30 Rock: Season 1, Episode 5

Jack-Tor (16 Nov. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy
8.2
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Jack wants to integrate product placement in "TGS", but this idea is not very welcomed by the staff. Liz suspects that Tracy is not able to read since he never says what's on the cue-card ... See full summary »

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Title: Jack-Tor (16 Nov 2006)

Jack-Tor (16 Nov 2006) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Young P.A. (as Donald Glover II)
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Storyline

Jack wants to integrate product placement in "TGS", but this idea is not very welcomed by the staff. Liz suspects that Tracy is not able to read since he never says what's on the cue-card nor has anyone ever seen him read anything. When Liz confronts her about her suspicion, Tracy pretends to be illiterate. Frank and Toofer talk Jenna into the idea that an actor is getting fired from the show. Her fears seem to get confirmed when Jack wants to appear on the show and Jenna sees her only chance not to get fired by using her sexuality. Jack's appearance on the show doesn't seem to be a good idea, because Jack blows up all his lines and also doesn't know how to act in front of a camera. Written by Anonymous

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Comedy

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16 November 2006 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First instance of Jack saying, "Good God, Lemon." He sees Frank naked on the terrace and says, "Good God!" and then calls for Liz. See more »

Goofs

When Tracy is playing Halo, he puts the controller down, but the game is still being played. See more »

Quotes

Stage Announcer: Jenna Maroney and Ghostface Killah to the stage for "Muffin Top".
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Connections

Spoofs Lethal Weapon (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

30 Rock Theme Song
(uncredited)
Written by Jeff Richmond
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"I can't act!"
30 September 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Jack-Tor is one of the funniest episodes of 30 Rock's first season, and was understandably Emmy-nominated for its witty script, which focuses on Jack Donaghy's pitiful attempts at pulling it off as a comedian.

Why does he do that? Because he had the genius idea of showing TGS's writing staff an informational video to emphasize his point: they should write sketches with GE product placement. Liz gets back at him by writing a skit that actually makes fun of the decision, and insists Jack play himself on the show. Of course, that was before she finds out the famous video, which is only a few minutes long, took five days to shoot, courtesy of Jack's lack of acting talent. In addition, Liz has to deal with the possibility that Tracy might be illiterate, while Frank and Toofer scare Jenna by making her believe someone will get the sack for the sake of budget cuts.

Jack-Tor is a complete success because of its self-referential (and self-spoofing) main storyline: watching the informational video's Making Of (basically a very long gag reel) and hearing Baldwin humbly admit he can't act is a huge treat, with the irony being even more poignant if you consider the funny-man won a Golden Globe for his work in Season One. The Tracy subplot is also one of the funniest ever made about that character (plus, it comes with a Barack Obama joke - always good), and finally, Jack-Tor features one of the smartest "breaking the fourth wall" moments ever seen on the small screen: while helping Jack to get over his stage fright, Liz says the most important thing to do is to not look into the camera. Baldwin, with a smug grin on his face, does exactly the opposite, as if to say: "What the hell, I know what I'm doing". He sure does.


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