Next week, Neil Flynn, who plays the tormenting janitor on NBC's "Scrubs," returns to his Chicago improv roots with a series of shows at i.O. Theater. Based in Los Angeles, Flynn and a group of his fellow Chicago ex-pats -- including "Anchorman's" David Koechner -- perform long-form improv together at iOwest, i.O.'s California offshoot. Collectively, the guys are known as Beer Shark Mice, and they take the stage locally Friday and Saturday.
A true-blue Chicagoan, Flynn, 46, was born on the South Side. "We lived on 37th Street until I was 9, when we moved north to Waukegan." Next stop, Wrigleyville, where he began working in theater. A move to L.A. in 1988 did not pan out: "I flopped." Back in Chicago, Flynn honed his comedy chops at i.O. and Second City for the better part of the '90s before giving the West Coast another try.Today, home is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom Spanish-style house in North Hollywood -- "a few miles from the noise and traffic of Hollywood" -- purchased in the spring. He lives alone with a cat named Mike that he found last year in the parking lot at work.
"I'm not much of a decorator," he says, "so I'd describe the place so far as somewhere between a bachelor's pad and a kids' fort."
1. Most luxurious feature in your home: The master bathroom has a large walk-in shower with a rainfall-type shower head. It's the first time I haven't had to bend to wash my hair. [Flynn is 6'5"]
2. One thing on a wall in your living room: My brother, Tim, is an artist, and I have my favorite piece of his -- an abstract, colorful drawing -- prominently displayed.
3. One thing you have in your house from your childhood: I have some books of plays that I stole from my father's bookcase in about 8th grade.
4. What is the oldest thing in your fridge or freezer? I never finish milk before it expires, so there's always a carton in the fridge that I'm afraid to go near.
5. Weirdest thing in your house? A ceramic squirrel that somebody gave me. Maybe it should go in the yard, or in the garbage, but it's in my bathroom.
6. One thing on your nightstand: I'm trying to finish reading "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell.
7. Favorite household chore: Favorite chore? Wow . . . I'll be in charge of cleaning the stove, since I've never used it.
8. Most high-tech gadget or appliance in your home: I have an Xbox. Is that high-tech?
9. Best furniture bargain you ever got and where'd you get it? When I was younger, I wasn't above dragging some couch or bookshelf home that someone else had thrown away. Free is a good price.
10. What is the biggest collection in your home? Beanie Babies! Not really. I don't really collect anything, but I do have several signed jerseys of Chicago athletes.
11. Messiest room in the house? The kitchen. I'm not an avid dishwasher.
12. What reading material would we find in your bathroom? Magazines. There's a stack of ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
13. Biggest surprise we'd find in your closet: Surprise? Hmm . . . I don't think I have any "surprising" clothes . . . I'll say my wedding dress.
14. If you had to save one "thing" from your home, what would it be? I'll go with the [Michael] Jordan jersey.
15. Do you do any friendly snooping when visiting the homes of others? No. Do people do that? I might need to hide some things.
16. Your opinion of TVs in the bedroom? It's perfect for watching the rest of a movie when you have to go to bed but want to know how it ends.
17. What would we find in your garage? Well, I just moved in, so it's not too crammed with stuff. No car. Tools, weights, suitcases, an old recliner ... this is a boring answer. A live shark!!
18. What is your decorating nightmare? Me decorating.
19. What aspect of your home is the epitome of your personality? I've never been asked anything like that. Uh ... how about the lawn? It looks great if you don't come too close.
20. Biggest difference between living in Chicago early in your career and the way you live now? I never have to wait to use the bathroom.
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