Let’s start this post with something very important: I really need a Judah Friedlander hat. They’re not only hilarious, but I’ve been meaning to try to wear more hats. Just saying, my birthday is in five weeks.

So! “Jack the Writer” continues the theme of Jack trying to assert himself in part of TGS where he doesn’t belong, this time the writers’ room. The season one writers’ room is full of people I don’t recognize, like this guy. Who is this guy?



I think Jack said his name in episode 2, but bald white guy has yet to utter a line, and if he’s in any episode after season one, I have absolutely no memory of him.

The flip side of Jack’s “intervening with the show” plot line is that this is definitely the most actual television producing we see these characters do. Does any other episode spend time watching the writers’ actually write for an extended period? Mostly they screw around. No wonder they come up with such horrible sketches. The early episodes also have so much Jonathan in them! What a treasure.

This episode had a really high quotient of nerd references. When Jack mentions Six Sigma,1 Frank thinks it’s a special kind of G.I. Joe. Liz compares Jack to Darth Vader twice, and Pete calls Liz Captain Needa to scare her, Needa having been killed by Vader for his incompetency.2 During one of these conversations, the announcer in the background calls Josh to the stage to rehearse a sketch called, “Homophobic Hague,” which I really wish we’d gotten to see.

I mean, can you imagine what might possibly happen during that sketch? Is it basically an extended version of the “Legally Blonde” joke that it’s hard to tell if someone is gay or European? And the judges on the International Criminal Court make all their decisions based on how gay they think you are. And all these gay people just try to seem really Italian? It sounds like some really tragic black comedy that we have TRAGICALLY been denied. I bet Lutz wrote it.

The B-plot involves Liz trying to get Cerie3 to dress more appropriately, which is actually really funny because Cerie wears things like this:

Page boy hat, low rise skirt, and Avril Lavigne tie. This is so 2000s it hurts.

Page boy hat, low rise skirt, and Avril Lavigne tie. This is so 2000s it hurts.

And Cerie gets Liz to wear this:

Dayum girl.

Dayum girl.

When Liz tells Cerie she has to dress seriously to be taken seriously, she responds, “Career-wise I’m just gonna marry rich and design handbags,” which is accurate. Liz eventually tells her, “You need to dress like you have a job and parents who raised you in some kind of shame-based religious tradition,” which made me snort.

The C plot involves Kenneth doing a lot of things for Tracy, including getting him nachos from a closed Yankee Stadium and getting him an illegal fish. Also notable is the first appearance of Tracy’s wife.

This is not Sherrie Shepherd.

This is not Sherri Shepherd. “30 Rock” is the only thing that makes Sherri even remotely bearable.

Tracy also gives Kenneth great advice like, “Dress everyday like you gonna get murdered in those clothes.”

But that’s not the only blossoming friendship this episode. When Jack is mean to Liz in order to impress some Six Sigmas, he whispers to her, “I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.” She tells him she doesn’t like him anymore and he responds, “I don’t believe you.” And the audience doesn’t either. #bestfriendsforever

Bits & Pieces

Another Jane Krakowski-less episode, sadly. The Entourage was also M.I.A., but if they had been there the “Kenneth does everything for Tracy” plot would have made much less sense.

Number of times Chamillionaire is mentioned this episode: Four

Number Chamillionaire songs played: Just one

Number of Aaron Sorkin references: One, when Liz and Pete have a conversation while walking in a circle, realize their mistake, and conclude, “Good walk and talk.”

Best Frank Hat: Bigfoot Expert

Best Tracy one-liner: “Live every week like it’s shark week.” Iconic.

Character I related to most: Kenneth when he said, “When I get nervous I ask a lot of questions.”

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: None? If I’m reading into it, he only survived his encounter with the Chinese mafia because he’s immortal, but that’s a big stretch.

1. Only in the last twelve months did I find out that Six Sigma is real and not just a joke “30 Rock” made up. I’m forever amazed at the liberties this show took when it came to making fun of G.E. and NBC.
2. Sadly, I wasn’t nerdy enough to recognize the character by name. He has a really long “Star Wars” wiki page, if that interests you.
3. Every time I tried to write Cerie, I wrote Cersei instead. Damn you, “Game of Thrones.”