Kenneth becomes part of Tracy's entourage. And, while Kenneth treats Tracy honestly, it turns out that other members of Tracy's entourage have let him win computer and basketball games and ... See full summary »

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The Daily Show Producer
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Storyline

Kenneth becomes part of Tracy's entourage. And, while Kenneth treats Tracy honestly, it turns out that other members of Tracy's entourage have let him win computer and basketball games and even laugh about his jokes, when they are not funny, just to please him. Jenna is voted as one of the funniest women by a magazine and when giving an interview for the magazine gets mis-quoted about the American army troops. This gives her a bad public image. To correct this, she wants to give another interview but it seems as if she has no idea what she is talking about. Jack wants to go into contract negotiations with Josh and while Jack loves it, Liz, who also gets involved in it, hates it. The first meeting turns into a disaster, of course. Written by Anonymous

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sitcom | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

22 February 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The episode was formerly titled "Negotiation." See more »

Goofs

As General Electric is also a defense contractor, it makes no sense for Martha Blanch to call for a boycott of it in order to avenge Jenna's inadvertent insult against the military. See more »

Quotes

Tracy Jordan: [thinking his dressing room TV is voice-activated] Television on! Pornography!
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Connections

Features Hardball with Chris Matthews (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I Will Always Love You
Written by Dolly Parton
Performed by Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer
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User Reviews

 
"Pregnant cornbread..."
14 October 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

This is the episode that was used to secure 30 Rock's Emmy Nomination in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, an award it proudly walked away with. It's not that hard to see why: there are so many classic (and classy) moments in here that chances the audience could die laughing are higher than ever.

As usual, Hard Ball is made up of three different stories: first, we've got Josh's contract being up and the different approaches used by Jack and Liz in the negotiation; then there's Kenneth joining Tracy's entourage, only to cause trouble when it turns out the other members, Grizz and Dot Com, have been letting the comedian win at games and laughed at unfunny jokes to keep him happy; and finally, Jenna is among the "Sexiest Women in Comedy" in a magazine, but ignites a scandal when she is misquoted in an interview and appears to have said she hates American troops.

The Jenna section is the funniest for two reasons: a) Rachel Dratch is ace as always playing one of the people protesting against the poor girl; b) it gives Tina Fey the chance to throw in another Barack Obama gag after mentioning him in the fifth episode, Jack-Tor. Overall, Hard Ball is a clever piece of insanity where everything goes wrong, in true sitcom fashion, and yet another example of why 30 Rock is the smartest post-2000 comedy series next to Arrested Development, The Office and (to slightly lesser degree) Scrubs. Heck, it even manages to throw in a slow-motion scene at the end (accompanied by a character's rendition of a famous love song) without looking corny. Ain't that something!


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