Friday, May 8, 2009

Are You My Daddy?...

30 Rock is a bit of a walking contradiction this week. Though Jack has decided he doesn't want to learn who his real father is because family, to him, includes "Easter egg hunts that turn into knife fights," so he has no desire to invite more of that into his life, the special guest star is Alan Alda, so one can only assume he will inevitable change his mind and find his dad in the lovable, lanky veteran (of comedic TV and fake war). Jack calls Steve Buschemi up to his office and gives him the new assignment of tracking down his pop after all, in what is perhaps the fastest 180 for a corporate exec ever. It's a wonder how he can be so decisive in his professional decisions and yet so flighty about his personal ones... Anyway, without DNA testing, the list of possible new daddies can only be narrowed down to three. He agrees that if Liz can get them here (she suggests tricking them (ala Mama Mia-- also the episode title) into thinking they "won a contest:" a free trip to New York and tickets to TGS-- hell, sign me up!!), then he will have no choice but to meet with them.
Jack goes to Tracy to ask why he never tried to find his father. It appears Jack is a wee bit vulnerable right now. Tracy doesn't help, saying that he knows his dad is dead because if he wasn't, he'd be "living in [his] pool house" and getting paid "$200,000 a year to mow [his] lawn." Tracy tells Jack that every man should know his father, though, and that one of the best things that ever happened to him was when his lovechild tracked him down. Now they have a completely parasitic relationship-- and for once it is not Tracy being the drain. Also, this "child" is like thirty.

Pete and Liz decide to test Tracy and his new "son" to see if they really are who they say they are. For one thing, Liz has decided Tracy might not actually be thirty-nine, like he claims, so she tests him with the lyrics of "It Takes Two," which according to her, is a song that everyone in their age group should know. Kenneth intercepts. Liz turns her attention to the "son," who claims to be twenty-one and needs money to "help some kids or whatever" because small business ventures are expensive! Then Tracy begins singing a much slower, old-timey diddy. Kenneth, once again, intercepts.

After watching this kid scam Kenneth out of eighty bucks for "magazine subscriptions to benefit...the community center," Liz decides they need to catch him in one of his own lies. And luck would have it that he claims to know karate, which Lutz, of all people, actually does study. Is it too early to chant: "Fight! FIGHT!?"

Cerie gets the birth certificate-- because "the guy at the place just gave it to [her]," and it proves that Tracy is being scammed. The guy is actually older than Tracy is. When Liz goes to break the news with him, though, it turns out he has known all along, and he gave the guy money anyway as a form of charity. The guy reminded Tracy of "John Travolta's character in Grease"-- you know, for his fast-talking ways, but also a little of himself. And since Tracy has helped him, he has turned from a celebrity scammer to a thriving entreprenaur. The Dojo is real, and the community center has been cleaned up thanks to him-- well, them.

Jenna has a catchphrase now by way of some talk show-esque sketch Liz wrote for her. "That's a dealbreaker, ladies" gets featured on Sports Center, has lots of celebrity admirers, like Bret Michaels, and even earns her the title of Time Out Magazine's "Funniest Woman In NY." Liz is not at all jealous that Jenna is being defined by this memorable line instead of giving credit where it's due to the writer. Not at all. Hard to sense sarcasm in a blog, isn't it?

Liz infiltrates the photo shoot for Time Out Magazine so that they can be a duo, and though Jenna warns her not to use any of the "funny props," like rubber chickens, Liz sees her chance at being deemed the funnier one. The photographer tosses Jenna a chicken, but she doesn't bite. When he says it would make a great cover, though, Liz says she will do it, knowing full well the funny photo that makes you look ridiculous is always the one the magazine chooses to run. Cut to Liz sitting on a prop toilet in Groucho glasses and suspenders, spanking herself with the chicken.

Liz holds up her end of the bargain, but the first two are duds because one is Korean and the other had a grenade accident during WWII that would render his "bits" a bit useless. The third, Alan Alda, is a professor who at first glance appears much too dignified to take up with the likes of Colleen! This professor makes Jack weak in the knees, which is probably how he got his mother, too.

Very quickly, though, the love affair comes to an end because this professor is a raging liberal and goes off on one of Jack's heroes: Tom Delay. Oh, and though he now claims to be an agnostic, it is clear his family is Jewish (last name: Green. comment as he storms out the door: "Faccacta"). Liz doesn't see what the big deal is, though, because having a few drinks and arguing about politics is what having a dad is all about. Jack is still somewhat wary that this new dad will reject him since they are so different, but he decides to come clean with him anyway. And the timing couldn't be more perfect because this new dad...needs a kidney! Cut to next week's season finale episode!

Best lines of the night:

Liz: "Look, I don't have a lot of real life experience, but if I have learned anything from my Sims family it's that when a child doesn't see his father, he begins to jump up and down. And then his mood level will drop...until he pees himself."
Jack: "Why don't I have any other friends?"

Liz (on why Tracy could actually be sixty years old): "Think about it: he can't rap; he has diabetes; a lot of his friends are dead..."
Pete: "He falls asleep in chairs; he doesn't know how to use a computer; he's always mad at the TV!"
Toofer: "His favorite show is NCIS."
Liz: "He could be seventy!"

Tracy: "I may hug people too hard and get lost in malls, but I'm not an idiot!"

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