30 Rock recap: Season 4, "Stone Mountain"
30 Rock is back, people. I thought the first two episodes of this season were just okay, but this week's installment is chock-full of laughs and great story lines. Liz is still searching for a new cast memeber for TGS, and Jack insists she find the person in the "real America," which means a trip to Kenneth's hometown, Stone Mountain, Georgia. (Although, we learn that when his family first came to America, they lived in a town called "Sexcriminalboat.") As Liz and Jack roadtrip down South, Liz talks about her sandwich-based theory of humanity. Of course, it's a sandwich containing deep-fried bits of pig that keeps her praying to porcelain god during most of the trip. So Jack scouts at the local comedy club and finds—and hires—ventriloquist Rick Wayne and his dummy, Pumkin. He then proves Liz's point that everyone is the same all over the country (the point being that, everyone is pretty much an asshole), and the ventriloquist never makes it to the TGS set. Jack McBrayer makes another cameo this week, as woman in the audience of the comedy club (I'm assuming she must be Kenneth's cousin or something). The camera cut to this character way too much. It would've been a better gag if we just noticed her in the background. After his appearance in last week's "Microwave" song flashback, I'm wondering if we can look forward to McBrayer cameos more often. It'll be like playing "Where's Waldo" each week!
The really funny moments came courtesy of the Tracy and Frank/Jenna subplots. Tracy is all about saving his own life after deciding he's a marked man because two "celebrities" (including the overweight guy that Pac-Man was based on) have died that day (and these things happen in threes, remember). So, he spends the episode tracking celebrity deaths, as well as checking in on Betty White, who starred in Rapping Grandma with him (Betty: "You were really great as the rapping Grandma, Tracy") and trying to kill Jimmy Fallon. Kudos for bringing back celebrity guest stars, but not having them hog the episode. These work much better as cameos.
Frank, Toofer and Lutz try to plan a Halloween party, but learn that the best Halloween parties are thrown by the gays, because hot girls always show up to those parties. So, they befriend Jenna to score an invite to her gays' bash (not to be confused with "gay bashing," okay?), and she's able to blackmail them into giving her the best scenes once the new cast member joins the show.
And that brings us to the episode's best quotes:
Jack: "The American public doesn't want your elitist, East Coast, alternative, intellectual, left wing..."
Liz: "Jack, just say Jewish, this is taking forever."
Kenneth: "At least he died doing what he loved most: blogging on the Huffington Post."
Jack: "Good God, Lemon, your breath. When did you find time to eat a diaper you found on the beach?"
Jenna: "And no making fun of me for using outdated pop culture references. Are we cowabunga on this?"
Jenna: "I met J.J. Abrams once, and I don't know what this means, but the Island is just Hurley's dream."
Tracy, to Jimmy Fallon: "You look clean. Are you a celebrity?"
Which ones did I miss?