Natasha Lyonne, Maya Rudolph voice true selves in 'Second Best Hospital'

Showrunner Cirocco Dunlap described the show to UPI as "'Grey's Anatomy' in space."

"The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy" premieres Friday. Image courtesy of Prime Video
1 of 7 | "The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy" premieres Friday. Image courtesy of Prime Video

NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Poker Face actress Natasha Lyonne and Loot star Maya Rudolph told UPI they lend their voices to members of the medical staff in The Second Best Hospital in the Galaxy because the new adult animated series transforms familiar elements into something unique and hilarious.

Premiering Friday on Prime Video, the show is a mashup of the science-fiction, comedy and medical drama genres. It also features the voices of Keke Palmer, Kieran Culkin, Stephanie Hsu, Bowen Yang, Jay Ellis and Tracee Ellis Ross.


Rudolph and Lyonne co-executive produce the project, alongside showrunner Cirocco Dunlap.

In a recent Zoom interview with UPI, Dunlap described the show as "Grey's Anatomy in space."


"I love that there are sex closets. I love anything with a love triangle and I adore sci-fi," she added. "This is everything I love!"

Dunlap knew exactly what she wanted the show to be and was able to convey that to the voice actors and animator Robin Eisenberg, but she was also open to suggestions from her enthusiastic collaborators, Rudolph said.

"It's such a clear vision and it's such a complete world. There's such a love and an investment in these lives. It's unlike other things. All those qualities matter so much to her," she said. "It's so exciting to see someone's brain come to life."

Lyonne agreed, noting she also appreciated the all-female writers room Dunlap assembled for the show.

"It's a beautiful thing. It's Cirocco's mind and soul and life experience and comedy and knowledge of obscure scientific facts and that she knows so thoroughly that she is able to bend and twist them at her will, really like a magician," Lyonne said.

"Everything is funny and brainy and crazy and original -- all at the same time. It was a very fun journey."

The show casts Rudolph as 20,000-year-old robot Dr. Vlam, who is, at the moment, a dedicated staff physician at the hospital.


"I'm so different than Vlam. I did enjoy the relationship and the reverence she has for [Drs.] Sleech and Klak and wanting to do a great job," Rudolph said.

"She will literally offer her body to be a bridge for them to walk over," Rudolph added. "Other than that, the robot stuff, I don't relate to, for sure, but, the pride in a place of work? I love that. I also love that she has been around for awhile and takes an immense amount of pride in the lives that she has led."

Lyonne then teased her co-star, saying, "I am so sorry, ma'am, but are you telling me you are NOT a robot?"

"That is correct," Rudolph deadpanned.

Dunbar chimed in that it is easy to mistake Rudolph for a robot.

"You relate in the way that Vlam is excellent at everything she pursues," the writer said. "She's just like, 'I'm casually excellent at everything.'"

Lyonne joked that she and pointy-eared, six-legged alien Nurse Tup are basically "one and the same."

"I don't like small talk," she said. "For me, it was just like: 'Oh, great, again with the typecasting.' It was really beautiful we were able to produce the show for Cirocco in which we got to play our true selves."


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