On January 31, we’ll say goodbye to our friends Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy and the rest of the TGS staff for the last time. 30 Rock has become a cultural touchstone over the years, and since its debut in 2006, has garnered a record breaking amount of Emmy nominations, has revitalized much of its cast’s careers, and has become known for its sometimes meta, always outlandish commentary on NBC, television, and America.

In an effort to ease the pain of losing 30 Rock – at least, in primetime, as it has recently gone into syndication – let’s look back at what made the show what it was: a weird mishmash of stuff that could’ve been terrible but was so cleverly executed and it helped the show earn its place in television history.

This article originally had a section for guest stars, but we soon realized there were simply too many names to mention and we had to dedicate a whole article to it. So we did. Even still, there are so many elements that make up the unique and quirky thing that this show is, so please understand when we say that, while we were all over the place trying to highlight the biggest aspects of 30 Rock we might not have caught them all. With that being said, on to the memories!

Liz Lemonisms:

“I want to go to there.”

A term that first appeared in season 3, this is essentially a term of desire. Whether she’s talking about food, a place, or Jon Hamm (watch the clip) the phrase is applicable to just about any instance. More eloquent than saying “I want that,” “I want to go to there” is the perfect way to express your desire for something.

“Blerg!” & “Nerds!”

The equivalent of cursing, these two words are simple terms of expressing frustration. They’ve handily replaced more vulgar vernacular, as FCC law states you cannot curse on television, and because Liz I-Wore-a-Princess-Leia-Costume-To-My-Wedding Lemon doesn’t seem like the cursing type, “blerg” is one of the better (and family-friendly!) colloquialisms to come from the show.

If you find yourself exclaiming either of these terms on a daily basis, you might want to consider investing in a shirt with the phrase on it, just to save you the time.

Honorable mention: “Yes to love, yes to life, yes to staying in more!”

We feel you, Liz. And while we’re staying in, we’re probably eating cheesy blasters and watching some 30 Rock on Netflix. Thank goodness for auto-play, no need to touch the computer with our cheesy hands.

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Jackisms:

“Good God, Lemon!”

Usually spoken in a hushed undertone or in a quick breath, this quickly became Jack’s go-to expression of disbelief whenever his mentee/friend did something ridiculous – which was often. It would make more sense if it were followed with a “pull yourself together,” as Liz often comes to Jack with her life in shambles. The clip below isn’t even Jack saying it, but the way Liz delivers the line at the end pretty much hits the nail on the head.

“Shut it down.”

Does what it says on the label. Immediately stop whatever you are doing, mostly referred to in the show when someone is producing a particularly terrible show or sketch. This is a fantastic compilation video, showing how the term started with Jack, but its use slowly spread to the rest of the characters.

Honorable mention: “It’s after 6 p.m., what am I, a farmer?”

He only says it once but there’s something about this line – the comedic timing of it, the way it’s so quintessentially Jack Donaghy, makes it one of the most quotable among fans. Even if it’s completely out of the context of your conversation, it’s still fun to say.

Meta

The show was generally always aware of itself, and the constant breaking of the fourth wall never ceased to be entertaining, even if we were being told to go buy a Verizon phone.

A show within a show is not exactly a new concept, but never as well executed as TGS was on 30 Rock. This could be perhaps because as much as it was about producing and making TGS, 30 Rock was never wholly centered around the airing of an episode of TGS itself. There are, of course, exceptions, like when Hazel slowly sabotaged Liz the week leading up to an airing in an attempt to take over and become the star, but it was mostly about the antics like in any old workplace comedy.

100th episode

30 Rock‘s pilot is also the start of TGS, and while the show doesn’t follow real-time 24 style, it does on a season-to-season basis. So it would stand to reasn that when TGS celebrates its 100th show, 30 Rock celebrates the milestone achievement as well. The show’s characters express their surprise, and who can blame them? Just go back to 2005 when Studio 60 was supposed to be the smash hit and 30 Rock was maybe going to get a full-season order.

