Tag Archives: 30 Rock

Super Bowl XLVI: The Commercials

First of all, I loved the musical NBC Super Bowl promo involving basically all of NBC singing and dancing to “Brotherhood of Man” from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It kind of made my day. Also, having been told by a reader of Bossy Pants that Tina Fey is a fan of musicals; and being myself a lover of musical theater, and also of that one episode of 30 Rock in which Jack Donaghy must work his way back up the corporate ladder from the mail room How to Succeed-style—well, it just brought me that much more joy (as, I hope, as dissecting that run-on sentence brought you).

The epic two-parter Volkswagen spot featuring the overweight dog getting into shape so that he can chase VW’s latest updated Beetle that segued into the Stars Wars cantina where patrons declare that the dog is way funnier than the Vader kid, so Darth Vader chokes one of them.

Which may or may not have reminded you of that Adidas Star Wars commercial from the 2010 World Cup. Things I was not particularly into included David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, it did not seem fitting. Not as fitting as the Adidas masterpiece of yesteryear.

I was also entertained by the usually-reserved-for-Christmas Coca-Cola polar bears watching the Super Bowl series of spots.

I enjoyed the Drew Brees Chase commercial, largely because I enjoyed when his small child picked pieces of confetti out of the air after the Saints won the Super Bowl.

Now obviously, you are supposed to kind of hate the Ferris Bueller Honda spoof… but it’s hard to not kind of love it also.

I hated the John Stamos Oikos commercial, but I loved that it made me think about when Uncle Jesse tells the story of how he changed his name as a child, but you know that his original name had something to do with having really hot feet.

I was disappointed by every single beer commercial, and this one just made me so sad for the poor dog.

Sometimes I wonder when the Betty White exploitation train is going to end.

I do enjoy the entire world’s agreement that Jay Leno is a life ruiner.

And then my mother completely shocked us all by recognizing Brian Urlacher in the Samsung Galaxy Note musical “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” spot, which also happened to be hilarious.

Waiting in epic lines for a new iPhone is such a waste of life.

And then there was the second—albeit stretched—30 Rock-related commercial. You may recall the Alec Baldwin airplane incident in which the actor caused mayhem by refusing to turn off his cell phone prior to takeoff. Shortly afterwards, Tina Fey appeared on a late night talk show and joked that she and Alec had been in the middle of an intense game of Words With Friends, and that it was all her fault. This is your context for why I finally giggled towards the end of the Best Buy commercial featuring various inventors of crucial elements in our digital world… like the creators of Words With Friends being told to turn their phones off on a plane.

It’s not a huge winner, but I enjoyed the Words With Friends bit.


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Musical Monday Again: Alec Baldwin & South Pacific

Long months bereft of 30 Rock lay before us.

Tina Fey’s pregnancy is really messing up my television viewing.

At any rate, last week a sidenote to a Gawker post brought my attention to this video of Alec Baldwin performing South Pacific in concert at Carnegie Hall in 2005.

I particularly enjoy when Baldwin loses his spot in the script, leaving Reba to sass him until the appropriate page is located.

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“It Shouldn’t Be Called the SAG Award, It Should Be Called the Uplifting Award!”

Anthony Andrews, Rush, Carter, Firth/ cbsnews.com

Oh Geoffrey Rush, that was so cheesy (although true story, ‘SAG Awards’ does not have a great ring to it).

As spokesman for The King’s Speech cast, Rush opened his acceptance remarks with this pun-y observation. He went on to emphasize the category of the win: outstanding ensemble cast in a motion picture, extending the credit far beyond himself, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter (who—look at that—was dressed quite conservatively for her track record). Very graciously, top to bottom, everyone from Freya Wilson who played young Queen Elizabeth to everyone’s favorite warlock, Michael Gambon were mentioned and credited.


Also, just so you are not disappointed by Carter’s normalcy in that group photo, have a gander at her red carpet pose.

What else?

When Firth went up to accept his “Actor” for leading role in The King’s Speech, it was brought to our attention that he was part of the winning ensemble cast of Shakespeare in Love. I had no idea Firth was even in that movie.

Modern Family’s best TV ensemble in a comedy series saved us from having to see Lea Michelle well up in what are surely fake tears again—so that was good. Plus Nolan Gould spent his journey up to the stage high-fiving people at tables along the way.

Nolan Gould/ imdb.com

Amy Poehler presented a description of her ideal sandwich, and then revealed that it could just as well describe the nominees for best actor in a comedy series. Then Alec Baldwin managed to stir up some surprise on his face as he got up for the fifth year in a row to accept his “Actor”for 30 Rock.

