If you’re an Adult Swim fan, then you’re very familiar with Childrens Hospital. And, this Sunday night (11/7) (check your local listings) it’s not only the season finale but will also be broadcast live. IHC sat down with star and creator Rob Corddry, his co-stars Rob Huebel and Erinn Hayes & producer Jonathan Stern at the New York Comic Con to talk about what we can expect to see on the season finale, inadvertently ripping off other medical dramas, and tongue kissing 70’s TV icons.
I Heart Chaos: What can you tell us about the live show? It seems like it’s going to be amazing.
Rob Corddry: It’s going to be amazing. We’re rehearsing. We are messing with the script. We’re changing the lighting in the hospital. We’re stretching a lot. Doing a lot of pilates. Without giving too much away, a sultan from a Middle East country comes in having lost his finger on a deli slicer. And they have to reattach the royal finger. However, no one at Childrens knows how to do that. They have to find out how to stitch his hand back together before either he dies… of losing a finger… or war breaks out in the Middle East.
IHC: Are you going to do two shows live? One for each coast, like the 30 Rock Live show?
Rob Huebel: It’s just as easy. I can do it twice. Our show is 15 minutes long. I can do it alllll day long.
Erinn Hayes: Well, then I need to start running. Just to get in shape for the show. I’m not going to ignore my life, but I’m gonna be super ripped.
RH: It’s gonna be the sloppiest show, but we’re gonna be all tan.
Jonathan Stern: We all like theater. We all came from a theater background. So this is basically just like theater… but it will be live (laughs).
IHC: So it’s not too much of a stretch for you guys.
RC: No, It’s fucking Stupid. It’s a huge stretch. It will never work.
RH: We’re nervous. Lot of pyrotechnics involved. We were told. I feel like it’s a bad idea. Explosions in a hospital is not safe.
RH: In General.
EH: In General, but this is Adult Swim. They’re gonna take care of us.
IHC: How much inspiration do you get from other medical dramas like ER or…?
RC: We watch M*A*S*H and St. Elsewhere. Those are our two medical shows.
JS: And it’s old enough that people won’t realize we’re ripping it off. (laughs)
RC: Funny you should ask. I just started watching Grey’s Anatomy this season. I’ve watched all the episodes and I’ve actually made a commitment to watch the show. And I’ll tell you, not much. It doesn’t really inspire me. Except for maybe the voiceovers. Voiceovers are something I really enjoy writing. It’s just so bonkers. I challenge you to parse one of those voiceovers on the script and come up with any sort of meaning. Ridiculous (laughs). But not inspiring. Although, we try to mimic their look.
IHC: (Sarcastically) So, are you really digging Grey’s Anatomy right now?
RC: Nah, it’s okay.. I don’t know. I enjoy parts of it. It’s hard to explain what… I really like Patrick Dempsey (Laughs). I think he’s a great actor and very charming. We had a storyline this season where 2 guys are impaled on a pole. And we had to save one of the men. We wrote it, shot it, edited it, and then realized that it was an actual Grey’s Anatomy episode. No idea!
IHC: Childrens has a tremendously talented cast. Veterans of many classic sitcoms. How do you go about getting a cast that includes Henry Winkler and Megan Mullally? And, do you have a wish list for down the road. Say like, Mark Hamill or somebody crazy…
RC: Mark Hamill, hm.
JS: Suddenly Mark Hamill! (laughs) Well, we had conversations about (Henry) for the TV series and wrote a character around him. Megan, on the other hand, it’s a situation where she was cast and then we created a character with her. So, everyone from the ground up had a hand in creating these characters. As opposed to, uh, we’ve written all these characters and the script and let’s have casting sessions. It’s maybe why they are so comfortable doing it.
RH: Every time I have to take my shirt off. I’m so gross and out of shape. I took my shirt off and made out with Marion Ross from Happy Days.
EH: But you wrote that.
RH: I wrote that. (LAUGHS)
EH: After we filmed it, you told me, and I remember this specific conversation. I said to you, “How was that?” and you go “I guess I didn’t really think it all the way through… that I would write this and like there’s this TV Icon. I didn’t think it through that I would actually be making out with somebody in her 80’s.”
RH: I thought it would be funny to write that as a thing. I make out with this 80-something year old woman. On the page it was like “Oh, that’s funny”. Turned it in. I also didn’t think it was going to work out as these guys would read it and go “Oh No! That would be gross” and Henry Winkler was like “Oh, I’ll get Marion Ross. I’ll call her up.’”(Laughs)
EH: Really quite a disturbing make out.
RH: We did it a couple of times, and they were like “Okay. Great, but, we need to see tongue.” and I was like “Well, someone needs to tell her.” Well, how do you do that? “Uh, would it be okay if he tongued you?” it was very shameful. But, I learned a lot (pause)(everyone laughs). Even at 80 years old, a soft lady mouth is a soft lady mouth. It’s all the same.
Interview and photos by Andrew St. Clair