30 Rock S05E07: "Brooklyn Without Limits"


Liz, Jenna, and Jack all have moral crises. Liz gets new jeans, Jenna “helps” Tracy get a Golden Globe, and Jack throws his weight behind a politician.

Episode Details

S05E07 (507)
First aired
View full dialogue
Ron Weiner
Michael Engler
Frank's Hat
How’s it going in there?
Great. Trying on jeans if my favourite thing. Maybe later I can get a pap smear from an old male doctor.

Pap smears. Delightful. Good way to start the episode. So, gentle readers, a pap smear, or more properly a “pap test,” is when a doctor scrapes some cells from the opening of a woman’s cervix to check them for cancer. I hear it’s wicked uncomfortable, as you can imagine. You lie down on a doctor’s bed and put your legs up on supports, like so. And before you ask, yes, there is such a thing as an anal pap smear. Wear sunscreen, people.

This place is trying way too hard. Why are there straight jackets everywhere?
Because before this was a clothing store it was a mental hospital. It’s winky and fun, Liz.

I found a site listing ten freaky-assed abandoned mental hospitals. Yeah, it’s as creepy as it sounds. As far as I can tell, no former mental hospitals in New York have been converted for clothing/retail purposes.

Miss Lemon, you look HOT.
I swear to Kabbalah Monster, those jeans are perfect. Look at your butt!

Probably a reference to Madonna, who was introduced to Kabbalah by Sarah Bernhardt in 1997. She has since converted to Judaism and remains devoted to Kabbalah, the mystical aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It’s a large topic.

Oh my God, is that me?
Liz, it’s the dream! Boy on the bottom, girl on the top!

And why not?? A girl with the ass of a ten year old boy and the breasts of a Greek statue?? Okay that’s a weird image but you get my meaning.

OM God, those jeans are zing.
This online slang dictionary says it’s short for “amazing.” Or it’s a club drug made from a tooth whitener. Either way you win.

Nope. It’s got a ton of meanings you probably know: zinger (good retort), zest, vitality, but not “amazing.” Though give it a few weeks and I’m sure people will start using it.

I’ll wear these jeans out and I’ll take ten more pairs.
Tastic. Shall I put the pants you had on in with the jeans?

Same deal. Used a lot as a suffix (CHEESEtastic!) but not as a stand-alone word. Yet.

David Gregory
[on TV] …congressional candidate Regina Bookman went on the offensive today, making political hay out of the wheat field that is the NBC-Kabletown merger… Who wrote this? Jared, honestly? Bookman told reporter “the merger of NBC and Kabletown is bad for the consumer, I don’t trust their executive leadership and Kabletown still has an auxiliary button on their remote. What is that for? It just makes the screen go blue.”

Regina Bookman was introduced in S05E03 “Let’s Stay Together.”

David Gregory is a journalist and host of NBC News‘ Sunday morning talk show Meet the Press.

And the auxiliary buttons on remotes… Well that’s a trickier question. Kabletown here is a stand in for Comcast, referring to NBC and Comcast’s impending merger, so they’re referring to Comcast’s remote controls, of which there are many. Most cable box remotes work the same way. There are usually three main buttons to select the video source: AUX, CABLE, and VIDEO. A number of video sources will run into your cable box, and your cable box plugs into your TV, so you need to tell your cable box what video to send to your TV. CABLE will let you use your on-screen guide and channel surf, TV will hand over control to your TV, and AUX… well, AUX will select whatever you have plugged into AUX. If you have nothing plugged into the AUX port of your cable box, you’ll just see blue. Which, in the old days, was that static/snow thing, but nowadays is blue. Blue means there’s no video. Nada. Nothing plugged in to AUX. Why even have AUX, you ask? Well, you could plug your Xbox 360 into it. Or maybe your Wii. Tha’d be fun, right?

Yaye! Boys love explaining things!

Why is she still talking about the merger? She said I had three months to make NBC more diverse!

She did say this. She totally did. Right at the end of S05E03 “Let’s Stay Together.”

It’s not your fault nobody watched America’s Next Top Black Guy.

