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"My Dad Is Friends With John Cougar Mellencamp. That's Pretty Cool." NBC's Thursday Night Comedies

By Sarah Carlson | TV | January 20, 2012 |

By Sarah Carlson | TV | January 20, 2012 |

Winners of the night: “30 Rock’s” Jack and Jenna for the best lines and “Parks and Rec’s” Andy for the best pratfalls.

CrissTrain.gif“30 Rock,” “Idiots Are People Two!”
So much for Liz growing as a person. Even though she’s got a guy, he’s an unemployed “entrepreneur” who plays the ukelele. Jack is right to get in her head about Criss — Criss Chros to be precise — even if James Marsden is dreamy. (Please, TV Gods, let him sing on the show.) However, any guy that will track down Terry, the gender-neutral doll, is a keeper, Sunglass Hut credit card or no. As for Kelsey Grammer? Uh, sure. He can play. His storyline seems better than one referencing Tracy Morgan’s own run-ins with being an idiot.



  • Criss: “That was hard to track down. today almost all of them are in police evidence lockers.”
  • Jack: “And Chris is spelled?” Liz: “No H and two S’s.”
  • Jenna: “Jenny McCarthy died? But who could have been slowly poisoning her? Was she poisoned? I have no way of knowing because I’m just hearing about it.”
  • Mr. Subhas, via Kenneth: “Sexuality is a continuum and he is but a voyager of a vast ocean of pleasure.”
  • Tracy: “How dare you! I’m nonplussed! And that is the correct usage!”
  • Jenna: “I’m gonna tell you what I told Phil Spector. (slap) It’s gonna be OK, baby. We just have to get some trash bags and get back here before anyone’s the wiser. Then we can keep recording my album.”
  • Tracy: “We are legion! We are America! Frat guys, DJs, loud-mouth old bitches, investment bankers, the tramp-stamped, Parrot Heads, anti-vaccination crusaders and people who won’t shut up about scuba diving!” Scuba diver: “It’s a whole ‘nother world down there!”
  • Jack: “I guess this is a Catch-22. Although I don’t know for sure because I refuse to read literature that questions the morality of war.”
  • “Black nerds, Jet Blue passengers who fell asleep with the TV on, pets whose owners have died and idiots.”
  • “Vaginal mesh: Nice try, prolapse.”
  • “I used your bathroom.”

RuddBobby.gif“Parks and Recreation,” “Campaign Ad”
Paul Rudd’s Bobby Newport is a nice addition to Leslie’s campaign storyline, although having him be an idiot, albeit one with his daddy’s money and power, is a bit too easy. I was hoping it would turn out to be an act, but it’s looking like Bobby is dumber than a bag of Andys. (And it makes sense that Andy doesn’t know how insurance works, but April? Come on.) A decent episode, but I’d like to see Tom back to his old antics. He’s just lost his sparkle now that Jean-Ralphio is gone.



  • Andy: “I once ate a Twix with the wrapper on it, and I’ve never seen the wrapper come out.”
  • Andy: “E, H, 4, M, potato shape, coffee mug shape, smudge, smudge, middle finger, smudge. The rest are all smudges.”
  • Ann: “This magic marker smells like cherries!”
  • Leslie: “Ann, you’re beautiful and you’re organized!”
  • Leslie: “Our friendship is over. Not it’s not, it’s not over. It’s never over. BFF. I love you forever.”
  • Chris: “I’m not lonely, I have me. And 4,000 Facebook friends and a hot girlfriend.”
  • Andy: “Some guy looked at my wiener. Touched it. That was weird.” April: “And that guy wasn’t even a doctor.” Andy: ” … What?”

Also, you can read the complete list of Leslie’s campaign issues here.

“The Office,” “Pool Party”
Another solid episode with great interplay among the cast, as Ryan and Gabe continued their sucking-up war for Robert’s affections and Jim just wanted to make Stanley laugh and, later, get home to Pam and the kids. (I didn’t even know there was another kid in the picture. I’m so behind.) Spader’s Robert is perfect — he has just the right amount of creepy. I’m sure the parties he wanted to throw at his house would have been very Eyes Wide Shut.



  • Stanley: “You’ve been meatballed! Are you ready for some meatballs?”
  • Erin: “You sound really pretty today.”
  • Erin: “It seems like you shouldn’t drive, like maybe ever.”
  • Dwight: “I’m not going to help you. Why would you choose me? Because I’m mighty? Because I’m the manliest man in the office? I’ll do it.”
  • Toby: “Note? It’s a symphony!”
  • Robert: “I had two bears sown together to make this king size. Total waste of two bears.”

“Up All Night,” “Rivals”
“Friday Night Lights” cheating is a serious offense, y’all. Who cares about emotional cheating when there’s been Coach Taylor cheating? Even though “FNL” is another NBC show, Chris and Reagan’s addiction to the series is believable and a cute plot device to help examine the issues that arise when one parent works and the other stays home. Also: Megan Mullally needs to be in all the things, and she and Nick Offerman need to hurry up and have kids so that one day they, too, can be in all the things.

UpBeaver1.gif UpBeaver2.gif

UpFootball1.gif UpHugging.gif


  • Ava: “I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but I thought she was nicer when she had biscuit legs.”
  • All right, why is there no booze in my belly?
  • Reagan: “You just watched our show with another person and then faked it with me.”
  • Gary: “This is a sad scenario.”
  • Chris: “We could do new things.” Reagan: “Mmm, what kind of new things.” Chris: “I don’t know, maybe we can toss a football around.” Reagan: “Oh … oh. OK.” Chris: “Oh my God, were you thinking that we … see, this is why I never hooked up in high school. I never saw the signals.” Reagan: “Let’s go have the sex.” Chris: “Oh my gosh. Yes, totally.”

Sarah Carlson is headed back to “Friday Night Lights” land. And she really wants a set of checks featuring Jack flying on an eagle.

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