Two things scare the heck out of children: clowns and hospitals.
Combine all three elements and you should have a recipe
for disaster. Unless you're Rob Corddry, whose smarmy comic
sensibilities have taken their shot with Childrens Hospital.
Though the show launches Sunday night on Adult Swim, it's
actually adapted from a webseries Corddry started in 2008.
Through July and August each broadcast will be two webisodes,
followed in September by all-new segments with a bigger
budget and some bigger names - Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler
join the cast.
They fit seamlessly in an already strong ensemble. Led
by Corddry, the cast skewers modern medical shows like Grey's
Anatomy and e/r, but the jokes are all strong
enough to work without your knowing the references. That's
good, since Megan Mullally's "Chief" was already an old
joke even when e/r was still on the air.
The actual plots don't seem to matter much, though Childrens
Hospital makes token efforts to have a soap opera feel.
More often than not, those are for the sake of running gags,
such as Corddry's Dr. Blake Downs being constantly in clown
make-up and blood-stained scrubs. Aside from being the most
terrifying thing a child in a hospital could see, he's puzzled
by the apparent loss of his healing power of laughter.
Yet he's a generous show creator, focusing as much as
possible on the rest of the ensemble. Since the first webisodes
tend towards parodying Grey's Anatomy, they push
Cat Black (Lake Bell) towards the spotlight and in self-absorbed
inner monologue. But it's also clear that Owen Maestro (Rob
Huebel) will serve as the George Clooney to Corddry's Anthony
Edwards - a bizarre harlequin from hell-like Anthony Edwards.
The pilot episodes also feature appearances from Corddry's
old Daily Show co-horts, brother Nate Corddry and
Ed Helms. Though they have only brief roles, they help set
the tone as the handsome sex-crazed doctors that every medical
drama needs. Listen carefully and you'll also hear Michael
Cera doing announcements on the loudspeaker.
Those loudspeaker jokes are subtler than you might expect,
but that, too, is key to this series. The show pays amazing
attention to story detail, right down to "previously on…"
segments that highlight moments you can't recall (here because
they didn't get shown before) that will be important to
the upcoming episode. That's followed by the repeated showing
of a bi-curious sneeze. Trust me; it will make sense.
Childrens Hospital makes a good addition to the
Adult Swim line-up, consistently funny, smart and oh, so
wrong in the way that feels oh, so right.
WHEN: Sunday nights at 10:30 on Adult Swim, beginning