Not a show. It’s a spin on the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model.

Zing leg tubes, Liz.
Wunder hintern!

“Wunder hintern” is German for “wonder butt!” or maybe “miracle bum.” Google Translate actually says it translates to “scarring,” but I think something went wrong there.

They’re from Brooklyn Without Limits. It’s this very cool store with locations in Gay Town, White Harlem, and the Van Beardswick section of Brooklyn. And they don’t just look great. See the tag? “Handmade in USA.” Because BWL is all about fair trade and local artisans and staying green. These jeans totally make up for all the times I took a long hot shower because I was bored.

BWL is their stand-in for American Apparel, a clothing retailer that prides itself on being made in downtown Los Angeles and is the largest clothing manufacturer in the United States. For the most part, they took the absolute worst of 80s fashion and colours and brought it back. It’s nasty.

It also bears a passing resemblance to Brooklyn Industries, a hipstery clothing retailer mainly found in Brooklyn and Manhattan. They do have a really cool “handlebar mustache” t-shirt though.

As for the locations, which are meant to evoke a sense of hipster:

  • Gay Town: No such actual district in NYC, but if you were Planning a Gay Vacation, you’d want to visit Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and the East Village.
  • White Harlem: Harlem’s stereotype is a neighbourhood of poor blacks, but it’s been changing for a long time and there are parts of Harlem that are coming quite wealthy and and some that are predominantly white.
  • Van Beardswick section of Brooklyn: Reader Matt K. says this refers to the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the epicenter of hipster culture, the very people who design, but don’t wear Brooklyn Industries. Hipster beards have been very IN for a few years now and Bushwick and other Dutch sounding streets and neighborhoods are adjacent, thus Van Beardswick.

Unsure on what makes a hipster? Worried you met one and mis-identified him? Let this site be your guide.

J-train, as you may know, I was in a film called Hard to Watch, and the “pundits” think that I have a “chance” at an “Oscar” and I just learned about “air quotes.”

They brought up “Hard to Watch” in the last episode (S05E06 “Gentlemen’s Intermission”), where a TV announcer reported record box office revenue and thought Tracy should win an Oscar for his performance.

The inappropriate use of quotes is a sickness. Luckily it has been recognized and a blog has been started. Good. Because otherwise I’d have to do it myself.

I’m fine. Talking with Dr. Linda helped me realize I have just as much going on in my life. My exercise video is dropping soon.

This is kind of funny. I went looking to see if Dr. Linda had been mentioned in any previous episodes, and it turns out both Jane Krakowski (Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock) and Jayne Lynch (Dr. Linda Freeman, Two and a Half Men) were both nominated for 2010 Emmy Awards. Krakowski for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Freeman for Outstanding Guest Actress. So it’s like some sort of crazy triple reference, where Jenna’s seeing Linda for counselling because Jenna’s feeling threatened by Tracy winning an award, and the real life Krakowski and Lynch are both up for Emmys.

Well if you’re okay talking about it, I need your help. These reporters want to come do a story about me. They’re from something called the… Hollywood Foreign Press Association?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a group of journalists who cover the United States film industry for a variety of outlets, including newspapers and magazines in Europe, Asia, Australia and Latin America (taken directly from Wikipedia). They’re actually a non-profit organization, and they decide decide who gets Golden Globe Awards and have been doing so since 1944.

[gasps] HoFPA? That’s the Golden Globes! The second most important awards in Hollywood. After the People’s Choice Awards [looks at camera] where the fans are in charge.

Actually the Oscars and the Emmy Awards are more watched, but who cares, it’s all about the joke, right? The People’s Choice Awards (vote here!) were started in 1975, and are voted on by you, Joe Public. They were originally based on Gallup polls, but in 2005 switched to online voting. This is Jenna’s/Krakowski’s/30 Rock’s plea to vote for 30 Rock in the awards. Do it!

