For those of you reading this before 8:30pm Pacific Time, clear your schedule and get to a TV by that time so you can watch the west coast version of the "30 Rock" live episode. Because, if it's anything like the East Coast version (and it should be, since they're not doing an entirely different script, just re-performing the show live), it'll be the funniest thing you see all year.
The thing that made this episode successful was that it didn't rely on the live gimmick to provide all the humor, but the live-ness of the episode supplemented jokes that were already incredibly funny (oh, and we got lyrics to the "30 Rock" theme song... woo-hoo!).
"Live Show" did allow "30 Rock" to do some outside the box things, starting with having Julia Louis-Dreyfus play Liz Lemon in the cutaway gags. They also had "live" commercials from Dr. Leo Spaceman (Chris Parnell) and Dr. Drew Baird (Jon Hamm) that really raised the level of the comedy. Even Rachel Dratch came back, playing a cleaning lady who happened to share her birthday with Liz -- a fact that led the crew to plan a birthday party for the cleaning lady while completely forgetting Liz's.
But this show was more about well-written jokes than star-studded cameos. The top 10 lines (and one on-screen gag) of the episode (in the order they happened in the episode):
Jack: "Good God, I can see every line and pore in your face. It looks like a YMCA climbing wall."
Liz: "My face cream was recalled. Apparently it was destroying the lab rats' ... uhhh... oh, what is that word? Brains!"
Jack: "Why are you better looking in your memory?"
Liz: "My memory has 'Seinfeld' money."
Liz: "I haven't seen you in awhile."
Cleaning Lady: "Yeah, bullet in brain move. Much hospital!"
Kenneth: "Oh, Miss Maroney, I have your messages. A Mr. Brett Fah-vray stopped by and dropped off this picture of a hot dog."
Liz: "No, I told you, your lizard cannot be the musical guest."
Tracy: "Of course not. His album doesn't drop until December."
Pete: "Liz, I almost forgot. Happy birthday... the song. Legal says we can't use it in the birthday sketch, but we can use 'It's your b-day bitch' by Snookie's mom."
[not a line, but the Obama font during the Fox News sketch]: "Exclusive interview with Kenyan Liar"
Dr. Spaceman: "Erectile disfunction: it's not just a dog problem anymore!" (I also loved that when he introduced himself, he air-quoted "doctor".)
Liz [re: Jack's 40th birthday flashback actor]: Wow. You were very fit back then.
Jack: Yes, but my penis was smaller.
Jack: "Pete, what can you pull together? Is there time to do something for Liz on air?"
Pete: "Not really. I mean, I could cut the product placement for Capital One."
Jack: "No, you can't do that. The Capital One Venture Card is amazing! [turns to camera] You get double miles every day for every purchase!"
[Cut to Frank, wearing hat that says "Promotional consideration" and T-shirt that says "Furnished by Capital One"]
Liz: "You stole an old cleaning lady's birthday to make me happy?"
Jack: "In my defense... yes."
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.