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Laugh Tracks: 100th 30 Rock, pt. 3

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Date Posted: April 25, 2011

By Amy Van Veen (Staff Writer) – Email

The Office. What can be said other than, who knew Michael Scott could be such a sympathetic character? It’s the last Dundies hosted by Mr. Scott, and he’s passing the torch on to Deangelo; however Mr. Vickers isn’t so good with the performing. He’s fine in meetings, but when it’s a ‘performance’, he chokes. They start the episode by driving to each employee’s house and dropping off their nomination plaque a la the Oscars and some (Erin) are for more excited than others (Stanley). Before the Dundies get started, and the gang is still at work in extreme anticipation, Jim and Pam find Erin eating in her car and jump in to check on her. Apparently she needs some time from her boyfriend, Gabe, but she has zero confrontation skills. Jim leaves because he’s awkward, and Pam encourages her to be clear and firm, even if she can’t be “mean like Pam”. If she only knew what season one and two Pam were like. When it comes to Dundie time, Deangelo was not kidding about his nervousness. Jim wins Best Dad Dundie, and after his speech he does an awkward re-return to the mic and forgets to mention Pam. Then things get a little uncomfortable when Meredith wins Best Mom Dundie and not Pam. Stanley gets the Diabetes award, which makes Phyllis a little petty because she, too, has diabetes but doesn’t broadcast it like Mr. Hudson. Erin wins Cutest Red Head in the Office award, and after noting that, “The Dundies are magical,” she breaks up with Gabe at the mic: “I cringe when you talk” and everyone cringes with you, Erin. Deangelo gets Best Dundies Host, and his speech, which is aided by headphones in his ears turned up full blast, get the gang kicked out of the restaurant and everyone convinces Michael to continue it in the conference room. After Andy gets the Doobie Doobie Pothead Stoner of the Year award for admitting to lighting up in college, his speech gets emotional, and then it gets musical. Darryl on the keyboard starts to play “Seasons of Love” from Rent with the appropriate parodied lyrics to match Michael Scott’s “nine million nine hundred eighty six thousand minutes”. (They actually did the match!) “That’s like watching Die Hard, 80 000 times!” Bring on the tissues, because next week I’m going to bawl.

Parks & Recreation is celebrating a new government-wide health initiative, which of course is headed up by temporary city manager, Chris. Ron doesn’t want his beloved beef burger to leave the commissary, so he and Chris challenge one another a cook-off: Chris’s turkey burger vs. Ron’s beef burger. The two of them, paired with April and Andy, head off to the nearest health food store, forty minutes away, to get Chris’s ingredients. The store? Grain and Simple. Ron’s motivation for going? The same reason people go to the zoo. Meanwhile, Leslie gets turned down by Ben and she doesn’t know why, so Ann (who has turned into a several-guys-at-a-time kind of girl) suggest she start an online profile. Leslie describes herself as, “yellow haired female; likes waffles and news,” which Anne rewords. Her favourite place? A bench in front of the meadow mural upstairs, not a real meadow because bees freak her out (I’m with you, Leslie), just the mural. Turtles are condescending, and her ideal man is eerily close to the Phantom of the Opera (again, I concur). Turns out, she has a 98% match: Tom N. Haverford. She doesn’t know why she’s attracting the weirdos, so she decides to go on a douchevestigation to figure it out, which leads to Tom finding out they were matched, which leads to him playing it up, which leads to him embarrassing her in front of Ben, which leads to her kissing him to shut him up, which leads to Chris seeing this and sharing with her his strict no-romance in government policy. That’s why Ben turned her down. After the gang get back from Grain and Simple, Ron heads to Food and Stuff to pick up beef and buns, as well as a couple of stuffed ravens for April. When the esteemed panel pick Ron’s simple concoction over Chris’s gourmet perfection, Chris concedes and announces, “The commissary will continue serving horrifying artery-clogging hamburgers” because “turkey can never beat cow,” or so says Ron. Ben asks Leslie to eat a burger with him in front of the meadow mural. He’s even better than Dave the cop or Will Arnett the MRI guy.

30 Rock celebrates its 100th episode, as does TGS. Unfortunately, Hank lets Liz know, while smiling of course, that if TGS doesn’t bring back Tracy for an epic 100th episode, it’s cancelled. Cue LL flashbacks. Pam, the overly confident morbidly obese woman, has been on 100 episodes 107 times, and nothing is wrong with that. During some reminiscing that leaves Danny out, Kenneth reminds Jenna of the deal they made during the filming of the first episodes that if they made it to 100, Jenna would have his baby. Which is something Danny remembers: “How did I remember that? Am I a ghost?” At first, Jenna is disgusted until she realizes that she needs a good Plan B and having a baby gets you attention. Michael Keaton guest stars as one of the janitors who has to deal with a gas leak on the sixth floor on his last day of work, it’s the kind of gas that includes such side effects as death and nostalgia, resulting in Liz confiding in the blue man about how she misses the old days, she even misses Dennis Duffy. Tracy is trying to lose people’s respect by acting crazy on Rachel Ray, Regis and Kelly, and The Today Show where they do “no-cook cooking hair make-unders,” but with no luck; now that he’s an accomplished Oscar-winning actor, everyone respects him too much. Liz’s plan for him is to get the public to hate him by doing something outrageous, but he ends up saving a drowning man and becoming a hero. Jenna’s plan is for him to murder someone, but more on that later. Apparently, while under the gas, Liz called Dennis, who shows up to try and get her back. He proves it by bringing out his cellphone (he finally has one) and speaker and wires. The gas leak in the building, though, has spread to the 52nd floor where Jack’s insecurities come out in the form of three other Jacks: GE CEO Jack, 1980s Jack, and future Jack. The first two belittle real Jack’s presence in television, while the last one explains how much he needs Liza as a distraction in lieu of his blind ambition. Before that, however, we get a flashback twist: he was originally going to fire LL, not Pete. Tracy decides to murder Kenneth on the roof, Dennis causes the gas leak again to get back with Liz, Dr. Spaceman’s check-up of Pete shows how gibbertastic he is, and Danny discovers he was Josh – what the what? Jenna had a hysterical pregnancy and Jack’s solution for Tracy’s career is to do TV. Television is his rock bottom. Television is how he will lose everyone’s respect. Which he does. Liz needs the 100th episode to be funny, so she causes the gas leak and Hank picks it up for another million episodes! Congratulations! The cherry on top of the hot fudge on top of the ice cream sundae that is Tina Fey’s imagination? Tom Hanks calling George Clooney with an actor emergency.

The perks of having a 100th episode? You can use whatever toilets you want!

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