Interview: Rob Corddry “I came up doing Shakespeare and drama and now, it’s just not as fun as comedy”

Children’s Hospital is consistently one of the funniest, most absurd shows on television and for that, we have Rob Corddry to thank.

Corddry, who created the show (and also produces, writes and directs) stars as Dr. Blake Downs, a member of the “clown race” who happens to believe in the healing power of laughter instead of actual medicine.

I talked to Rob at Comic-Con on why 15 minutes is the perfect length for the show, how they are planning a stage play of one of the episodes and the demolition of the hospital they use as their set.

Children’s Hospital airs on Midnight, Thursdays on Adult Swim. 

For the full interview, click onto the audio link above or download from iTunes.

Your show is funnier than most shows and you can do so much with your 15 minutes. I guess it’s kind of liberating to be able to do whatever you want every week and not have to adhere to, okay, this character and to this last episode and all that.

Rob Corddry: Well, it’s perfect.  15 minutes is perfect for our format, our sort of relentless show barrage, you know what I mean? And yeah, there are probably some shows out there, some half-hour shows that would be a lot better if they were 15 minutes.

You want to name any of them?

Rob Corddry: [laughs] If I can think of one, sure.  I guess nothing comes to mind but you know, it’s like, I guess you can say that about anything. There are certain shows that probably just don’t, they don’t have the right set, you know what I mean? They don’t have the right this or right that. There are so many factors.  That’s one of them, I think, the form. The actual duration of the show.

A couple of years ago, you appeared in Oliver Stone’s W.

Rob Corddry: Yeah, I know right? I have questions for you about that.

Did that kind of work appeal to you or do you want to stick with comedy going forward?

Rob Corddry: Working with Oliver Stone just did not appeal to me at all.  No, it was awesome, man.  I’ll do anything as long as it’s cool, you know?  I don’t care what it is.

I came up doing Shakespeare and drama, and like now, it’s just not as fun as comedy. So, yeah, that’s where I’ll live for sure but if Oliver Stone wants me to be in W2, I’d be happy to be there.

What’s your crew on the show like? Is it pretty small?

Rob Corddry: Well, we run two cameras but it’s fairly big.  I mean, I was surprised how big the crew for the web series was to tell you the truth.  When I got there the first day, it was my first time directing, I was like, “Oh my God, there’s like trucks here and there’s a lot of people.”  But you know, it’s pretty big. It’s like an indie film sized crew, yeah. And everybody’s union.

The hospital is being gutted and is it gonna be gone when you shoot next season. Are you searching for a new hospital?

Rob Corddry: No, I think we’re going to do it in the rubble of that hospital and then probably if they build up condos there or something, we’ll just do it in those. And I hope people are cool about it.  I hope fans of Children’s Hospital end up living there. 

Yeah, we’re looking for a place.  We’re looking for a new hospital. And I’m glad too, that place was a shithole and be kind of Scrubs-y for my tastes.

I’ve never really watched Scrubs and I just caught an episode a couple a couple of weeks ago. We tried to disguise the hospital now of course, I didn’t know what that meant because I have never seen Scrubs and like, it’s the same thing.  It’s just a different coat of paint.

We heard that you might actually do the show on a stage next season?

Rob Corddry: We’re hoping to put together a live tour.  Actually, it might be, I think, probably the episode we aired called the Children’s Hospital Play in 3 Acts.  The concept being this is the play on which the show, Children’s Hospital, is based.  And so we might take that, add some music to it.  

It’s kind of tough to schedule.  I mean, it’s hard enough to get this cast together to shoot a season so we’ll see what happens but we’re into it.

Are we going to see Michael Cera?

Rob Corddry: Yeah, we are searching for the… we really want to do it right.  I don’t want to blow this one because people have definitely started asking about that. We’re trying to think of the best way to do that, we have some ideas.

It’s just a joke right now though, right? He’s not actually in the show.

Rob Corddry: Yeah.  He’s in every episode.  He’s the only actor that has been in every episode. I’m not kidding.  He’s the P.A. announcer.

Oh, he’s the PA announcer.

Rob Corddry: His name is Sal Viscuso who’s actually the actor, the name of the actor that did the P.A. announcements in M*A*S*H, Sal Viscuso. And he actually got in touch with me on Facebook. That was really cool.

You guys get a lot of big guests on the show. How does that work?  Is it people want to be part of this thing or you just called your friends…?

Rob Corddry: It happens differently every time we do it, yeah.  People that we write for, people that we like, friends of ours. Some people ask and we’re not afraid to start to shoot for the moon, too you know?

I’m trying to get, I have an idea to get Lady Gaga on the show. A perfect idea for her. I mean, why not?

But mostly though, I don’t want to be one of those guest star centric shows because we have such a great cast and I want to make sure that my energy is put into their characters rather than somebody that’s just walking in for four days, you know?

When do you start writing in the season?

Rob Corddry: We’re writing right now.  We’ve been writing for about a month or so and we start shooting in, hopefully November or December.

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