Wednesday, June 1, 2011

'Childrens' Hospital' Panel at UCLA

"How many people have smoked Salvia?", asked Rob Huebel to a small crowd of students at UCLA's Akerman Union Ballroom at the Childrens' Hospital panel last night. When a few dozen hands went up amidst the half full venue, it was safe to assume that 2 minutes of hallucinogenic freak outs is trending on campus, especially those in attendance who love to watch funny, horny doctors on television. Next week's final exams may have been to blame for the small turn out; yet, those who did come by were die hard fans who did their homework - for their classes, and on the show.

On hand to promote the new season of the Adult Swim comedy that begins airing tomorrow night at midnight (and to give away seasons 1 & 2 DVDs) were executive producer Jon Stern, director and sometimes guest star (Dr. Jewy McJewJew) David Wain, creator Rob Corddry, and stars Megan Mullally, Rob Huebel, Malin Akerman, Ken Marino, Erin Hayes and Nick Kroll.

An upcoming episode entitled "The Night Shift" (directed by Rob Schrab) was screened, where the staff discovers, while working a rare night shift, their OR turns into a film location for porn in the wee hours. It featured Paul Scheer, who returns as Dr. Downs' bad boy brother. Kroll, who had an arc as a child with aging disease in seasons one and two, showed up as a smarmy East European doctor who floats Dr. Cat Black's boat. However, due to technical problems, we were unable to view the rest of the episode. Bummer.

Despite the small attendance and the technical glitches - which the very funny cast accustomed to improv worked to their benefit - the awkward evening turned out to be fun. Students were in love with the beautiful and amazing Mullally, who portrays the head of surgery, aka "Chief", asking to come up to the stage for hugs and photos. Erin Hayes and Malin Akerman are truly funny ladies who know how to do sexy, lady comedy nerd right (Olivia Munn, take note). Rob Corddry revealed some guest appearances in season 3 such as Michael McKeon, Sarah Silverman, Parks & Rec's Nick Offerman, House's Lisa Edelman, plus (*Spoiler Alert*) the scoop on a Party Down reunion.

The Questions/Answers filled the night with great stories and information on how the show is written and shot (they break stories over a period of time, and shot this season in December); yet, the one mystery a few students wanted to solve was the Michael Cera conundrum. He's credited in every show, but never appears. Viewers with sharp ears can confirm that Cera is the announcer who makes funny cracks over the hospital P.A., a pretty important element to the twisted atmosphere. Despite never seeing him - he's a key character that goes by the name Sal Viscuso. (An interesting bit of trivia is that that the P.A. announcements in Childrens' Hospital are an homage to the P.A. announcements on M*A*S*H. And the name of the man who did them? Sal Viscuso.)

So, I learned the following at UCLA last night:
  • Students love Salvia.
  • Young adults that go to a good university actually skip going to funny television show forums to stay home and study. Win for America. Neg for comedy.
  • As per Nick Kroll, The League on FX will premiere in September.
  • UCLA has a Jamba Juice in their food court.
  • Mics don't always work.
  • David Wain is married to Zandy Hartig, who plays the vacuous and funny Nurse Dori on the show.
  • Video SNAFU's suck.
  • As per Wain, the 10th Anniversary of Wet Hot American Summer is upon us. Go to to join the anniversary fun.
Watch the season premiere of Childrens' Hospital on Adult Swim tomorrow night at midnight.

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