“Gentlemen’s Intermission”


Liz’s father decides to cheat on his wife, and Liz is powerless to stop him while Jack tries to stop being Liz’s mentor. Also, obituaries cause cast chaos.

Episode Details

S05E06 (506)
First aired
View full dialogue
John Riggi
Don Scardino
Frank's Hat
I know I’m jumping the gun a bit, but I had this made for the baby at Hermès. So she can ride the maid!
It is adorable, but are we still in love with the name “Charlotte”?

Hermès is a high-end Paris-based purveyor of leather, clothing, perfume, and anything else rich people like to buy. It was started in 1837 by Thierry Hermès who made the finest wrought harnesses and bridles for the carriage trade, and taken over by his son, Charles-Émile Hermès, who introduced, yes, saddles. And Charlotte’s new saddle is, in case you missed it, emblazoned with a “C”.


On one of the monitors you can see Tracy in a crib, dressed as a baby and wearing giant boxing gloves.

A reader pointed out this was from S04E13 “Anna Howard Shaw Day” at 15:16.

Lester Holt
[on monitor] Tracy Jordan, the star of TGS and numerous films, has died.

The newscaster on the monitor is Lester Holt, the weekend anchor of NBC’s Today and Nightly News.

No! No it can’t be! I’m not done with him, Jacob! He stays on this side!

Hmmm tricky! The best reference I could find is to Jacob from Genesis, specifically Jacob’s Ladder, which is the bridge between heaven and earth. It was also a freaky good movie.

[Update:] A couple of reader pointed out this may also refer to Jacob from the TV show Lost. This may be, but Jacob doesn’t have that much to do with people passing from life to death, nor do the 30 Rock writers reference shows like Lost very often.

Kenneth, Tracy’s not dead. NBC News makes obituaries for celebrities to have them ready. They’re just updating Tracy’s to include his recent submarine DUI.

It’s true! Lots of media outlets write up obituaries in advance. And accidentally release them with alarming frequency. Wikipedia’s got a list so extensive it’s alphabetized. Apparently Pope John Paul II was killed three times by the media before his actual death. I guess you could consider it an honour?

No one’s ever been caught Driving Under the Influence at the controls of a submarine. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened.

Oh thank goodness. Say, do you think I could get a copy of that to show Mr. Jordan? That way he can see his own funeral, just like Tom Sawyer! Well, Tom was a fellow from my town we accidentally buried alive. Funny story, after we dug him back up he tried to kill all of us.

Tom Sawyer is a character written by Mark Twain in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Clever joke: Tom Sawyer was set in 1844 along the banks of the Mississippi, which is pretty dang hillbilly, something you figure Kenneth would cotton to. But nope, this sort of high-brow literature didn’t make it all the way to the Parcell clan in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Though from the description of the burial, I think they may have created a zombie.

Not really. I was going to take this class called “Cooking For One,” but the teacher killed himself.

Because he was sad and lonely. Like people who cook for one. Oh wait I know people who cook for one. I like a select few of them. Still funny, though;)

[on tv] I am a Jedi!
Lester Holt
[on tv] Tracy Jordan, star of the Fat Bitch movies, was also voted Worst Representation of a Black Man nine years in a row. Perhaps best known for his FCC fines.
[on tv] Thank God I didn’t BEEP anybody, and thank God I d- BEEP in s- BEEP.
Lester Holt
[on tv] And giving the Queen pervo-

The “Fat Bitch” are probably references to Tracy’s previous movies like the one where he “had to pretend to be this old lady” (based on Big Momma’s House and maybe The Nutty Professor I & II).

So all of the clips used are:

As far as the Queen thing goes, I have no idea what he was about to say. Pervo? Perv-o? What… Perv-o-lovin? Pervomitis?

[Update:] A reader pointed out this may be parvo, the viral disease dogs get from other dogs’ feces. Which is pretty funny;) Well, that Tracy may have given the queen parvo. Apparently parvo itself is less funny.

[turns off tv] This is terrible! When I’m dead, that’s what I’ll leave behind? That’s how my grandkids will remember be as they fly around in their jet packs?

