Five Ways Something Ruined My LifeFive Ways '30 Rock' Ruined My LifeErin Mallory Long

It’s taken me a long time but the day is finally here: 30 Rock. I have to say (because, if I’m not honest with you who will I be honest with?) I was not sold on 30 Rock when it came out. (Part of this was because I was VERY sold on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and was like, “These are the same.” RIP Studio 60.) I liked Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin (now I love them, of course) and I knew I LOVED Jane Krakowski (Ally McBeal was my JAM) but I … didn’t really like Tracy Morgan (SORRY!). I just couldn’t get on board with him really and because of that I didn’t really understand why I’d want to watch a show he was on. I now feel really guilty about that and of course by episode 2 I was sold and now am VERY on board with Tracy Morgan and 30 Rock as a whole and everything is better in my life because of it.

I often sing the Cheesy Blasters theme song, my friend Caitlin and I used to always yell, “You’re such a Monica!” “You are!” to each other at work, and I’m very invested in Liz Lemon’s love life. And, really, Jack Donaghy’s. I love the whole world of TGS and 30 Rock and just want to curl up inside it, if you know what I mean. I’m also not 37 but I still love saying, “I’m 37. Please don’t make me go to Brooklyn.”

So, because I want to go watch an episode of America’s Next Top Pirate, let’s explore five ways 30 Rock ruined my life.

1. I Can’t Go a Day Without Quoting It

I want you to know, I don’t mean this in a hyperbolic way. I actually, physically, cannot go a day without quoting this show. The awkward part is, of course, if someone doesn’t get the reference and then I have to explain it.

But like, you know how in You’ve Got Mail, Joe Fox says, “The Godfather is the I-ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” What day of the week is it? “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.”

I pretty much feel this way about 30 Rock.

  • I have free tickets to a candy-themed amusement park! “I want to go to there.”
  • How do I carry all these plates?  “Like a waitress!”
  • What’s the best advice you can give me?  “Live every week like it’s Shark Week.”
  • What do you love in this world? “There are only two things I love in this world. Everybody and television.”
  • How are you celebrating your victory? “High-fiving a million angels!”

You see? I also love saying “mind grapes” “don’t be cry” “youths!” and “don’t bring my best friend, TV, into this” all the time.

And any chance I have to use this joke template, I do:

“Hey, nerds! Who has two thumbs, speaks limited French and hasn’t cried once today? This moi.”

2. I’m Just Waiting For Mariska Hargitay And/Or Chris Meloni to Guest Star

I think I’ve addressed my love for Law and Order: SVU numerous times before. I mean, I talk about that as much as I quote 30 Rock, so…

But one great thing about these two NBC shows that film in New York is that there is a ton of cross-over.

Jane Krakowski is in an epic episode of SVU that employs one of my favorite devices which is Elliot-Pretends-To-Be-A-Jerk-To-Olivia-To-Trick-A-Perp. Brilliant.

And Scott Adsit AKA Pete Hornberger is on the Robin Williams-starring episode (fun fact: that’s SVU’s 200th episode!) as a manager at a fast food restaurant who is tricked by Robin Williams into basically committing a crime he wasn’t aware he was committing (his character is dumb). It’s awesome and disturbing.

But have you even thought about all the other SVU-ers who are on 30 Rock?

Mariska Hargitay’s husband, Peter Hermann who plays one of the jerky defense attorneys on SVU is also Liz Lemon’s date and fifth cousin in “The Head and the Hair.”

Then we have ADA Casey Novak (Diane Neal) as Liz’s high school classmate, Erin in “Reunion.”

And ADA Alex Cabot (Stephanie March) as the woman Jack sets Liz up with when he thinks she’s a lesbian in “Blind Date.”

ALSO, Dennis Duffy, Liz’s on again off again boyfriend (Dean Winters) started (in my heart) on  SVU as Brian Cassidy, a fellow SVU detective who Olivia briefly sleeps with and he’s all overly attached and then he came back in the most recent season finale and do I sound like a crazy person yet? Yes? Cool.

