Comic-Con 2010: Childrens Hospital

The Panel: Basically everyone involved with Childrens Hospital was there: creator and actor Rob Corddry; developers David Wain and Jon Stern; and cast members Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer, and Ken Marino—or as his name card identified him, Paul Scheer/Rent Marino.

What We Saw: There was more video footage than talking, really. Which was fine: Childrens Hospital is stupid funny, and I went to the panel to see as much of it as I could. First, we were treated to a new episode from the upcoming season, which was mildly confusing to those who haven’t watched the show online (though it doesn’t really matter). Next, a mockumentary-style segment from (the very fake) Newsreaders. And finally, bloopers and outtakes, which turned out to just be actual surgery footage. Totally horrifying and hilarious.

What They Talked About: For the rest of the time, the panelists answered questions. As expected, these ranged from the sensible to the bizarre—everything from why Dr. Richie is Jewish (“Well, he’s circumcised,” Marino explained) to vampires and menstruation. I won’t go into the details, but I will say that several panelists copped to writing fanfiction. And they don’t only play doctors on TV. Huebel proved himself to be a medical expert when he noted, “100 percent of the people in this room have their period now. 100 percent.” Yes, even him.

Most Valuable Panelist: I have to pick just one? I’ll go with Ken Marino, who danced around in circles every time one of his fellow actors was announced.

Best Question From the Audience: How about the worst question from the audience? After the panelists announced that they were accepting (and expecting) digs, one attendee began her question with, “Since this show will obviously fail…” Even though she was kidding, I felt awkward.

Missing in Action: Malin Akerman and Henry Winkler, both of whom were standouts in the footage screened.

Most Exciting News: “Is it too early to give the special announcement that Mel Gibson’s joining the cast next year?” OK, probably a joke. Well, how about this actual tidbit—the final episode of the season will be shot and aired live. I’m guessing those Adult Swim censors will be working overtime. Oh, and for fans of The State, Wain assured the audience, “Whenever the three of us can make time to do something, we will.”

Quotables: Most everything said was too offensive for me to repeat. You know, racist, anti-Semitic, sexist—all in good fun, of course, but probably pretty awful out of context. OK, here’s one: “In Season 3, Jesus comes back and Ken’s character kills him.” You can thank Corddry for that.

But Wait, There’s More!: Corddry revealed that he never thought Childrens Hospital, which began as a web series, would make it onto TV. But TV pays a lot more. “If there’s one thing you know about me,” he said, “it’s that I love cash.”

The Bottom Line: Childrens Hospital is great because the cast and writers make it so—this panel was the perfect synthesis of their delightfully absurd humor and undeniable charm. Plus, we got really cool t-shirts featuring clown doctor Blake Downs. Overall the best thing I’ve seen at Comic-Con so far.

Follow writer Louis Peitzman on Twitter: @LouisAtTVDotCom

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