30 Rock

Season 1 Episode 4

Jack the Writer

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Nov 01, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
314 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Liz struggles to keep Jack out of the writers' room, and Kenneth learns that working for Tracy may be more than he expected.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Good Epi

    Liz struggles to keep Jack out of the writers' room, and Kenneth learns that working for Tracy may be more than he expected.

    Probably in my opinoin one of thw weakerr episodes of the season but that does not mean that it was bad, it still made me laugh just not as much. Jack was good here I liked the way everyone acted around him in the writers room, The Writers always make me laugh, Frank is really great and Toofer is really funny too. Pete was very funny in this episode probably the funniest in this episode Kenneth a close second. 9 out of 10.moreless
  • LOL...

    Ok so this episode was not as good than the last couple but it was still really funny loved the part where Jack was coming up with ideas for the show and the bit were that guy (Don'tknow his name yet) flipped out because Liz was going to tell the girl (forgot her name too) to wair better cloths it was really funny when kicked the chair ans fell over, it was the best part of the episode, I can see why everyone is calling 30 Rock the new Arrested Development (which I loved by the way). Great show and a good episode.moreless
  • Jack becoming likeable?

    It was good to see in this episode a bit less of the cartoonish characterization of Jack as a management buffoon. He was wise enough to recognize that he was killing the creativity in the writers' room. He didn't belong there just as he doesn't belong in front of the camera. On the other hand, he rightly schools Liz on the intricacies of corporate politics in getting her to offer her apology by way of sending an intermediary with this advice. Liz gets further educated when she commits the faux pas of showing excessive familiarity to Jack in front of two upper-echelon GE execs, prompting her hilarious obligatory dressing-down by Jack. Even though Jack mouths to her "I'm sorry", we're still not sure that she gets it that he's just saving face, and perhaps making it possible for the show to continue. The scenes of Angie and her provocative wardrobe choices are funny, as are the drooling of the writers and Liz' lame attempt to rein her in. After all she is just trying to "marry rich". As Tracy entangles Kenneth deeper and deeper in the web of his unconventional lifestyle, it's unclear whether or not Tracy really believes his pronouncements are that profound; or is he just putting him on. Anyway, it's fun to watch Kenneth hitching himself to Tracy's star.moreless
  • Silly

    30 rock

    This episode went along with Jack in the writers room.

    TRacy getting Kennith to do hid outisde job.

    This episode was funny in some spots rather than others.

    We see Tracys mom or something at the end. Asking the question wheres Kennith. The episode of 30 rock was a good episode .
  • Just when you think TV quality standards couldn't get any lower along comes 30 Rock, the only show in history to jump the shark and have watchers begging for Ted McGinley to join the cast in hopes of it being cancelled before the first commercial.moreless

    Open letter to NBC Execs.

    Over the years you have given us many high quality programs; Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Friends, The Cosby Show and the first 4 seasons of ER. We applaud you for these fantastic shows, but what are you thinking and trying to do with 30 Rock? It almost seems like a network suicide attempt. You bill it as a comedy yet there has not been a single joke or funny skit in the entire series run. You are moving it to thursday to try and save it but as was so elegantly stated before, "You can't polish a turd." This show is DOA and is rotting and festering no matter where you place it. Cancel it please and at least replace it with more Deal or No Deal or maybe even 1 vs 100. 30 Rock is an absolute waste of time and resources please save yourselves and cancel it and issue an apology to the nation for anyone who watched it and those poor souls who wrote this god awful "comedy".moreless
Tom Broecker

Tom Broecker


Guest Star

James Anderson (I)

James Anderson (I)

James Anderson

Guest Star

Sharon Wilkins

Sharon Wilkins

Angie Jordan

Guest Star

Katrina Bowden

Katrina Bowden

Cerie Xerox

Recurring Role

Keith Powell

Keith Powell

James "Toofer" Spurlock

Recurring Role

Maulik Pancholy

Maulik Pancholy


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Tracy throws bologna on the wall before talking to Kenneth, a piece lands right next to the top of some metal flashing on the corner. When the camera angle switches to a shot where the wall is visible over Kenneth's shoulder, it's moved to about foot above where the flashing ends.

    • Frank's three trucker hats read "Ninja Expert," "Arcade Champ," and "Bigfoot Expert."

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Liz: Okay, this is gonna sound really weird. But, um, you need to wear a bra.
      Cerie: Oh, no. I... I don't actually. They kinda just stay up on their own.
      (Cerie starts bouncing up and down to prove her point.)
      Liz: Um, yeah, okay. What I'm saying is you need to wear a bra to work if you wanna be taken seriously in this business.
      Cerie: Oh, but I don't actually wanna work in television. Career-wise, I'm just gonna marry rich and design handbags.

    • Tracy: What did I tell you was the secret to having a good marriage and keeping it together, Kenneth?
      Kenneth: Be a good listener, a giver of gifts, and work that 'va-jay-jay'.
      Tracy: That's my boy.

    • (all the writers are in Liz's office)
      Liz: Boy, we as a group... might not smell great.

    • Tracy: When the law conflicts with our desires, we must operate outside of the law.

    • Tracy: But I want you to know something... You and me, it's not gonna be a one-way street. 'Cause I don't believe in one-way streets. Not between people, and not while I'm driving.
      Kenneth: Oh, OK.
      Tracy: So, here's some advice I wish I woulda got when I was your age: Live every week like it's Shark Week.

    • Liz: That's it. I gotta talk to her about her clothes, she can't dress like that.
      Pete: (defensive) Well, yes, she can! People like the way she dresses!
      Liz: Oh, c'mon. It's distracting, it's inappropriate.
      Pete: (angry) You're inappropriate, you jerk, with your big stupid face!

  • NOTES (4)

    • Though credited, Jane Krakowski does not appear in this episode.

    • The German episode title is "Jack, der Autor", and the Italian title is "Jack, l'autore", both exact translations. The French title is "Amicalement ennemi", meaning "Frenemy". The Spanish title is "Jack el guionista", meaning "Jack the Screenwriter".

    • The scene with Kenneth riding his bicycle and singing "There's No Business Like Show Business" called for actor Jack McBrayer to ride a stationary bicycle on a flatbed truck through Midtown Manhattan. The scene was shot before 30 Rock was on the air; McBrayer, an unknown at the time, calls the experience "humiliating."

    • International Airdates: Czech Republic: February 17, 2010 on Prima COOL


    • Jack asks Frank if he's, "familiar with Six Sigma," to which Frank replies, "It's a special kind of G.I. Joe," confusing G.I. Joe's Sigma 6 for Motorola's business practices.

    • Tracy says, "What's the frequency, Ken?" riffing on "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" a song by Georgia rockers R.E.M. based on the bizarre incident where aman assaulted Dan Rather along Park Avenue in New York City in 1986 while asking, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"

    • When Kenneth gets stuck at the top of the chain-link fence while trying to get into Yankee Stadium, he calls out to a large rat, "Go get help, girl!", similar to rescue missions inevitably seen in every episode of the various incarnations of Lassie.

    • (Liz and Pete stroll through the studio and realize they've walked in a circle.) Pete: Good walk and talk.

      Walk-and-talks have become Aaron Sorkin's trademark. Walk-and-talks were a prominent camera style of The West Wing, which usually hadtwoorthree actors walking through that enormous set while carrying on long conversations/expositions, and was produced by Sorkin. The walk-and-talks were also seen on his show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which aired the same season and on the same network as 30 Rock's first season. It was widely believed in the media, prior to both shows hitting the airwaves, that Studio 60 would be a monster hit and that 30 Rock would not be successful.