'30 Rock' Season 6, Episode 19 (Live Show) Recap - 'Live from Studio 6H'
With "30 Rock" potentially coming to an end soon, there's a lot to be sad about. But one of the saddest things about seeing this fine comedy go is that we may only end up with one more fantastic live show. The first one was great, and this one, which served as the season 6 finale, was equally fantastic.
The plot is this: Jack wants to change TGS from a live show to a pre-recorded one (meta!) for cost-cutting reasons. Kenneth flips out about it and ends up locking everyone in Tracy's dressing room so that he can "Twelve Angry Men" them into changing their minds and keeping the show live.
He does this by taking them on a journey through the history of live TV on NBC: we see a taping of "The Lovebirds," a take on "The Honeymooners" that stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin; we see "The Joey Montero Show," a Lawrence Welk-type affair with Baldwin as the drunk, disoriented host; we see "Alfie and Abner," the first show to include black actors (though it actually had one black actor and one white actor in blackface); we see a misogynist news program from the 1970's; and we catch a telethon that brought a young Jack, Liz and Tracy together thanks to the magic of live television.
Meanwhile, Jenna wants to be proposed to by Paul on the final live TGS show, but changes her mind later when Paul protests. Still, Paul ends up flying in from the ceiling during the taping, singing "Zou Bisou" a la "Mad Men."
Speaking of "Mad Men," Jon Hamm was just one of many fantastic guest stars in the episode. Hamm was the brave soul willing to take on the racist role in the "Alfie and Abner" bit, and he and Tracy Morgan played it perfectly. Brian Williams showed up as the news anchor, and none other than Kim Kardashian had a couple of quick lines to bookend the episode.
Additionally, Chris Parnell did some interstitial PSAs as Dr. Spaceman, and we got to see "Community" star Donald Glover play a young Tracy Jordan and "Saturday Night Live" alumni Amy Poehler and Jimmy Fallon play a young Liz and a young Jack, respectively. Fallon broke up during a take on the West Coast (as he is wont to do) thanks to Fred Armisen, who appeared as an old lady working the telethon.
There were, as last time, a number of differences between the East and West Coast shows. The biggest difference was that the East show got Paul McCartney as their big celebrity cameo instead of Kardashian, but the West show was the only one to get Brian Williams, as Jon Hamm filled in as the anchor for the East show.
The West show also got recurring guest Cheyenne Jackson singing the intro instead of Jane Krakowski, as well as some different, less Nazi-centered jokes from Parnell.
Also, apparently Jackson's character Danny has been in prison because of a prank pulled by Jenna. Who knew?
Frank's Hats of the Week: "Average Voltage" and "Frank 2.0" (latter worn by Fred Armisen)