Every time Childrens Hospital does a behind-the-scenes episode, I wonder if this is the one that will wear out the format. The show has done such a good job building up its fictional backstory over the years, and has always maintained a very tricky balance. The main joke is how ridiculously complicated everything is: the show has aired for generations and seems to exist as a serious drama, its cast populated with a bunch of outsized characters. Last year climaxed with the tale of Cutter Spindell (Blake)’s on-set death (he was replaced by his brother this season, according to the credits). The details of his death were more ridiculous and convoluted than one could possibly imagine, but the episode still worked on its own terms.
This time, we focus on Just Falcon (who plays Glenn), who initially started out as a spoof on Joaquin Phoenix’s ridiculous bearded publicity tour for I’m Still Here. The backstory on Falcon has never really been explored—he’s just weird, and is deployed as an opportunity for the easy laugh of Ken Marino waggling his eyes and mumbling. The best thing about “My Friend Falcon” is that it doesn’t really give us a ton of additional insight into the character. Any reason given for his insanity would not be as funny as his insanity as it currently presents itself.
Instead, we see through the eyes of David Wain, again playing himself as the show’s director, and acknowledging that his character of Rabbi Jewy McJewJew was part of a long, storied romantic rivalry with Falcon, although Falcon himself seems only dimly aware of it. The biggest laugh of the whole episode is when we switch from Wain’s documentary on Falcon to Falcon’s documentary on Wain, and the actor sums up his director thusly: “I never really knew Mr. Wain really well. But he kept hiring me for acting jobs. He seemed to really like me. And for that, I am grateful.”
As if Just Falcon and Jewy McJewJew weren’t enough evidence, this show is great at names. Glarion Rudge (in reality Wain’s wife Zandy Hartig) plays Nurse Dori, an object of affection for both Falcon and Wain. Denizen Stoop (played by True Blood’s Sam Trammell) directed Falcon in a number of biopics, such as ZZ Top: 3 Lives and the intriguing Galifanakis, which sees him stroking his long beard by a plastic fern.
I have two more questions. One, is this the equivalent of the Newsreaders episode this year? If so, I will miss Mather Zickel, even if he has his own show now. Two, with the backstory of a ranting Wain being dragged off set by security, can Wain be credited as the show’s director again? Is further backstory required? Let me make something clear: I heartily support it. Keep layering in more insanity, Childrens Hospital. The deeper we go, the funnier it gets.
- Nice cameo from Kerri Kenney-Silver. “Your jealousy is truly mind-boggling.”
- Falcon’s role as Ulysses S. Grant clears up some long-standing questions. “And I want there to be no confusion about whom is buried in my tomb. Mr. and Mrs. Grant! End of story!”
- Wain gets in Stoop’s face. “I’ve got an idea for your next biopic. It’s about a guy who gets the fuck off my set if he knows what’s good for him. It’s called The Denizen Stoop Story.”
- Falcon butts in saying “I could play Denizen Stoop.” “Or we could get Bradley Cooper for that.”