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"Tracy Does Conan"
30 Rock episode
30 Rock season 1 episode 7.png
Tracy falls asleep while on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 7
Written by Tina Fey
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Photographed by Tom Houghton
Production no. 108[1]
Original airdate December 6, 2006 (2006-12-06)
Guest stars

Katrina Bowden
Kevin Brown
Grizz Chapman
Rachel Dratch
Dave Finkel
Steve Hollander
Johnnie May
Conan O'Brien
Maulik Pancholy
Chris Parnell
Aubrey Plaza
Keith Powell
R. N. Rao
Dean Winters

Episode chronology
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"Jack Meets Dennis" "The Break-Up"
30 Rock (season 1)
List of 30 Rock episodes

"Tracy Does Conan" is the seventh episode of NBC's first season of 30 Rock. It was written by the series' creator and executive producer, Tina Fey and it was directed by one of the season's supervising producers, Adam Bernstein. It first aired on December 7, 2006 in the United States[2] and November 29, 2007 in the United Kingdom.[3] Guest stars in the episode included Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Rachel Dratch, Dave Finkel, Steve Hollander, Johnnie May, Maulik Pancholy, Chris Parnell, Aubrey Plaza, Keith Powell, R. N. Rao and Dean Winters. Conan O'Brien appeared as himself in this episode.[2]

This episode revolves around Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) and Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit) trying to get Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) to make a successful appearance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, a late night talk show. These attempts are complicated when Tracy runs out of pills, so he goes temporarily crazy. Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is preparing to give a speech at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Contents

Plot

Jenna (right) threatens to resign from her job

While giving a blood donation, Liz reveals that she plans to break up with, her boyfriend, Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters). On the way to her office, she runs into Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) who reveals that Jack has "bumped" her from appearing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and he has decided to put Tracy on in her place. When Liz can't change Jack's mind, Jenna threatens to quit her job.

As the taping time, 6 pm, is fast approaching, Tracy begins acting strangely. Liz and Pete discover that he has not been taking his medication correctly. Liz calls Tracy's doctor, Dr. Leo Spaceman (Chris Parnell), who gives her instructions regarding the medication. Liz gives the instructions to Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) who has to visit multiple identical pharmacies until he finds the correct one, which will have Tracy's new medication. Liz and Pete's attempts to get Tracy to the Late Night stage on time are further complicated as Jack persistently calls Liz to his office to ask for her advice on a speech he is going to read at The Waldorf Astoria. Tracy eventually appears on Late Night only to immediately fall asleep after sitting down.

Liz walks in to her apartment after the Conan incident, Denis is sitting on their bed playing Halo. He told Liz he got her a cheeseburger. She takes one bite and falls asleep listening to him playing the video game.

Production

Rachel Dratch, longtime comedy partner and fellow Saturday Night Live alumna of Fey, was originally cast to portray Jenna. Dratch played the role in the show's original pilot, but in August 2006, Jane Krakowski was announced as Dratch's replacement.[4] Executive producer Lorne Michaels announced that while Dratch would not be playing a series regular, she would appear in various episodes in a different role.[5] In this episode, she played a hallucination of Tracy's, which he called Blue Dude.[6]

Chris Parnell, who played Dr. Leo Spaceman in this episode, has appeared in the main cast of Saturday Night Live,[7] a weekly sketch comedy series which airs on NBC in the United States.[8] Tina Fey was the head writer on Saturday Night Live from 1999 until 2006.[9] Various other cast members of Saturday Night Live have appeared on 30 Rock. These cast members include: Rachel Dratch,[5] Fred Armisen,[10] Kristen Wiig,[10] Will Forte,[11] Jason Sudeikis[12] and Molly Shannon. Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan have both been part of the main cast of Saturday Night Live.[9][13] Alec Baldwin has also hosted Saturday Night Live fourteen times, the second highest number of episodes of any host of the series.[14]

Star Wars is frequently referenced in 30 Rock, beginning with the pilot episode where Tracy Jordan is seen shouting that he is a Jedi.[15] Liz Lemon admits to being a huge fan of Star Wars, saying that she had watched it many times with Pete Hornberger,[16] and saying she dressed up as the Star Wars character Princess Leia during four Halloweens.[17] Fey, a fan of Star Wars herself, said that the weekly Star Wars joke or reference "started happening organically" when the crew realized that they had a Star Wars reference "in almost every show". Fey said that from then on "it became a thing where [they] tried to keep it going", and that even though they could not include one in every episode, they still had a "pretty high batting average". Fey attributed most of the references to Robert Carlock, who she described as "the resident expert".[18] Star Wars is referenced in this episode when Tracy Jordan takes on the identity of the character Chewbacca.[6]

Reception

"Tracy Does Conan" brought in an average of 6.84 million American viewers. This episode achieved a 3.2/8 in the key 18–49 demographic, a series high in that category.[19] The 3.2 refers to 3.2% of all 18–49 years olds in the U.S. and the 8 refers to 8% of all 18–49 year olds watching television at the time of the broadcast, in the U.S.. In the United Kingdom, the episode attracted 400,000 viewers which was a 3% share of the viewing audience at the time of the broadcast.[3]

