Jack has a perfect problem solving day, Liz battles with intimacy problems, Tracy torments an old friend, and Jenna, Kenneth, and Kelsey Grammer scam an ice cream company.

Episode Details

S05E05 (505)
First aired
View full dialogue
Matt Hubbard
Todd Holland
Frank's Hat
Listen, Greg, I’ve got the next big reality show: we put a bunch of people on a plane, fly them over the Atlantic, then Tom Bergeron comes out and reveals… that the pilot is a six year old boy. We call it “Child Hell Flight.”
[gasps with excitement, then sees Liz] Get out of here! He is pitching a no hitter!
Starting at four o’clock yesterday, when Mr. Donaghy coined the word “innoventually,” he has been flawless!

Tom Bergeron is currently the host of Dancing With the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos. Although some people find him annoying, he did play a TV News Reporter in Gremlins, so that’s pretty cool.

Good news, Jonathan. “Child Hell Flight” will innoventually be on the springs schedule.
Oh! Congratulations, sir. Miss Lemon was just leaving.
Uh, no! Lemon, please come in. When you’re pitching a perfect game you don’t walk Albert Pujols, and you are the Albert Pujols of having problems.

Albert Pujols plays first base for the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s originally from the Dominican Republic and he’s regarded as one of the best players in the game today.

I am Jack’s hubris. He’s high from having a perfect day, so now he’s going to foolhardily tackle Liz’s nigh unsolvable problems. Oh sitcoms, how you do love to create sticky situations!

Lemon, you may be witnessing history here. Making it through a full twenty four hours without a single misstep is called “Reaganing.” The only other people who’ve ever done it: Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch, and — no judgement — Saddam Hussein. So, what have you got for me?
I need to get out to Newark airport. Carol’s on a layover and I really have to see him.

Jack loves Reagan. He just does. I suppose I could read up on what sort of political views Jack embodies and relate those back to Reagan’s, but that’s a whole world of US politics I’m not so interested in. But, my loyal readers, if anyone wants to write something it I’ll happily post it in place of this delightful paragraph and credit you for the win.

You’re horny and you want to get some. I get it.
Ew, Jack, gross! Come on! I just want to see him and I can’t get a cab because Greece is playing Pakistan in soccer.

The Pakistan national football team (yes, soccer is called “football” everywhere in the world except North America) has, in fact, never played Greece. Ever. This is more of what I like to call 30 Rock Random Racism. It sounds racist, but they basically pick nationalities at random and attribute them with something weird. In this case there’s a bit of truth to it; most NYC cab drivers are Caribbean, Indian, and yes, Pakistani. Not many Greek, though.

Problem solved! I’ll take you.
I’ll drop you off at the airport then I’ll swing by MSNBC. I have to talk to Rachel Maddow. Only one of us can have this haircut.

MSNBC is a cable news channel, a partnership between Microsoft (MS) and NBC. NBC owns the majority share.

Rachel Maddow is openly gay and has her own show on MSNBC. Her hair also looks startlingly like Jack’s, especially in this picture.

K-Swiss, I need to cancel my gig for hosting the MTV International Video Music Awards.

K-Swiss is a brand of shoes.

And there doesn’t seem to be an “MTV International Video Music Awards.” There’s the “MTV Video Music Awards” and the “MTV Video Music Award – International Viewer’s Choice,” and Tracy Morgan has never hosted either.

Why wasn’t I invited to that. My single was number four in Japan. “Choke me, choke me, blonde like choke me. Tee hee hee hee hee hee!”

I think this is more Random Weird Things Attributed To Ethnicities. Although Japanese girls are known to giggle. Song-wise, Xzibit has a song called ”Choke Me, Spank Me (Pull My Hair)”.

I hate to bail, but I’ve been asked to do a commercial for the Boys and Girls Club of America, and I just can’t turn down community service. Because if I do that judge will make me join the Coast Guard.

There is indeed a Boys and Girls Club of America, and they help youths to “reach their potential.” It seems like the kind of organiation people may get sent for community service. But the Coast Guard? That’s just crazy talk!