Basically, they need to get Mariska Hargitay or Chris Meloni on 30 Rock ASAP.

3. Because I Work in TV I REALLY Think I’m Liz Lemon

I understand a LOT of girls and women equate themselves to Liz Lemon. But as a fellow freelancer in the TV industry (and by extension, fellow Modern Day Cowboy) I really feel a closeness to Liz Lemon.

She makes just about as many Star Wars references as I do. (I’m partial to when Jenna says, “guys like that don’t like Star Trek” and Liz yells, “Wars!!” And we’ve both dressed up as Princess Leia recently:

And I live my life by several of her quotes:

“I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich.”

“I just wish I could start a relationship about twelve years in, when you really don’t have to try anymore, and you can just sit around together and goof on TV shows, and then go to bed without anybody trying any funny business.”

I don’t want to wear dark socks on the beach. So at least there’s that difference.

4. I Get Upset That I Can’t Watch All of the Fake Shows/Movies Within It

I mean, TGS with Tracy Jordan doesn’t seem like the BEST show but a lot of the other shows within 30 Rock I absolutely love and am really sad I can’t actually watch them on TV week to week.

Queen of Jordan I would legitimately become obsessed with if it were a real show (okay, let’s be real, I’m obsessed with it and they’ve only done two episodes of it). D’fwan is the absolute best and anything centered on Angie Jordan (Sherri Shepherd) is okay in my book.

One of my favorite jokes is Gals on the Town which is a sitcom we see on the plane in “Double-Edged Sword.” It stars Lindsay Price (I may be the only one who actively remembers her name year to year, I was weirdly obsessed with her on Beverly Hills, 90210 and then again on Eastwick), Teri Polo and Aisha Tyler and it looks…exactly like a female-centered sitcom and exactly like something I’d try to watch.

MILF Island is based on a conglomeration of many kinds of shows I don’t normally watch. But I’m really into the idea of it and if it were a real show, I’d definitely be there each week.

Other honorable mentions are The Rural Juror, Jenna’s werewolf movie in Iceland, B*tch Hunter, Jackie Jormp-Jomp and just a loop of the Kidney Now! special.

But maybe not Tracy’s movies…

5. Hold Guest Stars On Other Shows To Impossibly High Standards

Look, I don’t really know what to say about this but 30 Rock has some AMAZING guest stars. I could probably come up with a lot to say about this and analyze it and mention how they did a lot of the stunt casting as a call for help to get viewers but that fact doesn’t diminish the quality of the guest stars or something but instead, I’m just going to list for you the guest stars I love that I came up with off the top of my head and just be like, “BAM LOOK AT THIS OTHER SHOWS!”

  • Jon Hamm
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Steve Martin
  • Oprah
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • David Schwimmer
  • Meredith Vieira
  • Brian Williams
  • Conan O’Brien
  • Peter Dinklage
  • Will Arnett
  • Queen Latifah
  • Sherri Shepherd
  • Everyone in “Kidney Now!”
  • Edie Falco
  • Salma Hayek
  • Kristen Wiig
  • Jason Sudeikis
  • Michael Sheen
  • Julianne Moore
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Will Forte
  • Steve Buscemi
  • Mary Steenbergen
  • Kelsey Grammer
  • Emily Mortimer
  • Alan Alda
  • Elaine Stritch
  • Patti LuPone
  • Isabella Rossellini
  • Rip Torn
  • Chloe Moretz
  • Anna Chlumsky
Basically, I love 30 Rock because it lets me be a total TV nerd constantly. And that’s my favorite activity ever.
Hang on, I’ve gotta call Dr. Spaceman. “Diabetes repair, I guess?”
(All images from 30 Rock screengrabbed by me, main image via with me added)
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  1. Mariska Hargitay made a slight, slight cameo during the episode Seinfeld Vision. I guess it technically wasn’t a cameo since she was just playing her character on SVU. Maybe it was a sign of things to come? I, too, am absolutely obsessed with this show. No one can say the word lover without me letting them know that that word bums me out unless it’s between meat and pizza… I, too, quote this show daily, with at least one “ahh, youth’s!” or “I want to go to there” and it’s really frustrating that 99% of the world hasn’t memorized this show, like I have. I sing “muffin top” at the most random times and the best way to guarantee I laugh is to show me the scene where Tracy Jordan buys everyone an espresso machine because of what happened in his dream. LMAO. Oh man, great post!

