Interview: Rob Corddry of Childrens Hospital

From the August 16, 2012 edition

During the 2007-08 writers’ strike, Rob Corddry got bored and created the web series “Childrens Hospital,” which has since joined the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. “Childrens Hospital,” one of the funniest things on television, was recently nominated for an Emmy in the short-format category along with Emmy heavyweights “30 Rock” and “The Daily Show.”

“I thought there must be a mistake … I’m trying to be cool about it. Everybody is really cool when they get nominated, like, ‘We’re all winners, blah, blah, blah.’ I’m really giddy about it,” Corddry said in an interview last week.

As a former correspondent on “The Daily Show,” Corddry feels “Childrens Hospital” can beat out one of the most award-winning series of all time.

“Those guys wallpaper the office with Emmys. It’s about time they pass the mantle to an absurd show that’s meaningless. With that said, we’re all winners,” Corddry said.

While “Childrens Hospital” began as a spoof of TV’s medical dramas, it has evolved with broader conceptual ideas in its third season. And it will continue to do so, because the series’ brand of absurdist comedy allows the writers to create their own rules.

“I would go so far as to say we’ve abandoned the parody aspect of the show … This season especially is a huge experiment in that a majority of the episodes are what we used to call the special episodes — ones that took a lot of license and explore totally different ideas and worlds inside that hospital,” Corddry said.

One of the concepts coming this season involves a flashback episode explaining how Chief (Megan Mullally) became the way she is, and “Childrens Hospital” — “the longest-running medical drama in the U.S.” — is transformed into a British adaptation. Corddry also is spinning off one of the series’ signature concepts, “Newsreaders” — a fake news, behind-the-scenes look at “Childrens Hospital” — into a series that will debut in early 2013.

While Corddry promises the fourth season will be different, the stable of guest stars will still be second to none. Jon Hamm and Nick Offerman return, and Dominic Monaghan, Frances Fisher, Timothy Busfield, and Jennifer Westfeldt will be making appearances.