Well I also recently received an unexpected honor… from the Carvel Ice Cream Corporation. [holds up “FREE ice cream for life” Carvel card] They gave me this after I performed on their Kids 4-Eva float during last year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

This is based (very closely) on Lindsay Lohan being given a Free Ice Cream For Life card from Carvel, which Lindsay’s mother, Diana Lohan, abused to the point the card was revoked. I mean, what’s wrong with you? Your daughter makes millions of dollars, I’m sure you’re set for life. But no. You figure you’re entitled to raping your daughter’s free ice cream card to the point they revoke it and then you make a huge deal out of them rejecting your abuse of their present to your daughter. You’re bizarre.

The float Jenna’s riding on reads “Kids 4-Eva,” which doesn’t seem to be a real anything. And the Thanksgiving Day Parade is in fact the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, started in 1924, and known for its huge procession of floats.

And this is, as usual, Jenna having to show up anyone (Tracy) receiving more attention than her.

I don’t watch the Macy’s Parade. If I want to see a fifty foot Spider-Man, I just go into my rec room, thank you.

The Macy’s Parade is also known for its huge balloon characters which float over the crowd. Spider-Man was featured in 1987 and 2009.

What’s wrong, Lemon? When I see you chew your nails like that, it’s either you’re very anxious or you handled some ham earlier.

Liz has a thing for ham. This is not the first incident.

[flashback 2] If I could push a button and five people in the world would die but I’d get free cable for life… I’d do it.

This is both creepily hilarious and a reference to the short story Button, Button by Richard Matheson, which was made into a 1986 episode of The Twilight Zone, and was the basis for the 2009 movie The Box. In the story (The Twilight Zone version, anyway), a couple is given a box and they’re told if they press it, someone, somewhere will die, and they will receive $200,000. It’s one of the few Twilight Zone episodes I remember really well. Because it was fantastic.

Sex, Lemon. Coitus. The beast with two backs. You and I have never had an adult conversation about boning.

Fantastic;) I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one before. “Beast with two backs” is British slang for sex, first used in 1603 by Shakespeare in Othello: “I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.” Boning means the same thing, but its origin is far less storied.

I was visiting Carol in Las Vegas and there was… a performance issue.
That does happen to men. I’ve faced it myself, with Greta Van Susteren BEFORE her head transplant. You know, why don’t I call Carol–

Carol is Liz’s pilot boyfriend, played by Matt Damon, introduced in the Season Four finale.

Greta Van Susteren is an American journalist and TV personality on Fox, and she had plastic surgery. Not a head transplant. But before and after pictures are fun, right?

It’s not him, it’s me. I’m the one with the performance problem.
What- What are you talking about?
I freaked out and my junk closed for business. It’s like Fort Knox down there.

Fort Knox is actually not Fort Knox. What everyone calls Fort Knox is actually called the United States Bullion Depository (which stores a large portion of the US gold reserves), and sits right next to Fort Knox, which is a US army base. It has become a symbol of security, synonymous with being locked down tighter than a nun’s hoo haa.

Tracy, I haven’t seen you since I was directing Garfield 3 and you ruined it. I had to move back in with my parents.

Shawn is played by Seth Kirschner who we first saw in S04E02 “Into the Crevasse” where he was the director of Jenna’s Icelandic werewolf movie. In S04E21 “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land” when he was the director on Garfield 3. Tracy was his feline star but walked out while filming because he suddenly needed to do something with more emotional gravitas. Happily the world will probably never have to endure a real Garfield 3 movie.

What line?
“Boys and Girls Clubs of America — Be Great!” [long pause] We faxed the script to someone named “Griz?”

That’s not their real motto. It’s the slightly more verbose “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” I kinda like the 30 Rock version.

You know your little problem makes sense, Lemon? You have more sexual hangups than an adult chat line run by Gilbert Gottfried.

Gilbert Gottfried is a horrid, squinty eyed, gravelly voiced, “comic” or “personality” or whatever you’d call him. His claim to fame is screeching obscenities in place of humour. It’s sometimes funny;)

You don’t think you’re a bit of a prude? A little squeamish and conservative?
[flashback 1] Sex always makes things worse!
[flashback 2] Jack, why don’t you just say you want some… [makes weird hand motion]
[flashback 2] Is that sex, Lemon?
[flashback 2] It is the way I do it.
[flashback 3] We are lovers.
[flashback 3] Oh, that word bums me out unless it’s between the words “meat” and “pizza.”
[flashback 4] Och! She likes that?


