Sure, last night’s 30 Rock was only the third episode of the season, but after two weeks of sporadic giggles, I was laughing the entire way through the latest installment. I realized during the opening credits why it was happening. Tina Fey wrote it, of course.
While Tina Fey created the show, she doesn’t write every episode. She’s not a machine, people! However, as funny as the show always is, there’s something especially funny about the episodes Fey writes. She wrote my favorite exchange of the series, and I recall her saying it also happens to be one of her favorites. (I know, we’re totally destined to be friends.)
Liz: Why are you wearing a tux?
Jack: It’s after six. What am I, a farmer?
It’s appropriate that the latest hilarious episode was written by Fey, since the main theme of the night was the argument over whether women are funny. It seems like such a preposterous argument to be having in this day and age, but it’s unfortunately still a relevant issue. In 2007, Christopher Hitchens wrote a controversial article for Vanity Fair titled “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” and recently comedian Adam Carolla got himself into hot water by expressing a similar sentiment. In last night’s episode, Tracy (Tracy Morgan) takes to Twitter to agree with Stephen Hawking and announce that women aren’t funny. He goes on to declare monkeys funnier than females.
This isn’t a belief Liz will allow (“NERD RAGE!”), and rightly so. Like she says, there are plenty of things men enjoy that women don’t understand or like, such as steakhouses or dark superhero movies, but ladies don’t go writing articles about it.
So Liz sets out to change Tracy’s mind. She refuses to rattle off a list of funny women, because it’s demeaning to even suggest that that’s necessary. Instead, Liz enlists Jenna (Jane Krakowski) to prove her point, coaxing the star into recreating a sketch the pair did during their early years in Chicago. The scene, about a doctor (Liz) giving plastic surgery advice to a little girl (Jenna) has the crowd, including Tracy, laughing. It turns out Tracy thought the sketch was funny because it depicted a female doctor, a laughable concept. Liz, exasperated, says that’s good enough. The joke’s on Tracy when he realizes the suit-wearing monkey he’s been praising as a comic genius is actually female.
Who could believe that women aren’t funny after watching last night’s Fey-penned episode, which featured nonstop one-liners and delightful wordplay? Liz referring to genitals as the “bathing suit area.” Cerie (Katrina Bowden) telling Liz that they don’t serve brunch “after…the ’90s.” Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) lady friend calling her romantic behavior “Pokemon-ing. Gotta catch ‘em all.” Jenna becoming the “spokescrone” for Geri-chair, one of those automated chairs that help elderly people get up and down stairs.
It was fast-paced and witty, wacky and self-referential. It was classic 30 Rock, and it made me rethink my conclusion that the show ending this season is for the best. I’m really going to miss it.
Are women still not funny, Tracy and whoever else thinks so? Why don’t you go talk to the Golden Globes about women not being funny, because guess who’s hosting next year?
Dear Tina Fey, take that deal with Universal and go take over television. The world would be a better place.