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30 Rock 3.03 – The One With the Cast of Night Court Monday, November 17, 2008

Posted by The Bad One in 30 rock, nbc, The Bad One.
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We open with Kenneth coming out of a control room, reminding Liz who he is, as he’s convinced that he’s unrecognizable in the new page’s uniform, which he hates. The change seems to be that it’s a gray suit with less flair. He marches off, squirming in his new clothes.

Liz then runs into Jenna, telling her that she got a call from security (Jenna: “That’s ridiculous. Why would I steal a file from Personnel?”) that their friend from Chicago, Claire Harper, is in the lobby. They reminisce about times past, the time they danced in the fire hydrant, Claire’s roof parties, karaoke in Boystown, all-night scavenger hunts, the time they crashed that Polish wedding… Liz: “Yeah, she’s exhausting.” Jenna: “I know, she’s going to make us buy more of her homemade jewelry. Birds always attack me when I wear it!” Liz vows to not get dragged off to some club for the night.

They arrive at the elevators, where Jack is waiting to catch a ride, and Liz explains to him that “Claire is like a human Macarena – something everyone did at parties in 1996.” “Meow,” responds Jack, only he actually said “Mi Ao,” who is the Asian woman at the end of the hallway. She owns the largest alternative energy company in Asia, so as part of GE’s green efforts NBC is doing a reality show on her search for a boyfriend. Just then, the elevator doors open and out pops Jennifer Aniston in kind of a stupid hat. The three women squeal and hug, as Kenneth tries to act excited but ends up in tears. Claire is introduced to Jack, then starts going on about some storage unit party on the Lower East Side she heard about from a baggage handler that starts at midnight. I’m exhausted already and we’re 2.5 minutes in. Credits.

Tracy commiserates with Kenneth over the death of the old page’s uniform. Tracy: “I hate to see you like this, Ken Doll. It’s like an owl without a graduation cap: Heartbreaking.” He offers to buy Kenneth something to cheer him up, but the things Kenneth wants don’t come with a price tag, like a sunset or a smile or a satisfying conclusion to the hit NBC series Night Court. “Night Court was supposed to end with a wedding between Christine and Harry, but the show didn’t get a tenth season, so that great love story was left untold.” Tracy has an idea.

Liz is excited about a TGS mention in Variety that called them “a comedy show”, but Jack is more taken with her friend Claire. Liz tries to warn him off, but it’s too late, as Claire emerges from Jack’s private bathroom. She unconvincingly claims Jack was giving her directions to the F train, then promises Liz that their night out will be “epic” in the voice of one well-versed in HIMYM, and when Jack describes the situation as “objectively awesome” I’m convinced that this episode has a ghost-writer. Liz tells Jack of the powerful men Claire has hobbled, ranging from Scottie Pippen to the drummer for the BoDeans to Liz’s boyfriend, the clown college director.

Tracy leads a blindfolded Kenneth to the TGS stage, where he is beyond tickled to find some of the cast of Night COurt (Harry Anderson, Markie Post, Charles Robinson) on a replica of their set.

Jack gives a toast at a fundraising dinner for Mi Ao’s fundraising foundation, but when he’s finished, Claire (in a different stupid hat), strips off her black coat to reveal her tight cocktail dress. She ditches the hat and cues the string orchestra, which they hilariously fail to follow for most of her “sultry” rendition of “Happy Birthday”. She then introduces herself to Mi Ao as Jack’s life coach Esmeralda Fitzmonster. When Jack asks her to leave, she threatens to kill herself. He fake-laughs it off and cues the orchestra for the instrumental bumper into commercial.

Jack has come around on Claire, coming to Liz, working late, to get her advice. Liz decides to take one for the team and agrees to go clubbing with Claire to keep Jack off her radar.

The next day, Markie Post is in a wedding dress, looking great for 58, and Harry Anderson is in a suit, getting his script from Kenneth. Markie gets up and makes a speech about how great it is to be with her Night Court friends again, and she only wishes Jon Larroquette could have made it. When Harry pipes up that Jon wanted to be there, but couldn’t make his schedule work, Markie flies off the handle that they still keep in touch, and when her jealousy over never getting an Emmy nomination boils over she takes off.

