30 Rock 2.06 – A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me A Better Face To Change The World: The Celeste Cunningham Story Monday, November 19, 2007Posted by The Bad One in Yostal, 30 rock, nbc, The Bad One.
Tags: Yostal, The Bad One, 30 rock, Sheinhardt Wig Company
Pete’s watching a Lifetime movie at the apartment when Liz comes in. Neither one knows where this maple syrup smell is coming from. Liz calls Tracy to make sure he’s practicing his Rerun dance for the show, but he can’t concentrate because he smells it too, all the way in Jersey. Jack calls. He smells it too, but it’s probably not a Northrax attack, because that kills you in 10 seconds. 10 seconds later: “OK, I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
Jack asks his hairdresser to make him look like Ronald Reagan. Liz notes that he just got a haircut two days ago. Jack gets his hair cut every two days. “After all, your hair is your head suit.” He’s going to a party for Robert Novak thrown by John McCain and Jack Bauer. Liz: “I don’t think he’s real.” Jack: “Oh, I assure you Lemon, John McCain is very real.” He asks Liz to wear a Sheinhardt Wig Company t-shirt in support of their parent company, which is having some PR troubles.
In walks Kenneth with Jack’s tux from the dry cleaners, but he’s dropped the pants along the way. Jack says it’s OK, but Kenneth pledges, “I will replace your pants!” Jack: “They cost $2500.” Kenneth: “I will find your pants!”
Liz comes home to find a package in front of her door, but it’s not her shampoo, it’s for the neighbor down the hall, a severe Arab named Rahim. He’s played by SNL’s Fred Armisen, who’s also been shooting a few sketches with Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein as ThunderAnt. I recommend “Feminist Bookstore”.
Back in the apartment Pete’s watching more Lifetime (Up next, Intimate Portrait: Candice Vandershark). Liz is weirded out. Rahim refused to shake her hand and he’s got maps up all over his apartment. Pete points out the map Liz has hanging on her wall. Liz: “That’s different, that’s- that’s an antique. And I’m a white lady.” Liz claims she has a good record for not making race-based assumptions (“Remember, I asked that black guy if he’d seen Sideways?”), but she doesn’t like this guy. Pete defends Rahim as a really nice guy. He re-wired the toaster oven and showed Pete a back way to the airport, which just freaks Liz out further. She thinks he might be a terrorist.
Jack’s at the bar. Edie Falco walks over and orders a straight whisky. Jack gets a white rum with a diet ginger ale and a splash of lime. Edie cracks that she never would have pegged Jack as a University of Tennessee sorority girl, but Jack says he’s just pacing himself. She appreciates the idea, but she’s promised Bill Frist the next slow dance. Ugh, she’s just going to have to listen to how he’s already diagnosed her with Huntington’s Chorea based on their 17 seconds together. She introduces herself as CC. The bartender returns. “Sir, here’s your Nancy Drew.” Jack: “For men, it’s called a Hardy Boy.”
Kenneth has been looking all over for Jack’s pants. He’s gone back to the cleaners and retraced his steps without luck. And no, they’re not in the last place you’d ever expect (the ladies room in that laser tag place on 12th Avenue). He’ll just have to replace them. But where will he get $2500?
Jack plays the piano at the party and sings “What The World Needs Now.” Edie walks down the stairs with a smile.
The next morning, Liz is passing by the playground and sees Rahim and his brother running through tires and crawling through sand on an obstacle course. She keeps going when they spot her, only to be confronted by signs urging her to report suspicious activity.
Jack and Edie say their goodbyes following a night of passion. She goes into the bathroom and Jack flips on the TV, only to see her being interviewed on MSNBC as Congresswoman Celeste Cunningham. He leans in. “D? Vermont?” MSNBC CC immediately starts railing against the Sheinhardt Wig Company. They’ve dumped thousands of gallons of hair dye into the Chickitagua River, turning the town’s children orange. Celeste back with a Sheinhardt Wig Company t-shirt from his closet, wanting to know why he has one of those. Jack explains that he runs their subsidiary company, NBC. They both freak out and decide they can never see each other again, despite their attraction.
At the office, Liz tells Jack about her suspicions regarding Rahim and he gives her a number, urging her to call it in. At the same time, he’s getting a call…on Celeste’s phone. It’s her. Liz wonders what’s going on. Jack brushes her off. “These Verizon Wireless phones are just so popular, I accidentally grabbed one belonging to an acquaintance.” Liz: “Well sure, ’cause that Verizon Wireless service is just unbeatable. If I saw a phone like that on TV, I’d be like, ‘Where is my nearest retailer, so I can get one?'” She looks into the camera and breaks the fourth wall. “Can we have our money now?”
