This week, for episode 6.19, 30 Rock settled the timeless debate of which coast is best, East or West, with their live episodes (one live for Eastern time, the other for Pacific). The winner was, hands down, the East Coast, and here’s why: PAUL McCARTNEY. The Beatles mega-star had a small cameo in the half-hour show that aired on the East Coast. I actually gasped when he appeared. Unfortunately, he was replaced by Kim Kardashian for the West Coast broadcast. Now, and I say this as a Kardashian fan (my favorite is Khloé, duh), but Kim K is in no way an adequate Paul McCartney substitute. Still, she was fine, and succeeded in getting a laugh with her parting zinger (but I won’t spoil it for you here).
Those two weren’t the only big names that dropped by 30 Rock for the big night;
Will Forte, Cheyenne Jackson, Chris Parnell, Jon Hamm, Fred Armesien, and Brian Williams (on the West Coast) all appeared, some reprising recurring roles, others claiming new ones. The cast was also joined by Jimmy Fallon (playing a young Jack), Donald Glover (as a young Tracy Jordan), and Amy Poehler (doing her best 16-year-old Liz Lemon impression).
The show revolved around a trip down live-TV-memory lane after Jack threatens to pre-tape TGS. This resulted with most of the gang locked in a room as Kenny tried to convince them that live TV needed to continue on, using ‘flashbacks’ to live television shows of the past. My favorite? A live newscast featuring Tina Fey as a new corespondent who keeps being interrupted during her report by the male anchors who refuse to believe that a woman could, in fact, be the new corespondent. Best line: “Honey, you have a dynamite shape, but you’re gonna have to shut up and let a man tell us what’s happening. Now, is your father or a policeman nearby?” (uttered by Jon Hamm on the East Coast, Brian Williams on the West)
I am not a regular 30 Rock viewer ( yes, I am ashamed of myself, thank you very much), but I have tuned in now and again, and it never disappoints. The live shows are just another reason why 30 Rock needs to stay on the air. There’s definitely no other show as creative and daring as 30 Rock, and even if there is, I bet they couldn’t do a better live show.
Did you watch the live episode? Have you watched the other coast version to compare? Tell me what you thought in the comments!
Also, if you’re looking for more live TV episodes to watch (of contemporary TV series that are normally pre-taped), check out ER‘s ‘Ambush’ season 4 episode 1 or The West Wing‘s ‘The Debate’ season 7 episode 7.