No, Tracy. You could try to bribe them. I mean, a Golden Globe is a stepping stone to an Oscar. How bad do you want it?
I’m not an expert at morality, but isn’t that wrong?
You’re asking me? [they both laugh]

Apparently no one’s ever bribed their way to a Golden Globe and been caught. I always suspect any large-scale anything is rife with corruption, but that’s just me. The closest I could find was Kiera Knightley (yum) bribing security guards with potato chips to let her ticketless friends into a pre-Golden Globe party.

So this is the man who’s going to bring down Regina Bookman. Rhode Island’s own Steven Austin.
Steve Austin
Actually I go by STEVE Austin. That way people see my name on ballots, they think I’m the wrestler and they vote for me.

Stone Cold Steve Austin was indeed a wrestler from 1989 – 2003. He would never be mistaken for this Steve Austin, though both now work as actors.

Right. I like a lot of what you’re saying, Steve. But, uh, before I throw my support behind you, I do have a litmus test.
Steve Austin
Okay. Can I take that in two weeks?
Ah, no, it’s just questions. What do you think the role of government should be?

Whoa.. apparently there is an actual political definition of litmus test. I only knew of the chemistry litmus test, which tests the acidity of a solution. The political litmus test when a person in a position of power asks a question of a politician, and that politician’s answer determines whether or not the powerful person supports him or her.

Steve Austin
Limited. I believe in small government.
Excellent answer.
Steve Austin
Or no government at all. If it works in Antarctica, why can’t it work here? But if we have to have government, make it as small as possible. Dwarves. Tiny buildings. Pizza bagels for lunch.

Heh… Antarctica has its own Internet country code: .aq. And 1,000 – 5,000 people live there at any given time! None permanently. Okay, okay, focus… Antarctica does not have a government. It has a treaty system that sets aside Antarctica for peaceful, scientific pursuits, and no military actions are allowed. Various countries have claimed slices of Antarctica but no one takes these claims seriously.

Maybe we should stop at “small government.” Let’s cut to the chase. I need you to assure me you would never allow the government to interfere with the sale of one company to another.
Steve Austin
Course not. The government shouldn’t interfere in anything. What happens inside a man’s own rain poncho in a minor league baseball game is his own business.

I don’t think the filthy rain poncho incident is based on any real incident.

And “small government” is where the state confines itself to foreign policy, defense and law while leaving other activities to charities, companies and individuals. This is in contrast to “big government,” mentioned elsewhere in this episode, where the government is seen as intruding into places it has no business being, like religion, private, or personal matters; or an excessively large, corrupt, or inefficient government.

What’s going on here?
I’m helping Tracy plan for a Golden Globes event tomorrow. Kenneth is our human sushi platter, and I’m doing a dry run so everything will be perfect. For my friend, Tracy.

Apparently this has a name. When sushi is served on a woman’s body it’s called Nyotaimori (Japanese: 女体盛り, “female body presentation”). When on a Kenneth, it’s called Nantaimori (Japanese: 男体盛り).

Lying perfectly still reminds me of hiding under our porch during a Hill People rampage.

It’s been established that Kenneth’s a redneck from Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the Hill People are their even less cultured neighbours.

On the day, Kenneth’s mouth will be full of wasabi so he don’t do so much… [mimes talking with his hand]

Wasabi is a spicy green paste made of Japanese horseradish and kind of tastes like extremely hot mustard, the kind that can rip up through your sinuses if you breathe wrong. A mouth full would surely kill you. Well, you may live, but it would feel like a canister of pepper spray blew up in your mouth.

I should get a chafing dish and fill it with my underwear in case some Saudi guys show up. [leaves room]

Uh, I have no idea what this is. There was a flap in 2009 about men in Saudi Arabia not being allowed to sell underwear to women, but that would be kind of tenuous. Anyone have any idea?

[follows Jenna] Let me get this straight. You, the person who is still jealous of the attention baby Jessica got, are helping Tracy win an award for acting.

“Baby” Jessica McClure was clever enough to fall down a well in 1987 at the tender age of 18 months. This was very forward thinking of her, as she gained international fame, and many who had been seeking such fame all of their lives never accomplished anywhere near the same level of celebrity. 58 hours of fame as they attempted to extract Baby Jessica, and and ABC TV movie.

