With all the craziness that happens on Adult Swim‘s Childrens Hospital, it was good to talk to the more normal people in the cast, Lake Bell and Erinn Hayes. Ok, they were as nutty as their cast members and I loved it!
Lake plays ‘Dr. Cat Black’ and Erinn is ‘Dr. Lola Spratt’ and they’re both terrifically funny in the show.
Lake is also currently starring in HBO’s How To Make It In America and Erinn was in the short-lived series, Worst Week.
This was a round-table interview at Comic-Con and here we talk about working with the actual children of Childrens Hospital, moving a web-series to TV and more!
For the full interview, click onto the audio link above or download from iTunes.
With all of the debauchery that goes on on set and the kids are, of course, background and there’s lot of adult humor happening, I’m sure.
Erinn: I feel like I have made at least 50 children’s ears bleed–not even for the scripted stuff–it’s just really the hanging out on set together…if you look, there’s really not even an extra. There’s like…four children in the whole first season. In the second season, we actually had a little bit of money, Adult Swim was very nice, and we got a little bit of a budget, and, uh, there were some children extras and we’d just be f****n’ around in between…
Lake: Don’t say that word! You can’t use that word in front of kids.
Erinn: …in between scenes and then we would look and go, “Oh my God you guys there are kids! There are kids right over there…”
Lake: But there’s something about children who are on the Childrens Hospital set, where I feel, like, it’s OK. Their parents have subjected them to this…so… I’m like, “Ah, f**k it, have a cigarette…” Anyway…whatever, so…
Erinn: [LAUGHTER] Yeah, make yourself feel better…
Do you guys have pet peeves about medical dramas that you guys think are ripe for a parody?
Erinn: I think we’re doing a lot of it but you know what I would like to see in our upcoming seasons, maybe an episode where every single person’s immediate family comes in with some sort of emergency. Because if you watch one of those shows, and I’m a fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve watched it– but every single one of them and every single one of their immediately family members has had something go wrong with them that needs to be hospitalized over the course of the show.
Lake: [INTERJECTS] I don’t watch…
Erinn: So, I think if you could do it all in one show. If we could stumble upon something that would take us out of the hospital, and everywhere we go we’d stumble upon some medical thing that’s going on…
Lake: I want more s**t outside the hospital because when I have caught a couple of those episodes, I like seeing what their lives are like.
Do you feel like the comedy has changed any going from web to television? Do you feel like there’s different expectations where the comedy should go or do you think it’s still the same?
Erinn: Well, yeah, I mean for five minutes it’s kind of just like a real, real, real, real loose hint of a plot where it’s mostly just like gag…joke…
Lake: And then it’s just like joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke, joke…
Erinn: With going to 15 minutes there has to actually be a little bit of a story so I think that was a challenge to them when they wrote them.
Lake: But I think the whole sort-of web series turning into TV series is really changing things because I think it’s easier and low-stakes forum. Everything is easier, even in the production. It’s like, “Ah, just get your friends. No casting, forget it! Just call people, get them to come over and then what do we do his house, use his house, I don’t know, fine! There’s an abandoned hospital–talk to that guy, give him fifty bucks. Will he do the thing? Hold this boom. Can you do your own make-up? Good, OK!”
So, it’s like, all of a sudden there’s this series and then, all the people who are spending, like, millions and millions of dollars… there’s a show right next to us and we’re airing our web series that we shot for, like, seven bucks, [LAUGHTER] you know what I mean?
The point is, I was talking to this one guy who is a writer of pilots and stuff like that and he’s like, “It’s kind of freaking me out because it’s just the process is changing rapidly.”
How did you guys get involved? We you just friends?
Erinn: Yeah, yeah I did The Winner with Rob and, and you were in What Happens in Vegas.
Do you choose to do a movie so that you can kind of take time to do a web series that probably is a little less money, but a little bit more fun and quicker?
Erinn: God, I’m just, I’m just passing on making movies all the time because I want to save time to do Childrens Hospital. [LAUGHTER] Yeah, I mean, it’s just, scripts, scripts, scripts that I have to wade through and pass on at my house.
Lake: There’s not a lot of choosing. Things sort of like fall in your lap and I think being able to do other jobs sort-of justifies it. But there’s no way we wouldn’t come back to Childrens Hospital regardless of whatever we’re doing. It’s comedy camp, it’s all of our friends, it’s a family. For instance, I couldn’t do the full season–the full second season–because I was doing the HBO show [How To Make It In America] and I was heartbroken, so profoundly and it was really hard to deal.