This episode of Childrens Hospital had Scott Aukerman in it, so that along basically bumps it to automatic "A" for me. Actually, I'll nudge it down a little simply because the promise of an intense-looking Aukerman as a dad with a bomb strapped to his chest was used only as a "previously on" gag. Which was a pretty good one-shot joke, but still, when you have a master thespian like Aukerman involved, he should get more than 15 glorious seconds. The use of the "previously on" was pretty inspired this week: we're introduced to new character Brock Striker (Rob Riggle), see how heroic he is, and then he dies.
Childrens has been sticking to the hospital show tropes much closer this season, cause here's another one -- the "recovery" episode, after some kind of traumatic event, where all the characters work through grief in their own way and there's usually a guest star playing a therapist (Sy took that role on here). The episode introduced us to everyone's personal gag very quickly, then carried the joke on for the rest of the episode. So Owen and Glenn fight over who was better friends with Brock, Lola overeats, the Chief quotes right-wing cable news, Cat deals with her own bizarre family issues.
We also had a new wrinkle to the clown mythology with the difference between "circus clowns" and "city clowns," another part of the hierarchy that makes a perverse sort of sense (those circus clowns are just trying too hard, am I right?). It was all pretty funny and fairly inappropriate, but honestly, Blake's biggest laugh of the night for me was just him doing his "Hungry Bear" character where he pretended to maul a kid to death. He scares children: simple and yet very effective.
Owen and Dave's bickering was good, especially their regression therapy that turned them into famous historical figures and their assassins, including Anne Frank and a Nazi who was a "big fan" of her diary. But of the therapy scenes, Lake Bell got the best material, an overlong spewing of inner family turmoil that included a gem of a racist Puerto Rican impersonation and lines like "We didn't have cheerleading in Senegal where I grew up. You know what we had? Malaria and blood diamonds."
But the episode is just bumping around being weird by the end of it (although there is an intervention for fat Lola that gets everyone together). Obviously Childrens Hospital is the show that can get away with just bumping around being weird, and have Ian Roberts show up as an evil right-wing hearing aid salesman to finish everything off. That's why it gets an A-. But next week's high-concept weirdo 30s seems like it's going to be one where the show's just firing on all cylinders. Looking forward to it.
"He was talking about going on a vacation...to heaven, now that I think about it."
"I'm crying so much my panties are wet."
A clown ambulance is "twice as small, but it holds more clowns."
"Shouldn't you be at a county fair somewhere, circus clown?" "Shouldn't you be shopping at J. Crew with the tanned people, city clown?"
"I've seen your diary, I'm a big fan!"
"It's an old circus clown spiritual."
"Ah, that kind of stuff happens all the time in real life." "I guess you're right. Let's go smoke some weed."
Both Ian Roberts and Matt Besser, UCB founders, were in this one. Along with Aukerman, it's quite an alt-comedy bigshot night.