30 Rock recap: Live From New York! | EW.com

TV Recaps | 30 Rock

30 Rock recap: Live From New York!

The show's first live episode -- packed with guest stars -- plays like SNL, only funny

30 Rock

30(ROCK)SOMETHINGS The live episode contained nods to The Carol Burnett Show and featured Julia Louis-Dreyfus as flashback Liz.

(Art Streiber/NBC)

30 Rock

Season 5, Ep. 4 | Aired Oct 14

What the blerg? This week’s episode of 30 Rock was liiiiiiiiiiiiiive, just like Dancing With the Stars! Instead of the usual lightning-paced scripted jokes, the humor relied more on physical comedy – Jack’s magic tricks, Jon Hamm vs. his hands, Jack smelling Jenna’s wino mouth, Jadwiga the Polish Cleaning Lady fighting Pete for her Fonz cake, and everything Kenneth did or said (though to be fair, that’s always the case). The studio audience’s laughter freaked me out a little, but I got past it. Overall, I find taped 30 Rock far more brilliant, but I loved what they did with the live show. It was like SNL, but funny!

Julia Louis-Dreyfus took a break from rolling around in piles of her Seinfeld money to stand in for Liz Lemon during flashbacks, striped scarf and all. Calling out JLD’s supreme hotness by pretending Liz Lemon had once given up refined sugar for a day was genius. Plus, we had guest appearances from Matt Damon, Rachel Dratch (“haven’t seen you in awhile…”), Chris Parnell, Bill Hader, and Jon Hamm talking about his testicles?! Hell yes. Cheers! “To Liz Lemon. You’re halfway to death.”

Jack, who had quit drinking to show support for pregnant Avery, knitted himself a hilarious red poncho and became a better amateur magician in one day than Arrested Development’s G.O.B. Bluth had become in a lifetime. (I kept hoping Will Arnett would suddenly show up with a dead dove up his sleeve.) Meanwhile, Tracy, who had become enamored with the non-porn version of The Carol Burnett Show, threatened to steal Jenna’s spotlight during the filming of TGS by subjecting himself to many, many “exciting” and “accidental” mishaps. Obviously, his shirt came off. Don’t worry, the audience loves when the actors mess up. Tracy swears on his mother’s grape. Kraut’s honor!

NEXT: The 10 Best Moments/Lines of ‘30 Rock Live’