And he’s going to do that? That’s awful. I trust award shows. They tell me how much to care about different dead people.

It’s true! Awards shows give lots of retrospectives on celebrities’ lives. Post mortem. It’s convenient if you don’t keep up with them in life.

It’s not going to work. If they could be bribed, I would have won a Golden Globe for my Lifetime Original Movie “Sister Can You Spare A Breast?”

Well, Linda Dackman got breast cancer, a mastectomy, and then her story was turned into a Lifetime movie called Matters of Life & Dating. It might be a reference to that. It was nominated for an Image Award (whatever the hell that is) in 2008.

I’m sorry, miss. Do you know where Liz Lemon —
[turns around]
Good God! Lemon, those jeans make you look like a Mexican sports reporter!

I figured this was going to be super fun to look up because I’d be hunting through hot Mexican sports reporters for… oh… a day? day and a half? Nope. My first stab at it turned up Ines Sainz. Look no further. I can’t imagine there’s a hotter one than this woman.

You’re welcome.

Steve Austin
[nude, in TV ad] The rebirth of America starts now! Waaaahh! [cocks rifle] My name is Steve Austin, and if you’re senile, yes I am the Six Million Dollar Man.

This Steve Austin was the cyborg played by Lee Majors in the 1974-1978 TV show The Six Million Dollar Man. I used to love this show. And the slow motion super-strength and tsh-tsh-tsh-tsh-tsh-tsh-tsh! sound when he ran are classics. Just watch the intro.

Voice Over
Paid for by the broken vending machine at the paintball place.

Just thought I’d throw this in because it went by really quickly. He did mention earlier that he runs a paintball place. So he… smashed his own vending machine to steal the money to fund his political campaign?

Steve Austin
Oh my God. I got a Zappo’s box coming today and there’s nobody there to pick it up because my wife left me for my twin brother. Can I use your phone?

Zappos.com is an online shoe merchant. I think they sell clothing now, too.

Yeah okay. You don’t have a cell phone?
Steve Austin
[scoffs] Yeah, I got a cell phone. I walk around all day with a CIA tracking device in my pocket. [laughs] [picks up phone]

Wow. It does not take long to find crazy people conspiracy theories. Like CIA/Pentagon RFID “Death Chips.” “First it was cattle. Then it was pets. Then Mexicans… Will Americans and the rest of the ‘free world’ be next?” YOU’RE PRETTY FUNNY, CRAZY CONSPIRACY THEORISTS!!

What makes me laugh about conspiracy theorists is I don’t think they’ve ever spent time in any large organization. Anything over… oh… twelve? people is so highly dysfunctional and inefficient I can’t imagine they’d be capable of the sort of large-scale things these nut jobs are afraid of. And even if they did, said nut jobs aren’t nearly interesting enough to kill/track/frame/whatever.

Big Business is what’s screwing up this country.
Please, Lemon. You work for General Electric!

General Electric owns NBC which broadcasts 30 Rock, both in the show and in real life. Well, in the show there’s also Sheinhardt Wigs which allegedly owns GE. Either way, GE would definitely fall under what’s known as Big Business.

Tracy would be happy to take any softball questions you have… [audience all raises their hands] …like the following: What films inspire you?

Softball questions are easy to answer, non-threatening questions. Like “What films inspire you,” “What did you have for breakfast,” and “What is your favourite colour?”

Well definitely the foreign films. Like the political ones where you think there’ll be no boobies, then BAM! Boobies.

This is one of the great things about European films and their laissez-faire attitude toward topless women.

[claps, eventually joined by the audience] And now, amidst a day of wonders, one wonder more. A special voter’s-only screening of Hard to Watch, based on the book “Stone Cold Bummer” by Manipulate. [starts movie]

This movie project was first mentioned in S04E21 “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land” as one of the two movies Tracy considered doing along with Garfield 3: Feline Groovy.

[as voice over in movie] They called New York the Big Apple. Never seemed that way to me. I used to have dreams. I was an All City running back, and I was going to run out of here to college, to suburbs. Now the only thing I use a football for is as a toilet. Funny thing to happen to a guy named Lucky.