Nibbling at the hand that feeds

For a show that’s aired on NBC and was once owned by GE, 30 Rock goes to great lengths to parody just about every aspect of it. At one point even promoting Jack to VP of East Coast & Microwave Oven Programming – what? Let’s not forget that GE is also originally just a subsidiary for Sheinhardt Wigs. And then season 4 brought the buyout from Kabletown, whose logo looked suspiciously like Comcast’s – which bought NBCUniversal around the same time. Then there was the time the head of NBC was reincarnated as an actual peacock…

Recently, GE released a commercial, thanking 30 Rock for seven years of laughs, and at the same time letting the audience know that it was in on the joke the whole time. In fact, many of the show sponsors have been parodied on the show, but advertising is advertising. GE has curated a list of clips and gathered them here, titled “GE’s Favorite Moments.”

Live episodes

A feat most shows would never dare attempt, and 30 Rock pulled it off twice. Major props have to go to the crews that coordinated the quick set and costume changes. In a recent interview with Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey explains the shows were done on the SNL stage and the crew was a mix of 30 Rock and SNL staff. The appearance of guest stars such as Jimmy Fallon as a young Jack or Julia Louis-Dryefus as a stand-in Liz is nothing short of pure genius and cleverly executed. And of course, no show preformed on the SNL stage is complete without Fred Armisen doing something strange in the background.

Quotables

30 Rock may have been the best thing to ever happen to the one-liner type of comedy that seemed on the outs in the modern age of irony. If you poured all of 30 Rock’s scripts into a database that just fired sentences out randomly, you’d probably laugh at at least 70% of them. Choosing the best one is a tough decision but it’s truly hard to top “never follow a hippie to a second location.”

Because we live in a modern era, this has translated into thousands of reaction gifs spread out across the Internet, from “high-fiving a million angels” to express happiness and glee, to the always-applicable gif about Liz Lemon’s food addiction (which could be another post itself).

30 Rock Gif

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New Holidays

30 Rock had its typical Christmas-themed episodes like most other sitcoms, but not since Seinfeld has a show attempted to so brazenly create new holidays for us all to enjoy. If you’re not pouring over post-feminist theory on Anna Howard Shaw Day or trading your children’s tears to Leap Day William for candy on Leap Day, then you’re just not living right.

30 Rock is a lot of things, but normal isn’t one of them. This show grew from a middle-of-the-road NBC comedy into one of the most culturally relevant, funny, and entertaining shows of the decade.

Tags: 30 Rock, Finale, TV

Newt’s brother was assigned to search for Grindelwald, new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ prop letter reveals

This likely has major implications for future Fantastic Beasts movies.

1:06 pm EST, December 9, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

fantastic-beasts-theseus-scamander

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them included a mention of Newt Scamander’s “war hero” brother Theseus, and now it looks like the reference was something to think twice about.

Earlier this week Warner Brothers’ Los Angeles Studio Tour refreshed their Harry Potter exhibit with new props from Fantastic Beasts, and in one display is a letter from Theseus to Newt. Take a look at the photos thanks to Snitch Seeker:

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fantastic-beasts-theseus-newt-grindelwald

The letter reveals that Theseus was tasked with searching for Grindelwald himself — a very interesting development for this film series. Though some words on the letter can’t be seen due to another prop covering them up, the note to Newt appears to suggest that Theseus was honored to be assigned the role. Here’s what it says, again courtesy Snitch Seeker:

Well, little brother,

I don’t know how much you have heard wherever you are about what’s going on in jolly old Europe but this chap Grindelwald has been making a lot of noise since you have been away.

Charismatic blighter, but the Ministry doesn’t like him and nor does the International Confederation.

He has upset a few of the big wheels and he’s gone underground. I have been chosen to go away and ferret him out. _______ at the chance to be picked, actually, because the whole _______ want to be on this case and it’s taken some _______ hard work to reach this status.

_______ wishing you well – wherever you are. _______ whatever beastly quests you are undertaking!

Best regards,

Theseus

The fact that this letter was made for the movie is very interesting. It suggests that Theseus at one point may’ve had a larger role in the movie — or at least, he could’ve been referenced more than once.

Further, this letter could mean that Theseus’ll have an on-screen role in future movies. In fact, Theseus’ role as Grindelwald Hunter could be J.K. Rowling’s ticket to getting Newt deeply involved with the search for Grindelwald.

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Theseus will surely be pleased to hear that his brother helped capture Grindelwald. Theory time: What if Theseus dies in a future Fantastic Beasts movie as the fight against Grindelwald (inevitably) continues? What if this leads Newt to avenge his brother’s death?

