No Lemons: The best of '30 Rock’

  • Article by: NEAL JUSTIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2013 - 3:23 PM
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Jon Hamm and Tracy Morgan in the “Live From Studio 6H” episode of “30 Rock.”

Photo: Dana Edelson •NBC ,

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After seven seasons, it’s hard to pick, but here are five episodes that made us want to go to there.

“Fireworks”: This supersized edition introduced us to Devon Banks (Will Arnett), Jack Donaghy’s greatest rival in both politics and speaking like Lou Rawls. Kenneth the Page’s attempt to seduce Banks with a demented jig is a great piece of physical comedy, but nothing tops the daring ending in which an NBC special, “Rockefeller Center Salutes Fireworks,” has New Yorkers thinking their city is once again under a terrorist attack. Too soon? Nope. (April 5, 2007)

“Rosemary’s Baby”: Liz Lemon sees the Ghost of Sitcom Future when she visits her idol, Rosemary Howard (Carrie Fisher), but it’s Tracy Jordan who gets the more side-splitting visit when Donaghy channels the entire Jordan family in a therapy session that turns into a scene out of “Good Times.” It’s Alec Baldwin’s crowning moment. (Oct. 25, 2007)

“Believe in the Stars”: You’d think an appearance by Oprah Winfrey would have the writers on their best behavior. Instead, we get Jenna Maroney in blackface, a doped-up Lemon and a few jabs at Winfrey’s saintly image. Arguably the show’s finest effort. (Nov. 6, 2008)

“Apollo, Apollo”: Donaghy takes a melancholy stroll down memory lane, but Lemon has a rockier blast from the past when the crew discovers an old phone-sex ad she shot during her younger years. Tina Fey has called it her favorite moment from the series. Who are we to argue?(March 26, 2009)

“Live From Studio 6H”: Paul McCartney, Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler pop by for the series’ second live episode, an impossibly paced circus act, but it’s Jon Hamm who gets the VIP award, rattling Tracy Jordan in a loony parody of “Amos ’n’ Andy.” (April 26, 2012)

Neal Justin

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