  2. Wonderful list for the world’s most wonderful televison programming! But I see one shocking exclusion: WHERE IS JAMES FRANCO/KIMIKO?! Sorry about the yelling.

    Oh and I feel the need to include this: “Drama is like gay man Gatorade. It replenishes their electrolytes.”

  3. Love it.. My boyfriend and I will always ask “what’s on your mindgrapes?” if one is upset :D

  4. So fun to see other girls like me all across the Ocean! I work in tv in Italy…when they let me! Loved Studio 60, loving 30 and event The Newsroom… I think I am the only one in my country who read Bossypants! Thanks for the article!

  5. “Why are you wearing a tux?” “It’s after six, Lemon. What are we, farmers?”

  6. YAY!! It’s good to know other people love 30 rock as much as I do.

  7. 30 rock has the most amazing plethora of quotable quotes. Amazing! ‘ youths !’ ismy favorite. I feel like 30 rock quotes is another language my husband and I speak to eachother.

  8. This whole article just makes me smile. I am constantly singing Muffin Top and whenever someone posts a picture on facebook of a cool place, I always comment, “I want to go to there.”. So far, no one has ever gotten my joke which is just disturbing and sad (for them, not me). On another weird note, that SVU episode with Robin Williams and Scott Adsit was based on a real case that happened about 15 miles from where I live. Super creepy!!!

  9. This Lemoning is contagious. My 16 year old son often describes women as 1-800-0kface.

  10. “ain’t no party like a liz lemon party, ‘cuz a liz lemon party is…MANDATORY”

  11. I really want to watch “Bitch Hunter” starring Will Ferrell

  12. You’re me! I adored Studio 60 (RIP, indeed) and hated the first three episodes of 30 Rock that I actually bothered to watch. I didn’t pick it up again until halfway through the second season and it’s about my favorite show ever…how did I ever give up on it so easily?

    • I also want to comment on Lindsay Price and the fact that not only did I also know her by name (not just face), but giggle every time she comes up, as Television Without Pity refers to her as a “known show killer”…

  13. The Liz Lemon effect: Being unable to hear “Night Moves” without singing “Night Cheese” instead.
    See Also: “Somebody bring me some ham!”
    Awesome article!

  14. Paul McCartney!!!! You can’t top that!

  15. I, too, can’t go a day without quoting 30 Rock. And my boyfriend says I’m a combination of Liz Lemon, “the bird off Parks & Rec” (by which he means Leslie Knope), and Kenneth. That’s right, Kenneth.

    Also “The Tuxedo Begins” is an absolute masterpiece of tv writing, particularly Liz and Jack’s storyline. Say, where does a young prostitute get started in this town?

  16. I am like you, I was in love with Studio 60 (RIP). Cut to years later- I finished reading “Bossy Pants” and started 30 Rock and I am so hooked. It took the first season to realize it though, sneaks right up on you. “What the what?” is my favorite and I adore Kenneth!

  17. “I’ll cut you so bad you’ll have a chin! YOU’LL ALL HAVE CHINS!!,” Liz Lemon, ‘Sandwich Day’ otherwise known as the best episode ever. Great article.

  18. I love that you started the guest list with Jon Hamm (As if you could start anywhere else…). I literally just watched those episodes last night :)

  19. You forgot Aaron Sorkin on the list of guest stars! That said, I’m glad you wrote this article because I also cannot go a day without quoting 30 Rock. My friend and I are pretty much constantly singing Muffin Top to each other.

  20. Conan O’Brien and Brian Williams always have the best cameos. I also love the “Who is Conan O’Brien, and why is she so sad?” line. Such a classic.