Rob Huebel Talks 'Childrens Hospital' & Working with George Clooney - Exclusive
Comedian Rob Huebel has an impressive resume (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office and, of course, MTV's Human Giant) but his newest role, as Dr. Owen Maestro on Adult Swim's Childrens Hospital, manages to find the perfect balance of absurdity and hilarity.
Celebuzz got a chance to talk to with the hilarious Rob about his role in Childrens Hospital, what it's like to work with George Clooney and the stress of people seeing your dog go to the bathroom without a proper poop bag.
First off, I wanted to talk about Childrens Hospital. What can we look forward to with Dr. Maestro? Any hints of what’s going to happen?
There is a lot of stuff that happens to Owen Maestro. I die...[laughs], and then some other stuff happens. We find out that I am married, that I have a baby, I get addicted to drugs…I die…I get my foreskin reattached. I go and find my long lost father, played by Stephen Root from Office Space. There are a whole bunch of absurd things that happen to me.
Since the show originally started as a web show for thewb.com, what was it like having an online show and then getting transferred to TV? Do you have different rules you have to play by?
Well the show originally was Rob Corddry’s idea–it was something he came up with during the writers’ strike a few years ago. It was really just a way to get your friends together and make something really crazy and funny and put it on the internet. And so we did that, and then as it seems to be happening more and more, when these big companies leave you alone to do your own thing, they realize you can write really funny stuff. So it was created in this bubble, and was just really kind of insane and crazy and we got a lot of cool people to be in it. Not myself [laughs], but all the other people.
Eventually, you know Adult Swim saw it and thought it’d be a good fit for their TV channel. For us there haven’t really been that too many changes, to their credit, Adult Swim has let us do what we were doing. I think it would’ve been a mistake for them to come in and say, ‘We really like what you are doing but we want to change it and we want to do this.’ Basically they just made it longer. Originally we were doing 5-minute episodes and now we are doing 11-minute episodes, so it really is just more room for jokes. They’ve been really good to us, they’ve treated us all really well and creatively they’ve allowed us to do basically whatever we want to do.
You mentioned that they made it longer–do you think there are any plans to extend it to a full 28-minute episode?
My hope is that we not only extend it to that, but also extend it beyond that. I want it to be four hours, every Thursday night from midnight until 4 am! I’ve gotten everyone together and they’ve all agreed to this, all the cast has agreed to this, and if it doesn’t happen, well, then we are all going to quit the show [laughs]! We are sort of drawing a line in the sand and saying that if the show isn’t four hours next season – no commercials, I don’t want any commercials in this thing – and another thing I want is to be able to do a one-hour monologue. I want to be able to stop the show and look straight into the camera and just talk about something I feel passionate about. [Laughs.]
For real, we’ve always thought a little tapas-style is best, small plates are best for us. Fifteen minutes seems to be a good fit, I think a half-hour you’d start to look at your watch and say ‘What the fuck am I watching?! This is crazy!’
The show has so many absurd jokes, there are so many things going on.
Yeah, there are a lot of jokes. Because it is fifteen minutes we try to maximize our time and try to make a lot of things happen, and so if it were a half-hour we’d really have to slow down. Characters would take naps–we’d shoot that in real time. We would be able to see a guy growing a beard, you know, just see what is that like, just roll on that. Just see what it is like if Cordrry can grow a beard, let’s just film that. So yeah, I don’t think a half-hour would be good for us.
Check out Rob in Childrens Hospital below.
Obviously you guys play off of medical dramas – are you a fan of any medical shows?
Ah, no! I hate those shows! I’ve been very outspoken about this, I hate those shows. What we are doing is not a tribute – we are attacking those shows [laughs], we are making fun of those shows. And I have said this before, and I’ll say it to you, I openly challenge the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, and the cast of ER, and the cast of Scrubs to a street fight. And you name the place, meet us anywhere – anywhere in Los Angeles or anywhere in California – and we’ll go. Our cast will fight the cast of Grey’s Anatomy or any of those other shows and then we’ll see – we’ll see who talks s**t then. No, those are all great shows. I don’t get a chance to watch that much TV so I don’t watch them, but I know what they are. And I know how to vaguely imitate them, so that’s really all I need to know.
When you do have time to watch TV, what shows do you watch?
Well, I try to watch comedy shows, but even that is hard because I get too jealous. I turn on the TV and start watching The Office or Parks and Recreation or Modern Family, and I just get jealous. I’m like ‘Ah, so funny! [Sighs]…it must be so nice to make real money like that. It’d be nice to have a motorboat made out of solid gold.’ And it sinks! I‘m sure if you have a motorboat made out of solid gold it sinks every week, but you’re so stupid and rich that you buy a new one. And that’s what you get to do if you’re on a network show, I’m jealous of all that.
I do watch a lot of comedy shows, 30 Rock is a show that I love and watch a lot. Parks and Rec, The Office – I don’t know why I am plugging all of these NBC shows. I think Modern Family is so funny, and I like Raising Hope, believe it or not. I mainly watch comedy shows and then if I am really honest I watch – Oh, no! My dog is pooping right now and I don’t have a poop bag, what do I do? Oh, no! He already pooped once, I didn’t think he’d poop twice! Dog, what are you doing? And I am in a really crowded area...I gotta act like I don’t see it…Oh, he’s just playing [fake laughs], he’s not really pooping. Oh, sorry about that neighbors [laughs].
If I have any time leftover after those comedy shows, what I am obsessed with are those ghost hunting shows! I love it, I really do! I know you think I’m joking, but I am obsessed. There’s this show called Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel, and I can’t stop watching it. It is basically these guys – these Ed Hardy-looking dudes – they try to antagonize ghosts [laughs]. They’re like [in a Jersey accent] ‘Come out you stupid ghosts!’ It’s really great. It’s my favorite thing.
So do you believe in ghosts then?
Yeah, I believe in ghosts! I believe in aliens…but more than anything I believe in Bigfoot. I totally do! I am totally on board with all of those things – I want them to be true.
The last question I have is you have a movie with George Clooney coming up later this year–The Descendents. What was it like working with someone as huge as George Clooney? Was that an amazing experience?
It’s embarrassing, because you realize what an inferior human you are. You do a scene with George Clooney and its like ‘Oh! This is what a good-looking person looks like, this guy!’ And its like ‘Oh, this is what people say when they are funny’, because he is like really funny! So you go away feeling really bad about yourself, but you feel really good about George Clooney.
But no, he really is the nicest dude. It makes you just want to murder him because he is super nice and really down-to-earth, its like ‘You don’t have to be that way. You can treat me like shit! If you want to use me as a footstool – Yes! You can do that!’ He is super nice, and it makes you feel really bad about yourself. You’re not ever gonna be as good as that guy is.
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. I hope no one saw you with your dog.
I hope they didn’t either. If they did – well, I guess you can put that in your story but I’ll deny it.
Childrens Hospital airs on Adult Swim on Thursdays at midnight.