect at the Heck Family Thanksgving

The Middle fans know that Heck family holidays never go the way you expect them to. In fact, they tend to get crazy and this year’s get together will be no different. While the Hecks set out to have a quiet family dinner with their parents, unexpected visitors in the form of Mike’s (Neil Flynn) brother Rusty (Norm MacDonald) and his family, as well as Dr. Goowin lead to a change in plans. How does Frankie’s boss end up crashing?

“Well, as it turns out, Frankie didn’t realize she accidently invited Dr. Goodwin and I think he might be a little too simple or oblivious to realize she might have been joking,” McBrayer said. “I think as far as he’s concerned, a friend of Frankie’s is a friend of his, so he’s very excited to be a part of the family for this holiday.”

Unexpected guests are just the beginning; with Axl and Sue both hiding secrets from their parents and Brick on a quest to have lime green salad expect for things to really spiral out of control once the family and Dr. Goodwin end up playing a friendly game of football. When asked how crazy this Thanksgiving will get on a scale of one to ten, McBrayer responded, “This one is up there. I’d give it a 9 or a 10 to say the least. Especially, like, once the football game begins. Yeah, everything you would hate at a Thanksgiving happens— there’s vomit, there’s fighting, there’s drinking.”

The Castmember McBrayer Was The Most Excited to Work With

In his previous appearances as Frankie’s boss, McBrayer didn’t get a chance to act with the regular cast outside of Heaton, who McBrayer noted “is a pro.” Since this was the first episode where he had the opportunity to interact with the rest of the cast, I had to ask which actor he was the most excited about working alongside. McBrayer was quick to point out how thrilled he was to work with everyone, stating, “It’s such a treat going over there. The whole vibe is just fantastic. ”

There was one actor he was especially thrilled to work with though, and that’s the always funny Flynn, who McBrayer shares a special past connection with.

“I do have to say I was especially thrilled to be able to work with Neil Flynn, he plays Mike Heck,” McBrayer said. “I’ve known him for years. We go back to Second City days in Chicago. While our paths didn’t really cross back then–he was performing while I was like taking classes and stuff–it was a real treat to perform with a friend, but also someone who I had seen his work years and years prior.”

The Middle Season 5 Episode 7 Thanksgiving V (3)

The Future of Dr. Goodwin

The lovable dentist will survive his first Thanksgiving with the Heck family which is good news for The Middle fans because that means there’s more chances for the delightful McBrayer to return in the future. In fact, McBrayer confirmed he has already filmed another episode for this season, although it won’t be airing until well after the Thanksgiving outing. (Poor Dr. Goodwin might need that long to recover from the football game.)

Fans with sharp memories will remember that Dr. Goodwin has a close relationship with his mother, which was a key factor in Frankie getting the job as his dental assistant. While there are no plans to introduce his mother in the immediate future, when I asked McBrayer what he thought of the idea of Mrs. Goodwin being introduced, he enthusiastically replied, “That was a great question. I don’t know, because I can’t remember in the story whether Dr. Goodwin is from Orson or if he is just relocated to Orson, but yeah, that would definitely be plotworthy. I’d love to see who they decided that would be.”

(Leave your dream casting suggestions in the comments.)

McBrayer’s Surprising Dream Guest Role

With his busy career, it’s hard to believe McBrayer hasn’t landed his dream guest gig yet…until you hear what show he’d most like to be on. “There’s one show I used to love watching, but I don’t see how I could be a guest star,” he said. “It was TV’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes. I mean that was appointment television for me. I can’t imagine how you could guest on that, but man did that ever crack me up. I mean that’s the kind of stuff that I look up on YouTube whenever I’m feeling a little down. The audience can use their imagination as to how that could happen.”

Spoken like a true a comedian. (Maybe Betty White should hook him up?)

Tune into The Middle‘s “Thanksgiving V” tonight, Wednesday, November 20th at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC to see McBrayer in action.