What else do we know about the character? Not much, but Snitch Seeker says that during an interview with Colin Farrell the actor revealed Theseus “was a British Auror with whom his character, Percival Graves, corresponded.”

How do you think Theseus will play into future ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movies?

Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

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Daily Show host Trevor Noah takes his experiences growing up in South Africa and puts them together in Born a Crime for our entertainment and enlightenment.

‘Born a Crime’ by Trevor Noah

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother — his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah

‘Born a Crime’ book review

Trevor Noah is best known for his current hosting gig on The Daily Show where he had huge shoes to fill following Jon Stewart’s departure — shoes that he has, by the way, filled with grace, humor, and a sharp wit.

Noah has been candid about growing up in South Africa under Apartheid and the troubling parallels he sees developing in the United States, especially since Donald Trump’s rise to power, but Born a Crime puts a spotlight on his childhood adventures in a way that his segments on The Daily Show cannot.

Born a Crime is an interesting mix of heartbreak and humor. There is no denying that Noah’s childhood was not easy. He talks extensively about trying to find a place for himself at school and in life. He was too White for the Black kids and too Black for the White kids. As a child, what do you do when you have nowhere to belong?

You adapt.

Unless it wasn’t abundantly clear already, Trevor Noah is an intelligent man. Born a Crime documents the way he viewed the world and used his situation to his advantage while living in South Africa. He learned dozens of languages, either in part or in full, in order to survive the endless dangers of his hometown. He found a way to make money and build himself a tiny empire using only a computer and his wits. He took what was given to him, which was, honestly, next to nothing, and found a way to make his life fulfilling.

Born a Crime Trevor Noah feature

Noah’s mother has a huge impact on the stories presented in this memoir because she had a huge impact on her son. Strong, independent, stubborn, reliable, hardworking, clever, pious, strict, and loving, Trevor makes it explicitly clear that his mother is the reason he turned out the way he did. We should all give thanks to her.

Her story is tragic, as is growing up under Apartheid, but despite their circumstances, both led vibrant lives in which they became partners in an us-against-the-world kind of way. Hearing Noah speak about his mother infuses you with a warmth and respect for a woman you have never met, and yet that feeling is as genuine as they come.

For his part, Noah was a handful as a child and a teenager, though it’s that spunk and comedy that we so look forward to seeing now. He got into trouble — he even broke the law — but he experienced life and all the ups and downs that comes with it. He is a wealth of knowledge because he has gone far and wide to gather that knowledge himself.

Born a Crime will certainly make you laugh far more than it’ll make you cry, but don’t be so bold as to put the tissues away before the final chapter of the book. This memoir is a lesson in humility, love, faith, and perseverance. Hopefully it will affect you as strongly as it has affected me, especially if you are so lucky as to be able to listen to Noah narrate the book himself on Audible.

Add ‘Born a Crime’ to your Goodreads list or purchase it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound

The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

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The first full Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight and we once again got a great look at Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

The first Spider-Man Homecoming trailer is here, and it doesn’t disappoint! In what totally feels like a coming-of-age/high school flick (but with a Marvel twist!), Peter Parker decides he wants to grow up and fight like the Avengers. But is he ready? Maybe with a little help (and no hug) from Tony Stark, he will be.

Watch the full-length trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming

The main theme of Homecoming certainly seems to be Peter’s desire to prove that he’s a capable member of the Avengers team. If you remember in Civil War, Tony wouldn’t let him get too deep into the fight, for fear that he wasn’t ready. But Peter doesn’t want to be treated liked a kid.

Except he definitely is a kid, and it’s a nice break from the other Spider-Man movies we’ve seen so far, which depicted an older Peter Parker that never quite fit the high school vibe.

Tom Holland’s Peter is undoubted an awkward teenager, and the younger character lends itself to a lighter, more humorous tone for the movie. Marvel has always been good at balancing action and comedy in their movies, and Homecoming is already promising to be a fun romp.

We get a lot of great looks at other characters in this trailer, too, including a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from Donald Glover and Zendaya. Michael Keaton will be playing Vulture, and of course we also get Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.

How cool was it to see Spidey swinging along next to Iron Man like an equal?

As is often the case for Marvel movies, ABC and Jimmy Kimmel debuted the trailer for Homecoming following pretty high expectations from fans. Did it live up to your hype?

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ hits theaters on July 7, 2017