Next, Jon Hamm expressed his disappointment at having not been nominated for best female actor in a comedy series, before bitterly presenting the award to a flabbergasted Betty White for Hot in Cleveland, which I have never seen but maybe I should.

Betty White, Jon Hamm/ cbsnews.com

After about three years of instrumental vamping, White managed to get up to the stage where she joked about how long it took to “get the old broad up here” and that nobody had applauded her when she turned 40, after reflected on what a joy it was to still be in the biz and winning awards at 89 years old.

She also flirted with her naked statuette.


Natalie Portman/ blogs.timeslive.co.za

Later in the night Natalie Portman got to accept—for the second time in mere weeks—another trophy from Jeff Bridges for her performance in Black Swan. Not to be outdone by her awkward Golden Globes speech, this time Portman went for getting bleeped in a special thank you to her parents: ““I’d like to thank my parents, who taught me to work my hardest and never be an asshole.”


Maybe she is trying to get it all out of her system in public before the baby is born.

In his best actor acceptance, Colin Firth thanked security for letting him into the place, based on the fact that for years as a young British actor he would flash around his beloved Screen Actors Guild card in the vain hope that it would get him perks and ladies.

Claire Danes/ cbsnews.com

The award for only person to get cut off at the 2011 SAGs goes to Claire Danes who picked up another laurel for her work in Temple Grandin, blustering towards the end about her “favorite husband… euh… favorite actor… my husband…” Oh Claire.

Dicky Eklund, Christian Bale/ cbsnews.com

The award for most hilarious/ terrifying candid shot of the night goes to Christian Bale and Dicky Eklund (the guy Bale portrayed in The Fighter) onstage as Bale is accepting his “Actor” for best supporting.

Also, while I appreciate that Bale looks less like Jesus than he did at the Golden Globes, I am still a little disturbed by the facial hair situation.

Julianna Margolis, Carter/ cbsnews.com

Best photo for a false caption stars Julianna Margolis and Helena Bonham Carter, in which I imagine Carter is telling Margolis, “No, you just really have to go for it. Let it be free.” She is clearly talking about the shellac with which Margolis has restrained her hair and recommending the benefits of a more windswept look.

To tie things up, I was not swept away by anyone’s dress really, but I did like Mila Kunis’ red and pink floralness and Tina Fey’s sassy red situation. Let’s all pick it up a notch at the Oscars, OK?

Mila Kunis/ fashion.telegraph.co.uk

Tina Fey/ fashion.telegraph.co.uk


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Tracy Morgan on the A List


[tweetmeme source=”JohannaAP25″]
I am a big fan of 30 Rock. I adore Tina, Alec, Tracy, the foreign girl writer, the black writer who went to Harvard, the Indian kid who used to be on Weeds, the writer dude with the hats and all the rest of the gang. I get sad for them when an episode disappoints and I rejoice when I am so filled with laughter that I feel the need to instantly tweet a choice line.

It happens.

It also happens that I am vastly entertained by Tracy Morgan, although I do admit to occasionally tripping over Jordan vs. Morgan.

Just another thing that happens.

Tina Fey recently made an appearance on The Late Show, promoting Date Night. Letterman and Fey got to chatting about Morgan, prompting Fey to query: “Does he make sense when he’s here?”



A definitive ‘no’ from Letterman.

Fey then went on to reflect on–and do a hilarious impersonation of–the strange way Morgan has of saying things. Apparently there was once a hot blonde dancer lady on the set in Long Island City and everyone was giving a shot at hitting on her. Morgan– master of the bizarre turn of phrase– went up to the woman and said, “You look like you should be be married to one of the San Diego Padres.”

The impersonation was eerily similar to the one that my father does of Morgan by way of shouting, “Liz Lemon!” etc, etc, at me.

Yet another thing that just tends to happen.

And this is why I hate wearing my glasses. And that dress I have that Fey wore during the second season of 30 Rock.


A re-run of Fey’s appearance on The Late Show aired the same night (April 15, 2010) that Morgan visited The Daily Show to promote his new movie Death at a Funeral. Hilarity ensued.

“J. Stew! Stew Beef!”

“Please don’t make people on the street shout that at me!”

Apparently Morgan had been on the show less than a month earlier for the promotion of Cop Out–which I am sorry but those trailers were entertaining to me, they just were. It appears that Stewart had exceeded the advisable quota of Morgan hysterics for one month, because he lost his composure no less than about four-thousand times.

As Morgan came onto the set Stewart opened by declaring that Morgan smelled really special. Morgan’s reply? “It’s a new fragrance: Tito Jackson, the special fragrance for bass players.”