Okay fine! Maybe I’m a little old fashioned. I’m sorry I’m a real woman and not some over-sexed New York nympho like those sluts on Everybody Loves Raymond.

Everybody Loves Raymond was a (not funny) sitcom that ran from 1996 – 2005. And I’ll leave this one as an exercise to the reader: Here’s a photo of the cast. Pick out the sluts.

Wow. This may be the greatest challenge a potential Reaganer has ever faced. I’m going to fix you and save your relationship with Carol.
I don’t need to be fixed.
Has it happened before?
Yes. With my college boyfriend Joel Suchecky, a couple of times with Dennis, and now Carol.

Dennis was Liz’s crazy obnoxious (but wicked funny) boyfriend from seasons past. However, I think this is the first mention of Joel Suchecky.

Here’s the money back from Carvel, Miss Maroney. Twenty-three dollars and ninety-four cents.

Carvel has their products online, but no prices. Anyone know if this price is accurate? Critically important to the survival of mankind, I know.

Hang on. She gave you cash?
Oh yes, I’m sorry. I told the girl I didn’t have your card, so–
She must have thought you meant “credit card.” How many cashiers are at that store?
Two! This is fun!
Oh my God. We could run the short grift on this. It’s been years since my mom and I used to pull slip-and-falls at supermarkets. I thought I was done with that life. But this is too good. We could pull an Arizona Double Back on them, Kenneth!

Grift is a swindle or confidence game, but I can’t find any reference to an “Arizona Double Back.”

[ordering a cake] Yes, “Bathy Hirthday Gremlin.”

Ha! Second mention of Gremlins! Okay, the first reference was pretty weak, but I love that movie.

Let me help you. I am unstoppable today. If it’ll make it any easier, imagine you’re telling your story to Reagan himself. [Reagan impression] Well, Liz. Will you tell The Gipper you sexual story? Mommy?

Ronald Regan’s nickname was The Gipper, which is acquired in 1940 when playing George “The Gipper” Gipp in the film Knute Rockne All American.

And apparently Reagan used to call his wife Nancy “mommy.” That’s just creepy as all get-out.

I was nine years old. I was rollerskating in the house, which was absolutely forbidden. I was skating down the hallway, on top of the world, with my new skates and my new haircut, which everybody thought was a Dorothy Hamill, but was actually a Pete Rose. Anyway, I needed to go to the bathroom, but the door was locked. My recently divorced aunt had moved in with us and I was sharing a bathroom with her. To be prepared I tried to take my underpants off over my roller skates. I slipped, and as I fell I pulled down this poster of the singer Tom Jones that my aunt had put up. My mom heard the noise and ran and found me… squirming under the Tom Jones poster with my… underpants around my ankles. It didn’t look good, Jack. She thought I did it on purpose. And she didn’t say a word. She just went in my room and took all my posters. Grizzly Adams, Larry Wilcox, Han Solo, Tug McGraw, Mike Schmidt, Kermit, Gunther Gebel-Williams… She took all the people away, Jack! Sex makes the people go away!

Dorothy Hamill is the 1976 American Olympic figure skating champion, and she did have that freaky-assed bowl cut, which was very similar to baseball star Pete Rose’s also very disturbing haircut (well, the photo’s the more disturbing part).

Tom Jones is a fantastic and famous Welsh singer.

Liz’s other posters:

Of course I do! We’re standing here talking, adding brick after brick to our Friendship Castle so it someday reaches the sky.

There’s no such thing as a Friendship Castle. It’s just Kenneth being super cute.

[takes Tracy into a dressing room] With Carvel, Kenneth! We’re conning them. I’m ordering messed up cake and getting them free with my card, then you’re returning them for cash. We’re selling back free cakes!
But Miss Maroney, that’s wrong. And illegal. [gasps] If Cookie Puss knew, he’d tear us apart with his fangs.

Cookie Puss is a character that Carvel makes out of ice cream products in their store.

Also, after this episode aired, Carvel said they loved being included in the episode, and presented the 30 Rock writers with a 30 Rock-themed cake, reading “Tank Yow 36 Rock from your Frinds at Carvel” along with a note saying they shouldn’t try to return it for cash.

