30 Rock signed off after seven seasons, 138 episodes, far, far too many jokes to count, and a keen sense of fun and satire that few shows before or since has ever had.
Like a lot of the best comedy programs –Arrested Development comes to mind, particularly – it never had the audience numbers it deserved, paling in comparison to the boffo ratings delivered by CBS’s formulaic Two and a Half Menand Mike and Mollypablum.
Those shows, however, won’t be remembered in another ten years. 30 Rock will be forever. It will live on as an out-and-out hysterical sitcom – and, also, as a keen joke-maker about racial politics in modern America, as Wesley Morris points out in this excellent Grantland article. Morris describes Tracy Morgan’s Tracy Jordan character as someone “capacious enough to nail down and send up almost everything happening to African Americans in popular culture.”
He’s spot on. For seven years, Jordan was one of the funniest characters on television, a perfect outlet for the show’s keen satire, delivered by the perpetually underrated Morgan. Even the movie posters in the character’s dressing room – with titles like Black Cop, White Cop andWho Dat Ninja?were legendary.
So, in remembrance, we’ve collected a few of Tracy Jordan’s greatest moments from the series. Enjoy – and goodbye, 30 Rock.
Jack Donaghy’s therapy – One of the funniest moments in the history of American television. Jack Donaghy – the stuffed-suit NBC executive impeccably played by Alec Baldwin – “treats” a depressed Jordan by impersonating Jordan’s entire family, channeling Good Times andStanford and Soncharacters. It’s an amazing bit of interaction between the two.
Tracy Jordan’s breakdown –You couldn’t get a better introduction to a character. The very first episode flashed back to highlight Jordan’s “crazy” nature –which consisted of an underwear-clad Jordan running down the freeway, screaming “I am a Jedi!” at passing cars.
Tracy’s acting reel – Aside from his character on the show, Jordan had a remarkably up-and-down and hilarious acting career; the 30 Rockpeople were good enough to put together a best-of reel.
Werewolf bar mitzvah –An amazing novelty single from Tracy Jordan, with the unbelievable“boys becoming men / men becoming werewolves” line.