Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The 30 funniest moments of 30 Rock, Part 2

Previously on A Fistful of Soundtracks: The Blog: #30-#21.

While rewatching all 31 episodes of 30 Rock over the weekend, I jotted down 111 of my favorite lines, gags and cutaways and found it difficult to narrow the list down to 30. I also noticed the show is one of the few outside of animation that's freeze-frame-worthy. Sure, Cerie's incredible shrinking outfits are always worth pausing for, but there are also tons of great blink-and-you'll-miss-it "TiVo jokes," which is what Tina Fey calls them. Examples include the list Liz wrote about the pros and cons of Dennis the Beeper King (one of the cons: "Loves Family Guy") and the ticker during an MSNBC interview with Jack's Congresswoman love interest C.C. ("Wolf Blitzer injured in wolf blitz... Anne Heche leaves husband for pony..."). Fey has created a madcap universe as rich and fully realized as the ones inhabited by the Simpsons and the Bluths, where NBC Universal is owned by a wig company, black comedians record holiday novelty songs for their Jewish fans, and Bill Cosby, Oprah, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell and Gordon from Sesame Street run a secret cabal with the power to crush the careers of black celebrities they don't like. I don't think I'd want to be in Liz's bi-curious shoes--she has a pretty stressful job on the TGS with Tracy Jordan show--but I'd sure like to live in her fun universe.

20. Tracy mangles the National Anthem: "Who'd ever known there's so many words? It's like a Mos Def CD." ("Rosemary's Baby")

19. The series' little swipes at Scientology. To take the gay away, Devon Banks (Will Arnett), Jack's closeted rival, joins the Church of Practicology, the cult founded by Stan Lee or rather, the alien king living inside Stan Lee. ("Jack Gets in the Game" and the following clip from "The Fighting Irish")

18. Dr. Spaceman ("spa-che-min") (Chris Parnell): "Boy, it's crazy to think we used to settle questions of paternity by dunking a woman in water until she admitted she made it all up. Mmm, different time, the '60s." ("Fireworks")

17. Alec "We believe it might be a pole-yip" Baldwin demonstrates once again he's the master of fake bad acting during the "Jack's outtakes" montage ("I'm here to talk to you television about the monetizing of today broadcast"). ("Jack-Tor")

16. Tracy breaks up a fight between Liz and his wife Angie (Sherri Shepherd): "You're forcing me to act like an adult! An adult!" Angie gets turned on by Tracy putting her in her place (part of a great running joke about how insulting a woman with low self-esteem can make her horny). The couple proceeds to make love offscreen, which elicits an amusing reaction of both fascination and horror from Liz: "Oh no, you guys start with that?" ("The Collection")

15. Devon threatens Jack: "You're going down." Jack: "No, Devon. I don't do that." ("Fireworks")

14. Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), the chipper NBC page and devout Christian from Stone Mountain, Georgia, feels guilty about his coffee binge: "I went to a PG-13 movie. I bought a pair of sunglasses. I tried a Jewish donut!" Then after Kenneth compares his caffeine bender to being sodomized and walks off in shame, Tracy looks at Kenneth's ass. ("Episode 210")

13. Gold Case game show creator Kenneth's rather late realization that gold can be heavy. ("The Head and the Hair")

12. Tracy sees Liz clad in a white bridesmaid dress: "Oh no! Did a Korean person die?" ("Seinfeld Vision")

11. Kenneth volunteers to help Jenna stay obese: "It'll be just like back home on the pig farm! I'm gonna fatten you up, grow to love you and then my uncles will slit your throat!" ("The Collection")

Tomorrow: #10-#1.

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