Matt Webb Mitovich of TV Guide said that "30 Rock gave us yet another riff on what a wild and crazy guy Tracy Jordan is" and that, early in its run, "30 Rock is really finding its footing."[20] Robert Canning of IGN said that the episode "failed to deliver the comic gold we were hoping for." He rated this episode with a "5 out of 10".[1]

Tina Fey's writing for this episode earned her a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series.[21] Fey lost the award to Greg Daniels for the "Gay Witch Hunt" episode of The Office.[22]

References

  1. ^ a b Canning, Robert (2006-12-08). "30 Rock: "Tracy Does Conan" Review". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/749/749973p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  
  2. ^ a b "30 Rock — "Tracy Does Conan" — Synopsis, Credits, Companies". Variety. http://www.variety.com/profiles/Episode/main/171713/60931/Tracy%20Does%20Conan.html?dataSet=1. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  
  3. ^ a b Holmwood, Leigh (2007-11-30). "Nearly 7m watch Cerys eviction". Media Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/nov/30/tvratings.television. Retrieved 2008-07-27.  
  4. ^ "Ally Cat Krakowski Joins 30 Rock". Zap2it. 2006-08-17. http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-janekrakowskijoins30rock,0,1779072.story. Retrieved 2007-10-16.  
  5. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (2006-08-14). "Inside Move: Dratch latched to multiple Rock roles". Variety. http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=story&articleID=VR1117948462&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-03-02.  
  6. ^ a b "Tracy Does Conan". Writer: Tina Fey; Director: Adam Bernstein. 30 Rock. NBC Universal. NBC. 2006-12-07. No. 7, season 1.
  7. ^ Barrett, Annie (2006-12-07). "What SNL alums besides Chris Parnell should guest on 30 Rock?". Entertainment Weekly. http://popwatch.ew.com/popwatch/2006/12/what_snl_alums_.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  8. ^ "Saturday Night Live Saturdays on NBC (11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. ET)". NBC Universal Media Village. http://nbcumv.com/entertainment/program_detail.nbc/saturdaynightlive.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  9. ^ a b "Tina Fey Biography". Yahoo!. http://tv.yahoo.com/tina-fey/contributor/37979/bio;_ylt=Ah959xCzyoM_PeagipGdFJlaz9EF. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  10. ^ a b Canning, Robert (2007-11-16). "30 Rock: "Somebody to Love" Review". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/835/835821p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  11. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (2007-02-02). "February 1, 2007: "It Feels Good to Laugh"". TV Guide. http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TV-Show-Blog/30-Rock/February-1-2007/700017220. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  12. ^ Matheson, Whitney (2007-04-19). "A chat with ... 30 Rock and SNL star Jason Sudeikis". USA Today. http://blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy/2007/04/a_chat_with_30_.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  13. ^ Fickett, Travis (2006-10-17). "IGN Interview: 30 Rock's Tracy Morgan". IGN. http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/736/736916p1.html. Retrieved 2008-07-20.  
  14. ^ "Alec Baldwin/Christina Aguilera". Saturday Night Live. NBC Universal. NBC. 2006-11-11. No. 5, season 32.
  15. ^ "Pilot". Writer(s): Tina Fey; Director: Adam Bernstein. 30 Rock. NBC Universal. NBC. 2006-10-11. No. 1, season 1.
  16. ^ "Fireworks". Writers : Dave Finkel, Brett Baer; Director: Beth McCarthy. 30 Rock. NBC Universal. NBC. 2007-04-05. No. 18, season 1.
  17. ^ "The Source Awards". Writer(s): Robert Carlock, Daisy Gardner; Director: Don Scardino. 30 Rock. NBC Universal. NBC. 2007-03-01. No. 16, season 1.
  18. ^ Topel, Fred (2007-09-16). "Tina Fey Gets the Gold". Crave Online. http://www.craveonline.com/articles/filmtv/04648653/tina_fey_gets_the_gold.html. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  19. ^ Kissell, Rick (2006-12-12). "Prime week for NBC, CBS". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117955603.html?categoryid=1275&cs=1&query=30+rock+ratings. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  
  20. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (2006-12-08). "December 7, 2006: "Rural Juror"". TV Guide. http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TV-Show-Blog/30-Rock/December-7-2006/700014135. Retrieved 2008-07-26.  
  21. ^ "The 59th Primetime Emmy Awards and Creative Arts Emmy Awards Nominees are...". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. http://www.emmys.org/awards/2007pt/59thnominations.php. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  
  22. ^ Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (2007-09-16). "Academy of Television Arts and Sciences 59th Primetime Emmy Awards" (PDF). Press release. http://www.emmys.org/downloads/2007/pte59emmywinners.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-18.  
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