Childrens Hospital, comedian Rob Corddry's series that began life on the web and launched its cable television debut on Adult Swim Sunday night, is what might happen to your favorite medical show if you left in all of the steamy relationships and cut out the medical bits.
“We don't have a lot of medical jargon in the show and not a lot of children either,” says Corddry. “Just get rid of my two least favorite things about hospitals and children's hospitals.”
The setting might be inside a medical facility, but there is little in the way of medicine.
“Rob [Corddry] said, 'Hand me that scalpel,'” recalls series co-star Rob Huebel. “That seemed real.”
Erinn Hayes, who plays Dr. Lola Spratt on Childrens Hospital, had previously appeared on an episode of Grey's Anatomy and described the difference between the shows.
“They have to be so precise with their medical jargon and what they're doing and just how you're holding your hands and your fingers and how you would hold a syringe,” she says. “Everything has to be so precise because it's real and everyone is watching it.”
Meanwhile, on Childrens Hospital, “we don't even know what their medical condition is.”
The show, which also features Megan Mullally, Ken Marino, Lake Bell, Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler, is a parody drawing from the medical hits of prime time and the big screen. Corddry plays Dr. Blake Downs, whose preferred prescription is laughter. Downs makes his rounds in full clown make-up.
“I wrote myself the studpidest character,” says Corddry. “I destroyed my face with this make-up.”
He continues, “I give myself the least to do emotionally. I have no relationships on the show. I come in and tell jokes and I get out.”
Meanwhile, the rest of Childrens Hospital's staff is seemingly obsessed with sex.
“We did an episode that's the hottest day of the year and the air conditioning breaks, so everyone is just sweating their balls off, but it just makes everyone super-horny,” says Huebel. “Everyone is just glistening, every shot is backlit.”
Mullally continues the recollection, “The female doctors have their scrubs tied up so that their stomachs are exposed and their bras are showing. There's a lot of smoke in the air.”
The show is filmed at the same former hospital that's home to Scrubs. When we visited the set earlier this year, they were working on a “live” episode. Unlike the famed live episode of ER, Childrens Hospital's version was pre-recorded.
But it's not just the fake live episode or the bountiful make-out sessions that provide the humor in Childrens Hospital. Some of the comedy is in the details. For example, there's no apostrophe in Childrens. The hospital is supposed to be named after Arthur Childrens, founder of said establishment, who is quoted as saying, “I Believe the Childrens Are the Future.” Even then, you might think that there could be an apostrophe after the s, something perhaps to indicate possession. There isn't. Don't question it.
And then there are the behind-the-scenes antics. During the course of the press day on Childrens Hospital's set, we heard stories that the former hospital was haunted.
“It was most likely the ghost of a bird outside,” says Corddry, “or the ghost of a weird reflection. “
“It was a ghost,” Huebel later says, jokingly.
“The hospital is haunted. It's been documented. The TV show Ghost Hunters should come here.”
Huebel continues the haunted set theory when he mentions the former morgue. “I went down there to check it out and it's a really scary place. There's a box of wine down there and then I looked and there was a Halloween streamer.”
Someone asks if it was leftover from Scrubs.
“No way,” he answers, “some ghost rented it out for a Halloween party.”
This kind of playfulness transfers into the show.
Says Hayes of the show, “It was fast, it was crazy, but it was fun, one of the most fun things I've ever done.”
Check out Childrens Hospital Comic-Com. Rob Corddry, Jon Stern, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel and Ken Marino will appear at the show panel on Thursday, July 22 at 5 p.m. in Room 25ABC. They will be signing autographs at WB Booth #4545 from 2:45 – 3:45 p.m. that day.