“Funny thing to happen to a guy named Lucky” sounds like it has to be a quote from somewhere, but I can’t figure out where.

Steve Austin
I’m a constitutional originalist. And I believe that our founding fathers had it right. We need to get back to THEIR America. No paved roads. Rum used as an anesthetic. Legalize slavery.

All true!

Sir, look at this Bookman photo op.
[reads] Representative Bookman greets young voters at Warwick Mall. She’s courting the youth vote. That means she’s desperate.

Warwick Mall is in Rhode Island. And young people are usually known as too apathetic to vote.

Personally, I think voter apathy is a sign everything’s going pretty well. People vote either because they’re interested in politics or because there’s something wrong that’s affecting their lives and they blame the current politicians for the trouble. Admittedly I know very little about politics, so you probably shouldn’t be listening to me.

Hey, don’t talk down Brooklyn Without Limits. Stores like this are saving the world.
Really? You’re going to lecture me about Big Business again? Do you know who OWNS Brooklyn Without Limits?
Brooklyn Zack. He throws pool parties in dumpsters.
Halliburton. In the mid-nineties they found themselves with a surplus of canvas waterboarding hoods, so they had sweatshops make them into messenger bags to sell to… outer Burrough idiots.

Okay so we’re back to BWL as a stand-in for American Apparel, which is run by (Canadian!) Don Charney, and sold to a shell company called Endeavor Acquisition to take the company public. So… Charney still runs the company and it’s owned by shareholders. No Halliburton. But Charney is known to be a big sex perv, especially with his employees, shooting them himself for their suggestive ads, exposing himself, asking that they hire women he could have sex with (preferably Asians), masturbating in front of a reporter.. You know. Fun stuff.

Halliburton is considered evil. It’s a massive oilfield company that has ties to Dick Cheney (also evil). And the “surplus waterboarding hoods” is a referencing the massively negative press and allegations of torture the US endured when it was discovered they were waterboarding prisoners, which is when you put a hood over someone’s head, raise their feet above their head, and pour water over their face to simulate drowning. They’re basically wrapping two huge US evils together into one here.

You don’t know what you’re talking about. [points to her jeans’ label] “Hand-made in USA.”
Your magic jeans are from BWL? Oh, Lemon. It’s not “handmade in USA,” it’s pronounced “hahnd-made in Oosa.” The Hand people are a Vietnamese slave tribe, and Usa is their island prison. THEY made your jeans. Do you know how they get the stitching so small? [whispers] Orphans.

Pure fiction as far as I can tell, but hilarious;)

No! Brooklyn Zack is real! He just got back from Peru where he met a family that’s been making hats for two thousand years.

This reminds me of J. Peterman from Seinfeld who took trips all over the world to find new clothing and always returned with rich prose wrapped around each item. There’s actually a real J. Peterman and his company of the same name that it was all based on. Check out the J. Peterman hat.

I don’t believe you! The liberal media would have told me about this!
There’s no such thing. The New York Times is owned by NYT Incorporated which is owned by Altheon Ballistic Dynamics which is owned by the Murdoch family who are owned… by Halliburton.

The New York Times is actually owned by the Ochs-Sulzberger family and has been since 1896. Altheon Ballistic Dynamics doesn’t exist, and Rupert Murdoch is the CEO of media conglomerate News Corporation, which owns Fox. Halliburton doesn’t play into it, but he’s basically saying Fox, which is a bit of a retard-fest, is owned by the evil that is Halliburton.

[reads from web page: Secret Halliburton Memos Detail Covert Clothing Stores]
[reads from web page: Times Reporter Fired for Investigating Perfectly Innocent Store]
[reads from bwltruth.com: Conservatives, Couture, and Corruption: The Perfect Fit?]
[gasps] It goes all the way to the top.

bwltruth.com doesn’t exist.

How can you work here? Do you know who owns this place?
Halliburton, bitch. So what?
But look at you! You’re meticulously groomed and- and you turned a tie into a belt!
Oh so gay men can’t be Conservative? You’re so norent. That’s short for ignorant. And who are you to judge? You’re still wearing those jeans.
[to a t-shirt] Och, Che Guevara, if only you knew what this place stood for.
His great grandfather was Domingo Halliburton.

