Best 30 Rock Moments
Although NBC has been doing a wonderful job placating me with the surprisingly funny “Community,” underrated “Parks and Recreation” and wedding that ruined me for all other weddings, probably even my own (thanks Jim and Pam), I have been craving “30 Rock” since the new fall television season began. But, the wait is finally over, because tomorrow, Oct. 15, at 8:30 p.m., “30 Rock” is black, NBC. Very proud. Like a peacock. Right, Janet?
In these horrible, lonely months while Liz, Kenneth, Jack and the rest of the “The Girlie Show” crew were on vacation, I have been rewatching the first three inspired seasons of this Emmy dominating comedy. And, based on my what is probably considered an unacceptable breadth of knowledge of the show, I bring you the funniest “30 Rock” moments thus far.
15. Letters to Santa – In the third season’s Christmas episode, Liz, accompanied by Tracy, Dot Com and Grizz, hand deliver the hundreds of dollars worth of presents she bought for the Letters to Santa program. With Tracy ready to take a picture of little Tashawnte and Marcus’ smiling faces, Liz knocks on the door, only to have it opened by to two disagreeable men who take the wagon full of merchandise and slam the door in her face. And Tracy responds as only he can: “What’s the past tense of scam? Is it scrump? Liz Lemon, I think you just got scrumped.”
14. “The Rural Juror” – The unpronounceable title to Jenna’s new movie, co-starring Tony Hawk, is based on a Kevin Grisham novel. You know, Kevin Grisham, John’s ex-recycling center employee brother. Played as a running gag throughout the show, Pete and Liz try and decipher what the actual name of the film is called. “Roar Her, Gem Her”? “Oral Germwhore”? I can’t wait for the aptly titled sequel, “Urban Fervor.”
13. Liz and the Co-Op Board - Liz tries to buy a new condo, but before doing so, she must be approved by their co-op board. When they don’t call her back, she has some wine. And then a wonderful drunk-dialing montage ensues where she tells the board that she’s just fine without them, and (and this is while simultaneously drinking and running on a treadmill) that she’s bought a bunch of apartments. The highlight is her singing Alanis Morrisettes’ “You Oughta Know” into the phone using the wine bottle as a microphone.
12. Jackie Jorp-Jomp - Jenna, playing Janis Joplin in a movie, which they didn’t actually get the life-rights to (hence “Jackie Jorp-Jomp”), decides to prepare for her role through using “the method.” So, naturally, Frank and the rest of the TGS writers adjust Janice Joplin’s Wikipedia page so Jenna believes that Janis ate cats, speedwalked everywhere and had a crippling fear of toilets.
11. Drew – Jon Hamm. And Tina Fey. Together. And, as though life could not get more unfair, Hamm has not only been sculpted by the hand of God, but he is also pretty funny. He plays a doctor who doesn’t even know the Heimlich maneuver, but has thrived thanks to his good looks. Gatorade as a salmon marinade? What? Sure, it’s delicious. I was too busy staring at your face to taste it. Once Liz realizes that he lives in this protective bubble solely for beautiful people, she makes it her mission to burst it, which results in her beating him in tennis, and him throwing a fit, calling Liz a cheater and his racket a fart.
10. MILF Island – “MILF Island” is the reality hit brainchild of Jack Donaghy which pits pubescent boys against cougars. It’s brilliant because it’s only a matter of time before FOX greenlights it.
9. The Race Card – Sick of Tracy constantly showing up late to rehearsal, Liz, Pete, Kenneth and Jack adjust the time of Tracy’s clocks, watches and schedules hoping to get him to the studio on time. A frazzled Tracy walks in the studio, late for rehearsal, shouting, “I took my son to his cello recital this morning at what turned out to be midnight yesterday!” To make Liz feel bad, he plays the race card. Yes, he literally hands her a bright yellow sheet of paper that says “RACE CARD.”
8. Anything Leo Spacemen says – Leo Spacemen (his last name is pronounced spah-che-min) is Tracy and Jenna’s doctor, Liz’s fertility consultant and a pretty good dentist. From his inability to pronounce diabetes to wildly experimental treatment methods, Chris Parnell’s character never disappoints. And besides, as he often says, medicine is not a science.
7. The Generalissimo – No matter what he does, Jack just cannot impress the grandmother of his girlfriend, Elsa, played by Selma Hayek. And, it’s because he looks exactly like the villain in Elsa’s grandmother’s favorite telenovela, “Los Amantes Clandestinos.” So, what does Jack do? He buys the program and writes a storyline in which the Generalissimo falls in love with an elderly woman, thus putting him in Elsa’s grandmother’s good graces. (Alliteration!)
6. Stabbing Robot – Tracy is scheduled to appear on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” but Conan is a little hesitant about letting him back on the show. Why? Because during his first appearance, Tracy tried to murder him.
5. Kenneth’s post-party lecture – Kenneth is so disgusted at the antics of his coworkers that he sits them down and lectures them all the next morning. His admonition goes a little something like: “Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves. Mr. Lutz, you ate all of my parakeet’s medication. And thanks to you, Sonny Crocket’s been having seizures all morning. Mr. Hornberger, I would thank you to come pick up your wife at some point. Mr. Jordan, I saw you steal my sink. Harlem Globetrotter. Does that name mean nothing to you? And Ms. Lemon, I’ll have you know that before last night I had never ever seen Grizz or Dot Com cry.”
4. Werewolf Bar Mitzvah – Tracy’s novelty party song. The lyrics include, “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah. Spooky. Scary. Boys becoming men. Men becoming wolves.”
3. Jefferson Trailer – After Tracy realizes he’s white—his family can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson, and you should just see the way he dials a phone—he decides to produce a biopic of our third President’s life. One in which he plays every character. And, in order to sell his idea to GE chief executive officer, Don Geiss, he uses the TGS staff and resources and formulates one of the greatest, most anachronistic movie trailers of all time.
2. Bijou – After Liz finds out that Jenna slept with her ex-boyfriend, she accidentally on purpose breaks Jenna’s leg. And, in order to elicit Jenna’s full forgiveness, she lets her mention a certain video the entire “Girlie Show” staff—which they immediately find online. That video being a commercial where Liz played Bijou, a European, pseudo-mullet sporting, greasy pizza eating phone sex operator with lipstick on her teeth.
1. Therapy Session – When Jack tells Tracy he can’t participate in dogfighting, Tracy retorts that Jack isn’t his father, so he can’t tell him what to do. Jack gets the NBC therapist to work out Tracy’s dad issues, but what comes from a simple role-playing exercise proves why Alec Baldwin deserved his Emmy. Instead of simply sitting in a chair so Tracy has a physical entity to talk to, Jack plays Tracy’s dad, mom, white dude she left his dad for, Hispanic neighbor that lived next door and Tracy himself. And the issues are resolved.