To Catch All the Jokes, Watch 30 Rock Closely. Very Closely.

Filed Under Sitcom

A frame from 30 Rock which shows a background jokeA quick note on how subtle and smart a background joke can be. On the last 30 Rock, the show within a show gets mired in accusations of being un-American. After a face-saving all-American salute unintentionally reveals a number of swastikas, protesters gather outside the offices. I noticed one of the protesters carrying a sign for what looked to be an atypical Bible verse.

That verse - Ecclesiastes 10:19 - reads:

A meal is made for laughter, and wine makes life pleasant, but money is the answer for everything.

It’s a nice little dig at religion using the good book’s own words (and to fundamentalists, God’s). Very rewarding for those who watch carefully. I think one of the great marks for quality comedy is joke density. If the writers have time enough to add background jokes, then the first layer of jokes are probably sharp. Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, on both levels, is turning out to be a first class sitcom.

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Comments

Posted by Anthony on 02/27  at  12:27 PM

Quite an eagle-eye there Mr. Jackson! I was really rooting for 30 Rock and it’s turned out to be the funniest show on television. When I watch, I don’t laugh out loud for fear of missing something. Tina Fey is my new fake wife.

Posted by CJ on 11/06  at  03:12 PM

It’s not always as subtle as Arrested Development was, but its the closest thing imo.

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