There’s no such Domingo Hallibuton associated with the company. Halliburton was created by Erle Halliburton in 1919 and was called the New Method Oil Well Cementing Company. It wasn’t until 1961 that the name changed to the Halliburton Company.

Oh, uh- uh, Steve? Of course you know Ed Perlman.
Steve Austin
Perlman? Isn’t that last name Jew —
HA HA HA HA HA! [quickly escorts Steve out]

Perlman’s definitely a Jewish surname. So Mr. Steve Austin is also an anti-semite. Can he get any more charming?

Well, you were right about Brooklyn Without Limits. Crunch on the outside, right-wing nut job on the inside.
Like Ann Coulter’s underwear.

Ann Coulter is a lawyer and columnist who’s decidedly right-wing and doesn’t care who know about it. In fact, she tries to create drama.

“Crunch on the outside” would imply to me she’s a… hippie? Crunchy like granola? But that’s not Ann Coulter. Hmmm… Probably just some nasty crusty-crotch reference. Gross.

But I see you’re still wearing the jeans.
I know. They look so good. And I’m Skyping later with Carol and we like to dance together and I want to do this “back it up” move that I haven’t been able to pull off since high school. It’s like… [snapping and dancing] Back it up… Back it up… And drop it like it’s hot, drop it like it’s hot. I will haunt your dreams. So fine! I’m selling out. But so are you.

These lyrics are from Snoop Dogg’s song “Drop It Like It’s Hot”.

I know, Tracy. It was wrong. But I couldn’t go through with it because I saw your movie, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re great.
Wait, great like good, or grate like the thing I dropped my asthma inhaler down the other day? [wheezes]
The first one, Trey. You are going win. And when you do, I’ll be furious. Like waking up next to Rob Schneider furious. But I don’t care. It’s like you said in the movie. Sometimes you gotta do the right thing, even when the wrong thing would be a whole lot easier.

Rob Schneider’s a pretty crazy actor. I wouldn’t want to wake up next to him either. He’s not my type.

No, Liz Lemon. It’s like the thing I said in another movie I made: “Compromises are for lesser souls. Die, werewolf-zombie.”

Werewolf zombies?? So cool! There was a 2009 movie called Zombie Werewolves Attack! I need this for the next scotch & movie night.

[arrives wearing overall shorts, taps Jack on the shoulder]
[gasps] Lesbian Mario Brothers!

Wicked. More properly “lesbian Mario,” one of the characters from Nintendo’s vast series of games starring their digital plumber.

That is the most unflattering item of clothing I have EVER seen you wear, and I’m including 2008’s turtleneck with smiley face vest.
But I feel good, and not just because in my shorteralls I found a bag of Tastetations, a discontinued chocolate hard candy, but because sometimes you gotta do the right thing, even when the wrong thing would be a whole lot easier. Die, werewolf-zombie. [walks away]

Yup, shoteralls are a real thing. However, you can look very very good in them.

So are Tastetations, made by Hershey. And there were discontinued. In 1996. So they’ve been in Liz’s pocket for 14 years.

Steve Austin
Americans are a simple but powerful people, which is why I have written a new national anthem. Ooga booga big! Ooga booga strong! I’m going to sing my ooga booga song. Ooga booga big! Ooga booga strong! —

Why does this sound like a real song? The whole Ooga Booga thing reminds me of something…

As if that weren’t enough, Austin was mocked in Jay Leno’s monologue tonight. The Kingmaker has spoken. It’s over. Bookman will be re-elected.

This is an ironic reference to the conflict between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien for late-night show timeslots and ratings with their competing NBC shows.

Steve Austin
We should bring back slavery! [screen adds words: slavery]

I have mixed feelings about this one. I don’t think anyone should ever be a slave, but I think the world could use slaves. Slaves did great things! When was the last time someone build something as cool as the pyramids? But enslaving people just don’t fly anymore.

We need robot slaves. You. Readers. Get on this.

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