I enjoyed the little bit of pre-show hype by David Wain and others that jokingly hinted Madonna would be a guest star on this week’s Childrens Hospital. Of course she wasn’t, but it almost seems like something the show would do—convince one of the most famous people in the world to appear, and then barely try to let people know about it. No, Madonna didn’t appear on this episode, but we did get the wonderful sight of James Adomian (a master impressionist, although Madonna is perhaps a little further from his wheelhouse) in drag, speak-singing about “the music” and “the song” and “the beat.”
Aside from the Madonna madness, this episode felt a little ordinary, with two of its plots surprisingly pedestrian affairs. In one, Glenn convinces Lola to sleep with him by saying he’s teaching her how to dance and that adagios include “basic dance moves like singing ‘I want to make love to you right now!’” In another, the Chief is convinced she’ll be raptured before the hospital’s sinful dance party, and is understandably disappointed when she fails to get zapped to heaven. It says something about Childrens Hospital that those plots come across as a little dull, but they’re not at the bonkers level this show usually operates on.
Fortunately, Chet (the brilliant Brian Huskey) was around to salvage things, conducting a gory emergency operation on a patient in his ambulance when he runs out of gas 20 yards from the hospital entrance. Some of the gags were simple: ignoring the scalpels mounted to the wall, he breaks a glass bottle and cracks a chest that way. But, even better, once the joke had run its course, the episode happily dropped it, bringing Val by to remind Chet that she’s a licensed surgeon who can do the work for him. “OK!” Chet replies cheerfully, immediately getting out of her way.
This was maybe too busy an episode—I know there’s a big cast of awesome people at work here, so there’s a tendancy to spread the love around, but the Madonna/dance party stuff felt like a real afterthought. Adomian’s performances were hysterical, but there was nothing else to pull focus. Except for Chet arriving, still covered in blood, met by a confused Sy. “I thought you were gonna change and shower.” “I did!” I hope this isn’t our only Chet episode this year, considering what a classic last year’s Chet-dominant story was.
Blake tells Owen something he doesn’t know: “I play upright bass in barenakedladies.” “That’s you!?”
Val warns Lola against her aversion to dancing. “I once knew a girl in college who didn’t like to dance. She died of a skin disease.” “Was there a connection?” “I’d like to think so.”
Chet’s call-sign is Bearded Clam; Sy’s is Boston Strangler. “Let’s just say I lived in Boston in the 60s, and I’m smarter than the police.”
Owen has so many questions for Madonna. “What is Michael Jackson like?” “Well, off-camera, he’s surprisingly fat.”
Glenn says Lola can shout out whatever she wants while dancing. “Just don’t use the n-word, that’s my thing.”
Sy has dating advice for Chet. “Just go over there and be yourself!” “Myself. My true secret self.” “Maybe not that.”
Madonna asks for requests. Like A Virgin? Material Girl? “Let’s hear something from the public domain! How about When The Saints Go Marching In? That’s probably safer!”