30 Rock S01E02: "The Aftermath"


The crew reacts poorly to Tracy Jordan being cast and the subsequent changes to the show. Liz Lemon fails horribly in making things better, so Tracy and Liz throw a yacht party to make everything right. Hilarity ensues.

Episode Details

S01E02 (102)
First aired
View full dialogue
Tina Fey
Adam Bernstein
Frank's Hat
Done Deal
You hear about that chemical factory explosion outside of Colorado Springs?

Aaaaaaactually I couldn’t find any reference to a factory explosion around the time this episode was written. Just thought I’d include it in case you were wondering if there was a reference. Officially, no. Not as far as I can tell. You’re welcome.

Studio 6H is where we do The Girlie Show.

The 30 Rockefeller Plaza studio where TGS is supposedly shot — Studio 6H — doesn’t exist, but it’s a nod to the legendary Studio 8H where Saturday Night Live has made magic for more than three decades.

The studio number refers to the floor on which it’s located: NBC News and MSNBC take up most of the third floor, where studios 3A, 3B, 3C and 3K are located. On the sixth floor, Late Night with Conan O’Brien was filmed in Studio 6A (once home to the original Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman, as well) and Studio 6B is home to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Saturday Night Live shares the eighth floor with NBC Sports.

Surprisingly, 30 Rock isn’t filmed at 30 Rock. It’s primarily shot at Silver Cup Studios on Long Island (see what else is filmed there) (map it!), with the cast moving to the GE Building for occasional specific scenes. Exterior scenes are shot at 30 Rock and in the surrounding streets of midtown Manhattan.


[song plays when they think Tracy is entering the studio]

The song is a instrumental version of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.”

Pete. Good to see you.
Is it? Oh, good. It’s good to see you too. Cuz that means I’m not fired anymore. I… wasn’t going to mention that. But I did. And now I’m talking about it.
Relax your balls, Pete.

In the previous episode, Kenneth mentioned that Pete was fired. They never say why, but Liz demands Pete back at the conclusion of that episode.

[Update:] Reader Rob had a good insight. He says: In reference to why Pete was fired, I think it was to free up money to help cover Tracy’s salary. When Liz and Pete are having their first conversation with Jack in the pilot episode, Pete likes the idea of hiring Tracy, but asks where they’re going to find the money in the budget. Jack just says something like, “I have an idea.” somewhat ominously, and a few minutes later lets Liz leave, but tells Pete to stay. The next we hear of Pete, he’s been fired. That’s my take on it.

[introducing the writers to Tracy Jordan] … Josh Girard, he got 760 on his SATs, graduated from SUNY Cortland…

SUNY Cortland, aka State University of New York College at Cortland, aka Cortland State, is a coeducational university located in Cortland, New York. Thank you, Wikipedia. SATs, aka the “SAT Reasoning Test”, aka (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test and Scholastic Assessment Test) is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. A combined score of 1000 is average. Josh is dumb.

[still introducing writers to Tracy Jordan] … Frank Rossitano has every copy of Black Tail magazine ever published…

Yup. It’s a real magazine. Sadly they have no affiliate program, so you’ll have to order it without giving me any sort of commission.

[still introducing writers to Tracy Jordan] … J. D. Lutz, thyroid problem…

Jack refers specifically to hypothyroidism, one of the side effects is potential obesity. Often blamed for the obesity epidemic of the mid-western United States. An epidemic! Like it’s polio! Like we’ll be telling our grand kids about it one day. The Great Obesity Epidemic of 2004. “How’d you get through it grandpa?” “Oh, it was horrible Johnny, there was cheesecake and pork chops everywhere.”

[being shown cuecards] Jerry from set design, Wally; cue cards, Rupert Murdoch, Melinda Gates, Ziggy from the cartoon “Ziggy”, Anthony Pellicano, Heidi Klum, the guy that sleeps with Heidi Klum…

Holy crap. Kay here we go… the first two are fictional cast members. Good start! Rah me!

And a sharp-eyed reader pointed out that when the camera is facing Jack, you can just barely see through the back of each photo Jonathan’s holding up, and they’re all the same photo.

[freaking out about working with Tracy Jordan] Do you know that he once got arrested for walking naked through LaGuardia?
And that he once fell asleep on Ted Danson’s roof?
Yeah, Tracy has.. metal health issues.
He bit Dakota Fanning on the face.
When you hear his version he was kinda asking for it.

LaGuardia (LGA): Smallest of three major New York metropolitan airports. Can’t find any reference to anyone of note walking naked through the thing.

Ted Danson: Actor most memorable for his portrayal of Sam Malone on the sitcom Cheers. And last episode Jack mentioned Tracy falling asleep on someone’s roof. Now we know whose roof it was!

Dakota Fanning: Cute and harmless teenage actress, was fourteen at the time this episode aired.

[on phone] Glaub mir. Diese Advantium Microwave sind de besten.
How could you change the name of my show without telling me.
Detlev, I’m gonna have to call you back. Ja. Wunderbar. Plowchops.

Jack’s German translates to “Believe me. These Advantium Microwaves are the best.” and “Detlev, I’m gonna have to call you back. Yes. Wonderful. Plow chops.” I have no idea what “plowchops” is supposed to mean, but it’s awesome and I’m going to start saying goodbye on the phone like that from now on.

You need to tell Jenna this whole thing was your idea and I didn’t know anything about it and that she should be mad at you, not me.
Oh sure, then we can sit around and braid each other’s hair until we get our periods at the same time. Lemon, you’re a supervisor. These people are not your friends.

