TV

Interview: Rob Corddry On The British Adaptation Of ‘Children’s Hospital’

Children’s Hospital started life as a web series. Then it moved to Adult Swim, first airing the web episodes, then new, eleven minute episodes, and finally moving to a half hour format. Four seasons later, the little parody that could is not only going strong, but has several spin-offs to call its own. With two more episodes to go in the currents season, we chatted with creator – and star – Rob Corddry to find out about what keeps him, and the show, going strong.

“It was a total lark to do when I was bored,” said Corddry with a laugh when we asked if he thought the show would last this long. “I would have been really arrogant to think we’d get four seasons on television.”

Continuing about the current season, he said that he felt their departure episodes – those that went away from the formula – have become the norm, hence the focus on, “weird little ways to tell a story. In the absurd genre you can explore anything… So that’s what we exploit. There’s no end to what you can do, to the ideas.”

On that note, he talked about an upcoming episode (which we don’t think has happened yet, but could be wrong) called “Attention Staff,” where the gang searches for the unseen hospital announcer played by Michael Cera. “Jon Hamm stars in that one, and there’s a lot of flashbacks to the start of the hospital… He could be a ghost, he could be a robot, it could be a fat Samoan,” said Corddry. “I can’t really say whether Michael Cera will be in that episode, but at least we’re looking for him now.”

One episode we DO know is coming up, is the season closing “British Hospital.” “The mythology behind the show is that it’s been around for eighteen years, it’s the longest running medical drama in television history,” said Corddry. “Now we’ve done the British adaptation of Children’s Hospital. We basically recast and renamed the characters with British actors, and got a British Director and a British Writer, and it was pretty amazing.”

Corddry noted that the episode wouldn’t be all “tea jokes, and bad teeth,” that they really tried to make what would be a British adaptation of the show… Down to the terrible budget. “Our DP, Marco Fargnoli… I count him as one of the creators of the show,” said Corddry. “He’s the one that made it look so good on the web. He’s so good that I took away three quarters of his lighting truck. He actually loved being hamstrung like that.”

Moving on, we asked about crossing over with time-slot buddy NTSF:SD:SUV, which he said he had no problem with, and had even talked to Paul Scheer about the possibility. “I think it would have to be the actors who play these characters crossing over,” said Corddry. “Like Trent could not come into Children’s Hospital with a wound, because he doesn’t live in that world, because it’s a TV show. Very complicated, meaningless stuff!”

He then noted that this was similar to how comic books cross over, so we asked what the actor was reading. He mentioned Animal and Swamp Thing from DC, loving Hulk, Daredevil, and Uncanny X-Force from Marvel. “Fantomex has become one of my favorite characters!” said Corddry. Still, if he was snag a comic book role, he’s not going for one of those characters. “I think I’m too old to play Hamlet, and any superhero,” joked Corddry. “However, there has been, every once in a while, somebody brings up The Boys. I’ve definitely campaigned for that every time it’s been brought up. If it’s brought up again, I’ll pipe up. But other than that, I think that’s over!”

Children’s Hospital is on Adult Swim Thursdays nights on Adult Swim at Midnight!