In honor of our all singing, all dancing week, we’re remembering 30 Rock‘s five funniest musical moments.Any sitcom that examines the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of a Saturday Night Live-inspired variety show is bound to have its share of great musical moments. But when you add the combined creative genius of series creator Tina Fey and former SNL music composer Jeff Richmond (a.k.a. the guy married to Tina Fey) it’s no wonder 30 Rock boasts a bevy of hysterical song-filled scenes. In honor of our week-long celebration of TV musicals, we’re counting down our five favorites (all of which can be viewed on Netflix streaming).
5. Jenna and Verna’s Creepy Mother/Daughter Duet – S4 E12 “Verna”
In a rare “let’s feel sorry for Jenna” episode of 30 Rock, our favorite diva receives a surprise visit from her awful mom, Verna (played by the brilliant Jan Hooks, RIP). Verna tries making amends for years of abuse by throwing Jenna a surprise birthday party and inviting her onstage to sing a duet. What follows is a hysterically inappropriate version of Captain & Tennille’s “Do That to Me One More Time”. Hooks is all winky smiles and over-the-top emoting,1 lending an air of deep romance to lyrics like, “Ooh, kiss me, like you just did.” Liz chokes up while Jack watches with his jaw hung open.
Liz: How are you not moved by this?
Jack: Because I’m listening to the words.
The song choice is sadly appropriate; Verna is looking to scam Jenna one more time. Ultimately, Jack bribes the villainess into continuing her “good mom” ruse. Jenna is never the wiser and even gushes to Liz, “Verna’s coming back for Mother’s Day. We’re gonna do a duet of ‘I’ll Make Love to You’… at a children’s hospital!” Ah, if only we could witness that musical moment.
4. Liz Channels C&C Music Factory – S3 E9 “Retreat to Move Forward”
At a Six Sigma conference luncheon, a hidden microphone broadcasts keynote speaker Jack’s catchphrase-laden pep talk to himself in the men’s room (“Just do it. Is it in you? I’m loving it!”). Liz runs onstage and tries to distract the conference attendees with her Slingblade and Mrs. Cunningham impersonations. When that fails, she tears open her shirt, beatboxes and squeals, “EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!” The audience gasps, Jack’s embarrassing moment is forgotten and Liz is happily banned from Six Sigma conferences forever.
Clearly, the moral of the story is – if you need to make an ass of yourself to draw attention away from a humiliated friend, just break into song and dance (bonus points if you incorporate a big, ugly bra).
3. Tracy’s “Thriller”/”Monster Mash” Mash-up – S2 E2 “Jack Gets in the Game”
Tracy’s estranged wife, Angie, drops by the studio with a box of his valuables, including a gold record for his novelty party song. The camera cuts to a music video clip of Tracy dressed as a werewolf in red leather, singing a “Monster Mash”-style ditty with those now-classic lyrics – “Werewolf bar mitzvah, spooky scary/ boys becoming men, men becoming wolves.”
The idea of Tracy recording a hugely successful Jewish Halloween song is one of those quintessential absurdist moments that define 30 Rock‘s madcap style. “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” is a seven second non-sequitur and yet it remains one of the funniest, most beloved moments of the series.
- a tribute to those lounge-tastic Sweeney Sisters skits she once performed with fellow SNL alum Nora Dunn ↵