Ahhhh jet packs! Up there with flying cars, Rosie the Robot, and other futuristic and evergreen favourites of yesteryear that never came to pass. I think no matter how far in the future we give it, we’ll never have these things;) Actually they do have flying cars you can buy now, they’re just horribly impractical and wickedly expensive.

It doesn’t matter! That’s how the world sees me! As some idiot millionaire.
Who? Mark Cuban? That guy ran me over with a jet ski.

Mark Cuban is a rich dude. He owns the Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Landmark Theatres (US movie theatre chain), and runs HDNet (HDTV cable network). No mention of him and jet skis. In fact, he said as much on Twitter;)

Hey, can I talk to you for a sec? My dad just called, and —
Lemon, uh, I’m sorry. If this is about a personal matter we can’t discuss it.
What? Why?
It’s Avery. She’s going to be my wife someday and understandably the nature of our… relationship is a little confusing to her.
Oh, she feels threatened. [with Latino accent] It must be my… sesuality. Because I am so very… sesual. [sensually gestures to herself] You like that? [cackles]

This really sounds like she’s imitating someone, but maybe it’s just crazy Liz brain.

Uh, maybe Avery is a little emotional these days. She’s put in considerable boob weight. She’s not used to that and sometimes she… just falls over. It’s stressful. But she might have a point about us. M- Maybe it is inappropriate for you to still come to me with every little problem in your life.

So… this is some sort of weird cruel joke. When women get pregnant their breasts get larger. Yaye! But they often also get so sensitive they can’t be touched. Boo! What the hell is that? Who thought that up!? Not cool, sir!

What do you mean I don’t have an obituary? I’m Jenna Maroney. I played Arts & Literature in the film adaptation of the film Trivial Pursuit.

Trivial Pursuit is a trivia game with six categories: Geography, Entertainment, History, Arts & Literature, Science & Nature, and Sports & Leisure. I can’t imagine a film in which you could play a trivia category, and even if I could, I’d cast Jenna as Entertainment. Spazzy, self-centered Entertainment.

I know who you are, Miss Maroney, but you’re not on the list. They only make obits for people they think are… y- you know, important.
Like who? [grabs list] Kim Jong Ill? I never heard of her! I should be on here!

It’s Kim Jong-il, and he’s the ruler of North Korea, everyone’s favourite little hermit state. And he’s pretty important. If for no other reason than everyone suspects he’s up to no good which isn’t helped by the fact he barely talks to the outside world. It’s the perfect formula to make everyone terribly interested in you.

Ambition… is the willingness to kill the things you love and EAT them in order to stay alive. Haven’t you ever read my throw pillow?
[looks at throw pillow embroidered with that saying] [whispers] Sorry. [leaves]

Fantastic. Someone needs to create these and sell them on Etsy.

Where are your glasses? And what’s with that shirt?
I don’t need my glasses. And this is an Edward Hardy shirt. A very hip, latino-sounding blur at Mervyns said I look good in it.

Ed Hardy was a Japanese-inspired American tattoo artist who went on to license a clothing line. The Mervyn’s reference is a little odd. Mervyn’s was a department store chain, but it went bankrupt and closed all locations at the end of 2008. So this implies Daddy Lemon bought this shirt two years prior. Perhaps this was a very premeditated 2010 affair.

Dad, what are you doing? You’re travelling alone, you show up here looking like you’ve been on spring break for three hundred years, and earlier mom called and told me to give you a hug before your colonoscopy.

Well, we know he bought the shirt in advance;) Maybe not 300 years in advance…

A colonoscopy is one of those “things old men get.” An examination of the colon via the rectum and all sorts of pleasant and dignified.

Fine. I don’t need you. I’m meeting up with my old Army buddy Gary. Tonight we’re doing a push up and tomorrow we’re going to a bar called Swingles. Gary’s wife just died a couple of days ago and he hasn’t returned the hospital bed yet, so I can sleep there! Now where’s the door?

