A few minutes before the segment, he and I discussed his chemistry with co-star Zach Braff, what it's like to be naked on the set, and the future of his favorite team, the New York Knicks.
Here's our conversation:
Q: Before we get into the last season of "Scrubs"...Here at the show, we've obviously been talking about the wildfires all week. You work in LA, so I was curious if any friends of yours have been affected by what's going on out there.
Donald Faison: I think everybody in LA is affected by the wildfires. They're saying it's largest catastrophe here since Hurricane Katrina. I think it affects everybody, and it really sucks to go from one coast, where it's dry as hell to the East Coast, where it won't stop raining. Would be nice if we could send all this rain out there.
Q: On to "Scrubs"...Knowing this is the last season of the show, is your mentality any different when you go to work? Not just in how you approach your character, but just in what it's like knowing that this is your last shot.
DF: I'm not as nostalgic as everyone else. I'm kinda the guy that's like, "It's time for the show to end." I'm all right with it. I'm sure on the last day, I'll be really, really sad. But right now, it still feels like it did after the pilot episode. I'm more confident in my job and my character, and knowing this is the last season makes it scary, because I don't know what's going to happen next. This might be my last time on the Today Show!
But I'm more excited that I completed a journey, completed a story. We got to go out on our own terms, and not a lot of shows can say that.
Q: Do you feel like the show has run its course?
DF: Definitely. I think it could come on again next year, but that's not going to happen. NBC and Touchstone says the show has run its course, so definitely.
Q: Your character, Turk, has changed a lot over the course of the series. Do you feel like you're a different guy than you were when you first walked onto the show?
DF: Definitely. I'm a lot older now. A LOT older. I know a lot more about film and television, and now it's made me want to direct and produce television as well.
Q: Is that what you'd like your primary focus to be going forward?
DF: No, I still want to be an actor. That's always been my dream. But this is something else I can do now, because of "Scrubs." It's been a real crash course in filmmaking and television-making.
Q: There was so much uncertainty in past years about whether the show would get picked up from year to year. So was it tough in terms of getting your career organized, figuring out where you were headed next?
DF: No, I just wish I could go back and not get stressed so much about it. For some reason, it always felt like we were safe on the air. ["Scrubs" creator] Bill Lawrence was really good at that. I just wish I didn't stress so hard on, "How come we're not beating 'Survivor'?" You know what I mean? Now that the show is almost over, I can look back and say that I wish I didn't think about those things and just concentrate on work.
Q: The show depends a lot on your chemistry with Zach Braff. Figuring out how chemistry works between two people is difficult, but is there anything your relationship that helps you make that connection with the TV audience?
DF: I think he and I have the same sense of humor, and that always works. We're close to the same age. We grew up in the same area. He's from Jersey, I grew up in Manhattan. A lot of people from Jersey will claim they're from Manhattan...
Q: But nobody from Manhattan claims they're from Jersey...
DF: No, because we live in the best city in the world. But I think that has a lot to do with it, our chemistry, why it works.
Q: I imagine that you get asked what Zach is "really like" a lot. I'm not going to ask you that question. I know you guys are good friends, and I'm sure you make fun of each other a lot. So when people ask you what he's like, do you ever lie to people and make him seem worse than he is to give yourself a laugh?
DF: Of course! I mean, I'm gonna tell you right now, I think he's the biggest a****** in the world! But he's great. It's hard to make fun of Zach, because he's very quick. So the last thing I want to do is make fun of him on a blog, because it will come right back to me.
Q: What's the most annoying thing about him?
DF: His breath is AWFUL!
Q: That's all you got?
DF: Yeah, that's it.
Q: The show has had you do a lot of weird and crazy things over the years, mostly in J.D.'s imagination. Is there anything in particular that you point to as the craziest thing you've had to do?
DF: Well, I'm naked a lot on the show. I'm not naked, like, in my underwear. I'm naked with a piece of cloth covering my privates. And I didn't expect to have to do that, and I'm not saying I don't enjoy doing that...but it's one thing that I am a lot on "Scrubs." Naked.
Q: How was it the first time you had to do that?
DF: It was awesome, because nobody had seen how nice of an ass I had. So when I finally took the robe off, I got a lot of nice screams from the ladies...and some men.
Q: The cameramen appreciated the shape of your posterior?
DF: I think everyone appreciates the shape of my ass. Let's be honest here.
Q: Finally, I know you're a big New York Knicks fan. Is there any reason to be optimistic about this upcoming season?
DF: Sure, we're playing in the Garden. That's about it. It's not looking too good for us this year. I wish it were looking better. We're, at least in the preseason, we're not showing any signs of change. We'll probably have the same record as last year.