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30 Rock, season 4, episode 3, "Stone Mountain"

By Rachel Kolb,
Jeff Dunham guest-stars as a potential new cast member for "TGS," and Jenna suddenly gets friendlier with the show writers.

Justin Timberlake at The 61st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards-Press Room



Episode Summary:

Liz is still looking for a cast member that will satisfy Jack, which means they have to be from "real Middle-America," not San Francisco. Tracy is frightened when he finds out that two minor celebrities died. After all, celebrity deaths always come in threes, and Tracy is afraid that he might be next. He even calls up Betty White to see if she's likely to die anytime soon.

Kenneth suggests that Jenna should try being nice to the writers instead of treating them badly in a way to lash out about the new cast member. Jenna's kindness, however, comes off as more creepy than kind.

Jack pulls Kenneth into his office to ask what Middle-Americans like in their comedy, and his answer convinces Jack to drag Liz off to Stone Mountain, Georgia. On the way there, Liz shares her philosophy in life which is that all anyone wants in life is to sit quietly and eat a good sandwich. Unfortunately, she ends her speech by trying a local sandwich that gives her a very bad upset stomach, and Jack goes to the comedy club by himself. Jack hires a Southern ventriloquist played by Jeff Dunham to be the new cast member.

The "TGS" writers decide to give their annual Halloween party another try, but Jenna's presence is starting to bum them all out. They decide to wear her down with some well-executed pranks until they find out that all hot girls go to gay guy Halloween parties. Jenna is friends with a lot of gay guys, so the writers figure that Jenna might be able to get them into a big gay Halloween party. Jenna catches on, though, and makes a deal with the writers. In exchange for two sketches a week and eternal hate for the new cast member, Jenna gets them invites for the gay Halloween party.

Liz knows that she can't tell Jack what to do, so instead of convincing him to change his mind about the ventriloquist, she decides to go to the comedy club and heckle him so much that he won't want to come to New York. When the ventriloquist turns on Liz and his humor turns vulgar, however, Jack defends Liz and gives the ventriloquist a piece of his mind. Jack finds out that Middle-America isn't quite as pure as he believed, and he destroys the ventriloquist dummy. The dummy's death is enough to appease the three celebrities rule, and Tracy celebrates at the gay Halloween party.



Final Thoughts:

"30 Rock" is an incredibly solid show. The plot has never relied upon long-running romances or cheap gags to succeed. Instead, the show thrives upon consistently funny writing. Also, I am enjoying the subplot revolving around new cast member more and more with each passing week because it is realistic to that type of show and brings a new feeling of anticipation each week. Who will be the new cast member? After this week, there is still no answer, but the search for a new cast member might be just as exciting as the discovery.

Favorite Cast Member of the Week: Jack wins hands down. His love affair with Middle-America and his disillusionment when he discovers it doesn't exist is fantastic. Check out the clip below.

 
 

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