We let things fester until they erupt in inappropriate anger, preferably during a wedding or an elementary school graduation.

I watched Mamma Mia last night, but my computer freaked out while I was trying to write up the post, and the episodes compliment each other more than they stand alone, so the dual post works well here.

Our plots:

1. In the first half hour, Jack meets his father. Steve Buscemi, the world’s greatest P.I., narrows it down to three men, who Liz then excitedly “Mamma Mia”‘s. The winner is Milton Greene, aka Alan Alda, aka presidential runner-up Arnold Vinnick. He’s a big liberal professor, and he also needs a kidney. Jack isn’t sure if he’s OK giving this stranger his kidney, but after some bonding, he’s down with the idea. When he isn’t a match, he arranges the greatest celebrity charity song ever: “He Needs a Kidney.”

2. Liz writes Jenna a sketch, “Dealbreakers,” that goes viral. Jenna gives relationship advice, then proclaims, “That’s a dealbreaker ladies.” In episode one, Liz fights Jenna for media attention, feeling she deserves some kudos since it was her idea. In the second episode, they go on a talk show and Liz shines, giving hilarious and pointed advice. At the end of the episode, she’s meeting with a book agent about a “Dealbreakers” book. Life is happening.

This plot also gives me one of my favorite “30 Rock” lines ever, one that is criminally underused:

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3. In episode one, Tracy meets his secret son, and Liz and Pete are afraid he’s being scammed, since his son looks pretty old. Then they decide that since Tracy can’t use the TV, the Internet, is always falling asleep, and has diabetes, that he could easily be an old person. But he’s not, and he’s getting scammed and he knows it and considers it charity. It’s cute, honestly. In the second episode, he conquers his shame at having dropped out of high school because he couldn’t bring himself to dissect a frog and gives the graduation speech.

I really like Liz’s plot because it gives us some momentum going in to the next season, and is a pretty logical place to go. As Jack tells us this episode, TGS has two more years, tops. I mean, no one watches this show.

But the real winner is that song and the self-awareness of those celebrities. I actually love celebrity charity songs in some ironic, weird way, so here’s a brief run down of the best songs and the best parodies.

“Do They Know It’s Christmas” was the first one, and also the one I listen to most because the Christmas radio station plays it pretty frequently at Christmas. They shouldn’t though, since it’s super racist and weird. First off, obviously it snows in some parts of Africa. They’re won’t be snow in Africa? Are you serious? Second, Bono has this part where he sings, “Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you,” which is hella insensitive.

Dear God, please help the victims of the famine. Also, wow, thanks for not making me African so I don’t have to deal with it.

The cast of “Glee” sang this at a homeless shelter in one of their Christmas episodes, which was also bizarre.

Anyway, America was jealous of this song, so they came up with “We Are the World.”

It’s stacked with famous people, but the song is pretty lame.

Then come the parodies. I’m a HUGE sucker for song parodies; I spent a lot of time in middle school listening to Weird Al and writing my own “Harry Potter” themed song parodies, so…

This “In Living Color” spoof is great:

And this is one of the first SNL sketches I ever remember watching. Michael Bolton really elevates it:

Then after the Haiti earthquake, which happened after this episode aired, the world decided we needed more charity songs:

And then Canada was jealous, so they did this:

(Fun fact: That was my high school graduation song.)

SNL masterfully parodied the “We Are The World” situation:

And then some comedians, including Chris Hardwick, Weird Al, Garfunkel and Oates, and Sarah Silverman, did this version of the song which I can’t figure out how to embed. It’s pretty great.

(Chris Hardwick also did this one with Jimmy Fallon and Felicia Day. Spoiler alert: I love Chris Hardwick.)

So where does Kidney Now fall? It’s definitely one of the funnier parodies, if not my favorite, since it makes fun of the concept, rather than a specific song. The use of real celebrities, including those who appear in the real songs, elevates the whole thing to completely insane.

Jeff Richmond is really talented, basically.

Bits & Pieces

Toofer refers to Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Jackson. Never change.

Episode one had some great Pete stuff, and we all know I am #TeamPete. When Pete calms Liz down, she says, “I like it when you use your calm, reasonable dad voice,” which YES, I love that, and I never had the words to describe it. And then we get our first hints of crazy, unhappy Pete when he tells Liz you can’t just get someone’s birth certificate:

I know because I’ve been trying to steal my dead neighbor’s identity and sometimes it just feels like too much and maybe daddy just need to get in the car and drive.

Awks. I wish there was an episode where Pete yells at Liz for never paying attention to the mental breakdown he’s having.

Moment I related to most: When Liz uses the Sims to give Jack advice, and he wonders why he doesn’t have any other friends

When giving someone advice, Liz tells someone to dump her boyfriend because he’s given her “sexually transmitted crazy mouth.” This is an amazing phrase that I need to use more.


Donald Glover showed up on screen again!

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