30 Rock

S2 E12
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TV Show
April 18, 2008 at 02:04 PM EDT

Paging Dennis Duffy? Paging television’s densest beau since Seinfeld‘s David Putty?

That’s right, the Beeper King is back. Last time we saw Liz Lemon’s New-York-sports-worshipping, beeper salesman of an ex-boyfriend, he was filmed attempting to ”boff” some 16-year old on Dateline‘s ”To Catch a Predator” segment. (Fortunately for Dennis, the minor actually turned out to be 18.)

But that ugly misunderstanding is old news (”I knew that girl was 18. She told me her last boyfriend was Asian, and that crap doesn’t start until college.”). So when Dennis is lionized by the city for risking his life on a subway platform to rescue a man from an oncoming train, he sinks his meathooks into the accompanying 15 minutes of fame. As pathetic as he is, Dennis is a uniquely lovable loser. Remember, this is a man who once counseled Jack Donaghy on his disintegrating relationship with Condi Rice. Perhaps that was still on the boss’ mind when he assigned Lemon to recruit ”the bravest New Yorker since Bernie Goetz” for a cameo on the show.

We all have someone like Dennis on our romantic resume, don’t we? Someone who is the malignant relationship equivalent of off-brand Mexican Cheetos. Dennis still has dreams for himself and Lemon (”We’re like Ross and Rachel, but just not gay”), and she’s momentarily blinded by his meathead charm. This is when friends become really important. Objective friends. Friends like Jenna, who reminds us what’s important in a way Hallmark will never be able to.

(Please stand at attention while you read this incisive tribute to an eternal truth.)

Love is hiding who you really are at all times

Even when you’re sleeping

Love is wearing makeup to bed

And going downstairs to Burger King to poop

And hiding alcohol in perfume bottles.

That’s love.

— Jenna Maroney

Wow, that’s deep. In your face, Robert Browning.

Lemon comes to her senses just in time, and Dennis’ bold proposal to make her Mrs. Subway Hero gets a very public thumbs-down. Hurt, he retreats to the scene of the subway rescue (sort of) and attempts to extend his 15 minutes by faking another rescue incident with Lemon. Are we meant to understand that his celebrated subway heroics were also a fraud? Probably. Fear not, though, for Dennis Duffy. As Lemon consoles him, ”If reality television has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t keep people with no shame down.”

NEXT: Jack’s quest to bring Tracy under the GOP tent.

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Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.
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