Push ups are a staple of Army fitness training. They’re actually very very good for you; they exercise a ton of muscles in your body and are great for core strength. I’m currently trying to do The Hundred Push Ups Training Program right now. How am I doing? Slow going;) Push ups are hard! Apparently the world record for non-stop push ups is over 10,000. That’s insane.

The US Army Physical Fitness Test requires a minimum number of push ups based on age. At 62+ you should be able to do a minimum of 16 push ups. It actually maxes out at 62, but up till then there’s a new category every 4 years. Using my rudimentary grade 6 math skills, Dick (and presumably his Army buddy), at 80 years of age, would fall into the 77-81 age category and be required to do 10 push ups. They still fall short.

And there is no bar called “Swingles” in NYC.

[answers phone] Hello?
Es tut mir leid. Ich wählte die falsche Nummer. [subtitles: I’m sorry. I dialed the wrong number.]
Das ist interessant. Weil es, Liz Zitrone auf die Anruferkennzeignung. [subtitles: That’s interesting. Because it says Liz Lemon on the caller ID.]

Hmmm… So I translated this by copying & pasting the English into Google Translate, but what came out doesn’t perfectly match. The last German word translated to “Anrufererkennung” (caller ID), but Avery actually says “Anruferkennzeignung.” Luckily my good friend Stef speaks German! Rah Stef! So Anruferkennzeignung is the colloquial for “caller ID,” and Anrufererkennung is the more formal version, which is why Google Translate spat it out at me.

And at first I thought it was pretty funny they translated Liz Lemon’s name as Liz Zitrone, which sounded to me like it must be the German word for “Lemon,” but I’m sure you normally just leave people’s named alone when translating. Well, apparently that’s actually what Liz is called in Germany. Liz Zitrone;)

Well certainly you can’t be surprised there’s a lot of negative stuff about you out there. Don’t you ever Google yourself?
Sure. I Google myself all the time. Like when Angie’s not in the mood or I’m alone in a hotel.
Uh, Tracy, you do know that Googling yourself means looking yourself up on the Internet.
I did not know that. That explains why Liz Lemon was so cool the other day.
[flashback] Liz Lemon, you mind if I Google myself in your office?
Sure, Tracy.
Can I use your computer?
How else are you going to do it?

Tracy may be referring to masturbation. I can’t be sure.

Actually I think you can substitute a number of different verbs in there and people would assume you mean masturbating. “I’m waxing mysef.” “I’m masticating myself.” “I’m defibrillating myself.” Sort of like you can throw anything in the “verb the adjective noun” template to imply sex.

Googling yourself is also known as egosurfing.

If you’re open to it, I’m very good at giving advice. For instance, with your obit problem. You’ve spent years creating a certain public image, but you can change that. You just have to do what Prince Hal did.
Who’s Prince Hal?
From Henry IV. You played him in Central Park last summer?

Prince Hal was Henry IV as a wild young lad, in Shakespeare’s play Henry IV (part 1).

Okay, what would Jack tell me to do. First he would probably explain that evolution makes men promiscuous even when they’re eighty like my pathetic dad.

Well this is true. Well, some scientists think it’s true. I love scientists. They’re smart.

Is your dad pathetic or is he maybe on some level admirable? Maybe his sons would respect him more as a man. Maybe they’d stop calling him a bald wang in front of the babysitter.

What is Pete talking about? Liz only has one brother, and he’s a real sweet kid. He wouldn’t call his dad a bald wang. Oh wait. Unless Pete’s projecting.

Ah. I never thought of you for the Donaghy mentoring experience, but you are an unceasing onslaught of dysfunction.
Dr. Drew called me “unfixable.”

Ah Dr. Drew. Medical doctor and professor of psychiatry, he’s hosted a number of shows where he offers medical and relationship advice, notably on Loveline and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Let’s think this through. You don’t have an obit because you haven’t done as much as Tracy has. His movies gross millions, his comedy albums go platinum, and he owns the only giraffe team, The New York Necks. So your problem…

Silly joke — New York Necks is a play on the New York Knicks (NBA), but “Necks” cuz they’re… giraffes… and giraffes have long… necks. I think they have a “one corny joke per episode” union rule.

