30 Rock: Season 3, Episode 6

Christmas Special (11 Dec. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
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Liz has to spend Christmas without her family for the first time in her life. As compensation she participates in a 'Letters to Santa' charity program and buys presents for poor children. ... See full summary »



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Title: Christmas Special (11 Dec 2008)

Christmas Special (11 Dec 2008) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Cerie (credit only)


Liz has to spend Christmas without her family for the first time in her life. As compensation she participates in a 'Letters to Santa' charity program and buys presents for poor children. Jack accidentally hits his mother with his car just before leaving to Rio. Now stuck with her in New York, he decides to force the cast of TGS into putting on a live Christmas Eve special so at least he won't have to go home. Written by The TV Archaeologist

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

11 December 2008 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book Colleen is reading when Liz visits her is entitled "Urban Fervor", the sequel to fictional novel "The Rural Juror" which Jenna stars in the movie adaptation of. See more »


When Liz Lemon visits the neighborhood for the second time and offers tickets for the Live Christmas, in one shot her lips and audio are not synchronized. See more »


Jack: Have I told you about my mom's yuletide boyfriend, Frederick August Otto Schwarz III.
Liz Lemon: FAO Swartz? Like the toy store?
Jack: His family owned some toy stores, yes. So what?
Liz Lemon: Jack, I think your mother put out on Christmas to get you kids presents. She did it for you.
Jack: Not possible. She didn't do anything for us.
Liz Lemon: I know you guys were pretty poor, did you have a lot of presents?
Jack: You couldn't even see the tree.
See more »


References The Price Is Right (1956) See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
Performed by Jane Krakowski
See more »

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User Reviews

Sorry, but this is one of the weakest episodes of the series
14 December 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

So far season 3 of 30 Rock has been turning out great; I thought the weakest episode of the season would turn out to be Gavin Volure until Christmas Special came along; it's the weakest episode of the series since SeinfeldVision. In it, Elaine Stritch, who won an Emmy for playing the part of Jack's mother on this show, returns and Jack accidentally hits her with his car. He has to spend Christmas with her as she heals, but she proves difficult to get along with. Meanwhile, Liz buys presents for a poor family but comes to think she was scammed- the guys who took the presents might be selling them on the Internet rather than giving them to kids.

The problem? I've watched this episode three times now, and each time I've found that it's just not funny. That's foreshadowed in the beginning, where usually a joke is followed by the opening credits- here there is no joke at all, just the dramatic point of the car accident, followed by the credits. Part of the problem is that some of the jokes are lazy- Stritch calling Jack a girl must have been easy to come up with, it's been done before, and it wasn't funny. The Neverland Ranch joke was also just strange. Liz talking about how her parents weren't spending Christmas with her this year was more sad than funny.

So why am I giving this episode a passing grade? It's Christmastime so I'm being generous. Besides, even if the jokes don't work, it's not like the plot of the episode was bad. On the contrary, Jack's mother turning out to have slept with the owner of toy stores to get her kids presents was a nice twist. Christmas Special didn't have me ho ho hoing, but in terms of drama it's not a miserable failure.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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