'30 Rock' Goes Back to College



Even Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy had horribly awkward, regret-filled college years that they now look back on fondly. Just like 25 years from now, current undergrads will reminisce about their vomit-filled nights of Four Loko binges, this week's 30 Rock was all about reliving the characters' college heydays. What lessons did they re-learn?

College Jobs Are Miserable, But They Prepare You for Life: The writers room stumbles upon Pronouncify.com, a dictating website that features the voice of one Jack Donaghy. We discover that part of his Princeton scholarship included working for the school's linguistics department. His perfect, suave voice recorded every word in the English language, in order to preserve the American accent in case of nuclear war. War never happened, but the recordings lived on—including as the voice for a new GE microwave, one that made Jack feel irrelevant for having no part in designing. Yet it was his own voice on that microwave that reminded him of all the success that came from those Princeton recording sessions, helping Donaghy move on.

Being the Cool Kid Has Its Price: For one whole "fortnight," Liz Lemon was on top of the world. When she arrived at the University of Maryland in 1988, rocking her Richard Marx haircut, the registrar accidentally gave her a handicap room, which ended up being the party room. Everyone loved her—a blonde girl even gave her a high five! But in true Lemon fashion, the popularity was fleeting. That's why when she suddenly finds herself in good favor with the crew, after spending lottery winnings on a company bar tab, she allows them to run wild—as long as it makes them like her. But keeping everyone happy becomes too hard to manage, so Liz does what she does best: lay down the rules.

You Can't Give Yourself a Nickname: The Lizard; The Blizzard; The Blizbianos: All nicknames that Liz tried, and failed, to make catch on during the episode.

Pranks Never End Well: The writers trick Pete into thinking Jack is having an intimate phone conversation with him, but Pete's really replying to things Frank types into Pronouncify.com, read in Jack's voice. When Jack finds out, he classically hazes the pranksters—they are forced to strip to their underwear, stand in a tub of office, and wear dog collars with leashes.

College Is Never How You Imagine It: The writers' prank convinces Pete to wait for Jack in his office wearing a poncho, playing guitar, and drinking beer. After a day of reminiscing, about his tortured work-study days, it's just what Jack needed: "This is just what I imagined college to be like." Even Lemon tries to get in on the stereotypical college fun by shotgunning...a pizza. Four Loko, eat your heart out.

Liz Lemon Catchphrase of the Week: She celebrates by cheering, "High fiving a million angels!"

Presented by

Kevin Fallon is a reporter for the Daily Beast. He's a former entertainment editor at TheWeek.com and former writer and producer for The Atlantic's entertainment channel.

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