Childrens Hospital: “The Chet Episode”

Childrens Hospital: “The Chet Episode”

Childrens Hospital is not a show a lot of people write about, so I’m sort of unsure if other people thought that episode was just brilliant. But it was! “The Chet Episode” starts out feeling like a spoof of a TV show that picks a smaller character and focuses on them for one week, like when Scrubs would go into the Janitor’s head or something. So we’re focusing on the weirdo EMS Chet (Brian Huskey), a frequent presence on the show who rarely gets more than a couple lines a week. He’s into the Chief, he’s kind of creepy, and everyone ignores him. For the first couple minutes, that’s what’s happening. There’s a nice stream of evil dialogue from the main characters towards him, like “Someone get this bald dildo out of here,” at which he laughs, prompting Lola to bark, “Hey! You don’t laugh with us!”

Then, the show spoofs the convention of having someone talk to a buddy of theirs a lot, who you quickly realize is IN HIS HEAD. Joe Lo Truglio did an excellent job as the boisterous Shane. And then that’s when things got really interesting, as the show performs jokey switcheroo upon switcheroo. We see things from one perspective, where Shane isn’t there and Chet’s talking to himself. But later we realize that no, Shane always was there; he was just the kind of guy who made a quick getaway. And in the most brilliant twist of all (and one I have no idea what to make of, but I think that’s the point), we finally realize that Shane sure as hell exists, but the Chief may just be a figment of Chet’s imagination. At least, the Chief who was eating that big-ass sandwich was a figment.

Brian Huskey’s a really funny dude, so it’s nice for the show to give him a crazy little interlude like this, although the episode was surprisingly short, even by Childrens Hospital standards, and I kept waiting for the credits (following a brilliant trip down Brian’s throat into his bowels and out his ass, an obvious spoof of mind-fucky episodes like this one) to turn out to be a gag. But even though it didn’t have the multi-plot plate-spinning of some episodes, it weaved Chet’s little tale in well with a crazy hostage situation at the hospital that led to both Chet and Shane bleeding out on the floor as the staff struggles to revive Shane and pays little to no attention to Chet.

Plus, we got our first appearance of “Grownups Hospital.” And watching Megan Mullally eat a sandwich five times as big as her mouth is a pretty great sight gag. Almost as good as the classic “spilling a bunch of donor hearts onto an ambulance floor.” I love me some slapstick.

Stray observations:

  • “Hey. Sick person delivery boy. Not interested.”
  • “Imagine a dildo with no hair!”
  • Chet’s repeated pick-up line about shoving things in one’s mouth was great. “And then we'll bite down, like agh, agh.”
  • Little Taxi Driver spoof in there as well. “Someday a real storm will come and smash those puzzle pieces up. And then they'll be broken. Just like me.”
  • I loved when the gang rushed to save Chet briefly and actually talked in ER-type medical terms like “pulse ox” and “c-spine.” Then, “Wait. We shouldn't be wasting all these cool medical terms on this guy.”
  • “Goodbye, guy we don't really care about.”
  • Next week: Party Down.

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