Hello, Lemon.
Hey Jack. How’s… business things?
I made several overseas phone calls today.
Well, I’m doing great. Like the song, I am taking on m’business.
Uh, no, it’s uh… right. Forget it.

Liz is trying to reference the song Takin’ Care Of Business by Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

Shoulders back, Lemon. You’re not welcoming people to Castle Frankenstien.

Heh… Because a hunched Liz looks like a hunchback, most famously (and hilariously) Igor (pronounced EYE-gore) from Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Apparently the hunchback “Igor” character is a movie archetype that started with the 1927 film Metropolis. For some reason I always figured it was a literary archetype.

Uh… Hello, miss. My name is Ricky.
I’m… Dorothy Michaels. And you don’t look stupid in that shirt at all. What do you gentlemen do?

Dorothy Michaels was the name Dustin Hoffman’s character used in Tootsie when he dressed up as woman to land an acting job. Liz and Dustin Hoffman look eerily similar when dressed up as a woman.

We work for the FBI. Female… body inspectors. [laughs] Tell me, was your father a donkey herder? Because that ass…

Looks like a line made up right here on 30 Rock! One dollar gift card to Tim Horton’s for the best ending to this line!

No! No. My father worked at Philadelphia Power and Light. It’s me. Your daughter. Elizabeth Lemon.

It’s a real business! Looks tiny, though. No website, and doesn’t show up in Google Maps.

Come on, Gary. Let’s go hit that bar with the cool rainbow flags.

That would be a gay bar. Gar bars have rainbow flags.

A two-time Cable Ace Award nominee and three-time Tony… Shalhoub sex partner, Jenna Maroney is perhaps best remembered for being beautiful. Jenna Maroney, dead at… thirty-two.

Tony Shalhoub is best known for his role in the TV show Monk.

Jenna was born on February 24, 1969 (S03E13 “Goodbye, My Friend”), making her 41 at the time this episode aired.

[sings] Jenna you ripped through our lives like the passing of the wind…

Passing wind = farting. There I said it: farting.

Meredith Vieira
Coming up in the next half hour, we’re going to meet a heroic cat who saved its owner’s life by dialing 9-1-1. What an amazing story. New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg…

Meredith Vieira is the host of NBC’s Today show. And cats dialing 9-1-1… this actually happens. From time to time.

Hey what’s going on? I got a message you wanted to see me.
Yes, I know you’re interviewing John Boehner later. You should know that he has very tiny hands, so…
Let him hold a miniature golf scoring pencil to make them look normal, obviously. Why are you… Oh my God. Are you trying to mentor ME?

John Boehner is the 21st Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives. Is everyone in the states keenly interested in intensely boring aspects of government? I imagine they chose him because his name is spelled boner even though he insists on pronouncing it BAY-ner. And, as usual, Dickipeida proves a far more entertaining look at this otherwise bland-as-paste political representative (including the fact he was at one point the least popular politician in the US).

Oh and as far as I can tell he has normal sized hands.

Oh my God. Are you trying to mentor ME?
All right, calm down.
I am squared away, Donaghy. I get four hours of sleep a night, eat twelve hundred calories a day, and my closet has been on the cover of Organized Living… twice.

1200 calories a day, huh? Let’s see, Elizabeth Banks is 5’5”, 36 years old, and reasonably active. She weighs, I’m sure, less than 110 lbs, but we’ll say 110. At that height/weight/activity level she’d need to eat 1870 calories per day to maintain her weight. Eating 3500 calories fewer per week will cause you to lose 1 pound per week. She’s eating 6530 fewer calories per week, so she’d be losing 1.8 lbs per week. At that rate she’d disappear completely in a little over a year. Don’t say we don’t teach you anything here at What the What?!

And there is no Organized Living magazine. There, you’ve learned two things.

Gen Y D-Bag
Hey are you Jack? Sorry I’m late. Bee tee dubs, I gotta leave for my ironic kickball leaves in about ten. Also, I’m not interested in this position unless I’m going to be constantly praised. And I won’t cut my hair.

