'30 Rock' Turns 10! A Look Back at The Beloved Show's Best Political Moments
30 Rock first started delighting fans 10 years ago, and brought some of the funniest jokes to network television for seven amazing seasons.
Now, a decade after Alec Baldwin created one of TV's most indelible characters in network exec Jack Donaghy, he's playing another hotheaded, self-absorbed Republican on Saturday Night Live as the sketch show's resident Donald Trump. In honor of 30 Rock's aluminum anniversary, let's take a look back at 10 of the sitcom's best political moments and storylines.
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1. Jack Goes to Work for the Bush Administration (Season 2, Ep. 15)
After leaving his job at NBC to get into politics in season two, Jack joined the Bush Administration as the "Homeland Security Director for Crisis and Weather Management."
After realizing the career mistake he's made, Jack and his new co-worker, Cooter Burger (Matthew Broderick), concoct a scheme to get fired: They convince the Pentagon to invest money into researching a long-forgotten plan to create a "gay bomb" -- a project that Jack says would offend "both the red states and the gayer blue states."
2. Jack Dates a Democrat (Season 2, Eps. 6, 8, 10)
Jack, a hardline Republican, ends up sleeping with a woman at a party who turns out to be outspoken Democratic congresswoman Celeste "C.C." Cunningham (Edie Falco). Despite their political differences, the two strike up a relationship, but their responsibilities and dedication to their careers keep them apart.
In one of the most memorable moments from their relationship, Jack and C.C. blow off work to spend an afternoon together. As a result, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) accidentally sells NBC to a German media conglomerate and C.C. misses voting against a bill to "legalize recreational whale torture."
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3. Liz Sees Something and Says Something (Season 2, Ep. 6)
Liz becomes paranoid that her Middle Eastern neighbor, Raheem (Fred Armisen), is a terrorist after she notices maps in his apartment and sees Raheem and his brother video-taping each other while running an agility course in a park.
After some egging on, she eventually calls Homeland Security on Raheem, who is abducted and "interrogated" by the government. As it turns out, Raheem and his brother were simply filming an audition tape for The Amazing Race.
4. Nixon Convinces Tracy Jordan to Vote Republican (Season 2, Ep. 12)
As Jack is trying to find a new spokesperson for the Republican Party, he turns to Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) to help sway black voters to the right.
After accidentally electrocuting himself, Tracy "dies" and meets the spirit of Richard Nixon (as played by Baldwin) in purgatory, who not only convinces Tracy to help out the party, but also to edit some things out of his Wikipedia page.
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5. Jack's Wife Gets Kidnapped by North Korea (Season 5, Ep. 21)
Jack's wife, Avery Jessup (Elizabeth Banks), is an NBC News correspondent who is sent to North Korea as part of the network's "hot-blondes-in-weird-places initiative."
However, Avery is soon kidnapped by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il (played by Margaret Cho), and forced to anchor a state-run news show that reports only anti-American propaganda.
Jack turns to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (playing herself), whom Jack previously dated (but broke up with via text message), but to no avail.
6. The U.N. is Full of Losers and Vampires (Season 6, Ep. 6)
Avery's mother, Diana (Mary Steenburgen), meets Jack in New York so that they can go to the United Nations headquarters to convince the organization to help get Avery back from North Korea. However, they soon find out that the U.N. isn't much help.
They meet with the assistant attaché to Transylvania, C. Cjokula, who assures them, "I am not a vampire. I am just a night owl with a terrible garlic allergy."
In a later episode, Jack finds out that Amnesty International is “nothing but a company that makes and sells candles."
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7. Jack Runs for Mayor (Season 6, Ep. 7)
After getting mugged on the street in NYC, Jack takes it upon himself to return the Big Apple to the great city it once was by running for mayor.
"The lower classes are getting cranky about how the rich are earning all of their money away from them," Jack explains. "Can't they see this is in their best interest? How could we pay their salaries without using their money?"
As for Jack's campaign website?
"JackDonaghyIsRunningForMayor2013NewYorkThisIsTheWebsite.com" Jack says. "That’s the closest I could get. Everything else was already pornography."
8. Tracy Jordan Plays Governor Dunston (Season 7, Ep. 2)
In a joke mirroring Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, Tracy happens to look exactly like 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Governor Dunston, and he's so crazy the show doesn’t even need to write lines for their TGS sketches, instead using Dunston's own insane ramblings in their show.
Prophetically, this would almost be the same situation SNL actually found themselves in while mocking Trump this season.
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9. Jack Meets With Mitt Romney's Horse (Season 7, Ep. 2)
Jack skypes with Mitt Romney's champion dressage horse, Rafalca, for advice on Romney's campaign, explaining that the horse answers questions by eating either an apple or a carrot.
An apple means yes, a carrot means no, and both mean "life is full of unknowable grey areas."
10. Jack and Liz Debate Each Other for Jenna Maroney's Amusement (Season 7, Ep. 5)
Due to a long and complicated string of events, Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) becomes the most important person in the entire 2012 presidential election, as she has a legion of followers that could end up deciding the popular vote.
In an effort to sway Jenna to endorse either Obama or Romney, Jack and Liz face off in a mock debate where it becomes readily apparent that Jenna is the absolute worst person to dictate who the next president should be.
"Let me tell you who we have," Jack tells Jenna, listing some outspoken Republican celebs. "Craig T. Nelson, Chuck Norris, and Charlton Heston's skull. You'd be the only cool Republican."
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