30 Rock: Recycle everything. Including jokes.

NUP_137116_0107Uh-oh. This week’s 30 Rock guest star is Nate Corddry. I adore the Nate, don’t get me wrong, but as soon as he showed up on screen I got all freaked out, and I couldn’t relax for the rest of the episode. I know it’s been three years but I’m still not ready to handle the idea of a 30 Rock/Studio 60 crossover.

Nate has shown up to star in this week’s A plot: Liz’s apartment building is being turned into condos, and Jack convinces her to buy both her place and the one above her so she can turn them into a duplex for her future imaginary husband and children. (By the way, Liz’s imaginary husband is named Astronaut Mike Dexter, and do we think the writers were thinking of this Mike Dexter? Because that seems out there even for 30 Rock.) But Nate Corddry lives in the apartment above Liz, and he hates yuppies who want to build duplexes. He’s a gay hipster cop who wears political T-shirts and doesn’t have a TV, but his apartment smells like Burger King all day and Cinnabon all night. So when he suggests they move into his apartment together, Liz accepts, secretly planning to drive him out of the apartment so she can go ahead with her duplex plan. (Very little of this made sense to me, because I don’t live in New York, but let’s assume there’s some logic to this storyline.) Liz tries various methods of getting him out, but when dramatic suicide threats and Dot Com’s awesome performance as Astronaut Mike Dexter don’t work, she finally borrows a tactic from Frank and pees in a vase, and that does the trick.

In the B plot, David Geiss’ children are fighting it out over their inheritance, and this inspires Jack to get a vasectomy. Tracy decides to do the same, because The Cosby Show lied to him and he can’t tell an amazing strip club story, which involves Charles Barkley and one of the hobbits (Dom, probably; Sean is too married, Billy lives in Scotland, and if it was Elijah, Tracy would’ve known his name. Although I guess it could’ve been Billy if this episode took place during Beecake’s recent U.S. tour. Yes, I know a lot about the hobbits; deal with it.) During a hallucination stemming from Dr. Spaceman’s prescribed general anesthetic, Tracy realizes that the reason his life isn’t like The Cosby Show is that he only has boys, and he wants a baby girl. Fortunately, Jack has already stopped both their procedures, because he had a precious moment with Tracy Junior in the waiting room (it’s Take Your Black Kid to Work Day) and decided he wants to have kids, too. Aww. Wait, don’t patronize them!

And finally, in the C plot, it’s Green Week once again at NBC, which brings us the green peacock in the corner of the screen and a bunch of lecturing from Kenneth, with help from Masi Oka and someone from Friday Night Lights, plus a recycled cameo from Al Gore himself, who predictably isn’t as funny as he was last time. And then there’s a really gross bit plot involving Frank and some azaleas that I don’t want to talk about.

30rockNUP_137653_0004Other things we learned this week:

Lines that I would really like to use in my day-to-day life, if I lived in a parallel universe where I had Tina Fey’s wit:

  • Global warming is just a bunch of scientist talk.
  • It’s my crazy black boyfriend, Astronaut Mike Dexter!
  • I’m gonna be grumpy until the end of this sentence.

Season 4, Episode 6: Sun Tea (originally aired November 19, 2009)

For more on 30 Rock, click here.

Thursdays at 9:30/8:30C on NBC

Photographs courtesy of NBC Universal, Ali Goldstein

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