[puts finger on Kenneth’s lips] Shhh! I need a partner to pull this off. And think of all the good you can do with that money back home.
They do need help. And with enough money they could buy those magic beans from that old hermit! We’d be rich! Hang on. Why isn’t the hermit rich? Oh wait. He is. He has a lot of friends.

Kenneth is retelling the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk, about a naive boy who is given the family’s only cow to sell at the market, but he’s swindled by a man into selling it for some “magic beans.” He gets in trouble, but it turns out the beans are magic, leading him into adventures ending in fame and wealth. Actually, seeing as it’s a fairy tale, the original version probably ends up with Jack crushed to death and his family burned to death.

[long, carefully choreographed scene plays out] Shirt on or off, Shawn?
Good note. Back to one. [sees Jack walk up] Hey! Jackie-D! Let’s take a quick five hundred so everybody could meet Jack!

Normally it’s “take five,” meaning “take a five minute break.” Tracy’s asking for… close to an eight and a half hour break.

You know him? Please help me get his line. Fix this!
No. I don’t need any more problems to solve. Especially not him! I am the Sisyphus of Reaganing.

Sisyphus! Nice reference. Greek mythology tells us that Sisyphus was a really bad house guest and constantly pissed off the gods. After his death, the gods punished him by forcing him to endlessly roll a boulder to the top of a steep hill, only to have it roll back down over him as he neared the top. So a Sisyphean task is a difficult, terrible, and in the end, impossible task. And a fun word to say.

[picks up jar of jelly beans] I’m sorry, jelly beans. I know how much The Gipper liked you and… I failed him. [to Shawn] It’s funny. I remember George Shultz how later in Reagan’s presidency, when his mind was uh… resting… how they would use jelly beans to convince people that he was — That’s it. I know how to fix Tracy! Make him eat these. I’ll take care of the rest.

George Shultz was Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State, and Jack is being kind when he says Reagan’s mind was “resting” — in 1994 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, but this was five years after he had left office as the President.

And Reagan did love jelly beans, starting when he was governor California and continuing all the way through his Presidency.

[on phone] Don’t you worry. I’m sending you some money so you can get your operation. Now can you put a human on the phone? [dial tone] Hello?

The address Kenneth is writing on the envelope is:

Parcell Farm
(just past the tire fire)
Stone Mountain
Independent Nation of DeKalb County

Stone Mountain, GA has long been established as Kenneth’s home town. There have been no major tire fires near Stone Mountain, which is good, as they’re nasty pollution-spewing things that are very difficult to put out and can burn for a decade or more. And Stone Mountain is in DeKalb County, but it’s not really an Independant Nation, although Jack did mention that Kenneth’s county never re-joined the Union in S05E03 “Let’s Stay Together.”

Kelsey Grammer
Good afternoon. I would like twenty one cakes that read “Frajer Reunion 2010.”
Cashier 1
Isn’t it “Frasier?”

Kelsey Grammer was the star of the TV show Frasier from 1993 – 2004, which was a spin off of Cheers, an earlier sitcom in which he also starred. I didn’t watch Frasier much, nor did I read The New Yorker cartoons, but I’m going to go out on a very thin limb and say they reminded me of each other.

Kelsey Grammer
[returning cake] I mean, “Frajer?” Come on. [takes refund money from Cashier 2] I should throw some tossed salad and scrambled eggs at you.

Grammer’s TV show Frasier’s opening theme song, sung by Grammer himself, is a jazz tune called “Tossed Salad and Scrambled Egg”.

Cashier 2
[discovers all but one returned box are filled with newspaper] No! [shakes fist] FRAJER!

This is a great homage to Kirk’s cursing of Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should watch the clip. If you do, you’ll probably watch the clip just to see it again;)

Kelsey Grammer
Eight hundred dollars split three ways. Those ice cream saps will rue the day they ever tangled with “The Best Friends Gang.” [they all laugh]

Eight hundred dollars… Each cake, according to Kenneth earlier, is $23.94, which comes out to a little over thirty-three cakes. Evil!

Cashier 2
Stupid Cookie Puss! [sobbing]

Referring back to a little earlier when they mentioned Cookie Pus, the Carvel ice cream cake character.

Kelsey Grammer
Couple hundred dollars, huh? I think I can help you out. But first I’m going to need fifty to get started.

