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?
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
- 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