I am simultaneously exuberant and forlorn today, for tomorrow night marks the beginning of the end 30 Rock. On one hand, it's back! On the other...soon there will be no more Lemonisms. No more elitist one-liners from Jack. No more Kenneth...oh, the humanity!
So I thought the least I could do in light of this tragedy is compose a tribute to this glorious show by highlighting some of my favorite 30 Rock moments and/or episodes.
1) Everything Sunny All The Time Always
Easily my favorite episode. Avery and Jack's extreme patriotism, Margaret Cho as Kim Jong Il (best ever), Liz has an 90's montage scene in which she takes charge of her personal life and is thwarted by a plastic bag in a tree. So great.
Avery: "And in food news, you've had enough to eat today. Now here with the weather, is Johnny Mountain." Kim Jong Il: "North Korea! Everything sunny all the time always! Good time! Beach party! Back to you Ayer-weep!" Avery: [clicks papers on desk and rolls eyes in exasperation]
2) "High-fivin' a million angels"
I loved this line so much I immediately named my next Facebook photo album after it. That's love, right there, right? I think it's the combination of the old-school implementation of the high five mixed with the sadness of the self-praise for your own terrible joke and/or mundane accomplishment. It's a quality Lemonism that in my opinion is underused in pop culture.
3) Donaghy Rivalries
I loved it any time Devon Banks showed up. Will Arnett is just great (except, apparently, at marriage--moment of silence please). They argue about trivial things and it brings so much joy to my heart. I love when Donaghy, usually so confident and skilled at negotiating deals and arguing, is reduced to simple comebacks. Perfectly exemplified in his confrontation with Kabletown CEO Hank Hooper's daughter, Kaylee, who is out to get his job:
Jack: You don't even like the ocean, do you? Kaylee Hooper: I hate the ocean! It's for tools! Jack: The ocean is awesome and for winners! You're for tools!
4) Liddy's birth in Canada
I'm Canadian (represent, Mandie Marie) by birth, so I like any good Canada joke (HIMYM also included). This one is chalk-full of them and Jack and Avery's refusal to accept Canadian ways of life.
There are a ton of great quotes from this episode, but if I had to choose one: Avery: "Are we not even making our own METH anymore? What is happening to this country?"
5) Kenneth's drunken speech at Grizz's wedding OR Kenneth explaining Secret Santa (toss-up)
Kenneth has endless priceless moments, but these two have to be the frontrunners. His pure innocence is displayed perfectly in his drunken speech at Grizz's wedding after being fired. If you haven't seen it, it's given in perfect drunk-speech fashion, set up as if he is going to tell off everyone now that he has the freedom and inhibition to say what he really feels, but instead he just reveals that at his core, he's the same Kenneth we all thought he was:
"You people you are my best friends, and I hope you get eeeeeverything you want in life. So kiss. my. face! I'll see you ALL in heaven!"
Another one of my favorite Kenneth moments is his attempt to explain Secret Santa: "…and then the person with the highest number gives the smallest gift to the tallest person! And if they want to switch, they cannot. UNLESS they do! Then everyone puts their head down except the murderer…wait, that's not right…"
I love the direction they took Oprah's appearance in--that it's not Oprah at all but a "spunky little tween" Liz confused with Oprah during a comanapracil-induced fog. I also love that Oprah agreed to be on 30 Rock and that Tina Fey was doing about 8000 things at once when this taped (I've read Bossypants three times. Well, read it once, listened to Tina Fey read it twice.)
Favorite line: Liz: "Gotta go, I'z snittin' next to Barpo."
7) "Night Cheese"
This haunting melody, composed by none other than Elizabeth Mervalis Lemon, perfectly encapsulates her personality. It first appears when she is lounging in a "slanket" shoveling cheese into her mouth in the middle of the night, and Jack shows up at the door. She tries to pretend she was asleep, but Jack refutes: "I heard you singing. Night Cheese."
I also love this short scene because it reflects Jack and Liz's relationship so well. Extreme familiarity with no hint of sexuality whatsoever.
8) Queen of Jordan (1 & 2)
I adore these episodes of 30 Rock. If you haven't seen it, Queen of Jordan is a reality show featuring Tracy Jordan's wife, Angie's which Jack gives her, essentially to shut her up. Cast includes Angie's sassy hairdresser D'Fwan (naturally), a divorcee whose exploits her abusive past relationships for money and instigates drama, a chubby friend named Portia who secured the catchphrase, "Portia reads the papuhs!" and later, Tracy's little girl Virginia who Liz manages to offend. Oh, and briefly Angie's meth-addict nephew.
9) Dealbreakers Episode #0001
Liz Lemon filming the pilot of her talkshow "Dealbreakers." If you haven't seen this episode, stop what you're doing and go watch it. I can't even talk about it without ruining its greatness.
10) Leap Day
Once again, 30 Rock manages to make something a thing that wasn't a thing before. This elaborately-thought-out episode tells the story of Leap Day William and his tradition of trading candy for children's tears. Kenneth dresses up as Leap Day William, there's a movie starring Jim Carrey called Leap Dave Williams about Leap Day William, and everyone dresses in blue and yellow. Except Liz. Because she, like the rest of us, has never heard of Leap Day William. It is fantastic.
Sadly, (or awesomely?) I wrote almost all of this from memory. I've...seen these episodes a lot.
What's your favorite 30 Rock moment?