10 Thoughts On… Live 30 Rock (East Coast) Episode 5-4
30 Rock went LIVE tonight on NBC, and the east coast feed has just ended. Did they succeed at making the show funny in a live setting?
1. In flashbacks, Liz Lemon was played by… Julia Louis Dreyfus! Seinfeld and 30 Rock combined? Count me in!
2. There was definitely a different feel to the camera-work, more like Saturday Night Live. At the very end they had a few seconds in the normal picture (not sure if this was pre-taped or a camera effect live).
3. It was an interesting decision to do so many “TGS” skits as live within the live 30 Rock. Added another layer, but was a bit confusing at times.
4. When the live TGS threw to commercial, each time was an SNL-style fake commercial. The first, with Dr. Spaceman, was funny, but the second featured Jon Hamm. He got a hand donated from a convict, which ultimately tried to kill him. As he fell to the ground, his storyline hook-hand latched into the wall.
5. The main storyarc revolved around Liz Lemon turning 40, but no one on the show remembering. Most times it’s revealed that they knew all along and were planning something, but they all legitimately forgot!
6. Matt Damon made a guest appearance as Liz’s pilot boyfriend Carrol. He called from his cell phone as the plane was in trouble and laughed when she suggested you couldn’t use it on the plane.
7. Tracy Jordan was obsessed with “breaking” during a sketch on the show, and was shown a couple times purposely breaking character in a TGS skit. I thought this played especially well with the show-within-a-show live gimmick.
8. There was one time the crowd half laughed and half groaned, as Kenneth was giving Jenna her messages. She said “well i guess they are geniuses from getting stuck in a mine” which apparently offended some of the crowd.
9. Matt Damon asked Liz to Tivo “Bones” for him if he survives the plane’s issues. For whatever reason, I found that particular reference hilarious, although I don’t always love such references on this show.
10. At the end, Jack is talking to Liz Lemon (played by Elaine) and Liz came over, tapped her on the shoulder, and replaced her, speaking the same lines. I still loved this most of all out of all the surprises on the live episode.
30 Rock has had a surge this year after a couple less funny years and this episode might be the pinnacle. It was great to see so many guest stars do it live too, such as Matt Damon and Don Draper. For west coast fans, make sure to tune in when it’s live for you tonight, I’m definitely going to catch the hulu replay.
Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs