Childrens Hospital may have begun as a satire of medical dramas like Grey's Anatomy, but now its take on everything in pop culture has us in stitches. Last season the Adult Swim series spoofed everything from Broadway plays to PSAs, and in one episode, all TV programming from the 1970s.
"It's gotten to the point where we don't know what the normal Childrens Hospital is anymore," says creator Rob Corddry, who also plays clown doctor Blake Downs. The best example? "This year we preempt the regularly scheduled episode to present the pilot for the British adaptation of the show." (In that version, Downs is a French mime).
That's not all. Season 4, premiering Thursday at midnight/11c, features another installment of the prime-time news parody "Newsreaders," so popular that Adult Swim is spinning it off into its own series. There's also an episode that spans an entire year as Sy (Henry Winkler) tries to turn the hospital's financial situation around, and one that focuses on Blake and Owen's search for Childrens' mysterious, never-seen PA announcer Sal Viscuso (voiced by Michael Cera). Plus, Lake Bell, who plays Cat, directs two episodes — including the opener about a virus at the hospital.
"[The premiere is] pretty fast-paced. I'm excited," says Corddry. "It sets the tone for the rest of the season. It's not conceptually different, but it feels like — I hate to use the word 'grown-up' — a more developed show." Childrens Hospital, "grown-up"? Now that's an unexpected condition.
Check out a gallery of photos from the Childrens Hospital cast's visit to TV Guide Magazine's Comic-Con yacht last month here.