Frank and Twofer are cleaning out the fridge. Twofer says Frank would have to pay him $1000 to eat a bottle of ketchup that expired two years ago. Kenneth sees an opportunity. He’ll do it for $400.
Edie and Jack meet on the 6th floor to exchange phones and restate that they can never be seen together again. CC: “How can I look those little orange children in the eye?” Jack: “They have no other documented health problems.” CC: “They’re orange!” She got into politics to stop big corporations from hurting the little guy. In 1998 she was shot in the face by her neighbor’s dog. Her neighbor’s rifle had a faulty safety, the dog was chewing it, and it went off. She sued the manufacturer, the neighbor, and the dog. After six surgeries, she’s better-looking then before and they made a Lifetime movie about her: A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me A Better Face To Change The World: The Celeste Cunningham Story, starring Candice Vandershark.
Tracy spots them making out in the hallway and wants to know what’s going on. Jack explains he and CC can’t be together due to a feud. Tracy: “Oh, I get it. Like Romeo and Juliet. Capulets and Romulans.” He’s been there. He advises Jack to go for it anyway if they’re soulmates.
Kenneth finishes the ketchup. Frank tries to give him the rest of the pants money, but Kenneth wants to earn it. Frank has an idea.
Liz’s apartment. Rahim and Pete are going out to celebrate, as Rahim has completed his project. “Soon, everyone will know the name Rahim Haddad,” he claims. They leave, Liz dials the number Jack gave her.
Jack is watching A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me A Better Face To Change The World: The Celeste Cunningham Story. It is a brilliant parody. The Jack Russell terrier is pawing at the rifle lying on the front lawn as the neighbors chat with CC (played by Kristen Wiig). It goes off. “I’m going to get into politics!” she gasps, as she falls to the ground.
Lutz is asleep in his office. Kenneth, in an orangutan mask, wakes him up and scares him. Lutz is terrified and starts beating Kenneth with a putter. He screams “Ape attack! Ape attack!” Frank jumps in to save Kenneth. Kenneth still needs $700 and is ready for more.
Jack is finishing ADTMFAGMABFTCTW:TCCS. Movie CC is forgiving the dog who shot her, because they were meant to be in each other’s lives. Jack knows what he has to do.
Pete tells Liz that some dudes took Rahim away. Liz says someone probably spoke up. Pete is shocked, so Liz threatens another phone call.
Liz finds a tape on her doorstep from Rahim. The message on the envelope asks her to pass it on to the right people in the media. She pops it into her VCR. And…it’s his audition tape for The Amazing Race with his brother. They love to travel (Maps! The Cleve!), and they’ve been training for the roadblocks (Tires! Crawling!). And they love America! Liz is horrified by what she’s done.
Kenneth takes Jonathan the replacement pants. Jonathan: “Wow. You must love him as much as I do.” He takes the pants to a secret closet full of identical pants and jackets.
Jack has enlisted Tracy to get him up to Harlem, where CC is working out of the Clintons’ offices. He calls her and has her look out the window. He shouts up that he wants to be with her. Tracy: “Tell her that you want your privates and her privates to do a high five.” He doesn’t care that it could be career suicide. Tracy: “Tell her her butt look like a apple and you wanna take a bite.” He wants her to buzz him in. Tracy: “Tell her she got some tig ol’ bitties like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders! Tell her you want her to donate her body to science, and you Science! Tell her, Jack!”
She buzzes him in, clearly smitten. Jack: “Be with me, CC. We’ll ignore our differences ’til the sex goes bad, then we’ll walk away bitter and angry.” She warns him that no one can know they’re together, not even Tracy Jordan. Jack doesn’t think she has to worry about that. Tracy: “Stop eating people’s old French fries, pigeon! Have some self-respect. Don’t you know you could fly?”
Liz starts to unlock her apartment when she hears a groan from Rahim, entering his apartment. Liz: “Hey, buddy! Where you been all week?” Rahim tells her the government put electrodes on his testicles. They questioned him all week long about his suspicious activity, so he explained that all of it was for The Amazing Race. They just kept shocking him. He’s just so angry now, he wants to do something spectacular.
Excellent episode this week. Edie Falco was terrific, Armisen was funny, and the Lifetime bits were perfect. On re-watching this, I realized that at the beginning of the episode, Pete is clearly watching A Dog Took My Face And Gave Me A Better Face To Change The World: The Celeste Cunningham Story. Then later, he’s watching Intimate Portrait: Candice Vandershark, who is the star of ADTMFAGMABFTCTW:TCCS (as played by Kristen Wiig). Realizing the running gag there is part of what makes watching this one again so great. Kenneth’s C-story wasn’t terrific, but it had some great parts (the ape attack was hilarious), and the rest of the show was so good it didn’t matter.
Thanks to Yostal for his thoughts and comments while I watched.