Morgan  went on to explain how he is now fully A-list. He also explained that, “Coming on this show, you gotta have a GED, gotta have a diploma or something.”

“I’m A-list!”

“You smell A-list!”

And to be on twice in such close proximity! Of all the Daily Show guests, Morgan’s appearances have been the closest in succession. Ponder that elite A-list status, will you?


Morgan went on to shed a little light of his own on the whole Tiger Woods debacle. Stewart brought up the controversial tweets in which Jim Carrey had thrown some blame to Elin Nordegen and Morgan noted the essence of golf: “That’s what golfing is about. It’s about getting out of the house, away from your wife! It’s golf!”

I mean… he has a point. About golf.

Mysteriously an audience member had a hot tip for Stewart regarding the interview. He was told to ask Morgan if it was true that he hadn’t seen Spiderman because Tobey Maguire owes him $75.00.

True …It had something to do with Governor Spitzer… it’s a long story.”

“What could you get with $75.00?”

“Oh, you’d be surprised!”

In one last worlds colliding moment, Morgan inexplicably asked, “Remember Moses? With Charlton Heston?”

My favorite spring holiday piece of cinema. Favorite.


And then Jon Stewart said exactly what I was thinking: ‘Tracy Morgan, I would like to follow you around for a week.”


Morgan was also recently featured as the cover boy of this month’s BUST magazine as their headlining interview. The issue is the “Men We Love” edition, mainly full of hugely entertaining men like Morgan: Will Arnett, Aziz Ansari, Will Forte, etc.

In the interview one gets to learn a little bit about the relationship with Fey: “Well, when we’re at work we’re like brother and sister in the sandbox. And then when we leave the sandbox, she goes to her house and I goes to my house and that’s how it is. We play nicely in the sandbox.”

Way to ruin the assumption that everyone on television is secretly besties. Way.

Actually, the article covers a lot of serious ground– strikingly unlike his talk show interviews– such as his rough times childhood in Bed-Stuy, relationships with women and the mid-aughts when he faced DUI charges among other issues, all topics covered in his autobiography I Am the New Black.

But really this serious side in no way changes the fact that “Tracy Morgan, I would like to follow you around for a week,” or maybe just even a day.

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About A Squirrel: Reflections on Terrifying Times

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If you were to explore my Twitter history (which I do recommend, because it does make a thrilling read), you will find a series of tweets about a nefarious squirrel. Having allowed sufficient passage of time, I am now ready to share my ordeal with the world. Get ready, strap in, buckle up, bear down.

About two weeks ago we saw a large mouse in the apartment. Not a rat, but not your tiny variety mouse with whom we are accustomed. Definitely thought we had it trapped behind the television. Obviously, we definitely did not.

Time passed, and then a few days later I awoke to frantic scrambling sounds. Violent, loud, rodent scrambling sounds. I froze, tried to ascertain their exact location. I discovered that the noise seemed to be coming from across my room near one of my four windows. Blergh. So I’m gazing dismally at the drying cleaning that I have heaped on the windowsill as insulation AND… all of the sudden I see the silhouette of one LARGE rodent. I have a corner room that faces south and east, so in the morning on a clear day the sunlight is blinding and on this morning Apollo’s rays turned their attention to putting the silhouette of a rat-like head and shoulders into high-definition on my curtains. I almost died. Right there.

The root of the problem was that it was impossible to tell if the beast was in my room nestling in the insulation behind my curtain or outside. Based on the level of racket, I feared the worst. I also had a sudden bout of heart failure where I pondered whether the large mouse from the other night might be a rat, now living it up in my bedroom. I might have started to shake. Maybe.

So I did what any normal person would do. I ran to the bathroom, grabbed the broom and came back armed to beat the shit out of that rat. So I poke about with the broom… nothing. And then… another dramatic pause… mad scrambling at the window… the window that I forgot is cracked open! Noooooo!

Run. Slam.

I saw its shiny black coat and it’s creepy pink paws… but just a flash as I slammed the window and it ran off. A few moments later the villain returned, revealing its true nature: one of those creepy black squirrels that we don’t have in the fair Mid-West from which I hail. I first encountered such creatures in Stuy Town. They’re mean, they’re crafty and just like the squirrel in Jenna’s dressing room on 30 Rock “it’s not afraid of people!”

And then we had a photo shoot that lasted days as it continued trying to break into my room. It’s gone now, but does fear ever really disappear? Does it?

Note his nice bushy tail. I mean, I resent the squirrel but that is one fine bottle brush specimen. Well groomed, sir, well done.

Haven’t seen my furry foe lately, but my motto has been changed (from whatever it was) to Constant Vigilance (imagine it in Latin).


Filed under Dear Life, Really.