'30 Rock': Willy Wonka and the NBC factory
30 Rock is going out with a bang. Or a least with a wonderful tribute to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. In an effort to find his successor, Jack reinstated Kenneth the page to give a special VIP tour to the five final candidates for the position. The contenders (conveniently named Charlie, Veruca, Mike, Augustus, and Violet) were led to believe the tour was just a formality, but it was really the last part of the interview. Enter “NBC’s TV version of Willy Wonka starring Bob Uecker.”
Jack hoped the candidates would drop their guard, and then he could determine who to hire. But he and Kenneth didn’t see eye to eye on the qualities needed to fill the position. Jack wanted a bottom-line focused president, while Kenneth was searching for someone with a pure heart. So Jack booted Kenneth from his tour job, and Kenneth retaliated by pretending to be C.B. Essington (a corporate spy from CBS) hoping to trick Charlie into selling NBC’s secrets.
Charlie declined, and Kenneth thought he’d found the perfect president for NBC. But really, Charlie just wanted to strip NBC down and turn it into a Forever 21. Disheartened, Kenneth quit the page program. And Jack made a very surprising decision: Kenneth would be the new president of NBC.
Jack: “You like NBC, don’t you, Kenneth?”
Kenneth: “I think it’s the most wonderful place in the whole wide world.”
Jack: “Good. Because I’m giving it to you. The whole thing.”
The only thing missing from this scene was Jack and Kenneth skyrocketing out of 30 Rock in a glass elevator.
Meanwhile, Liz was still reeling over the cancellation of TGS. Jack couldn’t reverse Hank Hooper’s decision at the beginning of his tenure, so his offered Lemon a lifeline via a meeting with the board of Kabletown. She had one final chance to plead her case and convince the board TGS was better off alive than dead. If—and only if—that worked, Liz would have to revamp the show so it wouldn’t cost NBC any money at all.
Basically willing to do anything to save the show, Liz reached out to Bro Body Douche (Matt Oberg) to sponsor TGS so it could break even. The rest of the crew was, unsurprisingly, no help to her at all. Particularly Tracy and Jenna, who got distracted planning their next movie project, Heads of State: The Rise of Doctor Ronfulus. (Look for the Michael
Bay Baio-directed film in theaters on 13-13-13, a.k.a. Jan. 13, 2014. You can’t miss it. They play Siamese twins, which is totally possible because they saw it on Maury.)
UP NEXT: TGS comes to an end, and Liz Lemon has a new beginning…
While Liz was trying to save the show, she neglected her husband, Criss, as he tried to prepare their home for the twins they adopted. Lemon got so wrapped up in trying to save TGS, she almost didn’t go to the airport to meet her new children. But twist! Tracy and Jenna did step up and finally do something — by doing nothing — to help Liz. Both Jenna and Tracy quit, and everyone else on staff followed suit.
So Liz was able to make it to the airport and meet the two newest additions to her family, twins Janet and Terry who happened to be mini-versions of Jenna and Tracy. (Janet is white and Terry is black, which is totally possible because I saw it on Maury.) So even though TGS has officially come to an end, it looks like Lemon won’t be far from her usual life.
The best moments and lines from “A Goon’s Deed in a Weary World”
++ “Okay, kids coming. Show to save. DVR at 98 percent, but I’m just never in the mood to watch Treme. Okay, first thing’s first: I’ll watch a bunch of Tremes.” —Liz
++ Jack: “But while I can’t help directly, I have, through back channels…”
Liz: “Like BET?”
Jack: “Back channels.”
++ Liz: “That’s impossible!”
Jack: “Impossible? Would any of your female heroes say that? Would Amelia Earhart or Dian Fossey or Joan of Arc…boy, women who try to do things sure get killed a lot.”
++ Liz singing “I ain’t afraid of no board” to the Ghostbusters theme song
++ “Now, we all need to pull together. Wing to wing, and oar to oar. Fine, I’ll skip to the end. And that little boy’s name was Marshall Mathers. So who’s with me?” —Liz trying to motivate the staff to help her
++ Liz: “We have to rally our fans, so you two are doing press all day.”
Tracy: “I’m glad the band U2 is doing press all day. Jenna, quick, run before Liz Lemon realizes what I did.”
++ “I do admire Willy Wonka. He’s a true capitalist. His factory has zero government regulations, slave labor, and an indoor boat. Wonderful.” —Jack
++ The greenscreen flamingos behind Liz when she was complaining about how greenscreens always look fake
++Liz: “I think TGS and Bro Body Douche would be tight.”
Liz: “Nah mean? No homo.”
Edward: “Mos def.”
++ “Yeah, I got some stuff on the back burner. Left unattended long enough, the house burns down. Insurance money.” —Tracy++ “Fun news fact: The Today show was originally designed to entertain prison inmates whose IQs were too low for them to be executed.” —Kenneth
++ Kenneth: “It’s NBC. ‘We comedy.’”
Jack: “Kenneth, it’s ‘we peacock comedy.’ You say the peacock.”
++ “I haven’t a second to do anything? Do you know what I had for lunch today? Two pieces of pizza, a garden salad, a cup of soup. This cookie thing with a jelly center.” —Liz
++ “Every show I was sure would succeed, failed. I mean the monkey was funny, dammit.” —Jack, making a reference to the short-lived Animal Practice, I presume
++ “Is that a camera? I’m gonna need you on my good side.” —Janet (a.k.a. mini Jenna)
++ “What up, Liz Lemon. I will not be able to attend school tomorrow because of an issue with my lizard.” —Terry (a.k.a. mini Tracy)
What did you think of 30 Rock‘s penultimate episode? Next week is the hourlong finale. Now, you’ve got Lemon. Make lemonade, and comment with your favorite moments and lines from tonight’s show.
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.