Claire is putting a stupid Robin Hood-like hat on Frank and telling him he looks hot in it. She’s selling dumb hats, so now the hat thing makes sense. Liz asks what they’re doing tonight, but Claire is all about her tentative Jack-related plans. Liz guarantees that Claire will meet someone even hotter if she rolls with them. Liz: “Like, I was at this club last week called…Chili’s and I met this smoking guy.” Claire is intrigued. Cerie: “You guys should go to Aquarium. It’s this new nightclub where all the women are in a glass room in the center of the dance floor and all the guys just watch and feed them.”

Tracy works on Harry Anderson to get him back on board, while Kenneth has convinced Markie to give it another shot. They agree to get it over with and pick up their checks.

Liz is waiting outside a club for Claire, who texted her an hour ago about getting on the F train. Suddenly, she realizes what that means. She warns Jack that Claire is in his house. He turns around to see Claire in the vaguest suggestion of a saucy maid’s outfit holding a white pizza and a pot roast and coming totally unglued. When confronted with crazy who wants to have sex with him, Jack chooses the path of least resistance.

They’re on page 2 of Kenneth’s script when Jenna walks in, miffed at not being included in the fake finale. You see, she played werewolf/public defender Sparky Monroe on a 3-episode arc. Harry and Markie jump on her ludicrous character as the reason they didn’t get a tenth season. Jenna: “Kenneth, I can’t believe you’re such a big Night Court fan and didn’t know I played the werewolf lawyer.” Kenneth, quietly: “I knew.” She flounces off.

Jack has caught the horrible disease and is sporting a Mad Hatter look. Jack recognizes she’s like a drug to him, “I crave her all the time even though she’s bad for me. And my teeth are getting loose.” Liz rips the hat off and demands that Jack stand up and fight the crazy. They walk into Liz’s office to find Claire lounging with her feet on Liz’s desk. Liz prompts Jack to say his piece, but he can’t step up. Claire figured out what Liz’s game was last night, accusing Liz of having a Single White Female thing with her, and the argument spirals into Claire suggesting a three-way, which Jack finds confusing to turn down. When Jack chooses Claire over her, Liz swears off helping him when he hits rock bottom.

When Jenna complains that Tracy and Kenneth won’t put her in the finale, Liz takes a visit to the set, where Harry angles for a job on Heroes. Since they’re breaking union rules, violating the insurance coverage, and possibly infringing on Warner Bros. intellectual property, she orders the production shut down. Kenneth gets up and delivers a big speech about friendship, which Tracy decides has changed Liz’s mind and they all celebrate.

Jack in his chapeau absurde waits outside a club with Claire. But without the drama of Liz trying to keep them apart, Claire is spinning out about whether they’re boring now. To prove they aren’t, she puts a gun in Jack’s hand that came from a cop’s now-empty holster, then alerts the cop. Jack takes off.

On set. Harry: “Well, it’s been quite a night.” Markie: “And it’s been quite a court…ship.” Harry pronounces them married, then a placated Jenna/Sparky/bridesmaid gives a howl as Kenneth motions that she’s going to be cut out in editing. Harry’s final act is to declare the new page uniforms illegal, a line Tracy added. Tracy went upstairs and told the executives that he would refuse the role of Matt in the upcoming Night Court movie if they didn’t bring back the old uniforms. Charles Robinson is miffed. Kenneth joyfully thrusts his fist in the air and holds a gleeful rictus on his face like he’s being freeze-framed.

At the real night court, Liz waits for Jack. The real thing leaves a lot to be desired. Jack: [T]he hookers are not funny, there’s a lot more sickly homeless people and terrified college students…” He apologizes for his transgressions, gives Liz his dumb hat, and they walk out to a Night Court bass line.



1. V.E.G. - Monday, December 15, 2008

Markie Post is the distant cousin of Chester Harris Lauck, Lum of Lum and Abner!

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