30 Rock: Season 1, Episode 18

Fireworks (5 Apr. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 506 users  
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Jack uses Kenneth to scout a young gay competitor, Liz poses as an alcoholic to impress a guy she has a crush on, and Dr. Spaceman tells Tracy that he is a descendant of Thomas Jefferson.

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(as Beth McCarthy)

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(created by), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Fireworks (05 Apr 2007)

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Storyline

Devon Banks visits the studio. Jack feels threatened by the younger competitor and tries to plan a live show with fireworks to prove he still is the best in his business. When Jack finds out that Devon is gay and has a thing for Kenneth, he tries to make Kenneth hang out with Devon to get information about his ideas for new shows. Liz sees the Flower Guy on his way to church on a Tuesday. This worries Liz since she thinks it's weird to go to church on a Tuesday. Liz also has some trouble with Scott, who gets on her nerves, since there is no chance that he is going to leave her apartment anytime soon. When Tracy has to submit DNA for a paternity test, he discovers that he is a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Written by Anonymous

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sitcom | gay bait | See All (2) »

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Comedy

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5 April 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Frank's trucker hats read "Mash Potatos", "Beef Ravioli" and "Atomic Super Kick". See more »

Quotes

Maury Povich: All right, Tracy, l have the DNA results right here. Are you ready to find out who your biological father is?
Tracy Jordan: I think I am.
Maury Povich: Tracy... meet your father, Tom!
Tracy Jordan: [Jack enters dressed as Thomas Jefferson] No! l hate you, Thomas Jefferson! l don't know who l am anymore! You can't be my father!
Sally Hemings: Maury, he a dog! He a dog and a liar!
Maury Povich: Sally Hemings just called you a dog, Thomas Jefferson
Jack: [as Thomas Jefferson] No matter, Maurice. l'm here for you, Tracy Jordan. l rode a horse all the way from Heaven to tell ...
[...]
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References Friends (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The one with Thomas Jefferson and Will Arnett
15 October 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

Like Arrested Development before it, 30 Rock manages to find ways to stay fresh lesser sitcoms can only dream of. A good example is this episode, Fireworks, which cements the Development comparisons by having Will Arnett, aka Gob Bluth, as a guest star.

Arnett plays Devon Banks, the pioneer of ten-second sitcoms, a sleazy, opportunistic SOB who's after Jack's job. After finding out his competitor is gay and has a crush on Kenneth, Jack decides to use this to his advantage and figure out what Banks is planning, since no one is convinced his major idea (fireworks) will impress Don Geiss. Liz, on the other hand, is startled when she sees Floyd (Jason Sudeikis) go to church, since in her opinion it's weird to do so on a Tuesday. As for Tracy, his world is turned upside down when a DNA test he took for a paternity dispute reveals he's a direct descendant of none other than Thomas Jefferson.

Yes, most (actually, all) of these ideas are silly, but as Seinfeld brilliantly taught, silliness is often the key to clever comedy. And as usual, the witty script is supported by perfectly timed comedic acting: Rip Torn returns as Geiss to great effect, and Arnett, deservedly praised for his shamelessly shallow and moronic Arrested Development character, comes very close to stealing the show, Banks being essentially a more intelligent, but equally malevolent, version of Gob. However, his effort is beaten to the top spot by the most unexpected of cameos: a ghostly appearance by Thomas Jefferson, played with unrelenting, over-the-top glee by... No, I can't reveal that detail. It's just too funny to spoil. Where do they come up with this stuff?


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