This is known as “synchronous menstration.” It’s a real thing.

So I said, “Rick, this chick’s got an Adam’s apple.” And Rick said to me — I’ll never forget this — he said “freaky deakies need love too. Freaky deakies need love too.”

[gravitas settles in amongst those at the table as they absorb the wisdom in Tracy’s touching story]

So how you doing over there, Theo Huxtable?

I left this quote in cuz it’s one of the best in 30 Rock;) As for Theo Huxtable, he was a character on The Cosby Show played by Malcolm Jamal-Warner.

That was beyond insulting. The guy doesn’t even know my name. Why do you love him so much?
No, no, no, no, no. I don’t love him. Donaghy loves him, that’s it. Pete can’t stand him. Toofer thinks he’s an idiot. Even Cerie says he’s a pig.
Frank likes his movies.
Yeah Frank also loves that video of the monkey smelling his own butt.

This one’s more of a chunk of cultural roadkill, but if you MUST watch it…

Sorry to interrupt, Ms. Maroney, but the sound guys want their microphone back.
So everyone can…
Hear everything your saying, yes ma’am.
Oh my god, I didn’t use the N-word, did I?

The N-word being nigger, and is probably a reference to when actor/comedian Michael Richards (of Seinfeld fame) called a heckler a nigger, to great media outrage, during a stand-up routine on November 17, 2006, one month before this episode aired.

Look, I’m just saying, we both screwed up today. I think we should make nice and buy everyone some pizzas and some soft drinks.
Nah, nah, nah nah nah nah nah. This is what we’re gonna do, Lemon. You’re gonna get everyone on my yacht. Harbor cruise, drinks… togetherness.
That’s great. You have a yacht?
I got a yacht. I got a solid gold jet ski, two Batmobiles, the AIDS monkey’s bones…

The Batmobile is of course the car Batman drives. As far as I can tell, though, there are no AIDS monkey’s bones. I think this is a weird mixed reference to the theory that AIDS arose in monkeys first, crossed with Michael Jackson’s alleged purchase of the Elephant Man’s bones.

Welcome! Welcome to your fantasy!

Probably a reference to the TV show Fantasy Island, where Mr. Roarke (Ricardo Montalbán) would greet guests with “My dear guests, I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!”

Oh yeah, I’ve taken this boat many places. Miami. Tokyo.


Denver, Colorado, is of course land-locked.

Hey, What does that mean — Avanti Domani?
The name of the boat.
Oh, that’s Spanish for “Remember Your Mother.”
No, I don’t think it is.

It sure isn’t! Avanti Domani is Italian for something like “Next Tomorrow” or “Out Tomorrow”.

Let me make you a drink. You love apple martinis, right?
Um… yes! How did you know that?
I read your interview in Amtrack Magazine.
Really? You saw that? Wow! Did you know that all the writers in that are also conductors?

Amtrack does have a magazine, called Arrive. No idea if the conductors write it, but I somehow doubt it;)

Hay Toofer! See if I got any schnapps.
Good gravy. This is a Dunwiddie ’62!
It’s for you. Take it, my friend.
[breathlessly] Thank you.

The name is made up, but probably a reference to Dalwhinnie, a (fantastic) single malt scotch. A Dalwhinnie 1962 GM Connoisseurs Choice would go for almost $300, which is frighteningly not considered that expensive a bottle of scotch.


[dance party breaks out on the yacht]

They’re dancing to “Bossy” by Kelis.

I hear you sing. I didn’t know that. Why don’t you sing something for me?
Oh, no. Nobody wants to hear that.
I do.
[breaks into song]
Let’s get out of here.
Is that a real song?

It sure is, Cerie. It sure is. Jenna’s singing an a cappella version of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.”


[another song plays as Kenneth tries and subsequently spits out some sushi]

The song is “Who Want a Problem” by Styles P.

I got one, I got one! Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Cosby.
[doing a Jerry Seinfeld impression] What’s the deal with pudding?
[doing no impression] I’m Bill Cosby. Jell-o. Sweaters.
[very drunk and clapping] Yeah!
That doesn’t even sound like the Cos.

Earlier in this episode, Josh suggested a skit idea to Tracy where they play Seinfeld and Cosby. Tracy turned him down flat. Josh’s impression is very clever considering how short it is — a mix of Jerry Seinfeld’s observational humour, which usually starts with “What’s the deal with…” and pudding is a reference to Bill Cosby at one point being the spokesman for Jell-O pudding. Tracy’s non-impression continues with the Jell-O reference, and adds a reference to Bill Cosby being known for wearing sweaters. Particularly ugly sweaters.

Tracy, thank you so much for doing this. You totally saved me.
You don’t have to thank me Lemon, we’re a team now. Like Batman and Robin. Like chicken and a chicken container.

There’s no way I’m doing a reference to Batman and Robin. Everyone damn well better know that one.

[to Liz] Por favor! No me dueles! Me llamo Maria! Please, calling Ted and Nancy Peabody! You tell “Who Dat Ninja” is on the boat!

Maria is speaking panicked Spanish, which translates to “Please! Do not hurt me! My name is Maria.” The “Peabody” name just happens to have a lot of well know/rich/powerful people associated with it. And “Who Dat Ninja” is a reference to a fictional movie Tracy starred in.

[excited] Liz, Liz, Did you see me in the Post? Oh my God. It’s so embarrassing. Look how thin I look! And look how many e-mail I’ve gotten. It’s not even 8AM in LA. Oh! Should I call Stern?

Howard Stern, the celebrity radio “shock jock”, frequently has train wrecks like Jenna on his radio program.

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