Heh… This is Grammer trying to scam the scammer with the age-old con where you promise someone a large sum of money, but first you need a smaller amount from them. Of course, once you get that smaller amount you take off and the person never sees the large promised amount. It actually has a name! It’s called the “advance fee fraud,” also known as the Nigerian Letter (also called the 419 fraud, Nigerian scam, Nigerian bank scam, or Nigerian money offer), the Spanish Prisoner, the black money scam as well as Russian/Ukrainian scam.

I’m going to break up with him. Let him off the hook.
That would be a mistake, Lemon. Yes, you are the sexual equivalent of a million Hindenburgs, but you deserve someone like Carol in your life, and he deserves you because — and I’m only going to say this once a decade — you’re great. You’re Liz Lemon, dammit. In certain lights you’re an “eight,” using East Coast Over Thirty-Five standards, excluding Miami.

The Hindenburg was a German airship famous for being the largest ever built and its destruction at Lakehurst, New Jersey where it burst into flames, crashed, killed many, and single-handedly brought about the end of the airship era. There is video of the crash, which is spectacularly horrific, and I’m sure spawned a number of disaster movies all by itself. The duralumin framework of the airship was salvaged and shipped back to Germany where it was recycled and used in the construction of military aircraft for the Luftwaffe. All this combines to imply Liz’s sexual prowess is especially bad.

You go in there, you grab Carol, you take him into one of those unisex family bathrooms, pull down that diaper changing thing… and go to town on him.
I’ll try. But if I couldn’t get it done in Vegas after a Penn and Teller show, I don’t know how it’s gonna happen here.

Typical baby changing tables in public washrooms probably aren’t rated for more than.. oh… 80 pounds of weight? I mean, how much does your typical child in diapers weight? 30 pounds max? Double that, a bit for extra safety margin, and… This isn’t a good idea.

Penn and Teller are an illusion and comedy Las Vegas headliner duo. They’re more associated with gory tricks, exposing frauds, performing clever pranks, atheism, and scientific skepticism, and less so with romance and foreplay, but Liz Lemon’s a weird duck, so maybe that’s her thing.

Think back to your college boyfriend, was there any…
Yes! When this happened with Joel, “What’s New Pussycat” was playing on the bus we were on, I mean the room we were in. And when it happened with Dennis, he had just gotten a perm!

What’s New Pussycat? is one of Tom Jones’ more famous songs. Funny story. I used to sit right across from a guy whose name was actually Tom Jones, and every time he’s pick up his phone and say “Hello, Tom Jones,” I’d get another Tom Jones song stuck in my head. Three months with nothing but What’s New Pussycat?, It’s Not Unusual, and Delilah running through my head, and I still love Tom Jones. The singer, not the one I worked with. Though he was a good guy, too. He named his son Indiana. I’m not kidding.

Tom Jones (the singer) also has curly hair, which looks permed, but isn’t.

Tom Jones is the trigger. He makes you remember your mother taking the people away!
Does this mean I’m fixed?
Oh God, no, you’ve got years of therapy ahead of you, probably electroshock, but this is a breakthrough, Lemon. And a big one.

Electroshock therapy (a.k.a. electroconvulsive therapy) is when they basically electrocute your brain to help with severe mental issues (depression, mania (often in bipolar disorder), and catatonia), and, as you may imagine, is only used as a last resort. Oddly enough, there aren’t really any large negative side effects. I thought you’d end up a drooling vegetable or at least forget how to pee standing up with enough of this, but nope. It’s relatively benign. Weird.

[flashback 1] How was the sex?
[flashback 1] Fast and only on Saturdays. It’s perfect.
[flashback 2] I have been sexually rejected by not one, but TWO guys who later went to clown college —
[flashback 3] …and one time at summer camp I kissed a girl on a dare, but then she drowned.
[flashback 4] He was the first gay guy I ever kissed!
[flashback 5] Standing up? What? How does that even work?
[flashback 6] You haven’t had sex?
[flashback 6] Shhh! We have, of course, pleasured one another.
[flashback 6] No. Stop. I will leave.
[flashback 7] Och, stop staying relationship. [walks away]
[flashback 7] I’m sorry. I was going to say climax.

Ahhh more flashbacks! Here we go:

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