Bee tee dubs is exactly how this sort of Generation Y douchebag would pronounce “btw”. Like pronouncing wtf out loud as “doubleyoo tee eff”. Only Lucas can get away with shit like that. Artoo Deetoo!

Ironic kickball is usually played only by those wearing ironic mustaches.

Ann Curry
[on tv] …and finally the weekend box office crown belonged to the indie darling “Hard to Watch.” Critics have been praising the gritty drama and the performance of its star Tracy Jordan. Now not to editorialize, but if Jordan doesn’t win the Oscar, that would be the stupidest thing since the following segue. Speaking of cats…

Nice! “Hard to Watch: Based on the Book Stone Cold by Manipulate” was one of the two movies Tracy considered doing at the end of Season 4 (S04E21 “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land”) along with Garfield 3: Feline Groovy.

An Oscar. If I won a Oscar everyone would have to respect me. My obituary would read “Oscar Winner” instead of “Children’s Soccer Heckler.” It would change my headline. [sheathes sword]

Tracy’s been going for the “O” in his EGOT since S04E07 “Dealbreakers Talk Show #0001”.

I feel like I’m forgetting something. I left Tracy Junior in Atlantic City!

Mmmm… not that we know about. Though there has been a lot of talk of Atlantic City and black bachelorette parties.

Jenna Maroney just saved the hero cat!
That makes me a double hero! Try to deny me my obit now you JAGS! And tell people in lieu of flowers, they can pour jewels into my open coffin.

Okay what the hell. Someone please find out what Jenna’s talking about every time she says “jags.” She mentioned it before in S05E03 “Let’s Stay Together.”

You wanted to see me?
Uh, no, Lemon.
I did.
[gasps] Albino ninja!

Because Avery snuck up on Liz like a ninja. But she’s a blond haired blue eyed pretty ninja, not a swarthy dark masked ninja that may or may not take part in annual ninja parades.

Right, well, she’s not ready to move on.
It’s true. I’m wearing a Duane Reade bag as underwear today.

Duane Reid is a drug store chain, mainly in New York City. Their bags look a little something like this. Now imagine it snuggled up against Liz’s nethers.

All right. And for whatever reason, he needs you too.
It’s a symbiotic relationship. I’m a mighty great white shark, Lemon, and you are a remora, clinging to me with your suction cup head. I give you a free ride and in exchange you, uh… eat my parasites.

Remoras (a.k.a. suckerfish) are fish that live most of their lives suctioned on to sharks, whales, or sea cows. It’s actually phoresy, not symbiosis, and they don’t eat the hosts’ parasites. It’s speculated they may eat the feces of their host. This is a stunningly gracious and kind analogy Jack has cooked up.

I do. I do love her!
Yeah, that’s right. You’re a lucky man, a) because you have a family, and b) because I have not CURB stomped you in front of your grandchildren.

Waugh! Curb stomping is… okay it’s horrible. It’s one of the worst things I can think of. You make a person lie down in the street, bite the curb, and then you stomp on the back of his head, shattering (at the very least) his teeth on the pavement. I watch a lot of horror movies (including The Human Centipede — do not watch this; you have been warned), and one of the most brain-shudderingly horrible scenes I can remember is the curb stomping scene from American History X.

I gotta go. I’m taking Tricia to Laser Zeppelin. You take care now. Go Knicks!

Ahhh Laser Zeppelin. It’s the (slightly) updated version of just getting horribly stoned and putting on some Led Zeppelin albums. Instead, you get horribly stoned and watch trippy psychedelic laser light shows while someone else puts on Led Zeppelin albums. Behold! Laser Stairway!

Knicks = New York Knicks (NBA).

Uch… I don’t know about Christina. Cuz then everyone calls her Tina, and every Tina I’ve known is a real judgemental bitch.

FUNNY. Becuse Liz is played by Tina Fey. Semi-fourth-wall-breaking, self-referential humour! Tina’s real name is actually Elizabeth Stamatina Fey (Greek, in case you’re wondering).

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