The last time Lake Bell and I chatted, she introduced the word "abso-poop-ly" into my vocabulary. This time around there were fewer wombinations (word combinations) but no shortage of the unpredictable conversational detours she and I are known to take.
That's how, while chatting about tonight's all-new episode of Childrens Hospital, we ended up recounting her childhood years as a reformed homework hater. Not only did we end up planning her The More You Know PSA, but I found out what you can expect from her cinematic directorial debut and the October episode of Childrens Hospital that she directed.
TheInsider.com: I loved the season premiere (which Lake also directed). I mean, any time you mix Childrens Hospital and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, I'm there.
Lake Bell: Wow, it must be really hard for you to watch any programming. So thank god for the season premiere [laughs]. Luckily for you, my next episode might satiate your need for this type of genre because I was given the most ambitious action-intense episodes the show has ever done. It's called Kid Walks Into A Hospital and is kind of like The Bourne Supremacy meets Hanna. It has a full-on fight sequence between Henry Winkler and a 13-year-old girl. That might help you out.
Insider.com: Wow, is it bad that I don't know who to bed on in that fight?
Lake: It's not bad. Take time to think about it. The episode airs in October, so let it swish around in your brain for a bit and see who comes out on top.
Insider.com: Fair enough. Tell me, what was it like going from Childrens Hospital star to director?
Lake: It's funny, my favorite TV show is, embarrassingly, the show I'm on. I'm such a huge fan of Childrens Hospital and all the comedians on there. So to come in and direct one is a dream come true. Also, a challenge, because the things I direct are subtle neurotic, emotional dramedys. I was scared but excited, obviously, so I overprepared in such a nerdy way. I tend to do that – whether it's a pre-shoot for a movie, or a commercial within the movie you won't even really see … I take a tremendous amount of preparation for anything I do so I can be fun and present on the day and not riddled with anxiety about what's next. That's my secret with getting through scary stuff: f*cking prepare! Like, do your homework. I mean, they've been telling us that since we were kids.
Insider.com: Were you always good about doing your homework?
Lake: Honestly, in ninth grade, it was like, "F*ck you!" But in tenth grade, I suddenly realized that if you did your homework, and did it well, you could get good grades and no one would be on your back. What a revelation [laughs]. When you go into the test and have studied? I realized, "Oh, sh*t … this is so much easier."
Insider.com: Would that be the gist of your The More Your Know PSA?
Lake: Oh, totally! I should do one where I say, "Yo, I know it sucks, but if you just learn the stuff before you go into the trust, it's so much easier. Just learn everything in your class and take notes. Honestly, it makes your life easier."
Insider.com: It's clear you love the Hospital cast since Ken Marino and Rob Corddry are in your feature length directorial debut, In A World.
Lake: Talent turns me on, and this is such a comedy dream team (also starring are Nick Offerman, Michaela Watkins, Demetri Martin, Jeff Garlin), but I will say that the film is not a sketch comedy. What turns me on is taking people I find talented comedically and challenging them to express themselves in a more complicated and profound ways. These are people with big funny bones, so hopefully it becomes exciting to watch them play out different scenarios that might not be as funny.
Insider.com: How do you describe the film?
Lake: It's basically a comedy about a two-bit female vocal coach, played by myself, who sets out to be the first woman to say, "In A World" – a la the famous movie trailer line. Her father is in the voice over business, and has this chip on his shoulder about not being the Don LaFontaine, who is the gentleman who coined that phrase. Ken Marino plays my nemesis and wunderkind of the industry, and Demetri plays my love interest who helps me get into the competition.
Insider.com: Before we see that, what can you tease about Dr. Cat's appearance in tonight's episode, called Free Day?
Lake: It's super fun. All I can say is we get a little groovy and there ares some bathingsuits. There's live, wet, doctors tonight. A lot of wet doctors. Listen, no spoilers here, but needless to say, Marino actually [has the smallest swimsuit]. He's got a great body, so tune in.
Childrens Hospital airs airs Thursdays at 12 a.m. on Adult Swim.