Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Watch: 10 Funny '30 Rock' Moments To Commemorate The End Of Tina Fey's Classic Sitcom

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 31, 2013 at 12:55PM

If the last few years have been a golden age of TV, 2013 might mark the end of that era, as many of the shows that have been the highlights of the last few years are wrapping up this year. We've already seen the underrated "Fringe" finish, "The Office" and "Breaking Bad" are wrapping up this summer, and question marks hang over the survival chances of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation." And tonight sees another great show go to syndication heaven -- Tina Fey's "30 Rock."
0
30 Rock

If the last few years have been a golden age of TV, 2013 might mark the end of that era, as many of the shows that have been the highlights of the last few years are wrapping up this year. We've already seen the underrated "Fringe" finish, "The Office" and "Breaking Bad" are wrapping up this summer, and question marks hang over the survival chances of "Community" and "Parks and Recreation." And tonight sees another great show go to syndication heaven -- Tina Fey's "30 Rock."

A vehicle created, written by and starring the SNL veteran, and responsible for bringing Alec Baldwin to the small screen (winning him a fistful of awards for it), the show saw Fey play Liz Lemon, the head writer of a thinly-veiled SNL surrogate called "The Girlie Show," starring Liz's divaish best friend Jenna (Jane Krakowski). But everything is turned upside down when, at the behest of GE executive Jack Donaghy (Baldwin), unpredictable movie star Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) is added to the cast, and the show's name is changed to "TGS With Tracy Jordan."

"30 Rock" has never been ashamed of its main purpose as a joke factory, but few sitcoms can match its gag-per-minute rate (and so successfully), and it's also managed to do more, proving smartly satirical, surprisingly affecting and densely plotted along the way. Whether tonight's double-length finale manages to stick the landing remains to be seen, but the show's place in TV history has already been assured. So, to mark the passing of Fey's series, we've put together ten of our all-time favorite "30 Rock" jokes. Narrowing it down was difficult, so there's plenty of room for you to add your own favorites in the comments section, but we think our picks below are pretty well representative of the series' genius. Read on for more.

Jack on tuxedos
Like many shows, "30 Rock" was a little slow out of the gate. Indeed, with a slightly patchy pilot (which had already been reshot once when the network recast original Jenna, ex-SNLer Rachel Dratch), most thought it would be crushed by its similarly-premised competition, Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip." But that show tanked quickly, while "30 Rock" quickly found its feet, with episode six of season one, "Tracy Does Conan." And there's one line that in particular has gone down as legend, which Fey acknowledges was the moment that they started to find the voice of Alec Baldwin's character, telling the Daily Beast: "It was a nice turning point. I felt like we were really on TV. It was sort of a defining moment for the Jack character in terms of just his elegance and his priorities."

Werewolf Bar Mitzvah
Brief cutaway gags can be lazy ways to chuck jokes around (look at "Family Guy," for instance), but "30 Rock" managed to pull them off with aplomb most of the time. Perhaps the classic example is the reference to Tracy Jordan's gold-selling novelty song "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah," a five-second gag in episode two of season two, "Jack Gets In The Game," that eventually spawned a full track, featuring then "30 Rock" writer, and future "Community" star, Donald Glover. Watch both below.

Jack & Tracy go to therapy
An endlessly great combination over the show's seven-year history has been Baldwin and Morgan, undoubtedly fostered through the latter's eight seasons on "Saturday Night Live," a show which Baldwin has hosted more than almost anyone. And they never had a better scene together than in second season highlight "Rosemary's Baby," in which Jack impersonates multiple members of Tracy Jordan's family in order to force him into a therapy breakthrough.

Liz the negotiator
The relationship between Jack and Liz has been at the very core of the show with Jack serving as a business mentor to Liz, and Liz keeping Jack in touch with his humanity. Plus it led to all kinds of excellent comedy, with one of our favorites coming in "Episode 210," when Liz is forced to negotiate the purchase of a German TV company, with her high school language skills, when Jack is indisposed elsewhere. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't work out that well, but it's a classic "30 Rock" gag, setting up one joke, then immediately giving it another twist.

Dr. Spaceman
One of the most beloved recurring incidental characters on the show was Dr. Leo Spaceman (pronounced Spech-em-men by everyone except Tracy), the quack doctor who's given his medically dubious advice to most of the TGS cast and crew over the years, played by another SNL veteran, Chris Parnell. Virtually every time he's appeared, he's come up with a classic, but his finest moment might be his diagnosis of Tracy below.

This article is related to: 30 Rock, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Features


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates