TV Turncoat: Rob Corddry

Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage

Rob Corddry’s new Web series, Childrens’ Hospital—a satire of medical shows starring Jason Sudeikis, Megan Mullally, and Ed Helms (among others)—is currently up on in five-minute chapters. He spoke with Emma Rosenblum.

Are you a medical-show junkie?
I can’t stand them. When I do watch them, it’s like I’m doing a drug that makes me feel good for a couple minutes, then hung over for days. My wife loves Grey’s Anatomy so I’ll overhear the most horrifying shit that show tries to pull off. I thought that it would only be a little more inappropriate if it were set in a children’s hospital.

Did you originally want it to be a TV show?
No. This idea, for some reason, just seemed conducive to the Web. It’s surreal and weird, and I definitely don’t think it’s for everybody. For instance, it’s already up on iTunes, and some people thought it was an actual trauma video for a children’s hospital. People were like, “This is sick and filthy.” Also very conducive to the Internet: sick and filthy.

What are the advantages of writing shows for the Web?
Getting away with a lot more. There are no standards whatsoever! Warner Bros. [who produced the show] only had one problem out of all ten five-minute episodes.

Which was?
There are 9/11 jokes throughout the episodes, but in one I included a shot of the burning towers. It just wasn’t funny, they were right, so I took it out. It’s my suspicion that studios enjoy the freedom of the Internet. They like being friends of comedy rather than suits who have to bring down the hammer.

How did you get all the actors involved?
They’re all the funniest people I’ve ever worked with. It’s great for me, though it wasn’t as easy for my producer, who was in charge of scheduling all the actors. It was practically impossible to schedule my brother, for example, so he’s barely in it.

How do you market a Web show?
I had my publicist get me an interview at New York Magazine.

I actually did a lot of research, and I’m going to manipulate Google for all it’s worth. If you can get on the front page of YouTube, it makes your show.

How do you do that?
I have no idea, but I’m told there are people sitting in an office somewhere working on it.

As a Daily Show alum, do you think it will be harder to make jokes about the Obama administration?
As Jon [Stewart] said in 2004, right before Kerry lost, “Please make my job harder.” If irony and satire have to take a hit for a couple years, so be it.

Childrens’ Hospital

TV Turncoat: Rob Corddry