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Comic-Con 2011: Childrens Hospital Can't Help But Be The Best

It's only fair that one of the best shows on television put on one of the best panels at Comic-Con. Rob Corddry and the rest of his Childrens Hospital family brought the house down with a wildly entertaining session during the Adult Swim block on Saturday.

After screening a new episode entitled "Bar Mitzvah", the talent (Corddry, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Megan Mullally, Ken Marino and producer Jon Stern) came to the stage, and the fun began quickly. Corddry made sure to remind everyone that Adult Swim development director Nick Weinfeld (moderator of the panel) had introduced him as a "visionary." When introduced, Marino jumped up from the crowd like he'd just been called on The Price Is Right, running up and down to high-five fans.

It was clear throughout how much fun the cast has with each other, and most of the talk about the show came back to those topics. Corddy made it clear from the start that he packed the cast with funny people who he genuinely liked. "I only like these people," he said. "And one of my children."

They welcomed an additional guest, Martin Starr, who makes a cameo at the end of the episode as part of an unofficial Party Down cast reunion that had been rumored on Childrens Hospital for some time. And they weren't done adding people on the dais: When Stephen Root (another guest in the episode) appeared in the Q&A line to surprise everyone on stage, he was quickly brought up to join them. Corddry praised Starr and Root as examples of their home-run hitting guest cast who "get" the tone of the show.

The panel often broke off into other topics: Mullally's "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" commercials, whether she gets a burn on her lips from husband Nick Offerman's mustache (her show-stopping response: "Which lips?"), Marino's news on the Party Down movie (it's greenlit and should shoot in the spring) and more.

The panel was all about fun and the chemistry between all the people on stage. At one point Erinn Hayes showed off her "sexy" Elaine Benes-style dance skills while Mullally serenaded her. When a fan's question was sort of dismissed, they felt bad and brought her on stage, where she was given a back massage and glass of water while she took questions herself (getting answers fed in from Mullally...who was clearly all over this panel).

Throughout the panel, the cast was riffing on each other's jokes, playfully teasing each other and encouraging silliness. Their general enthusiasm was so obvious that one fan asked how they ever got work down on set.

It was a really great, infectious experience that only further proves the greatness of the Childrens Hospital team.

Other highlights of the panel:

  • They are doing a "dramatic" episode later this year, and have considered taking a musical version of that episode on the road for live performance.
  • They also had a lot of fun with the 70's episode this season and plan to do something similar next season
  • A lot of the show is performed straight from the script, but they don't discourage improvisation from their excess of comic talent.


Posted in: Television
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