30 Rock recap: Whiter Than a Wilco Concert
Jack scrambles to prove NBC's commitment to diversity while Kenneth fights to get his old job back
On this week’s 30 Rock, “Let’s Stay Together,” Jack had to speak to the beltway lobotomites of the House Subcommittee on Baseball, Quiz Shows, Terrorism and Media about the merger between NBC and Kabletown. Just as he had convinced them that shying away from vertical integration would be like putting a bullet in the head of the American farmer, Congresswoman Regina Bookman (guest star Queen Latifah, who killed it) spoke up. “Why is it that NBC looks about as diverse as a Wilco concert?” Until he could prove to her that his network wasn’t racist, she could guarantee that the deal would not happen. “Rhubarb, rhubarb, peas and carrots,” muttered her nervous fellow Congressperson Rob Reiner.
Those douche-b’s Lemon works with were dragging her down — this week’s nicknames included Lez Lemon, Winona Ryder in 100 Years, Fart Barfunkel, and my favorite: Paul Simon. “It crosses a line!” So she was all too happy to make Twofer the co-head writer to help Jack make a statement. She’d always assumed the smart, superb-at-masturbation Harvard grad would take over for her when she died at her desk, anyway. I liked how Tina Fey went ahead and made herself seem like the whitest person in the world by having Lemon pretend she read a Malcom Gladwell article in The New Yorker on her Kindle. Anyway, the plan backfired, and El Tejon (“the badger,” in Spanish) got jealous. Twofer got Right On‘s Arthur Ashe of the Week and the 2010 Tavis Smiley Excellence in Broadcasting Award and all she got was a lousy “I Met a Congresswoman” sticker? Unacceptable!
Congresswoman Latifah Bookman could see right through the Twofer charade — plus, a closer look at Studio 6H revealed separate White/Colored recycling bins and restrooms and a blatant hate crime against the staff’s “White Devil.” (Lutz, penner of snow poetry, claims to be part-Eskimo). Jack begged Regina for another chance, insisting he knew that diversity was the engine that drives this country. She’ll be back in three months to judge him again. Meanwhile, Jenna turned into her mom to help Kenneth with his sparkly NBC page-antry. Jack could have gotten a head start on a real diversity initiative by hiring that Native American fellow named Wants to Get Sandwiches, but instead he gave Jeffrey Weinerslav (“whatever…this is”) the order to hire back our favorite Southern boy who talks to his shoes. Whew!
NEXT: The episode’s 10 best quotes and moments!
My 10 favorite quotes and moments from “Let’s Stay Together” — name yours in the comments!
10. “The third generation…snowboards and takes improv classes.” –Jack
9. “When I was in pageants, my mother told me there’s only three things standing between you and winning. Your breasts and wanting it bad enough.” –Jenna, jonesing for Vagitrax
8. “Jackie D! I had dinner with Don Imus last night and he told the following joke…” –Tracy to Jack as Regina listened in, horrified, over the phone
7. “I was too busy trying to remember the name of the black kid on Community” –Jack, who shares a liquor locker at the opera with Monty Appleseed (Fun fact: Community‘s “Don-ALD Glover” used to write for 30 Rock and appeared in two episodes.)
6. Jack and Tracy’s utter disbelief that Law & Order had been canceled. It was a tentpole. A tentpole!
5. The tail end of Regina’s final stream-of-consciousness preacher/politician plea: “WHO. WANTS. PIZZA?”
4. “I wish you weren’t such a Houston Foreclosure of a human being.” –School boat graduate Jenna, who had another thing coming if she thought she was going to Sizzler that night, to Kenneth
3. “Thank you, Dr. Chang.” –Jack to Regina after telling her he saw neither race nor gender
2. John Amos as the dad with a talking dog on Let’s Stay Together, the new sitcom from Dot Com Productions
1. “Traveling bard.” / “Radiation canary.” –Lemon, then Jack, on how society would even use her in a post-apocalyptic world
Excited for next week’s live episode? Is Outsourced the new Friends? Discuss tonight’s 30 Rock below!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett
TV ADDICTS, STOP WHERE YOU ARE! Embedded below, listen to the second edition of EW.com’s TV Insiders podcast. Dalton Ross, Michael Slezak, Michael Ausiello, Tim Stack (EW’s resident Gleek), and yours truly break down the week in television—specifiically Glee, Dancing With the Stars, and Survivor—and present it to you in an easily digestible audio format. Or click here to download TV Insiders to your MP3 player!